Boris Johnson officially launched his general election campaign this morning with his usual charmless bluster.
The Prime Minister managed to trivialise the deaths of six million people, by saying that Jeremy Corbyn’s behaviour reminded him of the persecution of the kulaks by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
However, if Johnson is looking for evidence of communist insubordination, he should just glance around his Downing Street team.
Indeed, the Prime Minister has charged the responsibility of writing his manifesto (in large part at least), to a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party.
Munira Mirza, Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit, was one of Johnson’s first appointments after he snatched the keys to Downing Street from Theresa May.
Mirza is a known quantity to the PM, having worked as deputy London Mayor while Johnson was in City Hall. So it’s likely that Boris knows that she wasn’t exactly a born Thatcherite.
During the 1990s, Mirza was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, an ultra-left sect, and wrote for its journal Living Marxism. This journal was succeeded by the radical, left-wing libertarian platform Spiked, a publication that Mirza has contributed to as recently as 2017.
It’s not clear when Mirza converted to a more orthodox conservative viewpoint, but her profile on Spiked in 2007 lists that she was the co-founder of “Manifesto Club”, a pressure group rallying against the “hyper-regulation of public spaces.”
According to right-wing commentator James Bickerton, “with her new set of politics,” Mirza then ventured from her role as a grassroots blogger and activist into the more institutional setting of Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank, before joining Johnson in City Hall.
Whether Mirza has retained any of her revolutionary spirit, we’re not sure. But we’ll be sure to look out for any hints of rogue Stalinism in Johnson’s manifesto.