I told the man I wasn’t going to blog about this. I know blogging about this might not be a very good idea. I know that my opinions here are not mainstream and not popular.

But, this is doing that ‘repeat’ thing in my head right now and I can feel my blood pressure rising, so, here it is. . . .

I’m not a fan of ‘politics’ as we know it in the US and the UK.

There is something inherently dishonest in our systems, and I cannot make myself comfortable with that.

I am also not a fan of ‘news’ and ‘journalism’ – ‘the media’ – in the US and the UK.

There is something inherently dishonest in our systems, and I cannot make myself comfortable with that.

Clearly, there are honest politicians who sincerely care about the greater good. There are also honest journalists who sincerely care about the greater good.

I’m not a Labour supporter. In fact, I don’t affiliate myself with any UK political party; instead, at election time, I read the manifestos and vote based on that. (Such a luxury, compared to American politics. Such a luxury.) So, I’m neither a supporter nor an opponent of Jeremy Corbyn.

What I am is fairly horrified by what I see happening around Jeremy Corbyn’s positioning as a potential leader of the Labour Party.

Tony Blair has launched an all-out personal attack. Yes, Tony, your word is one we can certainly trust.

George Osborne has said Britain’s national security is at risk if we put our faith in Corbyn. Of course, that has nothing to do with the fact he wants to make massive financial injections into Trident.

And, now, papers – all papers, tabloids and broadsheets, left and right – are giving quite a good bit of space to the fact that Corbyn questioned the approach in assassinating Osama bin Laden back in 2011.

According to the reports – reports in papers today, 2015, of comments made soon after the assassination, in 2011 – Corbyn said there was: “no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him and put him on trial, to go through that process”.

He went on to say:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy.

“The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died. Torture has come back on to the world stage, been canonised virtually into law by Guantánamo and Bagram.

“Can’t we learn some lessons from this? Are we just going to sink deeper and deeper?

“The next stage will be an attempted assassination on Gaddafi and so it will go on. This will just make the world more dangerous and worse and worse and worse.”

Perhaps I’m missing something here, but I don’t see a single thing in Corbyn’s statement that threatens national security.

What I see is a man making an honest comment.

We are, in our ‘civilised’ Western democracies, supposed to value fair trial and due process of law. Even when we find the actions – and even the individuals – deplorable.

Was it a tragedy? If you value human life, yes, the loss of any life is tragic. If you consider how these things build upon one another, yes, it’s tragic. If you think of how making a decision to assassinate rather than try brings into question the concepts of ‘civilised’ and ‘due process’, then, yes, it’s tragic.  It also, quite frankly, is yet another example of the overuse of the word ‘tragedy’, a word choice Corbyn might not have made with hindsight.

But even if you disagree with this, consider the rest of what Corbyn said:

  • “The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”
  • “Torture has come back on to the world stage. . .”.
  • “Are we just going to sink deeper and deeper?”
  • “This will just make the world more dangerous and worse and worse and worse.”

I don’t see a threat to national security here. I see a real and honest and heartfelt plea to find a way to right a very wrong situation.

But that doesn’t win votes, does it? That doesn’t make interesting politics, does it? That doesn’t sell papers, does it?