Chuka Umunna’s new role sums up Lib Dem principles perfectly

Chuka Umunna
Ed Sykes

On 21 August, Chuka Umunna revealed that he’s the Liberal Democrats’ new foreign affairs spokesperson. But that’s perhaps unsurprising, given that his past comments on international matters seem to sum up Lib Dem principles perfectly.


Firstly, Umunna is not a ‘shadow secretary’. Because it’s the leader of the opposition – i.e. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn – who chooses the shadow cabinet. Smaller parties like the Lib Dems, meanwhile, have spokespeople. Umunna left Labour back in February, thus waving any hopes of a shadow cabinet post goodbye.

But it’s Umunna’s past comments on international politics that are most telling. Because there’s not much there. So in that sense, his record sums up the principles of the Lib Dem establishment perfectly.

Nothing there

To mark his new appointment, Umunna essentially wrote about protecting the status quo, stopping Brexit, and the threat Russia poses. There was little mention of the big crises facing the world today. And that’s consistent with Umunna’s Twitter record. Because he appears to have tweeted very little about:

Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile…

Corbyn, however, has spoken out consistently on the issues above, tweeting about:

  • And resisting the rise of fascism:

A patron of the Peace In Kurdistan campaign group, Corbyn has also been a long-time supporter of Kurdish rights in the Middle East. In 2016, for example, he said:

If peace is wanted in the region, the Kurdish people’s right to self-determination must be accepted… I have been to Kurdistan many times and witnessed the injustices there personally. On this matter, the British government must base its foreign policy on human rights, and make efforts serving the peoples’ cultural and political rights and self-government.

Likewise, Corbyn is a founding member of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua. And he spoke in 2016 about the need for “worldwide recognition” of the fight for freedom in West Papua.

Consistent principles vs careerist posturing

In short, Corbyn has long worn his principles on his sleeves (like when police arrested him for protesting against apartheid). As a result, he has won numerous peace prizes.

Umunna, meanwhile, is seriously out of his depth. And the fact that the Lib Dems are happy to make him their foreign affairs spokesperson despite his chronically weak record says everything we need to know about who they are.

Featured image via BBC Newsnight/YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. The Liberal Democrats have become an extension of The Conservative Party, and the Blairites within Labour are Tory stooges, trying to do the same to The Labour Party. So what our main political spectrum now looks like to me is this;

      1) An utterly broken, and unfit for purpose, Tory Government and party.
      2) An utterly useless, and not fit for purpose, Liberal Democrat party.
      3) A struggling, partly Tory-invaded party, but a party that is struggling to rid itself of Tory influences, with a truly exceptional leader, with an astounding membership, and despite all the lies hurled in Jeremy Corbyn’s and JC’s supporters direction, still, amazingly, the only party to literally be fit for purpose, and improving.

      I do think the Labour Party needs to loose The Blairites, and we as a Nation need to see Tony Blair and his cronies prosecuted and jailed for their war crimes (among others), or better yet, handed over to the Iraqi people. Their lies resulted in the MURDER of thousands of innocent human beings, and that cannot, should not be brushed under the carpet EVER!

      Labour, particularly Jeremy Corbyn, despite its problems, is by far the best option for our nation, arguably the ONLY option for our nation that gives us a chance to survive what the other parties and leaders would have our Nation be destroyed by.

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