Thursday 16 June 2022

Something's gone terribly wrong with Labour

Keir Starmer has once again demonstrated Labour's chaotic lurch to the right under his lamentable leadership, this time by forcing Wes Streeting to apologise for expressing a bit of solidarity with striking UK rail workers last week.

Let's not forget that Labour is supposed to be the party of the workers (the clue is in the name). 

It's supposed to defend ordinary people from the greed and exploitation of capitalists and landlords. 

If Labour founding-father Keir Hardie was alive
today, Starmer would no-doubt force him to
apologise for saying things like this
It was founded by socialists and trade unionists, and it's still almost entirely funded by socialists and trade unionists through their membership fees and union subs.

But Starmer sees it as his own personal fiefdom, which he rules over through relentless factionalism; petty diktats; depraved ideological purity tests; constant vote-rigging; forced apologies; and regular witch-hunts against those who refuse to bow down to his authoritarian hankerings.

Starmer started off by hastily driving anyone with a shred of decency out of his shadow cabinet by insisting that they abstain on a couple of truly vile pieces of Tory legislation designed to allow undercover cops to rape women with impunity, and to provide impunity to British soldiers who commit war crimes overseas.

These ideological purity tests did what they were designed to, and drove all of the genuinely left-wing and socially progressive figures out of his shadow cabinet, so he then set about demoting all the so-called "soft-left" figures too (like Dodds and Thomas-Symonds), replacing them with his right-wing allies.

Starmer and his bully-boy enforcer on the NEC David Evans have issued loads of diktats banning local party members from discussing certain subjects, or holding no confidence votes in Starmer or Evans, because if there's one thing that petty tyrants can't tolerate, it's open and free discussion amongst people they believe to be their inferiors.

Starmer forced Alex Sobel (hardly a radical leftist) to issue a grovelling apology for suggesting that he thought capitalism was to blame for climate change, then he cynically rigged the Labour leadership nomination process to make it almost impossible for his successor to be socialist, female, or a person of colour.

Then Starmer positioned himself miles to the right of Tony Blair by going after the anti-war group of Labour MPs, threatening to expel them from the party if they refused to bend to his will. 

Even though Iraq turned out to be an absolutely horrific disaster, meaning Blair really should have listened to the warnings of rebels like of Robin Cook, Tony Benn, Tam Dalyell, Jeremy Corbyn ... he still allowed them to dissent without threatening to expel them from the party like Starmer does to anyone with a different opinion to his own.

And now Starmer's humiliating Wes Streeting, and showing utter contempt for the trade union movement that pays the Labour Party's bills, by demanding Streeting issue a grovelling apology for his expression of sympathy towards striking rail workers!

If Starmer's punishing a right-wing lickspittle like Streeting for coming across as too left-wing, it's beyond obvious that something has gone catastrophically wrong with the Labour Party.

It's been usurped by the political right, and under Starmer's leadership it's being used as a battering ram to undermine, disempower, demoralise, and silence the left, instead of offering a better alternative to this cesspit of Tory incompetence, corruption, and degeneracy.

The workers' party has been taken over by people who favour greedy capitalists over exploited workers; selfish private landlords over suffering tenants; the power of the state over the power of the people; and property rights over people.

It's been taken over by a wannabe-tyrant who refuses to accept any opinion other than his own, and clearly considers the genuine left within his own party to be a much bigger problem than Johnson's malicious, corrupt, and incompetent ghouls in government, who he repeatedly refuses to properly oppose.

I would never have picked Starmer as Labour leader, but I could also never have imagined that things would have degraded so rapidly under his perpetual abstention of a leadership. 

He's more of a right-wing control freak than Blair; he's more obsessed with defending the neoliberal economic order than Brown; he's more other-worldly and unengaging than Miliband; and he's far worse at getting to the point and hammering home the political advantage than Corbyn was!

He's like some kind of Frankenstein's monster composed of all of the worst aspects of other Labour leaders, without any of the good bits. 

Without the charisma of Blair; without Brown's aura of decency; without Miliband's desire to make the Labour Party more democratic and accountable; and without Corbyn's popular policies.

What's more is how utterly dismal Starmer is on policy and strategy.

He seems to be convinced that his strategy of repeating the same mistakes of the past will prove successful this time. 

Attacking the left rather than properly holding the Tories to account delivered Neil Kinnock his absolute pratfall of an election in 1992, and in 2015 Ed Miliband's mistake of pathetically imitating Tory economic insanity rather than opposing it turned what should have been an absolute gimme of an election, into a humbling defeat.

Starmer's going to do both at the same time, as well as insisting that the public are wrong to want energy and water renationalisation, when the sewage scandal and the energy crisis had actually provided him absolutely golden opportunities to offer the public the renationalisations that they've repeatedly told pollsters that they want (and what he'd promised in his leadership election pledges to boot!).

