At first I thought this was an Onion-like satire on the new Labour party leadership’s propensity for shooting itself in its collective foot at every opportunity.
But no– it appears to be all too real.
Jeremy Corbyn stunned attendees at the party’s Christmas party by quoting Enver Hoxha, the Albanian dictator who served as chairman of the Democratic Front of Albania and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces from 1944 until his death in 1985.
Dubbing Hoxha a “tough ruler”, Corbyn quoted Hoxha’s phrase that “this year will be tougher than last year”. Hoxha is believed to have imprisoned, tortured or executed at least 100,000 Albanians during his reign.
The party – thrown for both current staff and veterans of the 2015 election campaign – was stunned by the remarks, which will raise memories of John McDonnell’s decision to quote Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book in the House of Commons. One attendee described the reaction as “Awkward laughter”.
Perhaps this sort of thing is inevitable when you hire a Stalin apologist to handle your communications.
A few years I posted the video of a celebration of Hoxha’s birthday while he was still alive and in power. It’s worth watching in its entirety, especially the translation of the song lyrics.
Does Jeremy have no sense of how damaging this is to Labour? (Perhaps he really is trying to destroy the party.) Does he dream of being celebrated like this some day? Will he approvingly quote Kim Il Sung at the Stopper Christmas party?
— Jake Wilde (@Jake_Wilde) December 8, 2015
Further update: This is how one Albanian newspaper responded: