Day six of the protests in Iran and still no comment from Jeremy Corbyn or Emily Thornberry. So far 450 protesters have been arrested and the death toll has exceeded 20. Boris has been defending the protesters’ right to demonstrate so why the silence from Labour? Surely nothing to do with Jezza publicly backing the country’s Khomeinist rulers on dozens of occasions, taking more than £20,000 of their cash for appearing on its fake news station Press TV, rubbing shoulders with Iranian propagandists even after he became leader, or attending the notorious Al-Quds day march backed by Iran. Read Corbyn’s record on Iran in full here.
Fortunately Jezza’s Twitter outriders can give us an idea of his thinking. Here’s Aaron Bastani from pro-Corbyn website Novara Media:
Astonished at how many *still* don’t get cheering on protest whatever it’s demands and whatever the political context. Any breakdown in Iranian regime *could* make Syria look like theme park. Yet many Brits still cheer on regime change >
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) December 31, 2017
And the infamous Harry Leslie Smith account is blaming the West and arguing Iran doesn’t need to be a democracy:
Probably the most important thing for #IranianProtests is to never believe American or British politicians when they say Iran needs to be a democracy b/c what they mean by freedom is your return to their spheres of influence like under the Shah when protesters were also shot.
— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) December 31, 2017
Unlike Corbynistas not to enjoy a protest…
UPDATE: Thornberry finally issues a statement.
Some readers may be aware of the curious case of Harry Leslie Smith, a 92 year old Labour-supporting war hero and author who is regularly published by the Mirror and the Guardian. Mr Smith’s name is attributed to a Twitter account which posts a large amount of bizarre, sometimes downright offensive material. Over the last few weeks, many Labour supporters and tweeters have questioned whether Mr Smith is responsible for the posts, or if his account is – rather distastefully – controlled by someone else using his name.
@Harryslaststand that's an astonishingly ignorant thing to tweet, whoever you are.
— Padraig Reidy (@mePadraigReidy) December 27, 2015
Who actually runs this account? https://t.co/815z8sTU0A
— James Bloodworth (@J_Bloodworth) December 24, 2015
— Chris Deerin (@chrisdeerin) January 31, 2016
Those who have met Mr Smith say it is impossible he controls the account.
Multiple sources in the Labour Party and elsewhere tell Guido that in fact several people have access. Sources with intimate knowledge of the account claim Mr Smith’s son is responsible for some of the tweets, as well as an agent and someone working with his publisher, Icon Books. Labour sources distance the party from the account, insisting it is nothing to do with them.
To try to get to the bottom of this rather odd tale, Guido contacted Icon Books to politely ask if anyone from the company had access to the account. Given the opportunity to deny this well-established rumour, Icon Books failed to get back to us. Instead, they rather strangely decided to leak Guido’s email online. It would be pretty grim if someone has been exploiting this 92 year-old war hero by tweeting under his name…