Tag Archives: Starmer

Is Labour really complacent about losing ethnic minority support – or institutionally racist?

Starmer takes the knee for Black Lives Matter: to him it meant nothing more than a photo opportunity. Black lives don’t matter to him – as we discovered when he attacked the organisation shortly after.

Labour has lost a lot of ground in “ethnic minority strongholds” that has been ignored by many media commentators, according to the author of this piece’s source article (see the link below).

But is it because the party has become complacent, as the author argues? Or is it because Labour is now racist and does not care about these voters?

One obvious argument for the latter is that Labour has just spent seven years suffering an onslaught of mostly-unfounded and untrue accusations of anti-Semitism. It would be irrational for the party to be complacent about racism after that; therefore the evidence suggests this was a conscious choice.

Damningly for Labour,

Tower Hamlets, which sees British Muslims suffer some of the most deprived conditions in the UK, was notably won by Lutfur Rahman, a former Labour councillor who was banned from holding office for five years after being found guilty of a litany of fraud and corruption charges.

Why would the people of this borough turn to somebody who had been found guilty of fraud and corruption, rather than Labour?

Also lost to the party was Croydon council and the mayoralty of Harrow.

50.7 per cent of Croydon’s population are described as “Bame” and 61.9 per cent of Harrow’s population are non-white British.

The article states that many religious and ethnic minorities, including the author, no longer have faith in Labour because anti-racism and anti-imperialism aren’t given priority in the Labour Party.

Evidence supporting this includes Keir Starmer’s tacit assertion that racism within institutions wasn’t worth tackling when he described calls from Black Lives Matter to defund the police as “nonsense”, adding that it was a shame the movement was “getting tangled up with these organisational issues”. It was particularly insensitive in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

For many, it felt as if he was saying that if voters were worried about police brutality, voting for him would not help.

Worse is the spectre of Islamophobia within Labour – which eclipses anti-Semitism to a huge degree. Starmer refused to stand up for Muslim MPs facing Islamophobia in Parliament. A report by Labour Muslims in 2020 stated that 44 per cent of “Muslim members and supporters do not believe the Labour Party takes the issue of Islamophobia seriously”. A January 2022 poll from Muslim Census also suggested that Labour risks losing half of its Muslim vote at the next general election.

Of course, Starmer’s claim to have tackled anti-Semitism has created a huge blind spot in his thinking (at the very least). So he asserts that Israel is not an apartheid state, in defiance of the majority vote within Labour to sanction that country over its apartheid policy against Palestinians.

Sixty-one per cent of Labour voters support Boycott, Divestment Sanction (BDS) while Starmer vehemently opposes it.

They can’t all be anti-Semites; the level of anti-Semitism within Labour was less than the national average when Jeremy Corbyn was leader and it is unlikely to have risen exponentially since Starmer took over. Starmer’s own stance, of course, implies that he is racist against Palestinians.

Labour MPs have also been criticised for failing to support Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities (think of John Mann, now a Tory lord) – although this falls short of the active persecution of Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts law.

The evidence is clear: ethnic minorities see Labour providing no answer to the discrimination, state violence and indifference to both that plague them in a nation that the Tories improbably claim is not institutionally racist.

But if Starmer continues to ignore the concerns of minority communities, they will continue to abandon his party – and that will make him seem even more of a racist than he does now.

Source: Labour’s complacency about losing ethnic minority support will cost the party at the next general election

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Keir Starmer’s offer to quit if he’s fined for breach of lockdown: overconfidence?

Keir Starmer: he has absolutely no intention of quitting as Labour Party leader – but that’s exactly what he has promised to do if the police find him to have broken lockdown rules. What if his bluff is called?

It’s a big show of bravado but it could backfire badly for the most right-wing leader Labour has ever had.

Keir Starmer has said he will stand down as Labour Party leader if the police find him guilty of breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules in April 2021.

This Site has discussed the circumstances and the various claims here and here.

Culture Minister Chris Philp has accused the Labour leader trying to “pressure the police into clearing him”, which he called “deeply inappropriate”.

But that is not Starmer’s problem.

He has painted himself into a corner.

What are voters going to do if the police don’t clear him – and he decides not to quit after all?

