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Polls open for by-election Labour should win – but will probably lose. Here’s the reason

Keir Starmer: the name on the ballot paper may be Kim Leadbeater but the Batley & Spen by-election is a referendum on his leadership of the Labour Party – and he’s going to find that a suit, a haircut and a flag are no substitute for genuine socialist policies. That means he’s in trouble because he HATES socialism.

Voters are filing into polling booths in Batley and Spen to choose their latest MP, after Labour’s Tracy Brabin quit to become a metropolitan mayor.

Will Labour retain the seat with new candidate Kim Leadbeater, sister of murdered former MP Jo Cox? Probably not.

Why not? Here’s one reason:

She doesn’t have any policies and won’t even think about them until after she is elected – if she is.

This means Labour voters don’t know what they’re getting.

It’s Keir Starmer’s malaise, over again. If he was a serious – Labour – politician then he would have come out with serious Labour policies, and stuck with them, from the moment he announced his candidacy for the party’s leadership. He didn’t.

He pretended to support policies put forward by former leader Jeremy Corbyn and then ditched them immediately after his new position was secured. Now, more than a year later, he still stands for nothing other than power for his own sake.

We should hope that Ms Leadbeater’s experience today will show him exactly where that policy – because having no policies is a policy – leads.

Oh, there will be tribal Labour voters who’ll support a shaved monkey if it has a party logo with a red rose next to its name on the ballot paper, sure.

But the right-whingers who have been in charge since the mid-1990s (they are the reason Corbyn failed) haven’t realised they can no longer rely on this vote being large enough to carry their shaved monkey through.

Starmer’s lack of any alternatives to Tory policy makes a very clear message: he supports Tory policy.

Leadbeater’s own words put her in the same position: she says there’s “no magic money tree” – a Tory phrase, and a Tory lie, because they’ve been raiding it like bandits throughout the Covid crisis.

(For those coming late to this party: all the money used to get the UK through the pandemic was created – not borrowed – by the Conservative government, specifically for that purpose. As such, we should all bear in mind that there is no debt to be repaid.)

So traditional Labour voters are faced with a choice between the Conservative, Tory-lite Leadbeater, George Galloway, or one of 13 also-rans.

My bet is that most of them will stay at home and the Tory will romp to victory. Starmer will then blame Jeremy Corbyn – but we’ll all know the truth.

And the Labour leader’s days in power will be numbered.

He may well claim he’s in a four-year project to install a Labour government but he will never achieve that goal.

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Labour suffers worst by-election result in party’s history. Will Starmer accept the blame?

What will be the excuse this time? Whatever Starmer says, the facts are clear: he has led Labour to its worst by-election result EVER. The party is on course for destruction under his leadership. If he stays, we’ll know that is what he wants.

Don’t think for a moment that the Liberal Democrats are on the rise again.

Ed Davey’s claim that his party’s victory in the Chesham and Amersham by-election means his party is now the main threat to the Tories in many areas is nothing but hot air.

No – the main shock of the by-election (triggered by the death of Tory Cheryl Gillan) is the collapse of support for the Labour Party under Keir Starmer.

Labour scraped together just 622 votes – that’s just 1.6 per cent of the votes cast, meaning the party even lost the £500 deposit it paid to take part.

It is the worst by-election result in Labour’s 121-year history.

Yes, turnout was lower than at a general election; yes, there may have been tactical voting to remove the Conservatives; and yes – Labour has never been in a position to win this particular Parliamentary seat.

But in general elections with turnout twice as high, Labour has historically won around 7,000-8,000 votes, with the 11,374 it received under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in 2017 its best result of all.

Once again, claims that Labour would do better with any leader other than Corbyn are destroyed.

And once again, Starmer will be looking to his Big Book of Excuses for a way to explain why he is dragging a once-great socialist party down to ruin in a mire of sub-Tory neoliberalism, focus group psychobabble and flag-waving.

Once again we see that the British public wants genuine, traditional (pre-Blair) policies and won’t be fooled by sharp haircuts, sharp suits, and vague announcements.

