Labour under Starmer is a lost cause: it will always be on the wrong side of politics

Smug: it doesn’t matter what Starmer does – he can always defeat left-wing opponents with false accusations.

Keir Starmer’s insistence on steering Labour back to Blairite subservience to the neoliberal nightmare means we cannot expect him to make any of the changes the UK so desperately needs.

This Counterfire article makes the arguments very well and I make no apology for quoting it extensively [boldings mine]:

Coronavirus has provoked widespread solidarity with key workers in the NHS and way beyond.

Tens of thousands have joined unions, particularly unions like the NEU that have stood up to the government.

Starmer opposed the teachers’ campaign against the premature opening of schools on 1 June, and one of the reasons for sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey was almost certainly because she was regarded as being too close to the NEU.

Hundreds of thousands marched in the middle of lockdown in support of the Black Lives Matter upsurge in the US. Nurses, postal workers, firefighters have all gone out of their way to show solidarity with the anti-racist struggle.

While taking the knee in his office, Starmer has insisted on calling Black Lives Matter a ‘moment’ rather than a ‘movement’, advised that it shouldn’t get ‘tangled up’ in concerns about the police, and reassuring us that his support for the police is ‘very, very strong’ and that he has worked with them to bring ‘thousands of people to court in England and Wales’.

On the buses, on the tubes, in universities, amongst cleaners there have been disputes about health and safety, casualisation and cuts.

Tower Hamlets council workers are currently in the middle of a campaign of strikes against a Labour Council that is using the Coronavirus as an excuse to impose new contracts.

London tube workers look set to ballot against the cuts package proposed by Transport for London. They are also opposing an alternative plan hatched by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

A Starmer-led party will be hostile to strikes, militant trade unionism and radical protest of all kinds.

Every popular poll shows there is a strong rejection of Boris Johnson’s ‘back to normal by Christmas’ blather.

Starmer has positioned Labour as a loyal opposition during the coronavirus crisis despite the government’s shameful and shambolic response, refusing even to demand Dominic Cummings’ resignation over his lockdown breach.

People don’t want to be forced back to work when it is not safe and they don’t want to see a return to business as usual in general.

[Starmer’s] leadership has actually been pushing to get Britain ‘back to business’ in direct contradiction to the popular mood.

What is to be done?

Counterfire states that it is “trying to organise a dynamic extra-parliamentary left in every part of the country to help build resistance to the government and their billionaire backers” – but that won’t bring about a change of government.

Labour under Starmer won’t bring about a change of government either. Why vote the Tories out when they’ll only be replaced by more Tories?

Many have suggested launching another political party – but it would be years before any such organisation could gain traction with a ‘small “c”‘ conservative voting public.

The alternative is to take Labour back, in the face of vicious opposition from the right-wing cuckoos who are merrily flinging socialists out of our former nest, justifying themselves with lies.

That would be a hard struggle – and soul-destroying, considering the ease with which Starmer’s supporters resort to character assassination and the financial resources they use to mislead public opinion.

Does anybody have the stomach for it? If not, can you bear to face the alternative?

Source: The Starmer supremacy: Labour is now on the wrong side of the struggles that matter – Counterfire

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4 thoughts on “Labour under Starmer is a lost cause: it will always be on the wrong side of politics

  1. dsbacon2017

    Starmer is still the only chance we ever have of a Labour Governments. He might not be ideal, but do you want the tories in for perpetuity?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It wouldn’t be a Labour government. It would be LINO (Labour In Name Only) – in reality just an alternative Tory Party.

      So, in advocating for Starmer, it seems to me that YOU are the one who wants Tories in power forever.

  2. Grey Swans

    Dear Vox Political,
    There is a new party that could appear overnight.

    Chris Williamson is known Corbynite. He is beginning a new socialist movement. But his movement could become a party in parliament tomorrow, by Jeremy Corbyn and his small band of Corbynite MPs, the socialist campaign group, converting to his party as sitting MPs.

    The Corbynite Labour party membership have been leaving Labour membership and surged to membership of Chris Williamson’s socialist movement.

    The Left has lost power over right wing Labour in each decade as far back as the mid 1970s.

    Foot lost the 1983 election by right wing Labour throwing that election, just as the right wing threw the election against Jeremy Corbyn.

    Jeremy Corbyn is not an unknown figure, and neither is Chris Williamson.

    We did not know that within the last parliament period of 5 years, there would be two general elections.

    It is said that Jeremy Corbyn lost by only 3000 votes in 2017.

    The 1950s ladies were around 5000 women in each and every voting area. Alongside them were the equal number of 1960s ladies. Whatever pension group, the members all wanted instant pensioner status and pension age 60.

    As Pension 60 Now and then from 2017 Grey Swans, I fought for Jeremy Corbyn’s pension policy of pension age 60 men and women the same. That would have won the Grey Vote, because the pension campaign ladies would have canvassed direct to them, without the right wing trying to throw the election.

    Listen to Grey Swans this time, and when the Tories next year go after replacing Tory Boris as leader, we might just get a means to call an election, and Corbyn / Williamson could win against Starmer’s Labour and Tory alike.

