ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Could there be a military coup if Jeremy Corbyn Becomes PM?

Could there be a military coup if Jeremy Corbyn Becomes PM?

Could there be a military coup if Jeremy Corbyn Becomes PM?
Danielle de Wolfe
22 September 2015

We can't really remember a crazier time in politics.

Normally the preserve of dull, middle-aged men, it's been set alight by a rank outsider being voted in as leader of the opposition and a deceased farmyard animal - something you'd have got pretty long odds on at the start of the year.

But in amongst the madness of national anthem non-singing, attack videos, response mashups, the attack dogs of the right-wing press being unleashed, questions from Marie about affordable housing and alleged cocks-in-pigs came a story at the weekend that many overlooked. Namely, a serving member of the British Army threatening a military coup if Jeremy Corbyn was to gain power as Britain's Prime Minister in the 2020 election. It was reported in the Sunday Times, as below.

Labour responded in a rather understated manner, saying that the remarks were "pretty outrageous...This general seems to have forgotten we live in a democracy", while even right-wing Tory MEP Daniel Hannan described the as-yet-unnamed general as an "idiot", adding, “We’re not Bolivia for God’s sake”.

However, the Ministry of Defence, while saying that it was unacceptable for serving officers to make political statements regarding potential future governments, have said they won't conduct a leak enquiry, as it would be too difficult to identify the culprit from around 100 serving generals.

But let's think about that again. This individual, believed to have served in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, has spoken of a military coup against what would be a democratically-elected government. They've threatened "direct action" and the use of "whatever means possible, fair or foul".

While they are not saying they actually would be the ones to do it, this sort of talk is an incitement to action - and potentially hugely damaging to Corbyn as it will no doubt be wheeled out to scare people into voting against him in the run-up to 2020. And just how hard can it be to find one person out of a hundred? It's not exactly a needle in a haystack is it? It's a need in 99 pieces of straw.

It's perhaps not surprising that the army would be instinctively against Corbyn - after all, considering he would indeed reduce our military capability, it would be like a pig, sorry, turkey voting for Christmas - but this kind of talk is nothing short of outrageous and inflammatory, and the MoD's decision not to investigate is pretty poor to say the least. When it comes to the crunch, they should be prepared to accept whatever the public decides.

Sorry, that got a bit serious. Let's laugh about Cameron and pigs again shall we?

(Image: Rex)