Labour is now in crisis. If Starmer continues as leader, he could drag the party down to destruction.

Source: Chesham and Amersham: Lib Dems overturn big Tory majority in by-election upset – BBC News

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Starmer silent after Hartlepool calamity. He knows he should resign but will he go?

Are you sitting uncomfortably? Keir Starmer’s relationship to the Labour leader has become akin to that of a squatter in an abandoned house after the loss of Hartlepool in yesterday’s by-election.

I honestly don’t know if Keir Starmer has failed dramatically, or actually achieved his goal.

As leader of the Opposition, his party’s loss in Hartlepool is devastating. A constituency that has been a Labour stronghold since it was created in 1974 has passed to the Conservatives. It means no Labour seat is safe from the Tories.

But many critics have suggested that Starmer’s job as a right-wing Labour leader has been to ensure that – at a time when the Conservatives are burdened with a corrupt and incapable leader, the consequences of failed Brexit and Covid policies, and rampant cronyism – Labour still cannot win an election.

If the latter is true, then he has succeeded monumentally.

Any sincere Labour leader would see that his time is up; his policies have failed and it is time to go.

But Starmer was silent when he left his house today (May 7). Maybe it is too soon to make official announcements (although Corbyn was prompt enough after the 2019 general election result).

He had claimed he would “carry the can” if the result was poor – but This Writer fears it is more likely that he will try to pass the buck instead.

Already Peter Mandelson has tried to blame the disaster on what he called “the two Cs – Covid and Corbyn”.

Many people consider him to be a certain kind of C, too.

His comment is reminiscent of the claims made by the Tory government many times since they took office in 2010, whenever they have been criticised over a policy failure – that the fault lay with the previous Labour administration.

The facts betray the lie in both cases. Here, it is more than a year since Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party. Starmer had himself elected as a “continuity Corbyn” candidate, sure – but he subsequently dumped every single policy promise he made, replacing them with nothing.

As a result, voters were left with no idea what StarmerLabour represents – and it seems to me that this is what has put people off, more than the shadow of the previous leader.

As former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said, “You cannot go into an election without any policy programme, without explaining what sort of society you want. You can’t send candidates out there naked without policies to advocate.”

But that’s what Starmer did. There is also the question of whether he foisted an unwanted candidate on Hartlepool’s Labour party by interfering with the selection process (as suggested in certain parts of the social media).

Even right-wing Shadow Culture Minister Alison McGovern has implied that voters don’t consider Labour to be a viable alternative to a one-party state run by the Conservatives.

She said: “There are lots of people who will have voted Conservative with a heavy heart – who want there to be an alternative,” implying that people don’t see Labour as an alternative any more. And who can deny this after a year of Starmer supporting one Tory policy after another?

“The way to do that is to offer people a set of policies that give them hope for the future, [hope] that we don’t live in a one-party Tory state, that things can be better and different,” she added, implying that people think we do live in a one-party Tory state, and that Starmer’s leadership of Labour has turned it into a pale-blue imitation of the Tories that provides no alternative but merely shores up the corrupt Johnson government.

The most risible comment so far came from hard-right “Labour First” activist Luke Akehurst, who managed to get himself onto Labour’s National Executive Committee under Starmer. He said Labour needs to make sure it is relevant and talking about issues that big swathes of the electorate care about – which is hilarious considering the way his wing of the party has diligently steered it away from those issues.

Apparently the left-wing Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs is planning to demand radical reform of the party, possibly including a shift to a federal structure in England, with cities and regions having their own leaders who then exert influence over the Westminster leader.

This would de-centralise power, ensuring that Starmer could not force right-wing, un-Labour policies on the wider party membership. That would have the advantage of ensuring that Labour had a strong direction – if the local leaders could agree a policy position with party HQ.

But it also runs the risk of fragmentation.

An alternative suggested by the BBC is that Labour could re-focus itself as the centre of a combined Opposition, allying with other parties like the Greens. This risks a watering-down of some policies, which is exactly the problem that many believe Starmer has created.

