Tag Archives: Rayner

Starmer ‘rule breach’ looks like Tory mud-slinging ahead of local vote

Keir and the beer: but isn’t the real question what the person who took the image thought they were doing? VoyeurGate, anybody?

Did Keir Starmer have a bottle of beer in a Durham MP’s constituency office last year?

Yes.

Was it against the rules at the time?

Probably not. There isn’t really enough information to be sure.

Skwawkbox has provided a handy list of the rules here – and that site considers Starmer to have broken the rules.

But the BBC takes a more nuanced view.

Labour itself says Starmer was at the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy for an online event ahead of the Hartlepool by-election – a neighbouring constituency. As pubs were closed, getting take-out food was the logical course of action.

Rules in force at the time said people should work from home if they could. It could be argued that this was an occasion in which working from home was not possible – and there was an exemption for “work purposes”. There were no specific rules for meals at work events or for socialising at them.

Durham police have investigated and said they were satisfied that no rules were broken.

That wasn’t enough for North West Durham Tory MP Richard Holden. He argued that “this location was not the usual workplace” of Sir Keir, and there was “no necessity” for him to attend the event.

Really? If it was billed as an online rally with Keir Starmer and Mary Foy, then it was probably reasonable for him to attend, and if it was organised by Ms Foy’s constituency party, then it was probably reasonable for him to attend it there.

And now there’s a question about Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner attending – which, again, is probably neither here nor there, considering the restrictions described above.

So on balance, This Site tends to agree (for possibly the first time!) with Starmer: “We’re a few days away from local elections, and Conservative MPs are trying to throw as much mud as possible.”

There isn’t any correspondence with the so-called Partygate scandal because the Downing Street gatherings were social events. Boris Johnson was fined for attending a party, not a work event.

So this issue is nothing more than a distraction – and a shot in the foot for the Tories.

That’s because, by concentrating on alleged lockdown rule-breaking, the Tories are focusing attention on their own wrongdoing more than anybody else’s. Their prime minister has been caught breaking those rules; Starmer is only accused.

And the simple there are far worse failings in Keir Starmer’s Labour Party that the Tories could be exploiting.

What surprises This Writer is that either party is anywhere at all in the polls. Other political organisations should be walking all over them while they squabble about this.

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Is this the new Tory energy policy – going cap in hand to tyrants?

Begging bowl already loaded: this is actually a stock shot to illustrate Boris Johnson’s junket around the world, trying to chum up with foreign dictators in return for cheap oil. But what does he have to offer in return?

Boris Johnson’s decision to traipse around the world’s dictators with his begging bowl in hand has been mocked harshly by MPs in the UK’s Parliament.

He is currently in Saudi Arabia to sign a business deal with the government there, days after it carried out the largest mass execution of civilians in modern history – 81 people including seven people from neighbouring Yemen, with whom the Saudis are at war.

Called out over it by Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner during (Deputy) Prime Minister’s Questions, Dominic Raab had no answer other than a complete non-sequitur about the Salisbury Poisoning of 2018 and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He was upbraided by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle for harking back to the past,

And his claim wasn’t even accurate!

None of his bluster cut any ice with MPs, though – as a subsequent question by Alistair Carmichael showed:

And it struck a jarring contrast with Raab’s own words about the “despotic regime” in Iran that has just released Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after six years.

After Ms Rayner welcomed the development – and asked for an inquiry to determine whether Johnson’s “lazy words” in 2018 had lengthened her prison term, Raab suggested she should not give “succour” to Iran:

What an odd thing to suggest about a dictatorship that only released her because his government had finally paid a decades-old £400 million debt in order to gain access to that “despotic regime” and its oil!

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Starmer Labour’s lurch to the right gets eviscerated on live TV

Taking the knee: Starmer and Rayner claimed it was in solidarity with victims of racist prejudice but it seems more likely they were going to follow up the gesture by drawing weapons and taking aim at the same victims.

I wonder how all those new, allegedly-genuine, Labour members feel about the policies and viewpoints they claim to adore being dissected and destroyed on live TV?

That’s what happened on Monday (February 21) on the BBC’s Politics Live. We can go through the content in a moment but let’s hear it first:

First up: Angela Rayner’s support for the murder of people accused of terrorism.

In fairness, her comment was, “Shoot terrorists and ask questions later.” It suggests she means genuine terrorists deserve to be shot, rather than people like Jean Charles de Menezes who was wrongly identified as a suspect by the Metropolitan Police – who shot him anyway.

