It will take more than yet another relaunch to save Keir Starmer’s Labour Party leadership.
And that’s doubly true when the slogan he chose – “Winning The Future” – corresponds with the Internet acronym WTF, which means “What The F***”.
That’s just a tone-deaf indication that the Labour leader is entirely out-of-touch with the rest of the UK, and particularly the electorate from whom he still demands support that he won’t get.
Pollsters Redfield and Wilton Strategies (who?) have recorded their lowest-ever net approval rating for Starmer: minus 18 per cent.
We all know the problem and we all know there is only one way to solve it:
It doesn’t matter what your Labour faction is; whether you’re a Blairite, a Corbyn supporter, a centrist, a Brownite, a Bennite or a Yvette Cooper fan, there is only one way to interpret this graph and only one solution to fix it.
He has to go and go soon. https://t.co/BaoTetBvWK
— Devutopia (@D_Raval) August 23, 2021
But no! Starmer is fighting back.
Not against the Conservatives. Not against the dire response to Covid-19. Not against the disaster that is Brexit. Not against political corruption. Not against the injustices that have been heaped upon working-class people over the last 11 years of imbecilic Tory blunderings.
No – Team Starmer supports all of that insanity.
Instead, it seems the plan is to fight back against Jeremy Corbyn, who was recently proved right in his 20-year opposition of UK troops going to war in Afghanistan – and against the “straw man” pretend version of anti-Semitism that Starmer’s right-wing supporters have created in order to expel good socialists from the party.
A report quoted below refers to comments by Starmer insiders, referring to Corbyn’s suspension from the party, reinstatement, and suspension from the Parliamentary party:
“We looked on that as a moment of strength, but it seems the public saw it as weakness because one minute he was suspended, then he wasn’t, then he was again,” one source reveals. “All people took away from it was the mess and vacillation.”
A senior shadow minister adds: “What scares the Tories more than anything is if we make it clear that the loonies aren’t part of us anymore. The problem we have is we are 15 months into Keir’s leadership and we’re still talking about Corbyn and anti-Semitism.”
But one influential figure points out that unless the former leader complies with Starmer’s demands, he simply won’t be a Labour candidate at the next election. Crucially, despite his big majority, they are convinced Corbyn will lose if he runs as an independent.
There are so many false assumptions here that the mind boggles at how these people managed to squirm their way into positions of influence.
Firstly: there is no reason to believe the public thought Labour had been indecisive about the problem of Jeremy Corbyn, because most people don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is the problem. The problem is the determination of the swivel-eyed right-wingers to demonise him.
Next: The Tories aren’t worried that people like the “senior shadow minister” will be able to demonstrate that “the loonies aren’t part of us anymore”. That will never happen – that person is one of the loonies. It is the right-wing purge of Labour Party members who have done no wrong that is insane.
Starmer does have a problem in the fact that Labour is still bogged down in its attempts to persecute Corbyn and its false-flag “anti-Semitism” attack on left-wingers. But that’s not going to stop because of anything they do; it is being perpetuated by Tories like the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Why would they stop making false claims that weaken Labour and make it unable to oppose the Tories that they support?
This is the only explanation of the current situation that makes any sense at all.
As for whether Corbyn would fail to win an election as an independent – it’s a valid argument. No former Labour MP who has stood as an independent in recent history has got anywhere.
But Corbyn is not those people. They were all on the side of the Starmerites quoted above. And Corbyn’s popularity is demonstrable – he attracted rallies of tens of thousands of people as party leader while Starmer struggles to attract 10. They are making the critical mistake of comparing an apple with excrement.
Look at the comments attached to the quoted passage on Twitter. Solomon Hughes points out that “They think ‘we are not loonies’ is a winning message and have made a mess even of that.” Yes – because their actions scream the opposite.
And Aaron Bastani – himself demonised in some quarters – points out that denying Corbyn his Labour candidacy would simply “undermine” any campaign.
In politics there are enough problems without intentionally creating new ones.
Idea Labour would fight next GE – & a major talking point is the former leader is not allowed to run as a candidate – would massively undermine any campaign.
Team Starmer = premier league idiocy. https://t.co/ze2GZKi8Z5
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) August 23, 2021
Starmer can’t even inspire hatred. His critics are simply sad that he has failed so monumentally.
Sad thing about Starmer, he could've kept 90% of 2017/19 manifesto, stood up to the Tories, hired a balanced cabinet, emboldened the membership, shown some backbone & he'd be on 45%+ by now. But he chose to listen to Mandelson instead, & is now dooming us to 5 more yrs of Tories.
— Matt Thomas (@Trickyjabs) August 23, 2021
… except where it comes to the witch-hunt. That has blood boiling – and rightly so.
Among the latest people to face false – let me reiterate it strongly: false – accusation is Pamela Fitzpatrick, a former applicant to succeed Jennie Formby as Labour’s General Secretary (Starmer appointed David Evans to the job and has yet to gain the approval of the party-at-large for the decision. Their record of persecution against large swathes of the membership suggests that this will now never happen).
