Financial Times

How would the UK media cover a Labour Party official who ‘flirted’ with Nazism?


The question in our headline was elicited by the casual manner in which the Financial Times noted the following about Jeremy Corbyn’s Communications Director Seumas Milne in the final paragraph of a Jan. 14th article by their chief political correspondent, Jim Pickard.

In the 1980s he chaired the local Labour party in Hammersmith, west London, where Clive Soley was the sitting MP. Lord Soley, as he is now, remembers him as a young man who leaned towards Marxism. “He was oversympathetic to autocratic regimes and undersympathetic to countries with the rule of law and democracy,” he recalls. “That is the worst aspect of the hard left.”

In fact, Milne, a longtime Guardian editor prior to joining team Corbyn, didn’t merely “lean towards Marxism”, but worked for a publication (Straight Left) which was “a hard-line anti-reformist pro-Soviet faction within the Communist Party”.

Indeed, there is little to suggest, persuasively argued Michael Mosbacher in a December article in StandPoint, that Milne has moved away from his old political sympathies. (For instance, whereas Straight Left supported the Soviet invasions of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan in the 60s and 70s, Milne often rails against the West’s “imperialist” wars in the Middle East.) 

It’s important to put this in perspective. Milne didn’t ‘merely’ support the ideology of Marxism in theory. He supported its expansionist totalitarian manifestation in practice, an ideology which led to terror, repression and genocide on a scale which is arguably on par with Nazism. 

And, herein lies the point.  A media and political figure in British life who ‘flirted’ with Nazi ideology, or worked for a pro-Nazi publication, would almost certainly be disqualified from working for a respectable media outlet or from holding office within a non-extremist political party.

At the very least, this hypothetical figure – upon attaining a high profile position – would certainly be challenged by the media to renounce his previous support for extremism.

The fact that Milne has essentially been given a pass even by the media, even upon assuming the role of communications director for the leader of the second largest party in the UK, speaks volumes about the curious moral double standards at play when contextualizing the 20th century’s twin evil ideologies. 

20 replies »

  1. Seumas is notorious in Britain as the “Stalinist Wykehamist” (old boy of Winchester College-a famous boys’ private high school founded by William of Wykeham in 1384 and found guilty in 2005, with other such schools, of running a price fixing cartel for school fees.) [Wikipedia]

    His late father, Alistair Milne, was director-general of the Trotskyist Isra-hating BBC from 1982 to 1987. He was,like Seumas educated at Winchester and Oxford, and on a director general’s salary, could, undoubtedly, have afforded Seumas’s price-fixed capitalist school fees rather than relying on a state-run high school.

    • Older readers will, of course, recall the Cambridge spy ring of the 1950s, where privately educated gay Cambridge graduates were convicted of spying for the communist USSR. One of them, Kim Philby, escaped to Russia and was later made a communist colonel. There is, of course, no connection at all with Alistair or Seumas, who are privately educated Oxford graduates.

      • You nailed it, Duvid king of Jew fish! Seamouse is an old favorite at Guardian HQ precisely because of his Cambridge five vibe.

        We’re just suckers for that Oxbridge high-talk Leninist boys-club gin-and-tonic vibe Seamouse gives us, not to mention those dreamy eyes you could just drown in while listening for hours on end to his well articulated rants about the colonialist alliance between the bourgeois and the Ziocons.

        No one can rally both a Marxist AND an Islamist crowd like that dear old boy Seamouse, with shiny black boots to die for! God save the queen.

    • Not OT at all. When people lack any semblance of morality and integrity, it’s not confined to one area. Bigots are not bigots in just one part of their lives.

  2. Actually Adam there were “legitimate Partys and Personalities” of the period who fully backed the NAZIs overtly attending social events at the German Embassy including the Funeral of the German Ambassador expressing great sincere grief. You probably could request documentaries from that era from your public library or a university. I saw it on the HistoryChannel I believe. They have an online store. I just didn’t commit to memory the host of characters, well known and an eye opener.
    Regarding the 2-Do Gooder Leftists that Peter the Hungarian mentions; they are so good they’ve condemned these two land sellers to death. A few years back Abu Mazen demanded land sellers who transfer land to Jews be given the death sentence. My understanding was the PA passed it. Thanks Morons! Perhaps this is the reason the papers are burying the story. If they are executed it wouldn’t fit the narrative of the benign Palestinians.

  3. First, I will apologize for John Kilnoy who needed to resort to name calling and mix how the the the Royals shunned Edward comparing that to a political party which was the topic. If I remember correctly the mood towards Edward was all anger Mr Kilnoy but grief and heartbreak since the much beloved Monarch was abdicating whereas the other opinion at the time was he was maintaining honor, doing the right thing and abdicating. As far as past antics when Corbyn was less in stature, bringing a terrorist with blood on his hands as a guest to the Floor of Parkiament both major Parties should have strung them both up. The fact his credentials weren’t revoked encouraged him to go further. Mr Galloway is the same ilk proud of his Hamas issues Gaza Passport. He should live there for 6 months to a year without a minder and just might see what Humanitarians Hamas can be to their own people. Mr Kilnoy it’s irrelevant at this time which real Estate I’m inhabiting. I’ve been many places.