But how do you identify who is a genuine terrorist and who is innocent – especially in an emergency?

That’s why Rayner’s comment was so dangerous, and why people like Sonali Bhattacharyya are right to be scandalised by her advocacy of it. She claimed to be “soft left” but seems to be more “hard right” as far as this is concerned.

Cressida Dick is mentioned because she was the senior Met Police officer in the operation that led to his fatal shooting.

Ms Bhattacharyya’s observation that Rayner’s words seem like posturing for the right-wing press is right on the button – especially at a time when Starmer Labour is trying hard to create a false distinction between it and the party as led by Jeremy Corbyn by saying he was (seen to be) soft on crime.

He wasn’t; Blairites such as Starmer like to make the claim, though. It harks back to Tony Blair’s attack on the Conservatives, back in the mid-1990s, and his 1993 slogan, “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.”

Anyone can see that this focused on rehabilitation as much as on punishment, but Starmer’s crowd has chosen to ignore the former in order to appeal to readers of right-wing low-intelligence tabloids.

Shadow Skills Minister Toby Perkins tried to laugh it off. He pointed out that Rayner’s comments were made on Matt Forde’s political comedy podcast. But this is not a laughing matter. Is it?

It’s very telling that at one point he said, “I think what Angela Rayner was trying to get away with-” before catching himself and rephrasing. So she was trying to get away with a claim about Labour’s attitude to terrorism, was she? Moments before, she had been making a humorous comment about her own, personal, attitude. Which was it? I couldn’t be both!

The weird part of that is, Labour’s attitude to terrorism really isn’t different now from its attitude under Jeremy Corbyn. There has been no policy change.

Ms Bhattacharyya went on to point out the apparent hypocrisy of Starmer Labour’s new attitude. Having taken the knee in support of Black Lives Matter protests, Rayner is now apparently saying she would prefer it if people like George Floyd (whose death prompted them) were murdered by police as a matter of course.

She might have said it humorously on a comedy podcast but if Mr Perkins is trying to use it to justify Labour’s claim to be tougher on crime than Corbyn, then she was also putting it forward as a genuine expression of policy direction. That’s hypocritical and Starmer himself needs to straighten out this tangle.

Next, host Jo Coburn made matters worse for Starmer by pointing out that, after being elected Labour leader on a “continuity Corbyn” platform, he has ditched all the promises he made.

Ailbhe Rea of New Statesman agreed that Starmer appealed to the left to take the leadership and was now going to “run to the centre” in his bid to become prime minister – in the belief that he has to do so in order to be electable.

Her claim that Starmer and his people are comfortable with making comments like Rayner’s because they “hope their voters/members who are less comfortable with that will know that it’s not fundamentally what they mean”. So, definitely hypocrites, then. Now the claim appeared to be that they had said they want to shoot people accused of terrorism but didn’t mean it. This story twists like a snake – which is what the Labour-representing participants are starting to resemble.

Asked to comment about the new attitude to crime in relation to Labour’s 2019 manifesto, Mr Perkins dug himself deeper into a hole by referring to the election result as the worst defeat the party had suffered since the 1930s – ignoring the fact that more people voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour than for Ed Miliband in 2015, Gordon Brown in 2010 or Tony Blair in 2005. Corbyn’s 2017 vote count was larger than Blair’s in 2001. In fact, the only time a Labour leader in the last 30 years has earned more votes than Mr Corbyn was 1997.

So when we hear Starmer say “a vote for him is a change of direction”, we hear a political leader determined to haemorrhage votes.

Ms Bhattacharyya had the perfect counter for Mr Perkins, simply by pointing out that Starmer was elected leader on his 10 pledges to continue Corbyn policies – policies that Mr Perkins had just rubbished.

And Mr Perkins then claimed that Starmer’s leadership offer was to say that the Corbyn manifesto of 2019 was “unrealistic in its totality”.

So, Starmer was elected Labour leader on a promise to continue policies that he was also saying were “unrealistic” in their “totality”. Nobody should buy that.

Jo Coburn re-inserted herself to draw attention to an opinion poll that shows Labour ahead of the Tories on issues including the economy, crime and immigration – trailing only on Covid-19 (because Starmer has supported Boris Johnson to the disastrous hilt, perhaps).

