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Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson has, to his credit, seized the initiative in the battle over whether Britain will truly exit the EU, and on what terms.

But no one can know how this high-stakes gamble will turn out. Johnson just lost his slender parliamentary majority, and the prospect of a new election looms. If things break the wrong way, the winner could be opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, a throwback leftist redolent of the bad old days of Britain’s self-imposed stagnation.

It’s hard to exaggerate the threat represented by Corbyn and Co. taking control of our most important ally. In U.S. terms, Corbyn is a mashup of Bernie Sanders and the Squad, mixing orthodox socialist economics with a hostility to U.S. foreign policy and Israel.

Rich Lowry mug

Rich Lowry

He is a lefty caricature. George Orwell once complained of “the smell of crankishness” in the socialist movement, and wished he could send every vegetarian and teetotaler home “to do his yoga exercises quietly.”

Corbyn is, indeed, a vegetarian who rarely drinks. One British newspaper relates that his favorite restaurant is a spot “where he likes to eat hummus after taking part in demonstrations in Trafalgar Square.” His first wife reports that he never took her out to dinner, preferring to eat beans straight from a can to save time.

He is a figure that time is supposed to have forgotten. He inveighed from the back benches against Labor’s turn away from the old-time religion under moderate prime minister Tony Blair. When he mounted an unlikely leadership bid in 2015, he found an audience, much as Bernie Sanders did in 2016. Now, the old-time religion is a few lucky breaks away from power.

Corbyn’s past, and present, is littered with valentines to left-wing thugs.

He cozied up to the IRA in the 1980s when it was trying to decapitate the British government by bombing. He wrote for a pro-Soviet newspaper during the Cold War. He called the Russian invasion of Ukraine “not unprovoked.” He’s said warm things about Hamas and Hezbollah, and can’t bear to condemn Islamic terrorism without also criticizing the West.

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It’s no accident that his Labor Party has become lousy with anti-Semites.

His left-hand man, John McDonnell, shadow chancellor of the exchequer, is fond of implicit threats of violence.

To wit, “Any institution or any individual that attacks our class, we will come for you with direct action.” He has called Tory MPs “social criminals.” This from the man in line to become, in our terms, secretary of the treasury of one of the great banking centers on the planet.

If McDonnell’s style of rhetoric has a grim revolutionary cast, it’s for good reason. In an interview with — no joke — the Trotskyist Alliance for Workers’ Liberty years ago, he said that the most important influences on him were “Marx, Lenin and Trotsky, basically.”

Corbyn has expressed similar sentiments, for example calling Karl Marx “a fascinating figure,” one “from whom we can learn a great deal.”

At least they don’t leave any doubt where they are coming from. If Corbyn had his way, it would be as if Margaret Thatcher never happened (indeed, McDonnell has mused about going back to the 1980s to assassinate her — you know, the way many people do about Adolf Hitler).

Corbyn’s program would renationalize sectors of the economy, punish shareholders and landlords, and impose stiff new taxes. If his campaign against capital crashed the pound, he’d surely be inclined to respond with capital controls, truly taking Britain back to the 1970s.

Every election in a democratic society is important. But Britain in the coming weeks will be faced with unquestionably momentous choices: Whether to take back its full sovereignty from the EU, and whether to throw in with a dangerous radical. Its modern history, and perhaps that of the West, is in the balance.

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Rich Lowry can be reached via e-mail: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com.

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(10) comments

johnnybragatti

d-bag is jealous of not getting a hurricane ,like the Bahamas. That dudes as least as whacked, as the Orange Carcass.As his dementia creeps in on his overt Mental Illness,

Boris the Spider will have a "one up" on trump, since he is not nearly as old as our decrepit liar in chief. trump needs to be :"put out to pasture". Even most of the TrumpHumpers know it.

oldhomey

Wow! We are now reduced to a world in which extreme rightists and extreme leftists somehow dominate politics. I know nothing about Jeremy Corbyn, but speaking of caricatures, Mr. Lowry, one of our least honest and truthful political commentators, does his best to caricaturize him as a Loony Tunes dingbat. I suspect it is not quite as scary as that. But he tells us we are so fortunate that Boris has calmly taken control of the situation, not mentioning that what Boris did in the past week to make an end run around Parliament was unprecedentedly radical in nature and possibly illegal. We shall see.



And Lowry assures us about Corbyn: "When he mounted an unlikely leadership bid in 2015, he found an audience, much as Bernie Sanders did in 2016. Now, the old-time religion is a few lucky breaks away from power." Boris was, like Trump, an oddball outsider who rode to power by way of peculiar historical circumstances and some lucky breaks. That is for certain. What is there to be jealous about, D? Liberals are sickened that such sick exemplars of the human race like Trump and Boris got into power. They won't remain there, sooner, one would hope, rather than later. If Corbyn is as extremist as Lowry would have us believe, he would not remain in power for long, either, should he get the lucky breaks to ride into Ten Downing Street. That is the glory and beauty of democracy.

Cassandra2

No, Mr. Lowry, the REAL threat is that right wingers will usurp the power of Parliament and cram through an agenda that was, like in the United States, tainted by Russian interference. And yet you champion it.

DMoney

Liberals here are now extremely jealous...


martian2

jealous of what there D? And what liberals are you talking about? Try to explain yourself a little better. This Johnson fella in Britain has revealed himself to be a crack pot like Trump, and the populous as well as Parliament has turned completely against him. Lowry can sing his praises all he wants, the Brits aren't going to stand for him. Lowry can hardly be truthful about american politics, he should stay away from foreign politics altogether and try to focus on what is going on here. Did that hurricane finally reach Alabama as trump predicted and insisted upon? Never one to admit a mistake, Trump doubled down on his mistake and looks more inept than ever.

PhysicsIsFun

Now Trump has pressured the administrator of NOAA into giving him cover on the Alabama Hurricane. Nothing like attacking the legitimacy of a federal scientific agency to placate our Presidents ego. Isn't great that our Lunatic and Chief has spent days over explaining and covering up his minor error. All he had to say was sorry I misspoke, but the egomaniac can never admit an error. The fact that he lies nearly every time he opens his mouth does not bother him or anyone else in the Republican Party (Gerson and Rick Wilson not included). How many tax dollars have been wasted with this ridiculous HurricaneGate cover up? Trump is such a transparent fool and he is getting worse all the time. We have a unbalanced narcissist in charge of our country. To see the hypocrisy of Republicans just look at the stuff Trump does and just imagine the reaction we would have seen from Republicans if Obama had done the exact same thing?

martian2

yes how pathetic is that physics! And it looks like the administrator of NOAA actually gave in to Trump's demand. And now there are calls for the administrator to resign. You just can't make this stuff up. Things are so bizarre in Trump world.

Cassandra2

Jealous of what, D-Bag? Boris has been shut down by his own party. His attempt to undermine democracy is failing, bigly. Even the conservatives recognize that they will be trashed at the polls if they recklessly trash the economy. Likewise, conservatives in the US are freaking out that the impending Trump economic collapse is going to doom them at the polls.

Cassandra2

Crickets from the D-Bag, as expected.

Cassandra2

Still waiting, D-Bag.

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