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Three generations of punishment

Sometimes it’s a little too easy to laugh at what seems to us the utter absurdity of North Korea’s ruling dynasty (now in its third generation) and the worship they shamelessly encourage.

But we should never forget the sinister and brutal side of life in that hell.

Nor should we ever forget that the Communist Party of Britain’s Andrew Murray, chief of staff for the Unite trade union and a member of the TUC General Council, wrote: “Our Party has already made its basic position of solidarity with Peoples Korea clear”.

I would think even Murray can understand what would happen to anyone who tried to organize a free and independent trade union in “Peoples Korea.” Surely, if that brave person survived, it would be something like what Shin Dong-hyuk and his family endured.

It’s sad but unsurprising, then, that Unite has targeted just one country for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions. That country, of course, is Israel, which (unlike North Korea and TUC favorite Cuba) has a free and independent trade union movement– one of the most active, militant and successful in the world, in which Arab and Jewish Israelis are equal members.

The prominence of someone like Murray in the British trade union movement is simply baffling to me. Here in the US, the AFL-CIO has an honorable record of opposing totalitarian regimes in all forms.

Alec adds: Shin Dong-hyuk was a victim of the Songbun or Juche caste system which I discussed here.

In another piece, I highlighted the ultimate mobile phone tariff a North Korean dissident had to pay.  Although Andrew Murray remains an officer on Stop the War Coalition, there appears no longer to be a mobile contact number.