Asked to comment, old Tory Ann Widdecombe agreed that Starmer is trying to get away from left-wing Corbynism but said his problem is that much of Labour membership and support is left-wing and Corbynist, and aligning with them makes him “unelectable”.

But is it?

Labour nearly lost its de facto control of Bristol City Council on February 17 when the Green Party candidate in the Southmead by-election came within a few dozen votes of taking the seat.

Turnout was just 21.2 per cent, though – in a ward with considerable poverty. And it’s not the usual by-election apathy – in the 2019 general election, 47 per cent of the poorest people didn’t vote.

So Labour’s electoral victory isn’t conditional on appealing to an ever-diminishing crowd of right-wingers.

It should be considered conditional on enticing an increasingly-disillusioned – and growing – population of the UK’s poorest citizens into voting for the party.

Starmer isn’t going to do that – ever. And certainly not by pandering to bloodthirsty fascists.

#LabourFAIL: #KeirStarmer doesn’t care about colleagues like #AngelaRayner. Just ask #ZarahSultana

Rayner and Starmer: it seems clear that they’re not seeing eye-to-eye.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has told the press about death threats and abuse that she receives:

How sad that, coming only days after a very visible public rift between her and party leader Keir Starmer, he had to try to turn it into a PR opportunity for himself:

It’s the right message – but very much the wrong messenger. Only a day later, Starmer would be snubbing his deputy again – sending out invitations to the press for Christmas drinks with him and… Rachel Reeves. Rayner wasn’t even mentioned, and should have been the co-host:

Even if it were not for glaring own goals like this, we know that Starmer couldn’t care less about abuse his female MPs receive – especially if they’re on the left of the party.

Rayner’s position has been in doubt, mostly because of her attempts to do her job in the company of a leader who clearly wants to foil her. Perhaps he’s hoping she’ll give up and resign so he can replace her with another white man from a business background.

But Zarah Sultana is definitely a woman of the Left – and one who has suffered continual abuse since her election to represent Coventry South. I’ve written about this before but if you want it straight from the source, just watch the first couple of minutes of this speech, if you can bear it:

What does Keir Starmer have to say about the threats and abuse that Zarah Sultana has faced?

Nothing at all.

He has never spoken to her.

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#Starmer’s #reshuffle #DISASTER

Not communicating: Angela Rayner (left) and Keir Starmer (right… far right) aren’t looking at each other in the image, and it seems there’s not much communication going on elsewhere either.

Keir Starmer has shot himself in the foot – yet again – with a surprise reshuffle timed to upset his deputy, and that gave his critics a chance to pillory him in public.

Angela Rayner was giving a speech at the Institute for Government think tank on lobbying, following up on the Owen Paterson second jobs scandal, when it became clear that Starmer had started reshuffling his top team.

She had known a reshuffle was coming but had not been given any details, meaning she had no details when asked about it.

Instead, she said: “I do know that what we have to do is show that we are a government in waiting and that we have to be the next government because we can’t carry on like this,” she said.  We need some consistency in how we’re approaching things as an opposition.”

That could be interpreted as criticism of Starmer’s behaviour.

Of course, as Deputy Leader, elected by the party membership, Rayner is the only senior Labour representative Starmer can’t sack. He should be ensuring that she is always fully-informed but instead he appears to be playing silly games.

At the other end of the spectrum, Starmer did have the power to sack Cat Smith – but she didn’t give him the chance. Instead, she turned down his request for her to remain Shadow Minister for Young People and Democracy, in protest at his mistreatment of Jeremy Corbyn.

“It’s been an honour to serve on the Labour front bench since 2015 but I’m looking forward to spending even more time at home here in Lancashire and standing up for my constituents,” she wrote. “Even more time at home”? Was this a veiled claim to have been excluded?

On Mr Corbyn, she said Starmer’s position was “utterly unsustainable” and told him: “It is important that you truly understand how much damage this is causing in Constituency Labour Parties and amongst ordinary members, a number of whom are no longer campaigning.”

Mr Corbyn isn’t the only reason people are deserting Starmer. A recent appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show was featured on Channel 4’s Gogglebox – and you can see support for the Labour leader draining away as the segment progressed:

His reshuffle decisions won’t win back any doubters either. Headline appointment was Yvette Cooper, replacing Nick Thomas-Symonds as Shadow Home Secretary.