No matter what happens in the long term, the short-term problem can be summed up in two words: Keir Starmer.

He has to go. The longer he delays, the worse Labour’s plight – and that of the UK as a whole under Boris Johnson’s corrupt Tories – will become. And this brings us back to the big question: is that what Starmer wants?

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‘Lost control’ of Covid-19? When did Tory ministers have any control over the virus?

Rampant: the Covid-19 virus is once again on the loose across the UK because the Tories haven’t just lost control; they’ve deliberately thrown it away.

Let’s be honest: Covid-19 infections in the UK are skyrocketing again and there’s nothing the Tory government can do about it.

Monday (September 7) was the second day running that nearly 3,000 new infections were recorded – and remember, that’s only among people who have been tested and the number of tests available are limited. Allow me to demonstrate:

Professor Gabriel Scally, a member of the Independent Sage group and a former NHS regional director of public health for the south-west, reckons that government ministers have “lost control of the virus”.

“It’s no longer small outbreaks they can stamp on,” he told The Guardian. “It’s become endemic in our poorest communities and this is the result. It’s extraordinarily worrying when schools are opening and universities are going to be going back.”

But it should be obvious that the Tories haven’t got any control at all.

They might have had some when the lockdown was in force but those days are long gone. It seems increasingly likely that lockdown was only imposed to keep on the right side of public opinion and the real plan was “herd immunity”.

This is the idea that if enough of us develop antibodies to the disease, its effect will be negligible. But “herd immunity” requires a majority of the population to be vaccinated against a disease and there is no vaccine.

Allowing a majority to become infected merely increases the likelihood of unnecessary deaths.

The number of infections started rising as soon as the first lockdown relaxations happened and it seems to This Writer that the exponential rise now may be partially due to schools returning…

Sickness Secretary Matt Hancock is trying to push responsibility for curbing the virus onto young people –

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1303062692471672832

– but it’s nothing to do with them and everything to do with him.

That’s because the situation is worse than I suggested in the headline.

Not only did the Tories not have control over Covid-19 infections – they have deliberately avoided it.

Source: Coronavirus: Ministers have ‘lost control of the virus’, says health expert following spike in cases | Independent

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‘Desperate’? Boris Johnson is clutching at straws as his party loses faith

Impotent rage: Boris Johnson is losing his grip on his party, as his incompetence as a leader becomes increasingly apparent.

Remember the old adage that repeating an action and expecting a different result is a sign of madness? It seems Boris Johnson hasn’t.

But then we already knew his grip on reality is tenuous at best.

The Observer is reporting that he is furious at the failure of his attempt to smear Labour leader Keir Starmer by connecting him with the IRA.

But rather than finding an alternative, he has instead reprimanded his advisers for leaving him under-prepared – and demanded more attack lines on Starmer, doubling down on criticism of his legal record.

It hasn’t worked; it won’t work.

Even where Starmer may be criticised, he knows those weaknesses and will have answers.

And of course Johnson will be laying himself open to analysis of his own past career – which consists of multiple claims of dishonesty and at least one high-profile sacking.

That won’t play well when he lays himself open to an airing of his faults at PMQs.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in the Conservative Party will be doing what they always do when they see a leader sinking; they’re sharpening their knives. Here’s The Observer:

There is evidence that the wider Tory party is losing faith in Johnson’s ability to lead them against Starmer – and signs that the chancellor Rishi Sunak has become the new favourite of the Conservative grassroots.

According to the latest survey of Tory members by ConservativeHome, the website for party activists, Johnson is now in the bottom third of cabinet ministers in the satisfaction ratings – having been the runaway leader nine months ago.

Johnson has slumped to 19th place, below Baroness Evans, the leader of the House of Lords, with a rating of plus 24.6%. Sunak meanwhile is out in front on plus 82.5%.

The verdict among the Twitterati is that Johnson is self-destructing:

You get the idea.

