Let’s start this one with a tweet from Keir Starmer – and the acid reply it received from This Site’s friend Kerry-Anne Mendoza:
You’d have expelled Mandela for standing against Apartheid Israel.
You don’t get to invoke our leaders without having the courage or integrity to live their values. https://t.co/8Mfltbwp0i
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza 🏳️🌈🏴 (@TheMendozaWoman) July 19, 2020
She is right and Starmer is a hypocrite.
If Mandela really inspired Starmer, then he would not be giving Israel his wholehearted support as that country’s far-right-wing government prepares to invade huge tracts of Palestinian land, turfing out the people who own it – because they are Arabs.
And why is any UK politician giving the policies of a foreign nation their unreserved support in any case?
I didn’t know Mandela personally but everything I have seen and heard about him suggests that he would have been physically sickened by Starmer and his supporters, who say one thing and do another habitually, in the belief that they will fool the people into supporting their policies of – let’s face it – hate.
Now, some may say that this is too harsh – but is it? Really?
I have quoted Richard Snell in the past, whose Facebook post on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s investigation of alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party – the lever Starmer is using to throw out genuinely left-wing, progressive party members who support multiculturalism rather than apartheid – suggested a series of questions we know are likely not even to have been asked.
In another recent post, he provides an opinion on Starmer’s behaviour:
“It’s been pointed out to me that Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters shouldn’t complain about the hammering Corbyn got when they are so willing to come down as heavily as many now do on Starmer.
“If we’re talking about abuse -and I’m afraid there are too many times when we are – then I agree. Abuse has no place in this argument on any side. The past does not forgive the present.
“But I would point out one difference between Corbyn and Starmer which is crucial in understanding the present furore surrounding Sir Keir Starmer.
Jeremy Corbyn was determined to unite the whole of the Labour Party behind him, both left and right, as a matter of principle. He had no problem with diversity of opinion.
“Sadly, this turned out to be a huge strategic weakness in his bid to become PM, as it gave his opponents the space to act against him without any real action being taken against them in return.
“But nevertheless, he was by instinct a unifier. He may have fallen before the massed ranks of those who did not want unity and who were willing to tell blatant lies about him to achieve their aim; but the integrity he showed in maintaining his position despite them is difficult to question.
Starmer, by contrast, is hugely divisive as a matter of policy.
“He is determined to purge the party of its anti-Zionist left-wing, as his unquestioning acceptance of Zionism, his settlement deal with the so-called ‘whistleblowers’, and his acceptance of the BoD 10-point plan clearly indicate, his firing of Rebecca Long-Bailey for posting an anti-Semitic trope which wasn’t anti-Semitic being the cherry on that cake.
“His supporters may not like the angry response all this, plus his expressed aim to work with the Tories when he feels it appropriate to do so, has got him, but they can hardly be surprised.
“People who have always been loyal to the Labour Party are now being thrown out of it on a single trumped-up charge: and nobody should say anything?
And it is incredible that a Labour leader should in these times of huge financial hardship for the poor and sick turn his back on the idea of charging the rich just a little bit more for the privilege of being rich!
“It is not logical for Starmer’s supporters to solicit the support of those whom he is deliberately setting himself against and then complain when they have harsh words to say in response.
“Don’t tell us to unify behind Starmer. Tell Starmer that unifying the party is his responsibility, and that he is failing in it.”
Mr Snell knows his stuff. It was a weakness for Corbyn, seeking unity, to fail to identify and remove those in his party’s head office who were acting against his aims. Yes, they would have bitched about it, but they were bitching anyway – as the leaked report on Labour’s response to anti-Semitism accusations shows.
And Mr Snell is right about Starmer. He is divisive, but he thinks that by pretending to be a unifier he’ll get away with it.
The huge negative response from (some now-former) party members and supporters tells us everything about how well that strategy has succeeded.
Some may wish to take issue with Mr Snell’s use of “Zionism” as a pejorative term, and it is true that Zionism need not be a bad force in the world. At its heart, it is simply a movement for Jewish people to be able to live in the land where their ancestors lived – the historic nation of Israel.
But that is not the definition of “Zionism” used by the Israeli government and its supporters. Their version demands that Jewish people must forcibly steal land from its current owners – by violence if necessary (some would say “if possible”) – and that crosses the line into unacceptability.
Mr Starmer supports this definition of “Zionism”. In so doing, he is guilty of breaching Labour rules which demand that party members accept the right of all peoples to self-determination – including Palestinians.
Nothing is said about this. Starmer and his people hope that nobody will notice.
In the same way, he hopes nobody will notice that he is colluding with the Tories in policies that have caused the unnecessary deaths of between 60,000 and 70,000 people.
And he is failing in his duty to stand up for equality by demanding that the rich – some of whom have profited hugely from the Covid-19 crisis – pay a little more towards restoring our society as that crisis subsides.
Meanwhile, his supporters berate those of us who have pointed out these failings. Like those columnists for The Guardian newspaper, which has lost readers because, while claiming to be left-wing, it has been attacking those who are genuinely of the left, they also appear to subscribe to the “do as we say, don’t see what we do” school of politics.
That won’t work because we’re all sick of the lies.
Many of us may have been led astray by the honeyed words that successive generations of politicians have poured into our ears over the 41 years since Thatcher came to power on a wave of neoliberal balderdash.
More never believed any of it, but have been forced to suffer the consequences as the charlatans were swept into office again and again by those who did.
And what have we got as a result?
The United Kingdom is a ruined country, ruled by corrupt oligarchs who have taken what they wanted for themselves, farmed out the rest to their friends, and left us in the ruins of a system that no longer functions. The Covid-19 crisis is ample demonstration of that.
And Keir Starmer feigns opposition to this while buying into it hook, line and sinker.
That is why his perversion of the Labour Party is haemorrhaging support – and why his supporters’ protests receive only scorn.
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