David Lammy replaced Lisa Nandy as Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Wes Streeting replaced Jonathan Ashworth as Shadow Health Secretary.

Is that about right?

Still, what could we expect from the Labour leader who, we were reminded over the weekend, has put homophobia up with anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism in general and sexism as his most clearly-supported policies?

Flailing, Starmer tried to regain some credibility by swearing on Tory supporter Nick Robinson’s show, Political Thinking.

Trouble is, he was talking about honesty – and we all know that he is thoroughly dishonest. Below please find just one (mild) example of Starmer’s fibbing.

What a mess.

Starmer can’t even properly shaft political opponents in his own party. He’ll never get the better of the Tories.

What a missed opportunity that he didn’t reshuffle himself out of the Shadow Cabinet.

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After embracing ‘fire and rehire’, Labour is now embracing ‘zero hours’ contracts too

Starmer and Rayner: we were told they were ‘taking the knee’ in a publicity stunt for Black Lives Matter but this image could equally be taken as them kneeling before employers’ group the Confederation of British Industry and vowing that they will never allow the Party of the Workers to actually stand up for workers’ rights, prevent exploitation, and/or seek acceptable pay and working conditions. They are a danger to you.

Keir Starmer (and his deputy, Angela Rayner) really are dragging the Labour Party into the mire, aren’t they?

Already they have hypocritically launched a policy to abolish odious ‘fire and rehire’ employment practices, ignoring the fact that they are carrying out such an exercise, within Labour, at the moment.

And now Rayner has announced that the party is reversing its policy on ‘zero hours’ contracts so that employers will be allowed to continue exploiting workers by forcing them to work only when it suits bosses, without access to employment conditions including sick pay and holidays.

So passes the Party of the Workers: not in struggle but in subversion by fake socialists who belong in the Conservative Party.

Way back in 2016, former leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that under him, Labour would abolish ‘zero hours’ contracts. He said a Labour government would legislate to ensure that all employees be given guaranteed hours which must be specified and written into a contract – bringing an end to zero-hour contracts.

If an employer wanted workers to work beyond those hours, they would have to specify the length of additional work along with a reason for asking.

An employer would also have to give reasonable compensation, akin to an “on-call” payment to an employee, for agreeing to make themselves available for additional work, whether they were ultimately asked to do so or not.

Now Angela Rayner has swept all that away.

Asked on the BBC’s Today programme if Labour still opposed ‘zero hours’ contracts, Rayner refused to give a straight answer, and ended up saying that the party now opposes “exploitation” of them:

That can only mean Labour does not oppose ‘zero hours’ contracts any more. It is a wholesale endorsement of worker exploitation by employers.

It means that, in a few short words, Angela Rayner betrayed Labour’s reason for existing.

Considering the party’s contradictory attitude to ‘fire and rehire’, commenters and commentators have only one conclusion to draw: that Labour has changed policy because it intends to use ‘zero hours’ contracts itself:

If Labour wants people to work for the party in the run-up to a general election under such conditions, then Labour won’t help working people if it is elected.

Nobody at all should want to work for Labour in such a situation.

We should all spurn Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner and all their right-wing cuckoo cronies, as we would spurn a pack of rabid dogs.

In the long term, the rabid dogs would be less harmful to us.

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#Starmergeddon as panicking Labour leader lashes out in night of swivel-eyed lunacy

Now you see her…: Keir Starmer seems to have been taking notes from the Tories again – he has kept a scapegoat handy to take the blame for his failures. But it isn’t working.

Keir Starmer has thrown the Labour Party into a pit of bitter recriminations after its local election disaster, sacking soft-left MPs from the shadow cabinet rather than taking responsibility for his decisions.

The principle scapegoat appears to be Angela Rayner – who is certainly no angel, but is unlikely to have been responsible for the catastrophe in Hartlepool, which was apparently run from Starmer’s own office by his personal private secretary Jenny Chapman. She is not in the firing-line, it seems, despite having chosen the candidate and the date of the by-election. She was also the person who communicated all decisions about the campaign to other party members and MPs.

Other victims of Starmer’s reshuffle appear to be Annaliese Dodds and Lisa Nandy, prompting questions about the Labour leader’s misogyny against women from northern England.

I spent Saturday (May 8) watching this farce unfold on Twitter as a panicking Labour leader deliberately set his party on self-destruct in order to divert blame from himself.