    Williamson is a Lexiteer (far more powerful left wing anti EU government). Corbyn was also a Lexiteer, being taught by Tony Benn. So Brexit will have come and gone, and they could be Lexiteers in an election in 2021.

    Give the 1950s ladies their full money back from the National Insurance Fund, and give pension age 60 to the 1960s born men and women, and you would surge past Starmer like he was standing still.

    Give pensioners a state pension of £372 per week per person (what it would have reached if Callaghan had not wiped out from the working class, an entire state second pension since 1978) regardless of retirement date.

    The 1950s ladies could win on the high street (the preserve of the Grey Vote) for Williamson / Corbyn party.

    We know right wing Labour has been worse against the state pension than even the Tories. The Lib Dems directly caused the high increase in early death of the 1950s and 1960s born ladies since pension age rise 2011, before retirement.

    The Tories are being taken to court for Covid19 death by the bereaved relatives. Tory polices that Starmer agrees with.

    Please sign Grey Swans petition to get the vital Grey Vote for Williamson’s new party
    https://www.change.org/p/pension-basic-income-campaign-to-chris-williamson-s-festival-of-resistance-george-galloway-s-workers-party?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=custom_url&recruited_by_id=09e80ddc-2845-41c2-9ebf-a5fee1a8593a

  3. Growing Flame

    This is a vital debate.
    I joined the Labour Party at the height of the Thatcher years but finally left just before Blair became leader. I could see the way it was going!
    In the succeeding period of LINO years under Blair, close relatives urged me to rejoin . They were sticking it out in the hopes of something better.
    But I just could not join a Labour Party that actually believed in things that I didn’t!!

    Why join a Party, and campaign for it, when I did not believe in privatisation and the Private Finance Initiative? These were central policies for the Blairites! Even when the East Coast mainline went bust and New Labour had to take it back, just to keep it going, after a few years of government investment, they SOLD IT BACK,dirt cheap, to the private sector again!! That simple test of where their priorities lay revealed the ugly truth!
    They did not believe in public ownership of any part of the economy except the basics like the Police and the military etc. Just like the Tories!
    Labour lost votes consistently at each election under Blair, until, seeing the way things were going, he resigned to let Brown take the reins in time for the final vote decline and defeat.
    The Iraq invasion was really the last straw. It has become the significant event for thousands of angry Labour members but , really, it was just a bad example of a whole Right-wing trajectory.

    Since then, I rejoined to help fight back under Miliband. We know how that went! But the few years of Corbyn leadership suddenly revealed a Party that I could really support. I felt able to campaign against the Tories knowing that the rest of the Party, especially the leadership, wouldn’t just cop out at the last minute and abandon the radical policies we need.
    And we nearly won in 2017!
    But now we are back to “normal” in the Party, with an apologetic leadership, putting more effort into persecuting their own members than in opposing the Tories.
    I’ve “been there, done it!”

    Except that, this time, we have a much bigger Party, more genuine socialists., a more energised membership, and Social Media, which enables us to contact and debate with other members “horizontally” without needing to just respond to “vertical” debates coming down from above. We are doing that right now!
    But I have grown to accept that there is just a “first past the post” voting system in the UK. So there will only be room for one centre -Right Party(the Tories) and one centre-Left Party (Labour). Parties further from the “centre” will be doomed to be small pressure groups. I accept that the Greens continue to impress but they have the issue of Climate Change to give them a legitimate voice and existence. But all other “Left” movements just evaporate once the elections come along and compromise is necessary to get rid of the Tories.
    It’s the same for the Right. Where is UKIP , or the Brexit Party now? The Tories just hoovered up their voters even though their leaders , rightly, live in constant fear of a Brexit betrayal.
    If we can stomach it (I can,just) we should stay in the Labour Party to fight back to defend our radical policies. Being a member of the Party hardly stops us campaigning in other ways, for other single-issue causes. We don’t have to see progress just in terms of getting the Labour Party to support something.(In fact, such a strategy is doomed to disappointment as successive Labour leaderships have always dropped radical policies when they can, regardless of the sheer effort put into getting them adopted by members.
    But there is also a “Third Way”(a joke for older members!).
    If we find ourselves expelled, or leave in frustration, why not set up groups of “Labour supporters” around the country? Groups that only support the return of Labour MPs and councillors, but which are free to point out the flaws in Starmer’s beliefs. Free to explain what the policies should be .
    Free to openly criticise the new leadership in a way that actual members could hardly risk when hoping to win an election.
    I could imagine having leaflets going out door-to-door with “Vote Labour” as the headline and as the main theme. But ALSO acknowledging where the Party has gone wrong and urging voters to support Labour but also to join the Party or the “Supporters” to improve the manifesto.
    I can imagine many actual Labour members joining such campaigns in preference!

    And if we get expelled from the actual Party for such activity (not sure on what grounds but that won’t stop them) we can have a ready-made (“oven-ready”?) movement to enable us to carry on campaigning for socialism without trying to create another small Party which will be doomed to fail because of the “first past the post” system.
    Of course, if we had a Proportional Representation system, we could happily form another, better Party. But we haven’t got such a system, so we need to innovate.

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