The resignations are coming thick and fast now – and publicly, thanks to the social media.
Keir Starmer’s bid to fool Labour Party members into thinking that he was any kind of socialist has failed utterly and members who joined to support Jeremy Corbyn are fleeing as he imposes his undemocratic, red-Tory vision on the party they loved.
People who served faithfully as party officers are advocating a new kind of “extra-Parliamentary Left” to fill the political void that Starmer is creating – at least until he and his cronies leave the once-great political organisation they seem determine to hollow out and suck dry.
Terina Hine, formerly Cities of London and Westminster CLP Secretary, explained her reasons for quitting on Counterfire:
Sir Keir Starmer became leader of the party promising to strengthen party unity and to respect and retain popular policies developed over the last five years. It is now clear that these promises are not going to be kept.
Labour under Starmer’s leadership will move to the right brutally and rapidly.
Labour has indicated it intends to move away from its environmental commitments, away from its close association with trade unions and once again away from its roots.
[Starmer’s] comments on the BLM movement show, at best, an embarrassing lack of understanding of the issues of entrenched racism in our society.
The imposition from the NEC of new election rules without resort to Conference, and the changes in policy direction, not least the newly adopted position on Kashmir in direct opposition to the resolution passed at Conference 2019, display disdain for party democracy.
Added to the lack of action taken over the racist and sexist abuse highlighted in the leaked report, not to mention the lack of action over those who actively worked against a Labour election victory, a clear picture emerges of a leadership more concerned with attacking the left within the party and wooing so-called “liberal conservative” voters than opposing [the UK’s] extreme rightwing government.
It has failed to hold the government to account over the worst crisis in my lifetime and consistently appears to be putting the interest of business over those of the workers
The failure of Labour to call for the sacking of Dominic Cummings was a truly shameful abrogation of the job of the opposition, while the victories won on schools and on children’s meal vouchers were both the result of pressure emanating from outside of Westminster rather than inside.
There are major struggles coming: mass unemployment, a global economic crisis and increased international tensions. But I believe the Labour Party in its current form will continue to capitulate and lean right.
Young people who have been cancelling their membership have been explaining their reasons on DazedDigital.com.
Here’s Leila, 22:
It doesn’t seem like Labour is interested in justice anymore. You can see that from Keir’s refusal to advocate for tenants, his support for the government on coronavirus, and through his lack of engagement with low-paid nurses and essential workers. It’s also obvious from Keir’s refusal to engage with the material demands of Black Lives Matter, and his playing to TERFs.
I left the party because of the Labour Leaks – I found the report extremely chilling, and the fact that the leadership has not launched an investigation into its findings is shameful. We live in a time of global revolution, and Labour has simply revealed itself to be on the side of the oppressor. It made me so angry when Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner took a knee in an empty conference room – who exactly are you taking a knee against? These are both people who wield a huge amount of power, and have the capacity to confront racism and anti-Blackness in their own party if they actually chose to. I’d rather redirect my funds to people who are actually working to address our society’s systemic oppressions.”
Here’s Patrick, 27:
Over the course of seven days, [Starmer] fired Rebecca Long-Bailey out of hand, challenged the prime minister to a press-ups challenge like a frat boy, and took the knee in solidarity with the knee, not the neck.
Keir also tried to reduce Black Lives Matter to a ‘moment’ and not a movement, which was at best incomprehensible ignorance, and at worst outright racism. His dismissal of the demands of BLM as ‘nonsense’ was insulting to the movement and the Black community, and all those who have pushed for structural reform to achieve equality. The idea that to win back the ‘traditional Labour heartlands’ you need to employ dogwhiste racism is a complete misreading of the situation, and entirely unacceptable.
Here’s Sinthia, 23:
My instincts to care about poor people, refugees, Black people, people of colour, and the LGBTQ+ community would not align with the values of a party which seeks to demonise them and use them as scapegoats, like the right wing does.
It’s so sad that the very real and valid battle with anti-semitism is being weaponised against people who speak up for Palestinian people.
Here’s Florence, 29:
The final straw for me was when Labour suggested that renters should be given a rent holiday rather than a rent suspension, which would mean they’d be racking up more debt to their landlords. I’m an active member of the London Renters Union, and since Labour made this statement, loads more people have reported that their landlords have suggested this when they’ve requested temporary rent reductions. So, Labour has helped enable this, which is going to cause even worse problems for renters further along the line.
Here’s Sophie, 22:
My distrust for the Labour Party began when the antisemitism report was leaked. As a Jewish person, I was completely shocked to find that certain party members purposely tried to make Labour lose the 2017 election, and purposely mishandled antisemitism claims in order to undermine Corbyn’s leadership. I was also disgusted at the racist treatment of Diane Abbott and other BAME MPs. Starmer enacted no action against the Labour officials named in the report.
The final straw came when Rebecca Long-Bailey was fired… The response was entirely disproportionate. Starmer’s response went against the IHRA definition of antisemitism, conflating zionism and antisemitism. This co-opting of antisemitism to justify ousting left wing members of parliament from the cabinet is disgraceful. The actions of Israel and the IDF are not to be conflated with the actions of Jewish people – this bastardisation of the label of antisemitism is actively harmful to Jews. I’ve experienced antisemitism first hand and I feel my experiences and being co-opted to silence critics of Israel.
And here’s Greg, 26:
I was pretty skeptical about the funding Starmer received from certain donors that were known to be supporters of Blairite politics and funders of anti-Corbyn groups, but this only came to light after the leadership election, which seemed like a tactic to avoid scrutiny.
Then the Labour leaks showed conversations between Labour members scheming against Corbyn in 2017, providing evidence that decisions were purposely made to fuel the antisemitism accusations and that money was funnelled to anti-Corbyn candidates within Labour. Starmer said an investigation will take place into this, but I still haven’t heard anything more.
Also, our government has handled the pandemic so catastrophically, yet Starmer hasn’t held them to account enough.
It has been suggested that 100,000 people joined Labour in the run-up to this year’s leadership election – specifically right-wingers (euphemistically calling themselves “centrists” intending to ensure that no left-wing candidate could succeed Jeremy Corbyn.
The got their wish. Perhaps Keir Starmer will be happy to lead his tepid, watered-down, racist new New Labour with the support of these.
But he’ll be leading a party that is forever in opposition. UK politics is moving elsewhere.
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