You can be sure that he has absolutely no intention of going, no matter what happens.

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Beergate: Starmer fuels ‘running scared’ gossip by pulling out of keynote speech

Keir Starmer: we like to use this image when it seems he has made another mistake. And who can say we’re wrong this time?

Aides of Labour’s right-wing leader are scrabbling to cover for him after he pulled out of a major speech ahead of the State Opening of Parliament.

Starmer had been due to make a speech and take questions at an event on “challenges the country faces” organised by the Institute for Government think tank, but pulled out without explanation after Durham Police announced it would re-investigate the alleged Beergate affair.

This alleges that Starmer attended an event in Durham in April last year, when he drank beer and ate a curry with colleagues. At the time, Covid-19 social distancing rules meant it was illegal for people in England to socialise indoors with people from outside their household or support bubble, although there was an exemption for “work purposes”

Starmer had claimed that it was a work event, and food and drink had been consumed in between doing work – but the police investigation was reopened after a leaked memo obtained by the Mail of Sunday revealed it was in fact pre-planned, with time scheduled for “dinner” after which the event would conclude.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting tried to dismiss the matter when he was challenged over it on BBC Breakfast: “I have no idea why he cancelled the event and I certainly didn’t ask before I came on because I think it’s such a trivial issue.

“The idea that Keir is somehow ducking scrutiny is simply not true.”

Shadow “levelling-up”, housing and communities secretary Lisa Nandy fared a little better when she said, “It is frankly absurd of the Tories to claim that this in any way equates to a prime minister who was under investigation by the police for 12 separate gatherings which included karaoke parties, bring your own bottle parties, pub quizzes, suitcases full of wine being smuggled through the back door.”

But then she ruined it by adding, “This is a guy who self-isolated six times during the pandemic.” That’s not altogether vindicating as some of us suggested he was running away from scrutiny some of those times as well.

And Labour is not united on this matter; the issue has re-awakened splits between factions on the left and right of the party.

Diane Abbott said yesterday Starmer would have to “consider his position” if police hand him a fine.

Emily Ferguson in the I newspaper said this could be the least of Starmer’s troubles:

Even if police decide not to issue him a fine, officers could still brand the event as a minor breach of rules – as they did with former No 10 aide Dominic Cummings’ infamous Barnard Castle trip.

Such a scenario would leave Sir Keir in limbo and vulnerable to a coup from Labour MPs unhappy that he may have jeopardised the party’s hopes of returning to government.

The allegation and incriminating photo will linger in voters’ minds. In the eyes of the public his image is tainted and for some, Sir Keir can no longer hold the moral high ground of being the Opposition leader who fiercely followed Covid rules throughout.

[Starmer] has his work cut out over the next few months as he will need to keep a lid on internal disputes and prevent the fractious divides within Labour from re-emerging, convince voters he is capable of leading the country, all whilst holding the Government to account on the cost-of-living crisis.

On the basis of today’s (non-)performance, he’s not going to manage it.

People will see his withdrawal from a major event – without explanation – as exactly what it is:

Running away.

Source: Sir Keir Starmer pulls out of keynote speech as pressure mounts over beergate

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After the elections: should both Boris Johnson AND Keir Starmer lose their jobs?

All in it together: neither Boris Johnson nor Keir Starmer fared well in the local government elections, and both may have broken Covid-19 lockdown laws. So it may be appropriate for both their jobs to be in danger.

There’s no doubt about it: the local elections have been a disaster for the Conservatives – and far from a victory for the Labour Party.

The Tories have lost 490 council seats in England, Wales and Scotland, with blame being placed squarely on the shoulders of Boris Johnson for his Partygate scandal and his failure to keep the cost of living within reasonable levels.

Conservative MPs are certain to be discussing whether Johnson has a future as prime minister over the next few days, before starting to make decisions about it after the new Parliamentary session begins.

They will also discuss the policy direction of Johnson’s government, with Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh quoted by the BBC as saying, “I do think radical change in the policy is required and, if it doesn’t happen, there really isn’t an electoral future for the party, because I think it will get crucified at the next election having bombed the economy.

“And if the team [running the government] is not able to adapt to reality, then the team needs to make way for someone else.”

