An off-hand quip from Boris Johnson has succeeded in simultaneously sparking a diplomatic row and shining a spotlight on the troubling hypocrisy of the far left’s foreign policy. Not bad for his debut speech as Foreign Secretary in the House of Commons.

During Tuesday’s parliamentary debate on the crisis in Aleppo, Johnson said Russia should be investigated for war crimes in Syria, and suggested anti-war protestors like the Stop The War coalition demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy. The Russian Embassy immediately hit back on twitter, demanding proof of the Foreign Office’s accusations and releasing a statement that ends: “Pity that the British parliamentarians placed themselves on the wrong side of history this time”.

But remarkably, given that Johnson personally insulted an entire country in a parliamentary debate, his comments actually raise an important question: why isn’t Stop The War protesting Russian bombing in Syria?

It was a question quickly answered this morning, by vice-chairman Chris Nineham himself. The anti-war campaign group has no intention in demonstrating against Russia’s actions in this particular war, because do to so would “contribute to the jingoism and hysteria that is being whipped up against Russia”.

(Incidentally, Nineham’s language is eerily similar that of Russia’s Ministry of Defence spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, who today said: “The Russophobic hysteria regularly whipped up by various members of the British establishment for a long time now has been quite underwhelming.”)

So what does Stop The War believe in, if it isn’t actually stopping wars? Nineham was helpfully forthcoming with that too:

“Everyone who has got a sense of duty for the peace of the planet needs to mobilise everything they can against that and that means opposing the West.”

That’s right, Stop The War’s real aim isn’t to end global conflicts, help the victims of war, or advocate for human rights. It is to oppose the West. And viewed through that lens, Russia can drop as many bombs on civilians and aid convoys as it likes, as long as it refuses to cooperate with Britain and America.

In a blistering critique in The Telegraph today, Stephen Pollard goes one step further in analysing Stop The War’s history and mission:

“STW has only ever had one function, which is to support anti-Western tyrants and dictators and resist any attempts to undermine them.”

Pollard points out that Stop The War has always had ample sympathy for the world’s dictators, as long as they oppose the West, from Stalin to Saddam Hussein. Its former-chair Andrew Murray even takes up “solidarity” with the regime in North Korea.

Why does this matter? Because, as Pollard highlights, Stop The War was co-founded and formerly chaired by none other than Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn, who continues to fetishise Venezuela’s socialist administration even as the country plummets towards economic collapse and civil war. Corbyn, who refuses to speak out against Islamist terrorism but compared Israel to IS at the launch of the Labour party’s report into anti-Semitism. Corbyn, who in July missed a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party and neglected to make a statement about Theresa May becoming Prime Minister, instead attending an event for the Cuba Solidarity Campaign – an organisation which supports a regime that harrasses and jails political dissidents without trial.

Against such a backdrop, Boris Johnson’s undiplomatic gaffe is actually a work of genius. He may have angered the Russians, but in doing so he has drawn attention to the disingenuous, hypocritical and downright dangerous stance of the opposition leader and his backers.