Is democracy coming back to the Labour Party at last? And can it overthrow Starmer?

Show them the door: Keir Starmer (left) and his right-wing ACTING general secretary David Evans, are facing the prospect of an apocalyptic party conference after a tenure that has been one failure after another.

Keir Starmer’s grip on the Labour Party is likely to be loosened – if not lost altogether – after left-wingers were elected to the committee that decides what the forthcoming party conference will discuss.

Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes were re-elected as local party representatives for the third time in succession, in recent internal party elections.

It means they will be able to ensure that votes take place on important subjects like the election of the party’s general secretary.

David Evans was appointed to the role by Keir Starmer last year but party rules demand that his position must be ratified by party members in a conference vote.

After a year in which he has supported Starmer in pursuing a merciless purge of left-wing party members – mostly on the basis of the flimsiest accusations – Evans may now be considered not just to be unpopular, but hated, by the members whose votes he must seek if he wants to keep his job.

The Times has reported that a full vote – rather than a show of hands – is likely to be demanded in the conference.

Perhaps predictably, the paper has claimed that if Evans is ousted, Starmer’s leadership – and the party as a whole – will be thrown into “chaos”. That’s a load of cobblers but I’m sure somebody thought it would make good copy.

Other possible conference motions include a plan to ditch the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, that has been used as an excuse to jettison party members who had criticised recent governments of Israel on false claims of anti-Semitism. It would be replaced by the Jerusalem Declaration, which many consider far more appropriate.

And on the same issue, it is also possible that power to expel members would be removed from a subset of the National Executive Committee and passed to rank-and-file party members after a series of highly-controversial and unilateral decisions that have shocked members, including the expulsion of legendary British movie director Ken Loach and a decision to proscribe – ban from membership – members of four groups.

It seems the terms of that decision are being abused by Starmer, Evans and their team:

Worse still: under Starmer, Jewish Labour members are far more likely to be charged with anti-Semitism than Gentiles.

Think about that.

And how else has Starmer distinguished himself lately?

Well, he urged party members to embrace the legacy of triple-election winner Tony Blair. How’s that working for him? It’s working like this:

Starmer himself goes unnoticed at public appearances…

… after former leader Jeremy Corbyn – who Starmer now condemns as a blight on the party – attracted crowds in the tens of thousands (and still does).

Then there’s Starmer’s rating in the opinion polls, which is plummeting. And what about this?

Who has done a better job of leading Labour? Corbyn – 44 per cent; Starmer – 13 per cent.

Is Starmer competent or incompetent? Competent – 18 per cent; incompetent – 76 per cent.

Is Starmer likeable or unlikeable? Likeable – 13 per cent; unlikeable – 80 per cent.

How likely is it that Starmer will become prime minister? Very likely – one per cent; very unlikely – 80 per cent.

Starmer – and Evans – are taking steps to fight back, starting with the release of details of their new ‘Organise to Win’ (ha ha) party structure, made necessary after Starmer squandered the £13 million that Corbyn raised from increased membership subscriptions and failed to raise any cash from corporate backers (they know a loser when they see one).

How was it received? Not well…

This is just not believable. Starmer has spent more than a year dictating to party members, so we have no reason to believe he’ll suddenly change his ways and start “serving the needs of voters first”, rather than “telling voters what they should think or do”.

And how about the following?

“Product mindset”?

“Agile ceremonies”? Seems a bit pervy to me.

“Rapid prototyping, deployment and iteration”?

These words are meaningless Newspeak – or, as Simon Vessey described it, above: bollocks.

Meanwhile the party has begun the process of laying off one-third of its staff members – because the alternative, after Starmer’s spending spree, is bankruptcy. They’ll be replaced by people on short-term contracts as the party inwardly embraces the “fire and rehire” strategy it outwardly condemns.

And there are questions about whether these redundancies will be as “voluntary” as they are said to be…

So it seems staffers who are union members may be told to go on strike – against the self-professed “Party of the Workers”. How do you think that will play out in the press?

Whatever he does, it seems clear that Starmer isn’t taking anybody with him – voluntarily or otherwise. In fact, it’s clear that they are abandoning him in droves – not only because they hate him with a vengeance, but because they don’t anticipate any improvement under any of the swivel-eyed right-wingers who are lining up to succeed him.

So it seems any renaissance of the Left at the autumn party conference may come too late.

Or will we all come back if the party is returned to the people for whom it was created?

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