We all knew Keir Starmer was a Blairite, didn’t we?
His closeness with Peter Mandelson should have been a big hint (Mandelson was as much an architect of Blairism as Blair was). Also the way Starmer jettisoned every Corbyn policy after he became Labour leader, to be replaced by aimless, amorphous, focus-group-led attempts to follow any trend that might seem popular at the time.
Now Starmer has made it explicit with an article in the Financial Times (paywall) in which he asks voters to embrace the legacy of pale-Tory warmonger Tony Blair so that he can win a general election.
That’s what it is about. It isn’t about doing anything to help UK citizens in genuine need; Starmer wants to win an election and he thinks he can do it by invoking the memory of Blair.
He’s very far off-target and is heading for yet another humiliation.
And he gave himself away by saying, “We have to turn the Labour Party inside-out.” It is a clear statement: he wants to eviscerate Labour – gutting it of every socialist member and policy – in order to make it acceptable to the ruling businesspeople and to Tories who get fed up with Boris Johnson.
Traditional Labour voters take note – and avoid Starmer’s party like the Plague until he is long gone, along with all his successors.
He said he had just one goal: “To win the next election.” Coupled with his comments about eviscerating the party he leads, we can only conclude that this is for his own glory and not for the benefit of anybody else. We already have a prime minister like that in Boris Johnson. We don’t want another!
And he relied on boring old Blairite “let’s-silence-the-lefties” arguments like the one about Labour being serious about winning power, rather than just protesting, and the one saying the party must “get real”, drop internal disputes over policy and follow his
Not on your nelly, mate!
Labour got closer to winning power in 2017, under Jeremy Corbyn, than at any time since 2005. But this prompted Blairites in the party’s organisational structure – people who support Starmer’s comments in the FT – to panic because they did not want the wider public to believe that a socialist could ever gain power.
Having worked hard to ensure a Conservative – yes, these so-called Labour members had deliberately sabotaged their own party to make sure the Conservatives won – they redoubled their efforts in the two years leading up to the 2019 general election, with multiple attacks on Corbyn’s credibility and attempts to undermine his policies and supporters.
So it is hypocritical of Starmer to demand that left-wingers are responsible for disharmony within his party. It is his own Blairites that have been stirring up trouble since 2015!
As for that tired old “party of protest” argument: Labour would have won in 2017 if Starmer’s supporters hadn’t spent so much time protesting against Corbyn.
He told the FT that his keynote speech at this autumn’s Labour conference will be a “big moment” because it will signify a major relaunch for the party and for his leadership. Yes, another one.
And we learn now that he’s claiming it will be a shift towards “positivity” and away from a negativity that he claims was a hallmark of the Corbyn years.
That is the worst kind of gaslighting.
If we’ve learned anything from the last few years, it is that Corbyn’s leadership of Labour was a huge positive force. That’s why he was able to encourage hundreds of thousands of people to join the party. It’s why he fixed the party’s finances that Starmer’s idol Blair had ruined. And it’s the reason Corbyn was able to address rallies numbering in their tens of thousands of people.
Starmer himself is lucky if he can speak to 10 people when he appears in public. He has turned more than 100,000 people away from the party. And it is one paycheque away from bankruptcy, thanks to his appalling financial mismanagement.
Couple that with the constant sniping and backstabbing against socialists by Starmer’s coterie of Blairites and it is clear to see that there is only one way Starmer will be able to rid Labour of the negativity that he reckons is stifling it.
That will be for him and all his nasty Blairite minions to leave Labour forever.
Until that happens, Labour members and supporters can forget about winning elections. They can forget about transforming the country. And they can forget about improving the prospects of everybody in the UK. That’s not what Starmer is about.
His purpose – as made clear by anybody who can read between the lines of his FT piece – is not to “rock the boat”; to make sure that the current status quo prevails into the future.
That is why he is sitting at the top of the Labour Party, long after it became clear that he is a millstone, dragging the party’s electoral chances down into the mire.
It is the reason we are having to suffer relaunch after reinvention when what we need is Starmer’s resignation.
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