What’s worse: Toby Young, Donald Trump or a theocratic regime that denies its people freedom, kills homosexuals, and uses rape as a means of punishing women? If you voted for the last option, you’re on the side of most decent and moral human beings. If you voted for the first two then, well, you’re probably on the Labour frontbench.
Triggered by rising inflation and stunted economic growth, the Iranian people have risen up in protest against the oppressive and vicious regime that they have been subjected to for far too long. Naturally the Iranian government are most unhappy with this turn of events with at least 21 people killed since the protests began, and more than 1000 people arrested for what is widely recognised in decent countries as a democratic right to protest.
Nikki Haley, the US’s fearsome ambassador to the UN, has applauded the courage of anti-government protesters whilst warning that ‘the Iranian regime is finally on notice.’ Donald Trump tweeted that ‘the world is watching’ whilst Benjamin Netanyahu wished the Iranian people ‘success in their noble quest for freedom.’
This is truly a potentially revolutionary moment where the people are rejecting their shackles and demanding that they are given more power. They will no longer accept this evil subordination from a vicious regime of brutal proportions, and it is right we support them. So what say Labour, the party of the people, those who are for the many and not the few?
Until the time of writing (January 6th) they kept their silence, and what a deafening silence it was. Jeremy Corbyn was too busy tweeting support for McDonald’s workers and lambasting the Tories to write out a quick 140 (or 280 if he’s that desperate) character tweet in support of those who are literally facing a life or death situation. It appears his schedule did not allow it.
This is, of course, not surprising. Mr Corbyn received £20,000 from the Iranian state broadcast network even after Ofcom had revoked its broadcasting license. Why? Because the network had broadcast a ‘confession’ of espionage from Maziar Bahari, a man who had been tortured into submission. The torturer had warned him that, if he dare tell anybody what had happened to him, he would be killed regardless of where he is in the world.
Finally, Labour's silence was broken by Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry. In a lengthy statement released on Facebook she wrote that ‘in these kind of complex situations, we need to show a bit of caution, and avoid rushing to conclusions about what we are seeing and where it will lead.’ What, exactly, will it take for her to unequivocally support the collapse of the Iranian regime? The Grand Ayatollah admitting how evil him and his regime is?
Never have I been more ashamed to be a Labour member, and never have I been more disgusted in Labour’s inability to support those they claim to support. Labour’s moral compass is not broken. It has completely disappeared, preferring to get anxious about Donald Trump or Toby Young than the real enemies of freedom.
Every single Labour politician who refuses to both support these protesters and condemn their party’s pathetic response, as well as every single Labour supporter who makes apologies for this, should be deeply ashamed of themselves. Socialism has mutated from a revolutionary movement that wants to empower the people to a hobby for certain, morally challenged, middle-class individuals.
When Theresa May did not condemn Trump’s travel ban, Jeremy Corbyn tweeted ‘if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’ Mr Corbyn, of course, was absolutely right in this sentiment. How ironic, how depressing, that he could not follow his own advice.