Let’s start here, with a couple of comments about the broad effect of Starmer’s decisions:

Rayner’s sacking fooled nobody. It was taken as an attempt by Starmer to deflect blame from himself and avoid taking responsibility. Most considered it a desperate attempt to avoid calls for his own resignation and/or a vote of “no confidence” in his leadership.

There is an upside to this, as some were quick to notice. Rayner’s sacking could be an opportunity for long-suppressed information to come out:

But I don’t think it will. Rayner may have backstabbed Jeremy Corbyn as soon as it suited her but he was no longer in a position of power at the time. Starmer is, and she is still an ambitious politician.

Indeed, it is possible that her prior, unscrupulous, behaviour was intended by Starmer to mitigate in his favour; a backstabbing schemer having her comeuppance after failing to deliver an expected election victory.

But that is to assume that Labour members and supporters are stupid, which is (again) not a good look for a leader. Commenters pointed out that it is entirely possible for Rayner to be an opportunist who sold out the Left – and for her sacking to be an act of cowardice and diversion:

The verdict: Rayner deserved to be ditched – but for something she did herself, rather than a defeat that was not her fault.

Bizarrely, after the party leadership realised sacking Rayner had only undermined Starmer further, attempts were made to backtrack. I’ll say more about that later, but what’s remarkable here is that these efforts only made matters worse. Here’s how, in two short tweets:

And what about the woman who’s alleged to have been genuinely responsible for the loss of Hartlepool? Tim Shipman, political editor of The Sunday Times, tweeted a very odd snippet of information and immediately deleted it – but it’s out there and we need to know what to make of it:

If Starmer was having an affair with his secretary then events would have turned really grisly (if cliched). The tweet raises questions about why a Labour apparatchik who is apparently responsible for the failed Hartlepool campaign is avoiding the axe when there is a strong suggestion of animosity against her. What leverage does she have?

In the wider Parliamentary Labour Party, it is being reported that the sacking of Rayner has been met with shock:

The New Statesman was quick to follow up on this with an article featuring comments from some of these MPs, as follows:

“It is wrong on every level,” said one Labour shadow cabinet minister. “Keir Starmer said he would take ‘full responsibility’. I don’t see how sacking Angela does that. You can’t be sacking Angela Rayner, who is a working-class northern woman who’s been working her arse off. It’s madness.”

(She’s not working-class, in fact. She might have been, once, but if you’re deputy leader of the largest political party in the UK, then by definition you cannot be working-class.)

“The PLP is absolutely gobsmacked,” another frontbencher said. “We know Angela had nothing to do with the defeat in Hartlepool.” Rayner was officially the Campaign Coordinator of these elections, but MPs are adamant she was not the decision-maker in relation to the Hartlepool by-election. “Everything has been decided by the leader’s office,” one shadow cabinet member said.

“This is utter madness. Angela Rayner is not the problem. The PLP is up in arms and even my local party is outraged. At the advice of Ben Nunn [director of communications] and Chris Ward [another aide in the leader’s office], Keir is doubling down and making a deliberate shift rightwards,” one MP from the party’s left said.

So now we have a few more names to watch. If Starmer is being influenced by unelected suits, then he is certainly not fit for his job. The leader should form policy, not his flunkies.

Many Labour MPs have yet to provide their opinions. Simon Vessey, below, suggests a reason for that – and Mary-Ellen provides good advice:

But one Labour source, quoted by the ever-reliable (ha ha) Gabriel Pogrund of The Sunday Times, suggested that Rayner’s sacking could split Labour apart:

Many have been saying that this was Starmer’s objective all along.

If so, then his possible choice to replace Rayner – and other colleagues likely to feel the axe – should finish the job. What madness could possibly influence him into thinking Wes Streeting might be a reasonable choice to chair the Labour Party?

Rayner was not the only ShadCab member in line for a sacking – although at the time of writing she is the only one on whom the axe has already fallen.

Other names facing banishment to the backbenches include Lisa Nandy…

Nick Brown (who?)…

Annaliese Dodds and Jon Ashworth…

And others…

Did you spot some of the names touted as replacements?

They are the aforementioned Wes Streeting, along with Rachel Reeves, Jess Phillips, and Steve Reed – all members of what you might call Labour’s hard-right.

Also mooted for a comeback are New Labour hardliners Yvette Cooper and Hilary “my father is spinning in his grave” Benn.

