Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK opposition Labour Party, has been accused of providing information to a Czechoslovakian spy over a series of three meetings in 1986. The allegations appeared in a series of explosive revelations in the Sun this week. Now the Chech spy who initiated the contact has further alleged that Corbyn readily accepted money in exchange for the intelligence he handed over. The Labour Party leader vehemently denies all charges, but the allegations are at least partially verifiable. Was Jeremy Corbyn a communist collaborator?
A Czech-ered past
Contemporary documentation backs up the central claim by the Sun, that Corbyn met with Lieutenant Jan Dymic of the Czech secret police, the Statni Bezpecnost (StB) while serving as a Member of Parliament. Dymic met with Corbyn three times according to StB files, including twice in the House of Commons.
Dymic was posing as a diplomat, and Labour have vehemently denied that their leader ever knowingly met with a communist spy. However if the allegation that money exchanged hands holds up that defence will fall apart.
According to a follow-up article in the Sun on Friday:
“The spy said he was the MP’s “handler” during the 1980s.
“Mr Dymic told Czech media today he handed over cash to Mr Corbyn in return for information – after The Sun revealed the pair met in the Commons..
“The ex-spy said: ‘Corbyn was recruited. He also received money.’
“He insisted that when he met Mr Corbyn – codenamed COB – in the 80s, the leftie politician was a paid collaborator and knew Mr Dymic was a spy and not just a diplomat.”
Jeremy’s hollow denials
Whether or not we an call Jeremy Corbyn a communist agent, he certainly was not being true to his reputation as a human rights campaigner when he met with Dymic.
In 1986 the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was a brutal dictatorship. Only eighteen years earlier, when the country had been in the midst of a wave of liberalization, the Soviet Army had invaded, killing 72 Czechoslovakians and injuring over 700. The regime ruling in 1986 was descended from that occupational force, and as keen follower of Eastern European current events Corbyn would have certainly been aware of this.
Corbyn has form when it comes to supporting leftist dictatorships. During a conversation with the current ruler of Venezuela,Nicolás Maduro, Corbyn praised the strongman’s predecessor Hugo Chavez:
“During the visit of President Chávez to London, which was a huge demonstration of support. Myself, Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone spoke extensively with President Chávez.
“Our permanent and eternal recognition of this great fighter and warrior for the ideals of socialism and peace in the UK.”
In an unexpected move, the Conservative government trotted out a cabinet secretary with trustworthiness issues himself to condemn Corbyn for not being trustworthy. Speaking to the Evening Standard, Gavin Williamson said,
“Time and time again he has sided with those who want to destroy everything that is great about this country, whether it is sympathising with terrorists, backing rogue regimes, or cosying up to those who want to inflict pain and misery on the British people.
“That he met foreign spies is a betrayal of this country. He cannot be trusted.”
Is Jeremy Corbyn a communist agent or just an old cold warrior?
As well as praising the quality of information Corbyn was able to provide him, Dymic also noted in his StB report that Corbyn was “negative towards USA, as well as the current politics of the Conservative Government.” During an era of choosing sides, Corbyn’s anti-Americanism resulted in a lapse of judgement – whether or not Corbyn knew that Dymic was an StB officer, he knew he worked for the repressive Czech regime and did not seem to mind.
Although a firm lefty, it is taking things too far to call Jeremy Corbyn a communist agent. The more likely reality is he has a blind spot when it comes to causes and campaigns he views as being on anti-American and anti-capitalist. This is still a very serious problem, even more so considering how as the Tories continue to flounder, a Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn is fast approaching on the horizon.