The right has made this mistake again and again. Iraqi exiles told the CIA that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that Saddam Husain was so unpopular that all they would need to do was to lop off the corrupt head of the country and all would be well. The people that were telling them that turned out to be every bit as unpleasant when they got into power as the original dictator. After years of war and hundreds of thousands of deaths all that has happened in Iraq is that we have exchanged one nasty sect for another, destabilised the lives of millions, and put a lot of the oil reserves in the hands of an infinitely more unpleasant ISIS insurgency.
Failing to learn the lesson resulted in much naive excitement when an uprising began in Libya. Many people assumed that anyone who opposed the dictatorship of Gaddafi must be some form of liberal democrat who wanted to create an open society and had the best interests of the Libyan people in mind. So we were shown film footage of brave warriors battling for freedom and the UK government joined in the US led bombing campaign to ensure that the regime fell. Almost as soon as Gaddafi had gone we started to get real hard evidence of just how unpleasant the replacements were and it has got much worse since. Few people now believe Libya to be a happier and healthier place with a better future than before the war started. Even fewer think the lives we took were worth it or that it was clearly our business. Much the same is of course true of Syria. When the Conservatives asked Parliament to bomb the Syrian regime it was to stop it attacking ISIS. Now they want us to turn a blind eye to the Turkish president as he bombs his Kurdish minority because he is dropping a few bombs on ISIS. The enemies of our enemies appear to keep changing. The wars we have helped to provoke have resulted in 800,000 refugees a year arriving in Germany desperately looking for any kind of work and a few thousand more in Calais. We helped create their misery and are now blaming the homeless refugees for our own mistakes.
But the track record of the left on trusting the enemies of their enemies is not much better. For example I am strongly opposed to the apartheid like behaviour of the Israeli government and convinced that its actions in invading Gaza were both morally wrong and counter-productive for the long term security of that country. The destruction of Gaza was horrible and the way it was inflicted on an entire people convinced me that many in the Israeli army had demonised other people's children as somehow sub human. The Israeli government had facilitated the dehumanising of Palestinians in very similar ways that other racists try to dehumanise Jews. This left Palestinians with very good cause to hate their attackers and thus made Jews less secure not safer. But that doesn't mean that those of us who support the cause for a free Palestine have to act as if every organisation which speaks out in the defence of the freedom of ordinary Palestinian people must be squeaky clean. I support women's liberation just as strongly as I support Palestinian freedom. Does Hamas? I support the freedom to criticise religion openly and fearlessly. Does Hamas? I want to live in a pluralist multicultural society free from corruption and with an open and democratic system. I don't detect a similar commitment coming clearly through from the actions of Hamas. They do some very good work in defending the Palestinian people and they are robustly opposed to my narrow minded Jewish fanatical enemies. But that doesn't mean I have to pretend that they are my friends. If I want to be true to my own cultural beliefs then I am fully entitled to see straight through their words. Both sides need criticising. Not equally because they don't have equal power. But if you don't criticise people when they are out of power you are partly responsible for their excesses when they grab it.
The same applies to a whole series of situations. During the days of the Soviet Union I lost count of how many arguments I had with communists who very sincerely told me that it was necessary to break a few eggs in order to construct a socialist omelette. Actually the reverse proved true. It was necessary to honestly and fiercely criticise every prison camp, every attack on freedom of speech, every knock on the door at midnight if there was ever going to be any chance of building an alternative system. You don't get a socialist society by allowing a bunch of unelected old men to govern you using the justification that they are wiser at interpreting the Leninist texts than the general public. You get a corrupt, ossified society which cannot respond quickly enough to change and which leaves its own people impoverished. Freedom matters just as much as a decent health service does. If the left doesn't speak up for freedom then we can hardly be surprised when those who have taken state power arrive at our homes at an early hour in the morning to take us away to the camps. Ordinary non political people get very suspicious about trusting anyone with too much state power for a good reason. Power really does corrupt and it really does need controlling with effective democracy and freedom of speech.
If we want to get taken seriously as defenders of ordinary people's interests then it is really important that we don't forget our principles whenever we encounter political movements which share an opposition to some of the things we dislike. Politicians should only be really trusted when they are fierce defenders of freedom as well as equality and when they fully get the urgency of the environmental crisis we are living through.
I leave you to form your own judgements about how well the various Labour Party candidates stack up against those criteria!