Commenter Simon Maginn described these possibilities as “a right-turn so hard it’d give you whiplash”.

Others have met the suggestions with sarcasm:

None of the above makes Starmer look any better after Thursday’s election shocks. It all makes him look much worse.

So, guess what? It seems he has spotted the backlash on the social media – and is now backpedalling furiously. Announcements about who is to be sacked have stopped being leaked to favoured mainstream media stenographers and it seems he has run away to hide think:

It won’t help him. It is now too late. I’ll let these others explain the reasons:

If Andrew Adonis is right, it is only a matter of time until Starmer has to go. If Andrew Feinstein and Rachel Shabi are right, he’ll delay doing so until the moment that will do the most crippling harm to the party’s future election hopes.

We will judge him – and his advisers – by his decisions.

The clock is ticking.

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Double-talking Desmond: is Swayne an anti-vaxxer or isn’t he?

Desmond Swayne.

This is confusing.

Sir Desmond Swayne, a former International Development Secretary, has suddenly become controversial over comments he has made about Covid-19 vaccination.

Angela Rayner took to our TV sets today to complain about him as follows:

Swayne says it isn’t true (apologies for the presence of Julia Hartley-Brewer in this clip; I know many people find her offensive in any capacity):

Well, what did he say?

According to Sky News, he

urged anti-vaccination campaigners to keep going with their fight against coronavirus restrictions and told them NHS capacity figures were being “manipulated”.

But the story goes on to quote Swayne:

“My remarks … on those subjects mirror what I’ve said in the House of Commons. I was completely unaware that any of them had any traction on anti-vaxx and no anti-vaxx entered into the conversation I had.”

Is he just talking us down the garden path?

Something clearly seems to be wrong. I’m glad he is to attend a meeting with scientific advisers. Hopefully they can straighten out just what this Tory is trying to say.

Or perhaps they’ll just send him for psychiatric help.

Source: COVID-19: Michael Gove says Tory MP ‘out of order’ to tell anti-vaxxers to ‘persist’ against restrictions | Politics News | Sky News

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‘I’m backing Brexit!’ says Starmer. But will he take his MPs with him?

About face: Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer have performed an astonishing turnabout to support Boris Johnson’s Brexit – even though they don’t have to; it will become law anyway. Why are they insisting on tying Labour into responsibility for it?

Keir Starmer has given us yet another reason to distrust him:

Yes, that’s right. The politician who demanded that Labour pursue a policy that would put the UK through another EU referendum – and that lost the 2019 general election – has performed a complete about-face and was backing Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal before he had even read it.

That doesn’t seem very “forensic” to This Writer!

Here’s the proof:

That statement was made a matter of hours after Johnson announced that a deal had been reached; he would not have had time to read the 1,200-page agreement and its 800 pages of appendices.

It is impossible for those of us in the know not to say “we told you so”…

But the question now arises: should Labour back Johnson’s deal, that has cost hundreds of billions of pounds and promises nothing more than to make us all worse-off?

And the answer is obvious: no.

The deal will go through; the Conservatives have a very comfortable majority in the House of Commons, thanks to Starmer’s own daft election policy. It doesn’t need Labour’s support.

And of course, Starmer has outed himself as a hypocrite, considering the number of times he has told his MPs to abstain on Tory policies.

It raises once again what has become a perennial question:

Perhaps in an attempt to head off criticism, deputy leader Angela Rayner has tried to say Labour will vote for the deal, but won’t take responsibility for it – and will hold the Tories to account for broken promises:

That is not reasonable. If Labour supports the deal, then Starmer (and Rayner) take as much responsibility for it as Boris Johnson and the Tories. That’s what their vote means:

The plan confirms Starmer’s Labour as pale-blue Conservative cheerleaders:

One criticism that may strike home is that Starmer has turned the House of Commons into an imitation of the Russian Parliament, the Duma, in which the opposition party votes with Vladimir Putin on everything (apparently).

Note that Rayner says that Labour with vote for the agreement “against no deal” – but there is no possibility of that, now. The Conservatives can vote it through without Labour’s help. ‘No deal’, it seems, was nothing more than an invented bogeyman after all – a threat to hang over us so we wouldn’t compare what we are getting with what we are losing.

In Rayner’s case, it seems to have worked.

But will she – and Starmer – take the rest of the Parliamentary Labour Party with them?

