This is an exciting time for journalism, because all week the main story in several newspapers has been the revelation that Jeremy Corbyn gave secrets to a Czech spy in 1986, despite there being no evidence whatsoever. So at last it seems that those publications are free to print stories without bothering with the old restriction that there had to be some inkling they might be slightly true in some way.
This means I can reveal Corbyn also gave secrets to Napoleon, and sent him dick pics to keep his spirits up the night before the Battle of Waterloo.
And he told Godzilla all the best buildings to tread on when he was MP for the constituency of Japan. I’ve seen it written down on the back of a leaflet someone put through the door by a company that clears gutters. And I’m willing to let the Daily Mail have it for £50,000, because I believe in a free press.
The only proof Corbyn gave away state secrets is the account of former Czech spy Jan Sarkocy, who said he approached Corbyn, and found him “easy-going … his behaviour is reserved and courteous”.
That settles it. Anyone who met someone from Czechoslovakia in 1986 should have been anxious and dropped their trousers and said, “Your mother’s a whore!” on the off chance it was a spy. But not Jeremy “Stalin” Corbyn.
Sarkocy also went to a meeting at which Corbyn was speaking, and Sarkocy “requested a pound to reimburse his travel”. The dossier doesn’t report whether Corbyn gave him the pound, but the most likely outcome is Corbyn said, “To compensate for the cost of your underground ticket, I will give you the coordinates of all our Navy’s frigates, which were handed to me this morning by Norman Tebbit.”
Sarkocy claims his contact gave him information such as “what Thatcher had for breakfast, and what clothes she planned to wear each day”.
This isn’t surprising, because at the time Jeremy Corbyn was a little-known left-wing activist MP who spoke every day about his contempt for Thatcher. Naturally, he was the one person Thatcher trusted with information about what she was having for breakfast and what she was wearing the next day.
She would often call him and say, “Jeremy, the trade unions are wrecking British business and I will crush them. Incidentally, I had a boiled egg this morning with a pinch of salt, and tomorrow I’ll be wearing a turquoise skirt that matches my handbag. Oh, and I don’t see why I should pay for this call, so can I have a pound?”
This is also the reason why the Czech Communist Workers Daily fashion page regularly had features on which trouser suit Margaret Thatcher would be wearing at a cabinet meeting on the day before it happened.
The entirety of the Czech secret police’s documents from that time have been released, and shown Corbyn gave no information ever, so it’s reasonable that cabinet members have insisted “Corbyn has questions to answer”.
But as none of the rest of us have been subject to such scrutiny, it means everyone else has even more questions to answer. So this week another plucky tabloid might reveal “June Taylor, a florist from Leicester whose name we picked at random off Facebook, may have told someone from communist Poland all about the hyacinths bought by Geoffrey Howe in 1986. We say: ‘Come clean Traitor Taylor, you have questions to answer!’”
Among his evidence, Sarkocy also claimed he organised a huge pop concert at Wembley in the 1980s, possibly Live Aid, though no one remembers him, and it’s this sort of detail that makes his testimony all the more reliable. The whole account probably goes: “I met Jeremy Corbyn in a pub in Camden and asked if he’d like a crisp. By the way, my dad invented cheese. I’ve got the world’s largest collection of zebras. Corbyn took the crisp, but when I told him it cost a pound, he gave it back. I was having it off with Nancy Reagan at the time. She likes cheese and onion.”
From this, the security minister has announced Corbyn was a traitor, comparing him to Kim Philby, who did hand military secrets to the Russians. Because the Czech codebreakers could easily say, “Aha, from his comment that he can’t give you a pound as he doesn’t have any change, we can deduce the codes for their nuclear warheads, and that on Wednesday morning, Margaret Thatcher had a sausage.”
More evidence we should take this story extremely seriously is the fact that the papers show spies also tried to recruit Labour MP Ron Brown, “but gave up as they couldn’t understand his Scottish accent”.
It’s exactly the same as a John le Carré novel isn’t it? “Sarkocy rushed breathless into the Presidium of the Politburo and gasped, ‘Comrades, The Falcon has delivered a message. He says, ‘Hynggyr och nekngr ahoo the noo by the way.’ Christ knows what it means.”
But the main thing is that even if they made it up, Corbyn supported the communist regime, which you can tell from the way he tabled motions to defend people persecuted by that regime, and spoke and campaigned against that regime.
This suggests the Conservative strategy for winning back support is to try to convince people the Labour leader supports a regime which he always opposed and which no longer exists.
This is so much more worthwhile than investigating politicians who really met with real representatives of countries that oppose our values. That would get you nowhere, because whenever Conservative politicians met representatives of regimes that oppose our values, such as military Chile, or apartheid South Africa, or dictatorial Saudi Arabia, they were never friendly or courteous, as I’m sure the papers would reveal.
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