Above: a Morning Star reader?
Here’s the first paragraph of the editorial in Saturday’s Morning Star:
BRITISH politicians and media will scoff at Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko’s suggestion that Sergei and Yulia Skripal may have been injected by British authorities with a nerve agent produced at Porton Down.
They will be equally scornful of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s declaration that Moscow has “plenty of evidence” that Britain staged the alleged chlorine gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma.
Concerned friends and comrades sometimes question me as to why I endanger my blood-pressure by following this small-circulation newspaper which carries little weight in terms of effecting British public opinion.
I reply that the M Star carries weight beyond its meagre circulation figures: it’s highly influential on the soft-Stalinist / Bennite wing of the trade union bureaucracy, which is -in turn -highly influential upon Corbyn, who’s not very sophisticated and was brought up in that tradition and whose most influential advisors are Stalinists.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean: I was at a Unite the Union ‘United Left’ meeting this weekend and at it a well-respected comrade, Martin Mayer, who’s a Labour Party member, quoted the Morning Star as though it was self-evidently a trustworthy source of information. That view is widespread on the soft-left and semi-Stalinist left of our movement.
But when the Morning Star gives credence to the most outrageous conspiracy theories, spread by Putin’s propaganda machine, this represents a major problem within our movement. It’s been happening more and more frequently under the present editor, Ben Chacko.
I won’t go into, now, why Stalinists would give “muscle-memory” (of the old USSR) support to the gangster-capitalist regime of Putin, or why they would give credence to his obvious propaganda/fake news offensive on either the Skripal poisoning, or the Douma chemical attack.
With regard to the Skripals the Morning Star wriggles and writhes, but eventually admits that what Putin’s propagandist say might not be entirely true. But when it comes to Douma, the Morning Star simply repeats Putin’s propaganda.
Most perniciously, the Morning Star cites what it calls the “Respected journalist Robert Fisk” – in fact an unreliable charlatan (allowed access to Douma before OCPW inspectors were allowed in. Didn’t speak to any witnesses of the attack, only a doctor who didn’t see it, but says everyone “knows what happened”), whose coverage of the Douma events had already been substantially undermined by commentators who are no apologists for western policy in the region, citing witnesses who contradicted Fisk’s account.
Then, the Morning Star editorial went on to repeat the allegation, which has been comprehensively debunked, that the White Helmets are a western propaganda outfit, who fake evidence of Assad’s “alleged” atrocities – a conspiracy theory that has been decisively exposed by people who are no supporters of the west.
The British labour movement, and serious working class people, deserve better than to be fed Putinist propaganda by a lying, pro-Brexit rag (the “Daily Mail of the left”) paid for by the subs of Unite members.
NB 1: 1. Cardiologist alleges White Helmets faked photos because EEG pads are misplaced: 12,000 retweets 2. Cardiologist admits he was mistaken & the EEG pads are placed correctly: 22 retweets
NB2: the excellent Snopes Fact Check: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/is-this-proof-white-helmets-staged-chemical-attack/