She is facing auto-exclusion because she was interviewed by the proscribed organisation Socialist Appeal in May 2020 – more than a year before the decision was made to remove it and its members from any association with the party.
At that time, she had no reason to believe she was doing anything wrong. My understanding is that there was nothing in what she said that would justify penalties of any kind at all.
Absolutely sickening Stalinist behaviour from team Keith, team Paint, team resurrect Blair, team Mandy's back, or whatever they'll be called at the next relaunch. Whatever they are, it's unelectable, undemocratic & certainly not socialist.
Solidarity Pam. https://t.co/VwwdvENBeN
— Damien Willey (@Cornish_Damo) August 23, 2021
Being threatened for expulsion from Labour for giving an interview to an organisation over a year *before* it was banned, seriously?
This is the sort of thing the Soviet Union did under Stalin. Not a peep from the media that country’s main opposition party is doing it too. https://t.co/kWh1q5D1L8
— Devutopia (@D_Raval) August 23, 2021
The following response to Ms Fitzpatrick, by John McDonnell, and the appeal by Council Estate Media’s RD Hale, is a glaring sign of the times.
For God's sake, John, start a new party. You will have 100k members overnight.
— RD Hale (@RD_HaIe) August 23, 2021
It’s true. A new left-wing political organisation fronted by Corbyn and McDonnell would eclipse StarmerLabour humiliatingly, from startup.
But this is a battle for the soul of the Labour Party and – whether misguided or not – McDonnell and the other socialist Labour MPs have planted their flag there.
Others have also put their heads above the parapet:
I cannot see how expelling members for being 'guilty by association' in any way makes Labour more electable. Just look at the popularity of the 2017 election manifesto, imagine it without the PLP/media attacking the leadership and imagine what where we could be as a party.
— Jennie Formby (@Jennieformby1) August 23, 2021
Personally, I would take Ms Formby’s words more seriously if she had not presided over such “guilt by association” expulsions herself, while she was General Secretary. One of the false accusations against me followed that pattern. I pointed this out to her in correspondence but she never bothered to reply.
That said, the point she makes is valid.
We established during my NCC hearing that the reason Labour expelled me had nothing to do with its fabricated anti-Semitism claims; it was because I am a journalist who had criticised Labour policy fairly and accurately while being a party member.
It seems fairness is forbidden in Starmer’s right-wing party.
Tom London identifies the rot:
"Somebody must have made a false accusation against Josef K., for he was arrested one morning without having done anything wrong" – Kafka, The Trial
Something KAFKAESQUE is happening inside Starmer's Labour Party
Many facing expulsions without reasons, evidence or due process
— Tom London (@TomLondon6) August 23, 2021
This brings us to This Writer’s brother.
Yes, BeastRabban is under investigation; he received the letter last week. The accusations are risible; it seems he is being persecuted because he wrote an article discussing comments by Tony Greenstein (a Jew who has long since been thrown out of the party). Guilt by association, again.
Leftworks, below, discusses one of the comments for which the Beast stands accused in detail, but the others are well worth examination too:
Just as a matter of interest: one of the charges against David Sivier is this. Apparently this is the quality of evidence that anonymous accusers have levelled against him. Seriously, this is part of the case against him. Someone actually wrote this charge down.@MidWalesMike pic.twitter.com/PYYoJTF0fy
— leftworks #WeAreCorbyn #IStandWithCraigMurray (@leftworks1) August 23, 2021
Yes indeed. The phrase “Two Jews, three opinions” is actually the title of a collection of quotations by American Jews, compiled by Sandee Brawarsky, arts and culture editor of Jewish Week, and Deborah Mark.
The use of the other quotations in Labour’s accusation suggest that the party now considers any criticism of Zionism as it is practised by the Israeli government, and/or that government itself, is unacceptable – no matter what is done in their name.
Does that seem reasonable to you?
Also considered beyond the pale is the claim that people who hold entirely reasonable opinions that are critical of Israel are being vilified, harassed and purged as racists and anti-Semites – despite the fact that the accusations against BeastRabban are an example of exactly such vilification and harassment – and that he faces being purged because of them.
What next from the @UKLabour – expelled for reading the Morning Star and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist 😳😳😳😳
— SUSAN SIMPSON #NeverTrustaTory (@smartysue) August 23, 2021
It is this unreasonable – fascist – persecution of perfectly good Labour members on unreasonable grounds that marks out Starmer’s supporters such as those quoted above as the very kind of “loonies” they claim to oppose.
And it is Starmer’s own endorsement of the opinions taken by these supporters that has pitched him over the cliff-edge of public opinion and into the void.
He’ll never get out and Labour will never win an election with him at the helm. He’ll steer the party unerringly (dare I say forensically?) into oblivion.
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The change of subject (to Sturgeon and Johnson) following the main article is a bit abrupt. Looks like there’s a missing title or header at that point.
That’s because it was a mistake. Corrected now! – thanks.