Seumas Milne Defended “Right to Resist” of Jihadi Terrorist Group that Beheaded Hostage

Seumas Milne is no stranger to defending the UK’s enemies, whether it’s Vladimir Putin’s novichok exploits or Bashir al-Assad and North Korea. Now a fresh video has been unearthed by tireless investigator Iggy Ostanin of Corbyn’s spin doctor defending the “right to resist” of a notorious Iraqi insurgent group responsible for beheading civilians. Pick a conflict, any conflict, you can almost guarantee Corbyn and Seumas will side with the wrong ‘uns…

In the 2007 video Milne describes how he “interviewed three leaders of three of the main Iraqi resistance groups earlier this summer” – by his own account this included al-Rahman al-Zubeidy, spokesman for the Ansar al-Sunna group. In 2004, Ansar al-Sunna murdered twelve Nepalese workers they took hostage, including broadcasting a beheading online, justifying it with:

“We have carried out the sentence of God against 12 Nepalese who came from their country to fight the Muslims and to serve the Jews and the Christians … believing in Buddha as their God.”

Ansar al-Sunna also claimed responsibility for numerous suicide bombings across Iraq with hundreds of local civilian casualties, they were already a proscribed terrorist organisation by the UK two years before Milne met them. The Home Office called them:

“a fundamentalist Sunni Islamist extremist group…[which] aims to expel all foreign influences from Iraq and create a fundamentalist Islamic state.”

Now they’ve merged with ISIS…

Milne was clearly not ignorant of Ansar al-Sunna’s brutal activities, in his own Guardian article he euphemistically labels them an “Islamist armed group with a ferocious reputation in Iraq”. Despite this, he defended them in his speech to the Stop the War Coalition, claiming it was a “myth” that the insurgent groups were focused on killing civilians and concluding that “it is important that I think we support their right to resist” and “we need to make sure that their voices are heard outside the country”. With Seumas doing their PR they hardly needed anyone else…

Milne Suggests Collusion Between ISIS and Israel

Yet more video footage has been unearthed by the tireless Iggy Ostanin of Seumas Milne airing more of his… unorthodox views. This time Milne is giving his opinion on “the ISIS franchise and its relationship to Israel”. There are no caveats, Milne is clear that it is his own view:

“I think that’s a very interesting phenomenon myself. At the moment we have on the effective Israeli border, the ceasefire zone in the Golan Heights, one of the most sectarian jihadist groups of the al-Qaedi franchise, Jabhat Al-Nusra, which is actually on the border with Israeli troops.

“Nothing happens, it’s interesting, the Israelis don’t seem too bothered about it. So I think that the role these groups are playing in the region is sometimes illuminated by that kind of fact, who their real enemies are.”

Milne was speaking at a Stop the War conference in June 2015 alongside speakers including George Galloway, Andrew Murray and Jeremy Corbyn – barely three months before Corbyn became Labour leader and appointed Milne as his comms chief. These aren’t just fringe views being spouted at tinfoil hat conferences any more, they’re intrinsic to the worldview of Corbyn’s inner circle…

Milne Complained that Gerry Adams and Omar Al-Bashir Didn’t Get Knighthoods

As well as giving his views on the Zionist Movement’s supposed “grip on the media” at a conference in 2009, Corbyn’s spin chief Seumas Milne also used the opportunity to give his views on the British honours system. Milne bemoaned the fact that former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres had received a knighthood while Gerry Adams and Omar Al-Bashir had inexplicably been overlooked. Milne says “I think what that illustrates is where the interests lie… it is entirely to do with the British state’s international alliance system and nothing to do with the merits of the case”…

One was a Nobel Peace Prize Winner who signed the Oslo Accords and secured peace with the PLO and with Jordan. The others were a former IRA chief of staff and brigade commander and a now-deposed Sudanese dictator who had the dubious honour of being the first sitting head of state to be charged with war crimes by the ICC in 2008 – a year before Seumas’ remarks. If anything is “illustrated” it’s where Seumas Milne’s real interests lie…

h/t @magnitsky

Milne: “Zionist Movement Has a Grip on the Media”

Fresh video footage has been unearthed by investigative reporter Iggy Ostanin of Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor and right-hand man Seumas Milne giving his take on “Zionism” and the “media”It’s all too predictable:

“There is a view among pro-Palestinian people often that the Zionist movement has a grip on the media in a way that I think sometimes exaggerates the mechanisms through which that influence is exerted.

“And one of the things that is impressive about the Zionist movement, I would say, and this is true going back decades and decades, is the fact that many of its activists are incredibly hard working and dedicated and they bombard the media day in day out with their obsessive campaigns.”