Who said Johnson would be gone by Christmas?

It seems likely he might be out a lot sooner.

Source: Desperate Boris Johnson to step up personal attacks on Keir Starmer | Politics | The Guardian

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Advisor who got Tories to buy useless PPE loses his unpaid position. Is that really enough?

Liz Truss: she slipped her buddy Andrew Mills £150 million for useless PPE, launching a huge corruption scandal in the process. Now the Tories have quietly dropped him from his position as an unpaid advisor to the Board of Trade.

Some might say it’s poetic justice that Andrew Mills, the man who advised Liz Truss to buy unusable face masks for the NHS, has lost his position as an advisor to the Board of Trade.

But what’s happened to all the money that she paid the firm he also (as it happens) advises, Ayanda Capital?

Was that repaid?

If not, then it seems the loss of his unpaid position – as part of a wider reshuffle and not even connected to the PPE scandal – is no punishment at all.

Source: Adviser in £150m PPE scandal is axed | News | The Times

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UK faces biggest health threat in decades after losing TEN THOUSAND NURSES because of Brexit

Boris Johnson really is the exact opposite of a genius, isn’t he?

He campaigned hard for Brexit, no matter what the consequences.

And now we see the consequences.

As the UK braces itself for the full force of a coronavirus crisis that Johnson appears to be doing nothing to prevent, we discover that the National Health Service has lost 10,000 nurses because of Brexit.

That’s the number of nurses the nation is understood to have lost because EU citizens have been discouraged from coming to the UK as a result of the Brexit decision.

And we were already dozens of thousands of nurses below-strength.

So we’re even more poorly-equipped to handle this crisis – as a result of Boris Johnson’s inverse genius – than we previously thought.

All of which shows that he’s the exact opposite of a leader as well.

But then, we can all see that perfectly clearly.

After all, where is he?

Source: NHS missing 10,000 nurses since Brexit as Europeans avoid moving to the UK – Mirror Online

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Was this the moment Boris Johnson ensured that LABOUR will win the election?

Boris Johnson: Is this how he looks when he realises he has said the wrong thing yet again?

Do you remember when Gordon Brown referred to “that bigoted woman” after talking to a voter in the run-up to the 2010 general election, having forgotten that he was wearing a microphone and it was switched on?

The recording – and his reaction when it was played back to him in a radio studio – went viral and may well have ensured that Labour lost that election. We ended up with a hung Parliament and the infamous “Con-Dem Coalition” of Tories and Liberal Democrats that created the conditions that are still harming the country – and killing members of its population – now.

Today, with concerns over NHS services and its possible privatisation – by his Conservative party, Boris Johnson was asked about Jack, the four-year-old boy with pneumonia who was photographed by his mother, sleeping on a hospital floor.

And he did this:

He didn’t even look at the image; just waffled around and tried to steal the phone it was on!

It’s actually worse than what Gordon Brown did, because Mr Johnson knew exactly what he was up to – and that he was being filmed doing it.

It tells us all what Mr Johnson was thinking: “Don’t show me somebody’s urchin when I’m trying to lie to you.”

If you think otherwise, consider his response when challenged about it later:

More evasion, waffle and lies.

The Tories aren’t putting the biggest-ever investment in the NHS. New Labour did that.

I wasn’t aware of any Bill going through Parliament before Labour let Mr Johnson have his election, to ensure NHS funding above inflation every year – and I’m pretty sure it would not have been blocked by MPs. And there’s no need for an Act of Parliament to increase NHS funding.

(Oh, and Brexit won’t get done because it’s a years-long process, and the Tories won’t invest massively in our public services because they’re in negotiations with Donald Trump, trying to sell the lot to US companies.)

A commenter on This Site’s Facebook page had a better grasp of the situation: ‘You have heard of “Elf on a Shelf” well this is “Poor on the Floor” – vote Conservative to create many more stories like this, and maybe a “Boris Bonus” where children actually die.’

