He is nowhere near government. But Jeremy Corbyn’s election on September 12th to lead Britain’s opposition Labour Party is stunning. Even the appointment of some moderate front-bench colleagues will do little to erode the legacy of his decades on the hard left. Like his Venezuelan-style economics (printing money and state intervention), his foreign policy is startling.
He is viscerally anti-American, dislikes NATO, wants to scrap Britain’s nuclear weapons, blames the West for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and can see no circumstances in which he would send British troops to fight abroad. He has consorted with terrorist groups including the IRA, Hamas and Hizbullah. He is lukewarm on the European Union, which will not help David Cameron, the prime minister, fend off Brexit. Meanwhile, congratulations are pouring in: from Bernie Sanders in America, Germans nostalgic for the GDR, and Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner. She likes his plan for joint sovereignty over the Falklands—another sure-fire vote-winner.