Milne appears to have been speaking at a conference at SOAS in 2009 billed as “The Nakba, Sixty Years of Dispossession, Sixty Years of Resistance”. Milne himself was speaking in a session on “Forces of Counter-Resistance: The (Still) Unvanquished Enemies of Palestine”, Milne’s own presentation was titled “The Role of Imperialism in the Palestinian Tragedy”. It’s no surprise that only 13% of people think Labour is doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism when these are the views of Corbyn’s most senior adviser…

Why No Press Statement from Assange Supporting Corbyn?

Guido is surprised that Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t made a press statement regarding the arrest of Assange. The Labour leader’s communications chief should be able to get some insight into the situation from Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s lawyer, who is tweeting from inside the police station. Pictured above is Seumas Milne previously consulting with the blonde lawyer...

Len and Seumas in Fyne Company at New Year Bash with Karie Murphy

The left’s head honchos have never been adverse to a good party and this New Year was no exception with Unite boss Len McCluskey and Seumas Milne celebrating in style at the luxury Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa in Inveraray for a cool £429 a head. Len donned his not-very-proletarian black tie for the celebrations, Seumas looked more avant garde in a black turtleneck and chinos:

It wasn’t just a trip for the boys, Corbyn’s chief of staff Karie Murphy was also there to enjoy the Hogmanay celebrations on the shores of Loch Fyne. Close friends Len and Karie were spied holding hands on the way out of the bar and Guido’s kilt-wearing co-conspirator reports that the pair shared a room together. No doubt having late night policy discussions.

Len and Seumas were also spotted at what was billed as the “Chef’s Gala New Year’s Eve Dinner”

UPDATE: The “blonde” sat opposite Seumas is apparently Samantha Hemsley, partner at Thompson’s and Unite assistant general-secretary Howard Beckett’s long term relationship.

UPDATE II: Samantha Hemsley has contacted us to make clear she did not attend the event as Seumas Milne’s guest.

“I can confirm I am not in a long term ‘relationship’ with Howard Beckett. He is a close friend.”

A previous version of this story misidentified her picture. Apologies for the confusion.

 

Seumas Evasive Over TV Debates

Downing Street are very bullish on making a May v Corbyn TV debate happen. They have lined up the BBC, Labour say they prefer ITV’s format and earlier timing. The Tories think May’s concrete plan will contrast well with Corbyn’s evasiveness and ambiguity with viewers. They claim Seumas Milne knows that and is making excuses to avoid the head-to-head. We have put our chicken on standby for Seumas if he continues to try to wriggle out of the debate. Guido thinks it will be a laugh to watch May pretend she is enthusiastic about Brexit and Corbyn pretend he would prefer Britain to remain in the EU…

Seumas Milne’s Mysterious Office

Guido understands that Corbyn’s ‘Director of Communications and Strategy,’ Seumas Milne has wangled himself his own private Parliamentary office, in a separate building to that of his boss. The secretive office sits in a corner of Norman Shaw North, quite a walk from the Leader of the Opposition’s office. Perfect for plotting, without being overheard…

It is highly unusual for even a senior staffer to receive an office of their own, especially when office space in Parliament is highly contested and some Members share office sets. A Guido co-conspirator who has gained access to the office says that it is to all intents and purposes a normal office – no Maoists tracts or other torture items to be seen. What unspeakable things go on behind the unnamed door to ‘Room 1/14’?

Seumas is Getting Slicker

An out of character tweet this afternoon from the man who on Sunday was asked by Andrew Marr if he was an anti-semite. Is it too cynical of Guido to note the timing of this followed on from Palestinian flags being waved en masse in the conference hall – in breach of conference rules – and then a vote condemning Israel and freezing arms sales to a key military and intelligence ally in the war on terror? Seumas is getting slicker…



The optics of that flag waving are not great with many voters outside Gaza. It will take a lot more than a few tweets to convince British Jews that Corbyn’s Labour Party isn’t hostile…

Ken: Seumas Wrote My Tweets and Never Told Me to Stop Talking About Hitler

One last hurrah for Ken (well, almost certainly not) – he has been on LBC this morning explaining how Hitler supported Zionists. More interesting is Theo Usherwood’s scoop that, in his evidence to his disciplinary hearing, Ken revealed that he was so close to Corbyn’s office that Seumas Milne even wrote his tweets. He coordinated with Milne on his media appearances and, when the anti-Semitism row blew up, Seumas never told him to stop saying Hitler on the TV. Asked by Nick Ferrari if Corbyn agrees with him on Hitler and Zionism, Ken said you’d have to ask Jezza but they have never disagreed on anything in their whole careers. A question in Corbyn’s next broadcast interview on this could be interesting…

