ARTICLES


  • Speak up Mr Corbyn

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    18 August 2017

    There are a number of places across the globe that have embraced a certain form of socialism – the kind that has its roots in Marxist theory, scares off wealth makers through expropriation and excessive taxation - impoverishes rather than enriches and has a disappointing habit of embracing a one party state. Amongst them would be Cuba and more recently, Venezuela. These places have about them a sense of perpetual near revolutionary struggle, a ruling elite surrounds a charismatic leader blaming periodic setbacks, often of its own making, on some demonised externality – not uncommonly the United States. Venezuela’s capital Caracas a once thriving city, today mired in riots and the gunning down of protesters stands as a powerful testament to how the far left despite lofty idealism ultimately leaves disaster in its wake. Venezuela, once Latin America’s wealthiest country, has just seen its economy sink by 10% in a single year and inflation reach the highest of any country in the world - 750%. Joblessness has sky-rocketed - people are starving. Medicines are hard to come by - healthcare has collapsed. Venezuela’s President Maduro has just held a dodgy election for a new ‘National Constituent Assembly’ which, packed with his supporters (including his wife and son) has now replaced parliament, in which he lacked a majority. He was the successor chosen by populist leftist Hugo Chavez who effectively appointed him from his deathbed. It was Chavez who brought in a massive programme of nationalisation along with much bloating of the State and an increase in national indebtedness. His spending was predicated on Venezuela’s oil exports – it has the largest reserves in the world. But when that market went South all that was left floating on the surface was the debt – lots of it and growing. Such is the fallout from this latest socialist splurge that the children of the revolution are now in full riot. Around 150 Venezuelans have been shot dead by Maduro’s security forces and political opponents locked up. Virtually the whole world has condemned his regime. Yet one person who has been eerily reticent to criticise El Presidente has been Jeremy Corbyn who in 2015 phoned into a Venezuelan TV programme to tell Maduro in person how marvellous it was that he was at the helm. Whilst Mr Corbyn has more recently said that he condemns ‘all Venezuela violence’ – hard to disagree with that - there has been a singular lack of condemnation of the regime itself – something that has dismayed many of his own Labour MPs a number of whom now implore him to speak up. And this matters. Silence leaves the impression of approval. And for many it might suggest desires and directions that we should fear. So let’s hear from you Jeremy – so that we might know what you think of Mr Maduro and his regime – we need to be told – for where you stand on this man might tell us something about where you might wish to take us.







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