Chris Bryant may find it hard, for one, after his comments about Jeremy Corbyn…

Yes indeed. And it seems more trouble is brewing, according to the Telegraph:

A series of Labour MPs are set to revolt against Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to whip the party in support of Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal.

Rupa Huq, Kevin Brennan, Neil Coyle, Geraint Davies and Clive Efford were among those who criticised the deal and signalled their refusal to vote for it, according to sources present on [a briefing] call.

It is not clear whether they will vote against the deal or abstain, but who can blame them for rebelling? They’re probably thinking something similar to David Rosenberg:

Depending on what happens and how badly the public take it, This Writer thinks James Foster’s prediction may bed horrifyingly accurate:

Whatever happens, one thing must be made clear:

Keir Starmer knows what he is doing. He should be judged on that basis.

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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Rayner defies EHRC by threatening to suspend ‘thousands’ of Labour members

Angela Rayner (here with her boss Keir Starmer): hypocrites – and very possibly anti-Semites without acknowledging it.

Note to Sienna Rodgers at LabourList: the headline on your report is wrong. It should have read Angela Rayner is a big ol’ hypocrite.

In the article, Rayner states that the findings of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party are not open to debate:

There’s no debating what the EHRC said.

LabourList also reported another statement she made to the Jewish Labour Movement’s conference – insultingly held on the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians – that she and Keir Starmer attended rather than support the Palestine solidarity event:

If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that.

The two comments are mutually exclusive. The report clearly states that

We have concluded that the practice of political interference was unlawful… The Labour Party should… implement clear rules and guidance that prohibit and sanction political interference in the complaints process.

Her threat to suspend thousands – a warning that the leadership is planning to purge the party of anybody who dissents against its dictatorship – is itself political interference in the process, as it is an attempt to suppress complaints by members against the actions of the leadership of which she is a member. Therefore she is not only debating the legitimacy of the EHRC’s finding; she is ignoring it altogether.

Remember that this is all about the attack on Jeremy Corbyn by Keir Starmer, party general secretary David Evans, and others at the very top of the Labour leadership including Rayner herself, despite the fact that she once said this:

She went from that position to saying that the truth is “unacceptable”:

She is a hypocrite. She has revealed her true colours. She cannot be trusted. She should be ejected from her position of power.

This will be hard because the Labour Party leadership has a well-known track record of rejecting any complaints against its own members and friends, no matter how well-justified they may be.

But we have all seen this behaviour and we are talking about it:

And organisations that formerly wanted Rayner’s support and endorsement are now rejecting her. To be honest, I don’t know if the following tweet was connected with what she said on LabourList, but I anticipate that this is the soft footfall that precedes a stampede:

Oh, and by the way, Labour is not completely irredeemable. Members across the UK did come out in support of Palestine, unlike their treacherous leader and deputy leader. Here’s a tweet from Wales:

Let’s remember that Rayner – and her vile boss Starmer – are saying that they are taking all this action against the good members of their own party because of hurt, harm and injury done to Jewish people in the UK.

What about the harm done to Jewish people who agree with the viewpoint Rayner, Starmer and the others are attacking?

That’s right. These Jews feel that Rayner, Starmer and the others are attacking them. And Rayner, Starmer et al treat them as though they don’t even exist.

Isn’t that attitude a little… you know… anti-Semitic?

Finally, Labour’s deplorable leaders need to acknowledge that this confrontation between them and party members arose because the EHRC found that the leadership had been interfering in investigations of anti-Semitism complaints in order to make it seem that there were more anti-Semites in the party than was the case.

A court found only last week that the process of investigating accusations against This Writer – me, Mike Sivier – was perverted in order to produce a false finding against me.

Labour failed to follow its own investigation procedure. It did not adequately inform me of the nature of the allegations against me (in fact, the party changed those claims as it went on, in order to ‘fix’ the result), and a party officer leaked false claims about me – including a lie that I was a Holocaust denier – to The Sunday Times (which subsequently had to publish a lengthy correction).

And I’m not the only one who has suffered this treatment. The EHRC report found that, of the investigations it examined, no fewer than 60 per cent suffered from bias calculated to discriminate against the respondent – against the person accused of anti-Semitism.

Where are the apologies for lying and smearing us? I still receive abusive messages accusing me of anti-Semitism, even now. It may be that I will continue receiving them for the rest of my life. The Labour Party is to blame for that. Where is the contrition? Where is the apology for that?