Who Is On Question Time Tonight

A proud moment for the brocialists on Question Time tonight: Diane Abbott (former girlfriend of Jeremy Corbyn) appears alongside Jennifer Robinson (relationship status with Seumas Milne unknown). Jennifer’s last high profile public appearance was rather different:

Guess they’ll be watching Newsnight in the Milne household…

He Who Must Not Be Named

Seumas Milne has refused to conduct Labour’s post-PMQs Lobby huddles for the last month after getting into a strop about being named – in breach of Lobby convention – by the Press Association and Guido, among others. Today he ended his sulk and gave the briefing, after instructing journalists they must refer to him only as “a Labour spokesman” and not by name. The anonymity traditionally afforded by the Lobby to spokesmen is a means of avoiding accountability – if spinners are safe from ever being named what incentive do they have to be honest? They can lie with impunity. In Seumas’ case, his views on Russia and Syria and his reputation among Labour MPs meant he became the story himself. Ordering journalists to never refer to him by his name is a curious look. Who does he think he is, Voldemort?

Corbyn and Seumas’ Record of Siding With Assad

Last night’s statement from a Labour “spokesperson” on the Douma gas attack – no wonder no one wanted to put their name to it – was a textbook case of Corbynista equivocation in the face of evil committed by a regime opposed by the West. Corbyn’s record on Syria speaks for itself.

He accepted a free trip to meet Assad paid for by a Palestinian group which blames Jews for the Holocaust, posing with the Syrian leader alongside Jenny Tonge, and writing afterwards that the junket had shown him evidence that “the Israeli tail wags the US dog”.

He was the chair of Stop the War when they compared Assad to Churchill and repeatedly promoted Assad apologists, and he continued to back the group when they were condemned by Peter Tatchell for silencing victims of the Assad regime, and accused by Syria Solidarity UK of tacitly supporting Assad.

Following the Khan Sheikhoun gas attack, Corbyn refused to blame Assad despite Britain, the US and France all agreeing there was no doubt the regime carried it out. He did however appear on Russia Today to immediately endorse Russian reports of Syrian rebels using chemical weapons. He called for an independent UN investigation“. When such an investigation later found the Assad regime responsible, Corbyn said nothing.

He received a briefing from Declan Hayes, a notorious Assad apologist who has denied that the regime has used chemical weapons. He dined with Marcus Papadopoulos, who claimed “there was no massacre at Aleppo“.

Corbyn’s chief aide Seumas Milne has repeatedly apologised for the Assad regime, writing that warnings of chemical attacks by Assad were a “reprise of the falsehood that paved the way for the invasion of Iraq”, praising Russian intervention in Syria as a “check to unbridled US power” and criticising Nato for working against the Assad regime.

Milne’s deputy in the leader’s office Steve Howell is even worse – he’s repeatedly openly sided with Assad and accused the West of spinning the Aleppo slaughter.

Corbyn’s favourite newspaper, the communist Morning Star, actually backed Assad’s slaughter in Aleppo as “providing aerial support to troops fighting to drive extremists out”.

Corbyn famously said that “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”. On Syria he doesn’t even pretend to be neutral.

Guardian U-Turns to Take Seumas’ Line

Curious about-turn at the Guardian over the last 24 hours. Thursday’s paper ran this strong leader criticising Corbyn and backing Theresa May’s conclusion on Russian responsibility:

“Mr Corbyn’s reluctance to share Mrs May’s basic analysis of the Salisbury incident made him look eager to exonerate a hostile power… Britain has been targeted with a chemical weapon and it is almost certain that there is only one plausible culprit with the means and the motive. The prime minister might not have as many tools for retaliation, unilateral or international, as she would like. But she has judged correctly that the time for equivocation, given the sinister nature of Mr Putin’s regime, is over.”

Yet this morning’s paper pours scorn on the previous day’s leader, running a story headlined: “UK’s claims questioned: doubts voiced about source of Salisbury novichok”. It echoes Seumas Milne’s line comparing the situation to Iraqi WMD, and quotes “arguments” on “social media” that the novichok could have come from “some non-state group, maybe criminals”. It even links to the infamous conspiracy theorist Craig Murray’s blog claiming “Israel undoubtedly has as much technical capacity as any state to synthesise Novichoks”. The decision to promote a source like Murray, a man who has spent time in a residential mental health facility, has caused bewilderment in the Guardian newsroom…

Guardian hacks are wondering why their paper’s line has changed so dramatically in such a short space of time. They doubt a respected journalist like Ewan MacAskill would write such an odd piece without instructions from above. Surely nothing to do with Seumas giving his old friend Kath Viner Corbyn’s big op-ed this morning…

Milne Defended Kremlin After Murder of Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov

Seumas Milne defended the Kremlin in his Guardian column after the assassination of a prominent critic of Vladimir Putin which the deceased man’s colleagues and family said was politically motivated. In Feburary 2015 opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was murdered while walking near the Kremlin with his girlfriend. Yeltsin’s former Deputy Prime Minister was shot six times with a 9mm pistol. A month later Milne wrote:

“The Russian president has, of course, been blamed for the killing, though that makes little sense. Nemtsov was a marginal figure whose role in the “catastroika” of the 1990s scarcely endeared him to ordinary Russians. Responsibility for an outrage that exposed the lack of security in the heart of Moscow and was certain to damage the president hardly seems likely to lie with Putin or his supporters.”

