AT THE WEEKEND the Scottish newspaper the Daily Record published leaked documents that claims to reveal that a small ‘charity’, based in Fife and funded by the Tory government, has been carrying out propaganda attacks on social media aimed at discrediting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his closest advisors.
This charity, the Institute for Statecraft, is running an Integrity Initiative funded by £2 million in grants from the Foreign Office. Officially, this Initiative is aimed at countering online Russian propaganda by organising what it calls ‘clusters’ of journalists and ‘key influencers’ throughout Europe who will hit back at alleged Russian ‘disinformation’ on social media.
According to the paper however, their investigation into this shadowy organisation reveals that its official Twitter account has been active in attacking Corbyn and the left-wing of the Labour Party. One tweet from the account reproduces a newspaper article calling Corbyn a ‘useful idiot’ to Russia stating ‘His open visceral anti-Westernism helped the Kremlin cause, as surely as if he had been secretly peddling Westminster tittle-tattle for money.’
A further quote insists: ‘It’s time for the Corbyn left to confront its Putin problem.’
Another message talks about an ‘alleged British Corbyn supporter’ who ‘wants to vote for Putin’. Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s communications director, was targeted in a tweet which repeated a newspaper report that claims he ‘wittingly or unwittingly, is working with the Kremlin agenda.’
The Daily Record also points out that, along with the attacks on Corbyn, the Integrity Initiative has also been accused of ‘supporting Ukrainian politicians who oppose Putin – even when they also have suspected far-right links.’ As to who runs the Institute for Statecraft, according to the leaked documents it was set up and staffed by ex-military intelligence specialists.
According to the Record its senior manager, Chris Donnelly, is a reserve officer in the British Army Intelligence Corps, while it suggests that another senior operative was an SAS soldier attached to a regiment running spy cells in Russia. The spokesman for the Institute, Stephen Dalzeil, confirmed that its founders had military backgrounds but claimed that he didn’t know their official Twitter account had been used to peddle re-tweeted anti-Corbyn propaganda saying: ‘If it was criticism of one of our politicians, then that shouldn’t be on there.’
The Tories were equally ‘shocked’ to discover that they had been spending public money to fund an openly anti-Corbyn campaign of lies and slander, and immediately announced an inquiry into how this could happen – once the entire scandal became public.
None of this is new. Corbyn has been accused of amongst other things of being a spy for Czech intelligence, then a secret anti-Semite and now a willing tool for the Russians. What the ruling class and the capitalist state fear above all else is not Corbyn, the weak left-reformist poses no threat to capitalism. Far from being in the pocket of Putin he has proved, by his betrayal of Brexit, that he is in the pocket of the Labour right-wing and prepared to renege on the Labour manifesto pledge to leave the EU, and remain tied to the bosses and bankers of Europe at all costs.
What they are terrified of is the millions of workers and youth who propelled Corbyn first to the leadership and then in the last election to Labour smashing the Tory majority in Parliament. The fear is that this mass movement is being propelled far beyond the weak-kneed reformism of Corbyn and the Labour Party and any future Corbyn-led government.
It is this revolutionary movement of the working class that the state is desperately trying to organise to dissipate and derail with their info-wars and campaign of slander. That they are forced to resort to such tactics is proof of the very weakness of capitalism today in the face of this uprising by workers in Britain and across Europe, most notably in France where Macron is on the point of being brought down.
The main issue confronting the working class today is the building of a revolutionary leadership that will organise this uprising into the struggle to take power through socialist revolution that will smash the capitalist state and replace it with a workers state.