Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

An image of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was used for target practice by UK soldiers in Afghanistan.

An image of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was used for target practice by UK soldiers in Afghanistan. (Photo: screenshots from SnapChat video of incident)

'Not Just Inappropriate. It's Fascistic': Outrage Over UK Soldiers Using Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn for Target Practice

"Deeply, deeply dangerous."

British soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan, used an image of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as target practice, drawing criticism from United Kingdom progressives and triggering an internal investigation. 

Video of the soldiers firing weapons at a large picture of Corbyn went viral early Wednesday morning.

The video was propelled into the mainstream after journalist Ash Sarkar, in a thread on Twitter, cited images from the video posted by far right British writer Trevor Coult celebrating the behavior. In her comments on the video's reception, Sarkar drew a line between Coult's fascist rhetoric and the coverage of Corbyn in the British press.

Sarkar also wondered why the story wasn't front page news.

"It's not just inappropriate," Sarkar said. "It's fascistic."

British media jumped on the story shortly thereafter, and the images have since spread across the world. 

The British military has begun an investigation of the soldiers' behavior. 

"It's totally unacceptable behavior," said Brigadier Nick Perry. 

According to the New York Times, the video was taken "at a range in Kabul, Afghanistan, where soldiers carry out 'guardian-angel' drills, practicing to protect top officials. Pictures of other celebrities appeared at the range, but not for target practice."

Media and political personalities in Britain denounced the video and called for a more congenial politics in a fraught moment for the country. 

The video is "terrifying," said Novara Media editor James Butler.

"Deeply, deeply dangerous in this political moment," Butler said. 

"Calling Jeremy Corbyn a 'terrorist sympathizer,' 'traitor,' and a 'Britain hater' is wrong and dangerous," said Labour Party activist George Aylett. "There are consequences."

"This disgraceful behavior is deeply troubling and has no place in the Army," said Nia Griffith, Corbyn's shadow minister for defense. 

Corbyn is meeting this afternoon with Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss a possible compromise plan for Brexit. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Progressives, Big Tech Critics Celebrate Confirmation of Lina Khan as FTC Chair

"Her presence on the FTC marks the beginning of the end of an era of lawlessness for powerful corporations that they've enjoyed at the expense of workers, smaller businesses, and democracy."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


'Our Democracy Hangs in the Balance': Calls Grow for Justice Breyer to Retire

"Democrats could lose our razor-thin majority in the Senate at any moment," warns Rep. Mondaire Jones. "It would be irresponsible to leave the future of our democracy up to chance."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Share of Fossil Fuels in Global Energy Mix 'Has Not Moved by an Inch' in a Decade

"We are waking up to the bitter reality that the climate policy promises over the past 10 years have mostly been empty words," said the executive director of REN21, which released the new report.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


Latest Nina Turner Ad in Ohio Highlights Working-Class Need for Medicare for All

"Wealth should never dictate whether you are able to see a doctor or live a healthy life."

Jenna McGuire, staff writer ·


Biden Admin Urged to 'Prevent a Historic Wave of Evictions' by Extending CDC Moratorium, Speeding Up Aid

"Far too many renters are struggling to access emergency rental assistance programs and are at risk of losing their homes when the moratorium expires," said the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·