But Labour – or at least Keir Starmer’s side of it – is in an equally precarious situation after voters gave a lukewarm response to his offer.

His party made some gains in London – and crowed about taking over Westminster, Wandsworth and Barnet councils from the Tories – but lost Harrow council to the Tories, while the mayoralties of Croydon and Tower Hamlets also went to a Tory and to Lutfur Rahman and his Aspire organisation respectively.

Labour gains outside London were hardly worth mentioning. It took the new Cumberland unitary authority, and Southampton – but failed to take authorities where it had been expected to make gains, including Hartlepool, Peterborough, Redditch and Ipswich.

While the Tories have lost support in the south of England, Labour lost more in the north. It seems to have drained from both parties to the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

Of all Labour’s net gains – 137 seats, 65 of them were in Wales where the party is led by “continuity Corbyn” First Minister Mark Drakeford. The contrast is made more clear if we compare Labour’s gains with those of the Greens.

In England, Labour gained 52 seats while the Greens gained 60.

In Scotland, Labour won 20 seats with the Greens close behind on 16.

But in Wales, Labour was boosted by 65 seats, while the Greens could only muster up an extra eight.

The message is clear: the voting public doesn’t want Starmer’s tepid Tory policies; we want a genuine alternative to the Conservative nightmare that has engulfed the UK for more than 12 years, and we won’t be told his party of empty suits is the only alternative.

Indeed, as Skwawkbox quoted a left-winger in Harrow: “Despite expelling their best activists, despite purging all the left who wanted to stand despite disenfranchising in a most brutal persistent fashion, [Labour has] shown a talent for catastrophe with all [its] handpicked candidates.”

But you won’t hear that from Starmer himself! He’s living in a fantasy England where Labour is on the crest of a wave: “From the depths in 2019 we are back on track now for the general election, showing what the change that we’ve done, the hard change that we’ve done in the last two years, what a difference it has made.”

He actually claimed the results marked a “massive turning-point for the Labour Party”.

So perhaps it is just as well that he is about to have his attention occupied by a police investigation into whether he broke the law by having a beer in a Labour MP’s office during Covid-19 lockdown.

Durham Police had said it would not re-open an investigation into the incident in April last year, when Starmer was taking part in an online event ahead of a by-election in neighbouring Hartlepool.

But immediately after the local elections took place, the service changed its story, saying it had received “significant new information” but had delayed an announcement until after the vote.

If the finding is that the Labour leader did break the law, he will face calls from Tory MPs demanding that he resign. Sauce for the goose; he has demanded Boris Johnson’s resignation after the prime minister was fined for the same offence, after all. And if Starmer is fined, both leaders will be said to have lied about it.

But there is a significant difference between them: Johnson drew up the rules by which he demanded the rest of us should live, and it was on his behalf that police forces across the UK enforced those rules. He then deliberately broke those rules. And then he lied about having broken them to Parliament, which is an offence for which an MP may be expelled.

Starmer may have merely broken the rules while believing he was following them.

Ultimately, the difference may be irrelevant; Starmer has failed to win convincingly in a midterm election and is therefore unlikely to win a general election, so his party’s “grey suits” may use the so-called “BeerGate” affair as an excuse to remove him.

Either way, it seems clear that neither the Tory nor Labour leader should feel secure in their jobs.

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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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Septic Starmer’s new policies attack nurses and teachers – like a toxic Tory

Apt: Keir Starmer reckons he was named after original Labour leader Hardie – but can anyone doubt that his illustrious forerunner might have said these words, if confronted with evidence of Starmer’s determination to destroy the party he helped to found.

Keir Starmer has, it seems, provided ample further evidence that he is deliberately trying to destroy the Labour Party from within.

According to Skwawkbox, Starmer’s Labour would freeze the pay of teachers and nurses.

The claim follows comments by Tory Michael Fabricant that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak should be excused their criminal lawbreaking (and dishonesty, in Johnson’s case) in attending the infamous Downing Street parties.

He said he knew of nurses and teachers who went for a quiet drink in staff rooms after shifts during lockdown.

According to the BBC,

Teaching leaders criticised the comments as “deeply insulting”… The RCN said it wanted to formally complain.