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was in Bristol, where he had been greeted by an unfathomable number of supporters who heard him discuss Mr Johnson’s latest foot-in-mouth moment:

Who would you trust to make the NHS able to provide proper treatment for Jack, every time?

It’s got to be Corbyn and Labour.

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Will Jeremy Corbyn really step down as leader if Labour loses a general election?

Jeremy Corbyn: He’ll win the next election or quit as Labour leader, according to the shadow chancellor in a new interview.

The Independent is running a disturbing report that claims Jeremy Corbyn will quit as Labour leader if the party loses at the expected general election later this year.

The claim is from an interview between former New Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell and shadow chancellor John McDonnell, in GQ magazine.

Mr McDonnell is quoted as follows, after being asked if Mr Corbyn would “stay on”: “I can’t see so. What we’d do is as the tradition, which is have an election for a new leader.”

He added: “I think it is the same for my own personal position.”

This is unfortunate as it gives every troublemaker in the UK a reason to campaign hard against Labour – to end the hope of a government that serves the majority, rather than a greedy few.

This Writer certainly expects Mr Campbell to try to capitalise on this as, being a staunch ally of the neoliberal Blairite project, he’ll want to see the reinstallation of an anonymous suit as Labour leader with a brief to make it as close to the Conservative Party as possible, in order to deny us any real choice in a general election.

The Liberal Democrats and the Tories, under the unspeakable Jo Swinson and the abominable Boris Johnson, will be much worse.

The forthcoming election is therefore shaping up to be a battle for the soul of the nation.

Will Mr Corbyn’s supporters fight to win?

Or do we hand the United Kingdom to the forces of darkness?

Source: Corbyn to step down as leader if Labour doesn’t win general election, McDonnell says | The Independent

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Labour vows to help women affected by pension age changes after court lets them down

The Labour Party it will do what it can to compensate the so-called ‘WASPI’ protesters – Women Against State Pension Inequality – after the High Court ruled that the government had not discriminated against them on grounds of age and/or sex.

The government has implemented changes to the pension age for women, in order to equalise it with that for men, in a move that affected nearly four million women who were born in the 1950s – some became homeless as a result and many became suicidal.

They said not enough was done to publicise the changes and to ensure that those affected would be ready.

The UN committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has said the rise in the pension age has added to “poverty, homelessness and financial hardship among the affected women”.

“The 1950s women helped build Britain and were let down by the government’s pension changes. They will understandably be very disappointed by today’s finding,” said shadow pensions minister Jack Dromey.

“Labour has already made commitments to support women affected, including by extending Pension Credit to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable women. We will consult further with the 1950s women affected as to what future support we can put in place once in government to help ensure that all these women have security and dignity in older age.”

Michael Mansfield QC, representing the women affected, added: “They have pushed women who were already disadvantaged into the lowest class you can imagine.

“They’re on the brink of survival, and I’m not overstating that. This group – especially the percentage of the group affected born in 1953 onwards – are increasingly having taken away from them four to six years’ worth of state pension. We’re dealing with very serious sums: £37,000 to £47,000. I think any citizen would be concerned by that withdrawal.”

In a summary of the court’s decision, Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple said their hands were tied: “The court was saddened by the stories contained in the claimants’ evidence. But the court’s role was limited. There was no basis for concluding that the policy choices reflected in the legislation were not open to government. In any event they were approved by Parliament.

“The wider issues raised by the claimants about whether the choices were right or wrong or good or bad were not for the court. They were for members of the public and their elected representatives.”

In fact, it seems the only person happy about the verdict was Boris Johnsons spokesperson, who crowed that it has “always been our view” the changes made were “entirely lawful and did not discriminate on any grounds”.

“Government decided in 1995 it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality,” the spokesperson said. “Today the court recognised the extensive communications that the Department for Work and Pensions made to publicise these changes over many years.”

Did it?

It seems clear that there’s only one way these pensioners are going to get compensation for this decision – made by a Tory government in 1995 and implemented by a Tory government in 2010:

Elect a Labour government.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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