Shami Chakrabarti buys Jeremy Corbyn’s lies.
Consider a crucial point in her interview with J-TV in July. The issue of Corbyn’s infamous salute to his “friends” Hamas and Hezbollah is raised. At 3:46 in the clip shown below, she speaks about interviewing Corbyn on this topic and says “he was using inclusive language in order to have some difficult conversations in the spirit of peace broking”.
This has long been Mr Corbyn’s own defence of the indefensible.
At 4:30 she runs the line again – “it was an attempt to be inclusive at the time in the context of a difficult meeting”.
For Chakrabarti these answers are “genuine”.
This is not true. Corbyn’s dismal spin must not stand. This should not need to be said again, but evidently it does.
The “Meet the Resistance” rally in 2009 where Corbyn spoke for his “friends” was actually part of a campaign to raise support for terrorist groups running from Hamas and Hezbollah all the way to “the resistance” then engaged in mass murder in Iraq. There was nothing “difficult” about it. Nor was it for “peace”.
For his part, Corbyn sang the praises of Hamas and its dedication to “social and political justice”, called on the British government to drop its terrorist designation of Hamas, and even looked forward to Hamas having “tea with the Queen”, to titters from the crowd.
As for “inclusive”, try Mr Corbyn’s remarks about Israel at that very meeting. Did he attempt to reach out to both sides? Not a bit of it. Baldly, he said “we are opposed to Zionism”. Not Likud, not IDF operations, not violent religious settlers. No, Jewish self-determination itself – the mere idea – was anathema. For good measure, he also lashed out furiously at campaigners against antisemitism who were rightly on his camp’s case at the time.
Remember Mr Corbyn’s company at that meeting. It included stopper thug John Rees, Belgian extremist Abou Jahjah, who was banned from the UK shortly after the rally and the outcry it caused, Hezbollah MP Hussein El Haj, and Iraqi writer Haifa Zangana. All of them expressed explicit support for terrorist groups at the meeting – that was the whole “inclusive” point of the exercise.
Perhaps Shami Chakrabarti knows all this and has been dishonest in her use of Corbyn’s lies. Or perhaps she doesn’t and is ignorant, even though this story is a central root of the crisis she was called in to investigate.
Either way, she has no credibility on this count alone.
Nor has there been any transparency. Labour figures have called for the transcript of her interview with Corbyn to be published. It has not been.
At this point it would be decent of Chakrabarti to decline Labour’s offer of an appointment to the House of Lords. It would be right for the party to rescind it.
Yet doing the decent and right thing is most unlikely in Corbyn’s camp. On and on it marches to political oblivion, now with Shami Chakrabarti helping to pave the way.