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen criticised the MP’s comments and said nurses and nursing support staff would, after finishing well past the end of their shifts, “get home, clean their uniforms, shower and collapse into bed” rather than “have a quiet one in the staff room”.

“It is utterly demoralising – and factually incorrect – to hear you suggest that our diligent, safety critical profession, can reasonably be compared to any elected official breaking the law, at any time,”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT school leaders’ union, said in a letter to the education secretary Mr Fabricant’s suggestion was “wholly inaccurate and deeply insulting” to teachers as a profession.

Mr Fabricant’s comments were “as insulting as they are offensive”, Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said.

And now it seems Starmer is in full agreement with the Tory (again) and determined to stick the knife into teachers and nurses too.

Other policies announced by Starmer, according to Skwawkbox, include:

  • Protecting non doms – Labour wants to ‘reform’ the system that allows hugely-wealthy foreigners to live tax-free in the UK, just as the Tories are already planning to do. Is this because Starmer is still scrabbling around for donations to save his nigh-on-bankrupt party?
  • And arresting environmental campaigners and people who go on strike to defend their rights from removal by government.

If this is true, then it validates that great Left thinker Noam Chomsky’s assertion that Starmer’s Labour is “Thatcher-lite” and there’s no difference between his so-called “Opposition” and the hated Boris Johnson Tory government – an administration that fits all the qualifications to be described as Fascist.

And this is interesting. Only days ago, on Facebook, several commenters vociferously objected after I suggested that voters should boycott Labour in the May 5 local elections in order to engineer a change in that party’s direction before Starmer gives Boris Johnson an even bigger Parliamentary majority at the next general election.

Considering the implications of this – and of what it means about future policies from Starmer’s toxic team – I wonder if those people are ready to change their minds?

Source: Starmer finally announces 3 policies – like toxic buses all arriving at once – SKWAWKBOX

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Chomsky damns Starmer’s Labour – will you boycott that party on May 5?

Noam Chomsky: the world’s leading left-wing thinker has nothing good to say about Keir Starmer and his Labour Party.

I’m not going to make a fuss because Noam Chomsky called Keir Starmer “Keith”. He knew he was belittling the Labour leader, and rightly so.

But his words about what Starmer has done to the Labour Party are far more damning. In video published by the New Statesman, he said:

“He is returning the Labour Party to a party that is reliably obedient to power; that will be ‘Thatcher-lite’ in the style of Tony Blair.”

The comments of the world’s leading left-wing thinker are important and relevant because they contribute to the demolition of the anti-Semitism smears to which Starmer has wedded himself.

As Skwawkbox states,

The Jewish academic is on record dismissing the Establishment’s antisemitism smears… as a ‘disgraceful game’ and a ‘largely fabricated tale’ created for the sole purpose of destroying Labour as a threat to the Establishment.

There is only one way to show your support for Chomsky’s – correct – analysis of Starmer’s strategy: that is to deprive Labour of your vote in the local elections next month.

If his candidates receive even the slightest amount of support, Starmer will claim a huge victory for his right-wing, Blairite, political trash.

He needs to be told in no uncertain terms that he isn’t wanted – nor are his lies and the hangers-on who mouth them for him.

Will you boycott Labour on May 5?

Source: Video: world’s foremost living left thinker calls Starmer ‘Keith’ – and the rest is damning – SKWAWKBOX

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Starmer abolishes fairness and natural justice from Labour’s expulsion rules. In as many words – SKWAWKBOX

Unfair and unnatural: the rule change was rammed through as part of a “take it or leave it” proscription rule package with the collusion of right-wing trade union leaderships (surely a contradiction in terms?) at last year’s farcical Labour conference.

This should sound the death knell for Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

It is quite clearly nowhere anybody who believes in the founding Labour values of fairness and equality can stay any more – because Starmer has deliberately removed those values from the way his club treats the people who fund it:

The Labour party’s new 2022 rule book has abolished fairness and natural justice from its expulsion processes.

No, that’s not a joke – though perhaps it is a sick one.

The party’s rules now explicitly rule out those concepts from the entitlement of anyone it decides to expel.