This was not the conclusion of the deceased Nemtsov’s colleagues and family. Nemtsov’s friend and fellow opposition activist Leonid Martynyuk said : “I am certain that the Russian government is behind the murder of Nemtsov.” World chess champion and Putin critic Gary Kasparov told reporters: “Putin must be held responsible for the murder of Boris.” Politico, and other international outlets ran pieces carrying claims that the murder was politically motivated.

Last summer five men were jailed for the murder after a controversial trial. The Nemtsov’s family lawyer told journalists:

“We can’t say we’re satisfied with the verdict. We would be happy if the murder hadn’t happened. But the main thing is neither the organisers nor those who ordered [the killing] have been found.”

Whatever happened, when a critic of Putin was shot feet from the Kremlin, Seumas was there to defend Vlad in the British press…

Chuka on Seumas

Chuka Umunna on Seumas Milne re Russia:

“Have read the comments of the Leader of the Opposition’s spokesperson. Mr Milne’s comments do not represent the views of the majority of our voters, members or MPs. We’ll get abuse for saying so but where British lives have been put at risk it is important to be clear about this.”

Putin Cackles as Watching Kremlin Activates Agent COB

At the Kremlin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin settles into his golden throne to watch Prime Minister’s Questions and the accompanying statement. As a jack-booted servant flicks over from Russia Today, Vlad wonders aloud: “Who’s the thin old beardy bloke in the red tie?”

“That’s Jeremy Corbyn”, replies the trembling aide. “Who?” demands Putin, never more than a moment from a nuclear-level rage, or worse, offering to make an adviser’s tea. “You know, Mr President. Codename COB…”

The almond-eyed tyrant purses his lips then raises a smile. An FSB man never forgets a codename.

“Ah, da, da,” he whispers. “Activate Agent COB…”

Continue reading

Seumas Sticks to Line, Refuses to Condemn Russia

Theresa May slammed Jeremy Corbyn for his lack of support over the Russian spy poisoning crisis. The Prime Minister told Jezza:

“There is a consensus across the backbenches of this House. I am only sorry that this consesnsus does not go as far as the Right Honourable Gentleman, who could have taken the opportunity as the UK government has done to condemn the cuplability of the Russian state.”

This will lead all the news bulletins tonight, the press will crucify Corbyn tomorrow, his own Labour MPs have disowned him and sided with the PM.

In this type situation Guido would normally expect the leader of the oppostion’s spin doctor to back pedal in the Lobby briefing huddle that follows, he would “clarify” and nuance the wording. Emphasise the more conventional parts of the argument to soften the inevitably hostile headlines coming tomorrow. When that spin-doctor is Seumas Milne however it seems there was to be no compromising on Putin’s line. Under intense questioning he refused to say that the Labour Party’s leader accepted the Russian state was at fault:

“The government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don‘t. However, also there is a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly. So, I think the right approach is to seek the evidence to follow international treaties, particularly in relation to prohibitive chemical weapons.”

When Lobby hacks pressed Milne as to if Corbyn believed Russia was responsible for the attack, Milne said the PM continued to leave open the possibility that Russia had lost control of the nerve agent. Milne prefers to doubt MI6 and give the benefit of the doubt to the FSB….

Corbyn Takes Putin’s Line

Jeremy Corbyn has taken the line used by the Kremlin when it refused to comply to the UK’s deadline for explaining Sergei Skripal’s poisioning. Corbyn was booed as told the Commons:

“How has she responded to the Russian government’s request for a sample of the agent used in the Sailsibury attack to run its own tests?”

The Russian Embassy in London tweeted:

The Russian Foreign Ministry said: “Without this, any statements by London are senseless.”

Not much of a surprise though, is it…

Corbyn: Putin’s Expansion into Ukraine “Not Unprovoked”

Jeremy Corbyn said Vladimir Putin’s illegal incursion into Ukraine which saw the annexation of Crimea was “not unprovoked” and that there were “huge questions” over Western intentions in the country. In a 2014 article for the Morning Star at the height of the Ukraine War Corbyn wrote:

“On Ukraine, I would not condone Russian behaviour or expansion.

[…] Read the rest

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