Thursday, October 1, 2020
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Paul T Horgan: The Left should cry for Venezuela

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As usual, Andrew Marr soft-soaped his way through an interview with a member of the Labour shadow cabinet.

Emily Thornberry was given ample opportunity to wax lyrical about an ‘ethical foreign policy’. She stated that, if she were Foreign Secretary and met Donald Trump, she:

‘[…] will be prepared to stand up to him. I would be prepared to say, ‘I’m sorry Mr President, but you’re wrong about that. We are supposed to be good friends, and these values are not our values. You are doing the wrong thing.’

She also stated:

‘[…]we should not be afraid to raise these issues despite the fact that we may be going for a trade deal with a particular country, but we do have to be clear about the things that we disagree with the country with.’

Thornberry also said:

‘But there is a middle way through, you know, the sort of fawning, frankly, which I think that we have seen Theresa May indulging in in relation to Donald Trump, and the way in which we would approach things .’

Indulging, huh? Fawning, eh? Because no-one in Labour fawns over another country, and never has. Sure, comrade.

It is at this point that Andrew Marr should have dropped the V-bomb. But, naturally, he didn’t. It wouldn’t do to put a Labour politician on the spot about the disaster that is Venezuelan socialism to a fellow-traveller, and certainly not by good old dependable Mr Marr. The plight of the poor folk of Venezuela has been well-documented online. It has, however, been all but invisible on mainstream television. It has been edited out by the BBC’s Ministry of Truth. Clearly it is too inconvenient and interferes with the BBC’s narrative.

There is no good reason for this. The Labour Party is up to its elbows in the vat of excrement that is the Venezuelan economy. Its senior politicians are on record as depicting the policies of the Venezuelan leadership as the model for a viable alternative to capitalism. British trades unions openly support the Venezuelan government. Commentators who write in The Guardian have sung their praises of the disastrous direction in which the late Hugo Chavez steered his unfortunate country.

Venezuela is actually one of the world’s worst countries to live in. The cause of its blight has not been war or natural disaster, but state socialism. Businesses shun the country. Inflation soars. Oil wealth is squandered. While Labour are quick to criticise oil rich Saudi Arabia, the quality of life of the average person in that country is considerably better than it is in Venezuela. Infant mortality is higher in Venezuela than in Syria, which is in the middle of a civil war. About 24,000 people are murdered in socialist Venezuela every year. While denouncing Saudi Arabia’s attempts to secure its border with Yemen, no broadcaster is interested in the ethnic cleansing of Colombians living within Venezuela’s borders. I wonder why?

It’s fawning. The Left in general, their fellow-travellers in the media, and the Labour Party in particular, fawn over Venezuela, while deliberately ignoring the hard fact this country is collapsing due to its socialist policies. Would Thornberry even consider telling President Maduro that he’s wrong, like she wants to tell President Trump? Would she even disagree with the socialist policies that have brought premature death to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans?

It is unlikely. Instead, Thornberry would likely ‘indulge’ President Maduro while the people of this oil-rich country die unnecessarily. After all, everyone else at her level in the Labour Party does. But we do not know because Andrew Marr probably did not even think to ask her, and instead gave her a free platform on which to articulate Labour’s traditional prejudices. And she just reeled off the socialist hate list in front of the fawning Mr Marr.

After over half a century, the age of deference has returned, but only towards the Left. Peter Cook must be spinning in his grave.

Even The Guardian has cottoned on to the human disaster that is Venezuela and is finally publishing pieces about how people not living in that benighted country may protest. Its editors now realise the truth about this increasingly illegal regime that has genuinely rigged the economy and the media against the people. And yet the unions and the Labour leadership continue to look on Venezuela as a role model to adapt and follow in this country. Perhaps it is because the USSR no longer exists, so they now follow the tribute band.

For some reason, there is an embargo on television on debating Venezuela with socialist politicians in this country. This is especially applied with those that have or had senior positions, like Diane Abbott and Ken Livingstone of the Unite-run Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, an organisation that is dedicated to perpetuating socialist fantasies of a South American utopia. This is an ideal time for this embargo to end.

If Labour’s leadership and its supporters regard Venezuela as a model of governance, it is possible they will apply the same kind of governance here, with the same kind of outcome.

Marr and his other overpaid but ‘right-on’ colleagues should drop the V-bomb. Labour’s leadership need to be held to account for their open and sustained support of one of the world’s most incompetent and evil regimes. There is so much socialist fawning over Venezuela that the Labour Movement may yet develop horns to go along with their cloven hooves.

(Image: Carlos Díaz)

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Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan works in the IT Sector. He lives in Berkshire.

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