Jamie Reed MP: Jeremy Corbyn's Nato comments are an attempt to humiliate and divide Labour

Posted On: 
20th August 2016

Labour MP Jamie Reed writes that Jeremy Corbyn's refusal to say he would authorise military action if a Nato ally was invaded by Russia shows he is unfit to be his party's leader. 

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to say Britain should come to the aid of a Nato ally
Credit: 
PA Images

As one of the 12 founding nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Britain has much to be proud of for its contribution to international security since its creation from the ashes of the Second World War.

As one of the most significant achievements of the post war Attlee government, Nato – like the creation of the welfare state, the NHS and the development of the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent  - is also one of the shining achievements of the Labour party.

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One of the major reasons that I stood for election to Nato’s Parliamentary Assembly was to honour and safeguard this Labour legacy. In large part, to safeguard it from the prejudiced and ill-informed views of Jeremy Corbyn

Catastrophic defeat for the Labour Party is assured under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Worse, the entire existence of Labour as a viable political force is threatened by Corbyn’s reign and few policy areas demonstrate this more painfully than with Jeremy’s approach to national security, our national defence and our obligations towards our international allies.

During the most recent Labour leadership hustings, Corbyn’s views were again painfully demonstrated in sickening detail by his confirmation that he would refuse to honour Britain’s Nato obligations as a matter of policy and principle if he was ever to become Prime Minister. Shameful. Worse, they constitute a deliberate attempt to both humiliate and divide the Labour party.

The embarrassment knowingly caused to the Labour party by these vain and spiteful views are bad enough, yet even this pales when contrasted with the real damage caused in the real world by the real views of such an unreal putative national leader. Again.

Typically, Jeremy’s ugly views with regard to internationalism and effective progressive politics were accompanied by absurd double speak. The reason Jeremy would fail to honour our Nato obligations as PM, he told Labour members, would be to “…achieve a world where we don’t need to go to war…”

Unfortunately for Jeremy’s self-styled beatific credentials he told a rally in August 2014 that the military alliance was an "engine for the delivery of oil to the oil companies" and called for it to "give up, go home and go away."

That Jeremy should resign his position is beyond doubt. That he is driving millions of traditional Labour voters away from the party is beyond dispute. Sooner or later, this mendacity will end. In the meantime, saturated in shame and humiliation, Labour voters will continue to desert the party created to represent their interests in the full and certain knowledge that the leader of the Labour party knows exactly what he is doing and has no interest in retaining their support.

It’s time for Jeremy to take his own advice. he should give up, go home and go away.

Jamie Reed has been the Labour MP for Copeland since 2005 and was last year elected as a member of the UK delegation to the Nato Parliamentary Assembly