Starmer's just as determined to lecture the public that they're wrong, as he is to ignore the lessons from Labour Party history!

It's absolutely mind-boggling that there are still people within the Labour ranks who insist on trying to gaslight the public into believing that this unlikeable, unengaging, unsympathetic, untrustworthy figure is actually brilliant, funny, charismatic, relatable, and honest, and that we're all at fault for not having noticed yet!

Starmer's been far worse than even his harshest critics could have imagined in 2019, and yet Labour seem determined not to get rid of him, and to go into the next general election with this absolute dud dictating, and foot-stamping, and micromanaging the party into another devastating electoral pratfall.

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  1. Sadly correct as usual, Tom. Labour has become the Tony Party and heading back to that lamentable historical past

  2. The Labour Party has never been the party of workers. It set out to reform capitalism, but instead capitalism reformed it.

    Landlords (and bankers) are capitalists because they share in the exploitation of workers by traditional capitalists (e.g. factory owners). Only the workers of the world can defend themselves from their parasites by abolishing the 'for profit' system and producing/distributing solely to meet people's needs.

    The Labour Party was founded by trade unionists and gradualists (people who believe capitalism can slowly & steadily be reformed, by parliament, into socialism).

    I agree with you that by purging anyone who disagrees with him from the shadow cabinet, and the party in general, Starmer is behaving much more like Stalin than Corbyn ever did.

    How come Iraq is always rightly called a horrific disaster, but not Serbia and Afghanistan?

    "The workers' party has been taken over by people who favour greedy capitalists over exploited workers; selfish private landlords over suffering tenants; the power of the state over the power of the people; and property rights over people." The real workers' party (i.e. the Socialist Party of Great Britain) has not, and never will be, taken over by those people.

    People don't need leaders. If you hope to find the right leader to solve the problems of the world, you're going to have a bad time.

    NATIONALISATION IS JUST STATE-RUN CAPITALISM. The only half-decent nationalised industry is the NHS, and even that will look rubbish compared to genuinely socialist health care.

    1. I would love to hear your thoughts on the train strike- I think you do an amazing job!



    This pamphlet tells you what socialists think of Labour government – not only the Wilson government which entered office in 1964 but all Labour governments past, present and future.

    The Socialist Party of Great Britain has a distinctive point of view on this. You will not find in this pamphlet the kind of criticisms that abound in the Press and in trade union circles, based on disappointment that the Government has not done as well as its supporters hoped it would do, or giving advice to the Ministers about the policies they ought to follow. We have no hope in Labour governments or advice to offer to them: we do not hold that if they had been led by other [people] or had thought up other policies the outcome would have been significantly different. As socialists, our interest is in the vital issue of changing completely the economic structure of society. If the existing economic and social arrangements continue it is a matter of small account whether the administration is Conservative, Labour or Liberal.

    Many people, seeing this, have come to believe that ‘political parties are all the same’ and that ‘politics is a sham’ and not worth while. Nothing could be more mistaken. Politics which consists of sitting back waiting for Party leaders to put things right – that kind of politics is indeed useless; but political action directed to achieving in a democratic way a fundamental change in society is a very different matter. Socialism is worthwhile and can be achieved. We ask you to read this pamphlet to find out why and how.

    Executive Committee
    February 1968

  4. Don't listen to AAV, Anonymous. He believes capitalism can be made to work in the interests of both bosses and workers. There's a war going on in every country of the world; this is the class war. The interests of bosses and workers are totally opposed. Bosses want to keep wages and working conditions as low/bad as possible; while workers want to increase/improve wages and working conditions as much as possible.

    Therefore, workers need to unionise and go on strike to improve their working conditions, and/or make their bosses raise their wages in line with inflation.

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  7. I just finished reading your article on the Starmer-Streeting trade union strike, and I couldn't resist dropping a comment. First of all, kudos to you for shedding light on such an important and often overlooked issue. It's refreshing to see writers like you tackle subjects that have a significant impact on our society but don't always get the attention they deserve.

    Your analysis was spot on, and I appreciate the balanced perspective you brought to the table. It's clear that the relationship between trade unions and political leaders is a complex one, and your article did an excellent job of delving into the nuances. I particularly liked how you highlighted the historical context of this issue, which helped me better understand the challenges faced by both sides. Your writing style is engaging and easy to follow, making it a pleasure to read through the entire article.

    Moreover, I found your call to action at the end compelling. It's essential for us, as readers, to take an active interest in matters like these and not just passively consume information. Your article has motivated me to learn more about this topic and engage in discussions about it. Make Bright
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