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?
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