Chapter 2, Clause ii.8 tells members they have a right to dignity, respect and fairness… Clearly that ‘right’ now only applies – and is therefore not regarded as an actual right by the regime – as long as the party feels like keeping you in as a member. If it decides to kick you out, your right to that ‘right’ doesn’t exist.

The regime slipped through this anti-justice horror as part of the ‘take it or leave it’ proscription rule package rammed through at last year’s party conference with the collusion of right-wing union managements.

There are plenty of genuine socialist parties springing up in the UK now, so there is no reason to stick with this hollowed-out hulk that Starmer is milking to destruction before jumping ship – probably to the Tories.

My advice to all members of good character and conscience: GET OUT NOW.

Source: Starmer abolishes fairness and natural justice from Labour’s expulsion rules. In as many words – SKWAWKBOX

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This cynical move shows Keir Starmer is turning Labour into a members-only club

For the many? It seems “the many” are being pushed out of the Labour Party – unless they are friends of Keir Starmer.

Pretty soon, the only people allowed to be members of the Labour Party will be those in Keir Starmer’s inner circle.

That’s why the party leadership is tailoring its conditions for proscribing members – automatically excluding them in retrospect for activities with outside or formerly-affiliated organisations – to ensure the current leader’s friends don’t suffer the effects meant for others.

The latest groups to be proscribed are Labour Left Alliance (LLA), Socialist Labour Network and the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) – but there is a singular exception:

Regarding AWL, members are excluded for participating in events including the annual conference except for debating with members of the organisation.

This is because Luke Akehurst, secretary of the far-right Labour First, has taken part in such an event and Starmer doesn’t want to lose him.

Luke’s a member of the club, you see. He gets a free pass. You don’t.

Steve Walker of the Skwawkbox blog is right: “The shameless hypocrisy of the Labour right knows no bounds. Just as Starmer’s ‘zero tolerance of antisemitism’ turned out to mean ‘a lot of tolerance for antisemitism as long as it’s a right-winger’, it was always clear that expulsion rules were only being applied to left-wingers.

“But now those rules are being specifically written to ensure that favoured henchmen are explicitly exempt – and only those favoured henchmen.”

And Labour MP Clive Lewis admitted that the move shows his own party sliding into authoritarianism and a “crisis of democracy”:

Simply put, the Labour Party is turning into a members-only club for friends of Keir Starmer.

They get all the perks.

If you’re a socialist and you’re still a member of that party, then get used to dreaming about democracy – because you’re never going to have it again.

 

Source: Labour tailors new expulsion rules to protect right-winger Akehurst – SKWAWKBOX

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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Starmer is trying to change history by blaming Corbyn for Labour cash crisis

Lie: Keir Starmer wants you to think previous Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ruined Labour’s finances when he did it himself. Is the look on his face, here, his version of “duper’s delight”?

Keir Starmer is resorting to Nazi propaganda tactics to blacken the name of his immediate forerunner as Labour leader – but it won’t work.

Starmer’s chosen ploy is known as “The Big Lie” – repeating a known falsehood time and again until a majority of people come to believe it. The lie in this case is that Jeremy Corbyn caused Labour’s funding crisis.

When Mr Corbyn’s term as party leader ended, Labour had £13 million in the bank – and that was after running an expensive general election campaign in 2019.

Starmer squandered this money – most prominently on silly legal battles connected with his fabrications of anti-Semitism among party members.

We know this, but it seems the current Labour leader is hoping that if he keeps reviving his lie, people will start to believe him.

To boost his lie, it seems Starmer is now saying Corbyn torpedoed Labour’s finances by turning away rich donors.

But he should know that a lie won’t be strengthened with another lie – and the new claim isn’t true either:

Lies like this make Labour unelectable.

We already have a government headed by a man who is on the record saying he lies – and blunders – so often because he hopes people will forget the last one when the next one happens.

We don’t need to replace it with a government headed by another liar, which is what Starmer is.

The UK needs a government of integrity, led by individuals who genuinely want to build prosperity for the majority of citizens.

We won’t get it under Keir Starmer.

Source: Starmer tries to blame Corbyn for party’s financial collapse – but even in big donors, Corbyn beat him – SKWAWKBOX

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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