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Tory attacks on Corbyn’s Labour are a latter-day Zinoviev letter

NEVER believe anything until it has been officially denied.

If the malign Moscow puppet-masters supposedly pulling Jeremy Corbyn’s strings were to shine a subliminal message into the minds of the British electorate — that our National Health Service was trussed-up and oven-ready for a takeover by profit-hungry US “health” corporations — they would programme Trump to deny it. That is, if our notoriously louche and loose-lipped visitor could be relied on to keep with the programme.

Of course, private-sector health corporations already have a slice of the health service and anyone who thinks that homegrown raptors like Richard Branson’s Virgin are less rapacious than their US rivals should talk to an NHS worker.

In reality it looks as if Boris Johnson’s spin doctors got to Trump’s speech-writers just in time to stop The Donald from blurting out a truth that is already buried deep in our national consciousness. 

The NHS is already partially privatised and is currently the subject of detailed trade talks with the United States.

Since Corbyn drew attention to the definitive texts which detailed the content of these trade talks the Tories are on the back foot. 

The Tory response is a latter-day Zinoviev letter — the ludicrous suggestion that this British government document is a Russian confection. 

And to compound their troubles the infelicitous arrival of Donald Trump — to grandstand at the Nato summit — introduces a rogue elephant into their calculations.

Trump’s message is that the European ends of the endlessly expansive North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should stump up more money to finance the now global imperial war machine.

The raison d’etre of Nato is the counterintuitive notion that our national security is under existential threat from adversaries whose aggregate military expenditure is but a very modest proportion of that already deployed by the West.

The idea that the territorial integrity of Britain is under threat by the Russian robber regime of capitalist criminals — who educate their children alongside our upper class in public schools and invest their illicit millions in Mayfair properties and Thames-side condominiums — is a convenient fiction.

Nato is a cold war construct — much like the drive towards European capitalist integration — and even by the terms set by its founders, it is not fit for any contemporary purpose.

The anti-communist glue which bound fascist dictators and liberal democrats, mafia drug barons and Scandinavian social democrats, Christian Democrats and nazi collaborators in an unholy family no longer holds.

The treaty obligation that members must join the defence of any member state under attack was a convenient fiction to cover the more credible cold war prospect of a pre-emptive attack against the socialist adversary.

Today that fiction cannot be stretched to cover the not impossible eventuality that Greece and Turkey might come to blows. 

It doesn’t fit the present contingency in which Turkey’s repositioning is making Nato support for its assault on the Kurdish forces currently enjoying the protection of the Syrian army the condition for Turkey’s support for new Nato deployments along Russia’s border.

In short Nato is not only “brain dead” as French President Emmanuel Macron has observed, but unfit for any useful purpose.

The language used by Johnson in his intemperate attack on Corbyn’s patriotism shows the Prime Minister to himself to be more beholden to the ambitions of a foreign power than he is to the clearly expressed views of the British people about foreign military adventures. 

We need to look no further than the intimacy between our ruling elite and the murderous Saudi dynasty to see how our entanglement in this snake-pit serves no useful or benign purpose.

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