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Giles Udy reflects on what a Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell government would look like

As the turmoil at Westminster intensifies, the chances of a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn continue to mount.

It is a grim prospect. For the first time in history, our country would be ruled by Left-wing revolutionaries who believe in the wholesale socialist transformation of our society and the triumph of a Soviet-style ideology.

If Corbyn’s radical plans were implemented, Britain would become a land of ruthless state control, permanent class conflict and political oppression.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonell plans to preside over a programme of political re-education at the Treasury if Labour takes power

A glimpse into this dark possibility was provided this week by news that John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor and Corbyn’s closest ally, plans to preside over a programme of political re-education at the Treasury if a Labour Government takes power.

Officials would not only be retrained in new ‘economic theories and approaches’, but would also have to conduct ‘listening exercises’ with the trade unions, Labour’s paymasters.

McDonnell likes to present himself as a sober-suited pragmatist who merely wants to engage with the Civil Service and the City. But we should not be fooled.


His pose of moderation is a cynical act of deceit, straight from the playbook of Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky, who advocated deception — ‘a double game’, he called it — as a tool of political advantage.

McDonnell now sometimes denies in public that he is Marxist but he cannot hide his record. This is a politician who in 2013 told a rally against the Coalition’s austerity policies: ‘I will be honest with you, I am a Marxist. This is a classic crisis for the economy, a classic capitalist crisis. I have been waiting for this for generations.’

Mr McDonnell has said in the past that the works of Karl Marx are the biggest influence on Jeremy Corbyn's Labour 

Among his other incendiary remarks are his claims that ‘Parliamentary democracy doesn’t work for us’ and that the Tory-led Government should be brought down by ‘whatever mechanism we have’.

He said the violence during a 2010 student riot in Central London represented the ‘best of our movement’.

McDonnell’s proposed indoctrination of the Treasury is just one element of his drive to overthrow the existing order and create a new socialist culture. 

Indeed, it is telling that on occasion, when he is attempting to conceal his doctrinaire Marxism, McDonnell asserts that he is a socialist in the mould of G. D. H. Cole (1889-1959), the Left-wing Oxford University professor of history.

Far from absolving McDonnell, this only incriminates him further, for Cole was an unrestrained admirer of Stalin’s dictatorship. In a chilling passage written in 1942, Cole argued it would be ‘much better’ for Britain and Europe to be ‘ruled by Stalin’ than by the ‘monopolistic cliques which dominate western capitalism’.

Such language gives an insight into the mindset of the zealots, headed by Corbyn and McDonnell, who took over the Labour Party after the leadership contest in 2015. They are not social democrats in the modern European tradition, but believers in communism.

When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it seemed this creed was finally dead. Sadly the dogma now lives in Corbyn’s Labour Party. The Communist Party of Britain may be tiny, with just 734 members in 2017, and of little appeal to the public, having gained just 1,229 votes in the 2015 General Election, fewer than the Monster Raving Loony Party.

But, disturbingly, in both ideas and personnel, British communism has a stranglehold on Corbyn’s inner circle. His ‘Special Political Adviser’ is Andrew Murray who joined the Communist Party as long ago as 1976, sitting on its executive from 2000 to 2004. 

Labour’s Director of Strategy and Communications Seamus Milne was a member of Straight Left, a pro-Soviet communist faction

He only left in 2016 to join Corbyn’s Labour, though there is no evidence his opinions have changed. Seumas Milne, Labour’s Director of Strategy and Communications, was a member of Straight Left, a pro-Soviet communist faction.

Perhaps even more important is the influence of communist thinking on the policy stance. Just as McDonnell now tries to conceal his Marxism, so Labour aims to camouflage its doctrinaire radicalism behind anodyne documents like the 2017 General Election manifesto, which tried to reassure the public by concentrating on popular issues like the NHS and education.


But the ambitions of Corbyn and McDonnell are far darker, nothing less than the replacement of free-market democracy with socialist domination.

The terrifying blueprint for a future Corbyn Government can be found in the document produced by the Communist Party, entitled ‘Britain’s Road To Socialism’.

Many of Mr Corbyn's policies mirror those of the Communist Party of Great Britain

Updated in 2011 and containing 16,000 words, this is modern Labour’s real manifesto. That truth was spelled out in May last year by Robert Griffiths, the British Communists’ General Secretary, who told his members ‘there are no major differences between the two parties on immediate issues’. 

What makes the document so worrying is where the road ultimately leads. The communist text envisages three stages on the journey to the proletarian victory. The first is ‘signified by a substantial and sustained shift to the Left in the Labour movement’, culminating in a general election victory.

The second stage involves the struggle to enforce the socialist revolution, through measures such as the mass nationalisation of industry, commerce, transport and utilities, all financed by heavy taxation. Even the advertising industry, landed estates and second homes would be brought under ‘public ownership’.

A Corbyn-McDonnell Labour government would lead to similar policies as the Soviet Union, according to Giles Udy

Just as the Soviet system had its own political commissars, so Britain’s Road To Socialism proposes ideological purges of the organs of the state, including the security services, Whitehall and the Armed Forces.

McDonnell has already warned the Treasury of the need for re-education, but this kind of instruction in socialist propaganda will go much wider.


State employees would ‘have to be made fully and openly answerable to elected representatives of the people’, while ‘civic education programmes would also help to break down oppressive and reactionary ideas and practices’.

The third stage extols smashing resistance to the revolution. A government of the Left, declares the communist text, would ‘use all the official and popular forces at its disposal to crush each and every attempt at military subversion, rebellion or subversion’.

That is strong rhetoric for someone such as Corbyn, who likes to pose as a quasi-pacifist. But his cherished Communists have often gloried in conflict. ‘In history, nothing is achieved without violence and implacable ruthlessness,’ wrote Friedrich Engels in 1849.

If successful, the new socialist regime would abandon Britain’s traditional alliances with America and Nato, preferring to build relations with ‘communist, Left-wing, progressive, anti-imperialists and non-aligned governments’.

The final sentence of Britain’s Road says that for ‘the sake of humanity, the future is communism’. That is the future that Corbyn and McDonnell want for Britain. They see it as a revolutionary dream. 

But for most of us, it is a nightmare. 

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