So Andrew Neil spent half of his interview with Jeremy Corbyn last week aggressively questioning him about his relationship with the IRA.
The following day, Nick Robinson, on Political Thinking on Radio 4, referring to the interview, said: ‘No one could doubt, really, that Mr Corbyn had indeed been a cheerleader for what used to be called IRA/Sinn Fein.’
You can’t get a more direct statement than that. Such is the supposed impartiality of the BBC during an election campaign that Nick Robinson is allowed to state unequivocally that Jeremy Corbyn is a terrorist sympathiser, even when there is no actual evidence that he is. The use of the term ‘IRA/Sinn Fein’ is particularly telling. It the exact formulation of words Margaret Thatcher and Ian Paisley always used to use to describe Sinn Fein during the Troubles, which in the minds of older people can’t help but to spin them back to those fearful times.
Newspapers, on the other hand, are not obliged to show any impartiality whatsoever, either during an election campaign or at any other time. We’ve had newspaper after newspaper analysing every statement Corbyn ever made about the IRA, checking every meeting and digging out every photograph, calling him ‘an IRA sympathiser’, ‘Britain-hating’, ‘a hard-left, Marxist, terrorist sympathiser’, along with a variety of other names. We’ve had meme after meme on Facebook: picture after picture showing him in the company of one Sinn Fein leader or another, even though some of the photographs are clearly from a time when the peace process was already underway, and Sinn Fein were talking to everyone.
It’s the constant repetition that does the damage. Even though Corbyn signed a motion condemning IRA violence in 1994, and has always been clear in his opposition to terrorism, the impression is that he must be an IRA supporter because the media says he is.
Theresa May, on the other hand, faces no such questioning. Not from Andrew Neil, not from Jeremy Paxman. This is despite the fact that it can be shown that, as Home Secretary, she helped to facilitate British terrorists fighting in Libya, and that there is a direct link between one Manchester based terrorist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, himself.
In other words, Theresa May is not only a terrorist sympathiser, she is a terrorist enabler: and not several decades ago as a rebellious but relatively powerless back-bencher, but within the lifetime of the current government, as a serving Minister.
In the words of veteran reporter John Pilger: ‘The “smoking gun” is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in “battle”: first to remove Mu’ammar Gadaffi in Libya, then to join al-Qaida affiliated groups in Syria.’
When Jeremy Corbyn spoke of ‘connections between wars that we’ve been involved in…. in other countries such as Libya, and terrorism here at home,’ it was precisely the links between the British secret services and terrorist groups abroad that he was referring to.
Again, he was condemned by all sections of the press for making this intervention so soon after the atrocity in Manchester, but it was not only timely, it was accurate.
The British establishment has been routinely involved in facilitating and enabling foreign wars in order to meet the objectives of the oil lobby, the arms lobby and the banking lobby, all of whom do very nicely out of the ensuing chaos.
The press, meanwhile, have been deliberately covering this up and using past connections between Jeremy Corbyn and Sinn Fein as a diversion.
No doubt if Corbyn ever gets into office he will be in a position to investigate these and all other crimes by the British State.
It’s no wonder they are so scared.