Oh dear. A number of Labour MPs are calling for Jeremy Corbyn to sack Seumas Milne after the Labour leader’s communications director reportedly questioned the reliability of information on Russia from Britain’s intelligence agencies. In a lobby briefing, the Press Association quote Milne as saying:
‘I think obviously the government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don’t; however, also there’s a history in relation to WMD and intelligence which is problematic to put it mildly.’
However, were Milne to have said this, it was in his role as the Leader’s spokesman.
So, what does Milne think personally? Happily, there is a wealth of articles – and memories – from his time at the Guardian to give readers a good idea:
I was in Crimea watching annexation by Russia when Seumas Milne was writing columns arguing this was the result of 'Western expansionism'. His boss has today shown again that he shares such naive views on Europe's biggest threat
— Ian Birrell (@ianbirrell) March 14, 2018
Oh, and on Stalin – he didn’t kill as many people as people think:
‘Not only is it increasingly common for Stalin to be bracketed with Hitler as the twin monster of the modern era, even in the Soviet Union, but in West Germany and Austria a significant “revisionist” academic trend — represented by historians like Ernst Nolte, Andreas Hilgruber, and Ernst Topitsch — goes on to argue that the Stalinist system was actually responsible for the Nazis and the Second World War.
Central to these debates is the issue of the number of Stalin’s victims. Controversy about the scale of repression in the Stalin era has rumbled on in Western universities for many years, and has now been joined by Soviet experts who are equally divided. Thames Television, with its 25 million deaths, has opted for the furthest extreme.’
On second thoughts, Mr S suspects the Guardian archive won’t help to calm tensions in the PLP…