Thursday, 8 October 2020

Starmer Putting Labour at Risk of Bankruptcy



Since Sir Keir Starmer took control of the Labour Party on 4th April 2020, not only has he taken every possible step to alienate his left-wing base and win over the Murdoch press, but he's also taken steps, which from a financial perspective would seem incredibly reckless.

While Starmer's team have openly been 'exploring other forms of revenue,' i.e., wooing corporate donors, those donors are only ever interested in one thing - neutering the left. And the way Starmer is haemorrhaging left-wing support at the moment, this strategy could very easily backfire. He could find himself without the financial support of the left or right, because let's face it, if Labour is in ruins, the billionaires won't need to hand over another penny to the centrist wreckers.

The goal, after all, is not to get Labour in power, but to keep neoliberals in power, blue, yellow, red, it simply does not matter. The system cannot be allowed to change. The rich people must not pay their fair share in taxes. Starmer himself even said so, breaking the pledge he made to increase corporation tax during his leadership campaign! The beige one does not have principles it seems, only an insatiable desire to crush those he was elected to represent. 

Starmer's decisions since he became leader have been so awful, they might tempt a cynical person to think he's willing to stop at nothing to protect his precious neoliberalism, even if it means destroying Labour in the process. Sometimes I wonder if Starmer would be bothered if the Labour Party disappeared tomorrow. Indeed, he might consider it job well done.

Since Starmer became leader, it's no secret the party has haemorrhaged support, with some estimating as many as 200,000 members have already left. Just think of the lost revenue: £4.38 x 200,000 = £876,000 a month potentially gone just like that. And given the rate at which Starmer is breaking the pledges he made during the leadership contest, you can expect that number to drop further. 

Many members say they are currently hanging by a thread, and with Christmas approaching, many will feel reluctant to hand over another penny to Starmer's neoliberal project. I would not be surprised to see another 200,000 members leave in the next 12 months. And let's not forget, due to the rapid growth of the Labour membership under Jeremy Corbyn, the party were hiring more staff (not least because of the sheer volume of complaints Margaret Hodge and friends were spamming their way). 

The running costs of the party have increased, but revenue has fallen. That does not make for a healthy balance book.

But the problems get worse.

Back in July, Starmer handed out six-figure compensation packages to the Panorama "whistleblowers", accepting liability in a case lawyers suggested Labour would likely win, if they were prepared to fight in court. This left the party in a vulnerable position as up to 40 new claimants were waiting in the wings, ready to demand their own huge sums. While things have fallen quiet on that front, further settlement pay outs could easily be in the millions. And if Labour defends each case in court, the legal bills could run so high, the party might not be able to fight to the end, given the protracted nature and huge costs involved. It would arguably have been cheaper to defend the original six cases, as if Labour had won, it would be unlikely they'd be pursued by the further 40 claimants. If Jeremy Corbyn was right that "this was a political decision rather than a legal one," it seems it may have been foolhardy.

And now Unite have cut funding.

The Unite Union Executive decided during a recent meeting to cut affiliation money to the Labour Party by 10% which I understand equates to about £700,000 a year. Unite is Labour's biggest donor, and you'd think Starmer and his team would be keen to keep them on side as priority, rather than suck up to Murdoch, especially given Labour is supposed to actually represent the labour movement. But the Labour right have for years treated the unions as they though live on a different planet...

Amusingly, Starmer supporters (the middle class types who know what the working class want better than the working class do) have been calling for Labour to disaffiliate from the unions so they can go all out with their Tory-lite project. Not sure it registers in their tiny brains that a Labour Party which does not represent unions is not a Labour Party at all. It is the Liberal Democrats. Sorry Neoliberal Democrats.

It would appear Unite have been as aghast as the rest of us as Starmer has whipped his party to abstain on bills which amount to an assault on human rights, giving our police and armed forces the power to murder with impunity. This on top of the insulting approach to Black Lives Matter and Palestinian activists, and the U-turn on the pledge to nationalise key services, means socialism is now effectively dead in the Labour Party. 

The Socialist Campaign Group, right now, although admirably standing by their principles, are effectively toothless. They have no positions in the shadow cabinet and are totally ignored by the leader who said he wanted to unite the party. What a joke.

Labour is now so far right, it refuses to even stand up to fascism - and while Starmer may have convinced himself we, in the red wall, abandoned Labour because we are all knuckle-dragging racists, the fact is we have no interest whatsoever in voting for a right-wing Labour Party. 

We did not abandon Labour because it was not racist enough, but because it abandoned the electorate with the PV policy (I'm a remainer btw) and because the middle-class London-types regained control after the 2017 general election, taking Labour in a direction we did not want to go. 

Neoliberalism is actually a huge fucking turn off to the people who are its primary victims.

We've been told repeatedly by Starmer's lot what the red wall wants, but what we actually want is a change to the status quo. The north didn't vote leave in huge numbers because of racism, but because our neoliberal economic model left us behind. The tragedy is in 2017, Labour had the anti-establishment vote, it was our biggest weapon, and then Starmer's lot, in a suicidal move, turned us into the pro-establishment PV party! This spectacular own goal didn't cost the Tories a single vote, but it cost Labour millions of votes - and now Starmer is doubling down on that approach. He's screaming to the electorate that he's more establishment than the Tories, and where I'm from that is going down like a cup of cold sick.

Expect Starmer to haemorrhage members in the build up to the 2024 general election, and expect the Labour coffers to run dry as the unions withdraw further funding. Starmer looks in no mood for reconciliation - indeed he seems to see the unions as the first enemy to his project, rather than an essential ally who can flood him with cash. 

At this rate, Labour will be a party with no one willing to knock on the doors for them and no one willing to hand over money - and at that point, Rupert Murdoch will not bother to endorse them and the corporations will have no need to fund them. 

It will be mission accomplished.

The Labour Party will be dead. 

Stabbed in the back by a knight of the realm.

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