Keir Starmer’s ultimatum to Labour left-wingers is a double-edged sword

He probably thought he was being clever.

But Keir Starmer’s assertion that anyone who doesn’t like what he has done to the Labour Party can leave is dangerous for him, as well as for them.

Here’s what he said:

Firstly, it’s clear that he was lying. Labour hasn’t stopped being a party of “narrow interests” – it has become one.

As Damian Willey tweeted: “Political pygmy tells anyone not subscribing to his narrow political viewpoint to do one, thereby making it a party for narrow mindedness.”

Others feel the same:

The problem is that Starmer issued his ultimatum after making a speech about the Equality and Human Rights Commission supporting changes he has made to the party’s process of handling complaints of anti-Semitism.

If anybody leaves his party in disgust at policies that have made Labour virtually indistinguishable from the Conservatives, he’ll be able to claim that they are anti-Semites. Yes, I really do think he is that low.

And the irony is that Labour under Keir Starmer is more anti-Semitic than ever it was under Jeremy Corbyn – or any other leader, I would dare to suggest.

Just because some party representatives say it is better, that doesn’t mean it is, Consider:

For the sake of accuracy, let’s have the official line from the House of Commons Library:

In fact, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, anti-Semitism plummeted to a lower point, in the Labour Party, than in any other UK political organisation or the population generally.

Under Keir Starmer, however, Jewish people are five times more likely to face disciplinary proceedings and possible expulsion than non-Jews – especially if they are left-wingers.

And what is the official Labour line on this? It runs as follows: “If you don’t like it, tough.”


Notice that Smeeth provides not one scrap of evidence to support her claims against Jewish Voice for Labour.

And this leads me on to the reason Starmer’s ultimatum is a double-edged sword for him, as well as for left-wingers and socialists who might leave the party.

He made it while trumpeting the EHRC’s support for what he has done – but anybody taking the opportunity to leave the party has only to turn his words back on him.

All they have to do is point out that anti-Semitism within the Labour Party is higher now than at any time under Jeremy Corbyn, pointing at the persecution of Jewish members and the words of Ruth Smeeth (or Lady Anderson, or whatever she wants to call herself). They can denounce the EHRC’s comments as a sham while they’re at it.

Starmer’s gamble is the usual one: he thinks that left-wingers don’t have anywhere to go other than Labour. That’s not true either.

They could go to the Green Party, as many already have. Or they could (finally!) form a party of their own. It would admittedly take a while to gain traction with voters, but if it led to yet another defeat for Labour in 2025, then socialists would be able to blame Starmer and his followers for perverting that party into something it should never have been.

My personal opinion is that Labour probably won’t lose the next general election, even under the leadership of such an inept would-be dictator as Starmer undoubtedly is. It just won’t win by the massive margin that so many pundits are expecting.

And even then his troubles will be only just beginning, because we’ll be able to criticise every right-wing, harmful-to-the-people, decision he makes.

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5 thoughts on “Keir Starmer’s ultimatum to Labour left-wingers is a double-edged sword

  1. El Dee

    This is basically, ‘who else can you vote for?’ Labour behaved appallingly at Holyrood and threw this challenge to Scottish voters. The voters moved across to SNP and haven’t come back.

    This SHOULD all have been settled decades ago when the right wing left to form the SDP. But they were unsuccessful at the ballot box and eventually joined forces with the Liberals. So it’s tried and tested and found to be a failure, people don’t want their policies as they’re too right wing for Labour voters and too ‘wet’ for the Tories. The only way they can get into office is by entryism into Labour to use the Labour ‘brand’ to ensure that ordinary working voters will vote for them because, ‘who else CAN you vote for?’

    I predict people in England will become as sick of Labour (as it is now) as the people of Scotland and, when it happens, it will appear to have happened overnight. But it won’t have. Most people voting Labour are voting for them tactically ie because there’s no one else they can vote for. When the Greens become even halfway credible then this could be the end of Labour in the UK. Although I feel sad about this they have effectively been dead for years already..

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Well put. I think the Green Party is increasingly credible – look at its success in Bristol.

  2. Tony

    People need to get out there and demonstrate whenever he and his supporters turn up.

    Such demonstrations can be very small but they can still inflict a lot of damage by asking questions and helping to put him on the spot.
    Our goal is clear: To bring him down and to show that he is not an electoral asset for the Labour Party.

    Labour’s big lead in the polls now is not really due to Starmer, it is due to Liz Truss.

  3. Tony

    It would be wrong to just give in. That is what Starmer wants.

    The only thing that is likely to have an impact on Starmer would be considerations of cost.

Comments are closed.