General States that Army Would Mutiny against Jeremy Corbyn

The Independent yesterday carried a bizarre story about the claim by an unnamed general that the armed forces would revolt if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister. The article began

There would be very little support for a military coup if Jeremy Corbyn won the next election, a poll has found.

An unnamed British army general told the Sunday Times newspaper last month that the Labour leader could face a “munity” from senior military officers, “by whatever means possible, fair or foul”.

But a YouGov poll found that only nine per cent of the population would be sympathetic to a coup if Mr Corbyn became Prime Minister.

British Army ‘could stage mutiny under Corbyn’, says general

“The Army just wouldn’t stand for it. The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul to prevent that. You can’t put a maverick in charge of a country’s security,” the general told the newspaper at the time.

It can be read in full at

Mike over at Vox Political commented

Does anybody else find it more than a little strange that a military coup against a democratically-elected political leader can be even considered, here in the United Kingdom?

See his coverage of the story at

It is extremely bizarre, though it may not be quite so alarming as it first appears. Firstly, the general is talking about protests by military staff and mass resignations, with the possibility of a coup. The army has protested against decisions by politicians before. I was told by an ex-army friend at College that the army had organised a mass meal at Stonehenge in protest against cuts in military expenditure and mass redundancies by Thatcher’s government. This seems far more likely than any kind of coup, or even, it has to be said, of mass resignations by disgruntled military staff.

The mere talk about a coup does, however, bring back the days in the 1970s, when MI5 and the head of the CIA, James Jesus Angleton, were convinced that Harold Wilson was a Communist spy. Among the others so convinced was one Margaret Thatcher, then merely a Conservative MP. There were rumours of private armies being set up to counter the threat of a Soviet-backed take over by Wilson’s Red troops. As industrial discontent deepened, even the Times started mooting the idea of a coup and the replacement of Wilson’s administration by a caretaker government including more moderate members of the Labour party, like Shirley Williams and Roy Jenkins.

It also reflects some of the hysteria amongst the Republicans in America, who are also talking about coups. The Young Turks in this video, posted on the 12th September this year, discuss a poll which showed that 43% of Republicans would support a military coup against a government. 41% of Americans generally would also support a coup against a government that was beginning to violate the constitution. Cenk Uyghur, the Turks’ main anchor, states that it’s only progressives that oppose a military dictatorship in America, and actually stand up for the values of the Constitution.

Now, an awful lot of Republicans really are convinced that Obama is closet Muslim-Communist-Nazi infiltrator, intent on setting up a ‘one world dictatorship’ and take their guns away.

Somehow, I don’t think that poll and the British general’s treasonous utterances are entirely coincidental. It looks the general has been infected by the same paranoia as the Republicans on the other side of the pond.

Or, more likely, he thinks the British public is.

It also looks to me very much that the Tories are running a Red Scare campaign against Corbyn. Remember Cameron’s foam-flecked rant denouncing Corbyn as anti-British, and their claims that he supports Islamist terrorism? The general’s comments seem to be another attempt to undermine Corbyn’s popularity by presenting him as a dangerous subversive, in league with Britain’s enemies. Cameron attempted to pass that off as reality by misquoting Corbyn as opposing the CIA assassination of bin Laden. Corbyn did oppose it, but not because he supported al-Qaeda, but simply because he wanted the terrorist brought to trial for his crimes.

The Tories are trying to smear Corbyn, and this bizarre remark by an unnamed general is part of it. It also reflects badly on the Times, which has a history of smearing left-wing politicians. Remember the allegation that Michael Foot was a KGB agent, codenamed ‘Boot’? That was also rubbish. So is this, but it does show a certain desperation by the Dirty Digger. In his career as a press baron, Murdoch has shown himself far more of a threat to British democracy, freedom of speech and open and responsible government than Corbyn ever has.

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3 Responses to “General States that Army Would Mutiny against Jeremy Corbyn”

  1. Florence Says:

    One might almost welcome the mass resignation of the upper ranks of the Army, mostly ex-pubic school types and minor aristos who will be the source of this guff, because it really is top-heavy. I do recall the 70’s flap, somewhat hazily, but I recall that there was “coup prep” sweeping the armies across the globe, and in Europe the Italian P2 lodge (with alleged links to the UK and Spanish militaries) were some of the most paranoid. It all sort of went with mob/Vatical Bank money, ultra right Nationalists everywhere, the last of the generation of Franco and Greek military involved in running states, and the USA involvement in military coups in anywhere that dared elect a government they didn’t like the look of. We may be heading into similar territory here, if the US “don’t like” the democratic will of the people but unfortunately (!) the running down of the military manpower and use of part-timers under Cameron will make that something of an irrelevancy.

  2. Florence Says:

    Sorry for spelling (“Pubic” = public, but maybe a Freudian slip?)

    • beastrabban Says:

      If it’s a Freudian slip, then it’s a serendipitous one. And I completely agree with you about the coups and rumours of coups in the 1970s, and how they may be coming back. Quite apart from the way the upper ranks of the army is stuffed with ex-public school types, who we may well be better off without. The trouble is, anybody who tends to say so in the army tends to get sacked soon after.

      I remember the case of a young army major, who wrote a Fabian pamphlet about it. He was discharged, and the Blimps immediately went into defensive mode, denying that it was quite the case. I got the impression that the office corps is far more diverse now than it was. A few years ago the Beeb made a series following the fortunes of a set of Sandhurst cadets. One of them, a woman, was clearly a Marxist, though very definitely not a Leninist. I go the distinct impression that there are many other junior officers, who also don’t conform to the old-school, arch-Tory stereotype. It has to be said here, though, that the general who was blustering about a coup and mass resignations clearly wasn’t one of them.

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