This is one of the rare occasions when This Writer actually feels sympathy for Laura Bloody Kuenssberg.
The Bane of BBC News must have needed a disinfecting shower after Labour non-leader ‘Little Keir’ Starmer opened his mouth and ejaculated a stream of pure bullsh*t over her, as appears to have happened today (September 28).
She has faithfully transcribed the incident in a BBC report that we can analyse. Prepare to be sickened.
The headline reads: “Winning election more important than unity, says Sir Keir Starmer.” What an odd thing to say when no UK political party has ever won an election if the public perceived it to be divided.
In the text of the article he explained that he came into politics “to go into government to change millions of lives” – but that is clearly not going to happen. He has spent the whole of the Labour conference positioning himself as ‘Continuity Johnson’ – a ‘safe’ pair of hands for the Establishment (whoever that is) to hand the government, on the strict understanding that he won’t change anything at all.
He’ll never change millions of lives – unless he can find ways to make them even worse than the Tories have.
He said he didn’t come into politics to “lose and then tweet about it”.
Fair comment. After he lost at Chesham and Amersham, Starmer didn’t tweet about it, despite having tweeted regularly, up until polling day on June 17:
It’s polling day in the Chesham and Amersham by-election. Best of luck to @natasapantelic5!
Natasa has run a really positive campaign and would make a brilliant MP. #VoteLabour
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) June 17, 2021
Afterwards – nothing. If you lose an election in Keir Starmer’s Labour, he won’t acknowledge your efforts or those of everybody who came to help you; it will be as though you never existed.
That’s the kind of leader he is: the kind whose only interest is his own image. The kind that nobody wants.
Kuenssberg’s article goes on to say that Starmer called on “every single Labour Party member and supporter” to have the same focus on the ballot box as he did.
In other words: your principles mean nothing – abandon them. All that matters is that Keir Starmer wins and takes power for himself.
I don’t think that’s a stance that Labour Party members will accept. Not those who joined to make the UK better, at least. His privileged, parachuted-in, right-wing cronies will be all for it, of course.
But most Labour members do have principles. They joined because they thought the party stood for something.
Over the 18 months of his non-leadership, Starmer has stripped away Labour’s policies until there was nothing left. He then spent the last few days at conference offering a new set of policies that were either dismissible as outright lies or unacceptable to anybody who holds the ideals for which Labour was originally formed.
Explaining his thinking, Starmer said: “Two years ago we were here in Brighton at Labour party conference and within a few short months we’d crashed to the worst general election results since 1935. I am not prepared to let that happen and if that means tough decisions to change our party, which is what I did on Sunday, I am going to take those tough decisions.”
How disingenuous. Starmer knows that Labour lost in 2019 because right-wing factionalists within the party had spent the previous two years undermining previous leader Jeremy Corbyn, in terror at how close the UK had come to having a transformative, socialist Labour government in 2017.
Starmer himself spent the early part of his term as leader protecting those people from scrutiny and presenting the most feeble excuses possible for doing so (think of the lawsuit brought by the former party officers who took part in the BBC’s Panorama non-documentary, Is Labour Antisemitic; advised that he would win, Starmer instead paid off the litigants at huge cost to party members).
This Writer is not the only person who can see what he has done. We all can. Most of us were disgusted by this failure of leadership. And here he was, defending it. Weak.
Kuenssberg wrote: “He was … asked why he did not seem to inspire Labour members in the same way his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn did.”
I have scanned the article thoroughly, but could not find any answer to the question, anywhere in it. Starmer evaded the question completely. Perhaps he knows that he will never inspire Labour members – and certainly not voters – in the way Corbyn did.
So he avoided answering. I think he knows that he will get his response at the ballot box – if he even gets that far.
Because Starmer’s continued leadership of the Labour Party is by no means a foregone conclusion. He was elected on the basis of 10 pledges – all of which he subsequently abandoned.
“The world has changed since they were made,” he pleaded. Not very much!
“I stand by the principles and the values that are behind the pledges I made.” That is only believable if we take those principles and values to be treachery and dishonesty.
“But the most important pledge I made is that I would turn our party into a party that would be fit for government.” And that is yet another pledge broken.
If Starmer became leader in the role of a doctor, come to heal the ailments that have led voters to consider Labour unfit, then his subsequent actions are equivalent to breaking the patient’s arms and legs, blinding them, injecting them with acid and unplugging their life-support machine.
This Writer feels defiled, simply reading the article and writing about it afterwards. There is something inherently unpleasant about Starmer and his approach to politics.
I remember with distaste the way he cold-shouldered a party activist who wanted to discuss how Labour would tackle climate change. Faced with the result of a conference vote that fully-endorsed the activist’s views, his lieutenant Rachel Reeves then adopted much of what had already been approved, as if it had been the party leadership’s idea.
How does he think he can win?
If he’s honest with himself, I think he’s relying on the claim – over-employed by his adherents – that there simply isn’t any other choice. “If you don’t support Starmer, you’re supporting the Tories,” they lie.
The reason is as described above: Starmer is “Continuity Johnson”. And there is no point in replacing the Tories with a party that is exactly the same – or, in Starmer’s case, very slightly worse.
After this week’s conference, Labour members across the UK will be taking a long, hard look at the party they joined, and asking themselves if it measures up to their standards.
You see, UK politics is too often characterised as tribal – join our tribe, support our tribe; you have no other choice.
That’s not acceptable now; not when the two main tribes are as close to the same as makes no real difference.
It is time for us all to compare what the UK’s political parties – all of them – have to offer us with what we actually want.
If they won’t offer it, then we need to walk away…
,,, and start a movement of our own that does.
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