A Conservative MP tried to call out Jeremy Corbyn for his alleged hypocrisy over Venezuela on Twitter. But it didn’t go very well.
Bob Seely, who joined parliament in June 2017, tweeted:
This is the sort of hypocrisy that we have become used to from the opposition. Jeremy should condemn the actions of Maduro in Venezuela https://t.co/PCG6gmQx8S
— Bob Seely MP (@IoWBobSeely) August 9, 2017
And the response Seely received showed just how ridiculous it is for anyone in the Conservative Party to accuse Corbyn of hypocrisy.
Many people asked Seely to condemn the Conservative Party for its actions in supporting arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other repressive regimes:
Hi Bob. looking forward to your private members bill demanding an end to arms sales to Saudia Arabia. When is it planned for?
— JOHN LEWIS (@JOHNDLEWIS54) August 9, 2017
Here's some Tory hypocrisy, greed & amorality
UK weapons sales to oppressive regimes top £3bn a year https://t.co/pOjJt7xvW0
— Oliver (@tynewrc) August 9, 2017
Others asked that, given the UK’s close relationship with the Saudi Arabian government, surely Seely should condemn some of the atrocities committed by the regime there:
Will you condemn this Bob? Or are you just a blatant hypocrite? pic.twitter.com/HZfceh1PPf
— Rachael (@Rachael_Swindon) August 9, 2017
Some people also noticed his very sudden interest in the politics of Venezuela:
— James (@James4Labour) August 9, 2017
And it wasn’t just Corbyn supporters who called him out on his own hypocrisy:
Not a Corbyn fan and I oppose the dictatorship in Venezuela, but Tory hypocrisy is nauseating. How about Saudi Arabia, Duterte and Erdogan?
— Russell Martin (@rustymar1) August 9, 2017
(Note: Renowned international figures have previously praised Venezuela’s democratic system. And in the last major election in 2015, the opposition coalition gained a parliamentary majority of 112 out of 167 seats.)
It seems there are lots of issues that Seely should also be condemning given his newfound interest in Venezuela. But while some were highlighted in people’s tweets, there is a long list of actions taken by foreign governments that the Conservative Party and its allies support, which should be condemned. Some examples include:
- The fact that US authorities have reportedly killed around 100 civilians a month so far in 2017.
- The alleged war crimes in Yemen of the Saudi Arabian dictatorship (a Western ally heavily linked to terrorism).
- The alleged war crimes in both Turkey and Syria of the increasingly authoritarian Turkish regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (and its alleged links to terrorism).
- The fact that US ally Honduras (where US officials allegedly helped to install a pro-US regime through a 2009 coup) has one of the highest murder rates in the world.
- The dismal human rights record of Western ally Mexico, including the forced ‘disappearance’ of 43 student teachers in 2014; frequent accusations of rigged elections [Spanish]; and being one the most difficult and dangerous places in the world to be a journalist (the recent discovery of the burnt remains of one kidnapped reporter, for example, definitely wasn’t mentioned much by Tory MPs or supporters).
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has put out a clear statement urging “everyone in Venezuela, on all sides, to end the bloodshed immediately”. Its key message being, as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has insisted, that “the only way forward is a political solution”.
But Twitter users have been left waiting for a response from Seely. And while Corbyn has condemned violence on all sides in Venezuela, Theresa May is busy selling billions of pounds of arms to the repressive regimes of Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Seely’s tweet reeks of political expediency. But the response he received may at least make him think twice before calling Jeremy Corbyn a hypocrite again.
– Support Campaign Against Arms Trade.
– Help to stop DSEi (one of the world’s largest arms fairs) this September in London.
Featured image via Flickr