Outraged Labour members want to know why Starmer supports illegal torture by UK armed forces

Keir Starmer: if he was really a soldier – as in this mock-up image – he might be less inclined to support illegal torture by members of the armed forces.

The Tories aren’t the only ones getting a hammering from the public over plans to break international law.

Party members are calling on their representatives in Labour’s ruling NEC to debate why MPs were told to abstain from voting on a Bill to allow servicepeople to commit acts of torture.

Labour leader Keir Starmer demanded that MPs should abstain, rather than opposing the plan, which should be abhorrent to any right-thinking human being.

So when NEC member Rachel Garnham asked what members wanted to hear discussed at today’s meeting, this was the response:

Some have used it as a subject for humour – with a strong underlying criticism of Starmer, who many party members now consider to be no better than a Conservative:

Starmer’s leadership is too weak to brook any such criticism of his decisions, so it seems unlikely that any such discussion will take place.

This Writer certainly doesn’t expect to hear about any such deliberations.

So much for Labour Party democracy. Jeremy Corbyn tried to roll it back out to the members, but now Starmer is in charge, the people are losing their voice once again.

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4 thoughts on “Outraged Labour members want to know why Starmer supports illegal torture by UK armed forces

  1. andygarcia48

    It appears that the reality of the situation has not hit home. He is an imposter. An Establishment man. A Zionist supporter. He threw Julian Assange to the wolves.

    On the subject of Julian Assange and press freedom why are you not highlighting his plight? A show trial is happening in the UK right now at the behest of the US. Why the silence?

  2. Redac Ted

    This piece a friend wrote on Facebook is rather relevant here.

    THE OVERSEAS OPERATIONS BILL: AN EXPLAINER
    Tl;dr: This is why Johnson did not fire Dominic Cummings.
    THE WHAT BILL?
    You might have seen headlines today, either 1) saying that Labour won’t ‘support our troops’ or 2) claiming that Keir Starmer ‘fired three MPs from Shadow Ministerial posts for voting against a bill that would have decriminalised torture’.
    Both are totally misleading, and if you believed either, then well done, you’ve been totally played by Dominic Cummings. Because he has absolutely stormed this round.
    SO WHAT IS GOING ON?
    Okay, some things you really need to know if you don’t already:
    1. Last night’s vote was only the *second* reading of the Overseas Operations Bill. The second reading of a bill is not the final vote on a bill; it’s just a preliminary vote on the principles of the thing before it goes to committee stage. It’s totally possible to abstain on a second reading if you have reservations, and try to get the bits you dislike changed before the third and final reading.
    2. The principal of collective responsibility means if an MP votes against their Party Whips, they have to resign any ministerial or shadow ministerial post they hold. That’s just how it works. Right, let’s move on.
    SO WHAT IS THIS BILL? SOME BACKGROUND
    In 2003, we did a pretty stupid thing and invaded Iraq with no plan. Some people got tortured. Some of them rightly, and successfully, sued the Ministry of Defence and got compensation.
    In 2017, it turned out that a human rights lawyer who brought many of these cases had “lost his way” and had been paying £500 a pop to a fixer in Iraq, whose job it was to find Iraqis who would claim to have been abused or tortured. Some probably had, some probably hadn’t; either way, the guy had been making millions from it and was struck off. Many former soldiers – often, if this matters, from the working class red-wall backgrounds that Labour have lost – were unnecessarily accused, harrassed, etc and lost their homes, relationships, reputations.
    So – superficially at least – the government are trying to stop that happening again.
    SOUNDS SENSIBLE. WHY DON’T LABOUR VOTE FOR IT?
    Because it isn’t sensible. It’s not really necessary, and there’s a lot that’s wrong with it. Critics of it are saying it “decriminalises torture” (it doesn’t, although it does make it harder for cases to be brought, which is not necessarily a good thing) and it has a second part that actually makes it harder for veterans themselves to get compensation from the MoD they might have been entitled to.
    SO WHY ARE THE GOVERNMENT DOING THIS NOW?
    Because after the epic-scale election defeat Labour suffered in December, Labour focus groups in the areas Labour need to win back have been saying they think that Labour hate Britain. So Keir Starmer has responded to that by going hard on his ‘patriotic values’. And it was working.
    So, tory strategists (read: Dominic Cummings) decided to bring a bill that Labour couldn’t possibly support, but also couldn’t vote against without opening themselves up to disingenuous charges of ‘not supporting the troops’.
    SO, THIS BILL WAS A SECOND READING, RIGHT? SO THEY COULD ABSTAIN FROM VOTING AND THEN KILL IT LATER?
    Well, yes, most of them abstained, on the principle that it’s a stupid bill but there *was* something reasonable to it in principle, and if it can’t be amended at the committee stage then they can vote against at the final reading.
    Not that it makes any difference, because that last election was such a thumping defeat the government will win anyway.
    Anyway, Starmer issued a whip (an instruction to all work together) for the party to abstain. That way, it seems, they thought they could refuse to play the tories’ stupid games.
    RIGHT. SO WHY DID CORBYN AND A BUNCH OF OTHER LABOUR MPs VOTE AGAINST THE BILL ANYWAY?
    Maybe because it’s such a stupid bill. Maybe because they truly believe it’s wrong and needed to make a principled stand against it now. Maybe because they wanted to get at their leader. Maybe they just wanted attention because their faction isn’t in charge any more. Maybe all of those things. Who knows?
    BUT DIDN’T THE THREE WITH JUNIOR SHADOW MINISTERIAL POSITIONS KNOW THEY’D HAVE TO LOSE THOSE ROLES?
    Yes. Yes they did.
    BUT WON’T LABOUR PROBABLY VOTE AGAINST THE BILL AT THE THIRD READING ANYWAY?
    Yes.
    SO WHY DID THEY SACRIFICE THEIR JOBS NOW?
    Damned if I know. Point of principle, maybe. Some Labour MPs are strategic about where they compromise, some aren’t. Maybe they felt they had no choice. But most of the party chose to wait.
    BUT BASICALLY, DOMINIC CUMMINGS HAS STRATEGISED A BILL THAT IS PRETTY POINTLESS, EXCEPT FOR ITS ABILITY TO SPLIT THE LABOUR PARTY?
    Yes.
    AGAIN?
    Yes?
    RIGHT. WELL THAT’S SAD.
    Yes. Yes it is.

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