Showing posts with label Labour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Labour. Show all posts

Friday, 29 July 2022

Dear Sir Keir, 

We have just witnessed you do something which should be unthinkable for a Labour Party leader, we have witnessed you sack a member of your front bench for joining a picket line. As you are aware, the party you were elected to represent was founded by the unions (and your namesake Keir Hardie) to be the voice of unions in parliament. To represent the working class.

In his 1906 election address, Keir Hardie famously said:

"A working man in Parliament should go to the House of Commons in his workaday clothes. He should address the Speaker on labour questions and give utterance to the same sentiments in the same language and in the same manner that he is accustomed to utter his sentiments to the local Radical Club. Above all, he should remember that all the Conservatives and the greater portion of Liberals are joined together in the interest of Capital versus Labour."

In other words, Labour MPs, and indeed the Labour leader should be proud to represent the unions, proud to represent the working class and always stand unapologetically in solidarity with them. A Labour MP is not supposed to be a middle class liberal who thinks the unions are a problem to be solved. Your party was literally founded to defeat politicians like that, not be run by them. 

If you do not understand this, you should not be Labour leader and indeed you would not be Labour leader, if you had been honest about your intentions in the leadership contest.

When you made ten pledges to the Labour membership, you understood perfectly well who and what a Labour leader is supposed to represent. Only your aides were briefing the press that you would not honour those pledges when you became leader and of course you did not. You U-turned on every single one of your pledges. I'm not talking about slight tweaking, a little change of direction here and there - I'm talking about you being the complete opposite of what you pretended to be.

Liberal pundits love to talk about integrity, to whine about "post-truth" politics and yet here you are, showing yourself to be a liar with no integrity whatsoever. You have infiltrated the Labour Party because your natural home in the Liberal Democrats would not have been as good for your career prospects.

And you talk like your nonsense is necessary to transform Labour's electoral chances, yet here you are, one point behind the dire Liz Truss in the popularity stakes. You are about to throw away a historic chance to wipe the Tories out at the next general election, and even if you did somehow squeak a majority, what would be the point? You've made it abundantly clear you're not going to represent people like me, so why should I vote for you?

The tragedy here is huge gains can be made for Labour, if it somehow finds its sense of direction and purpose. Even a genuine centrist, rather than a centre-right fraud like yourself, someone like say Andy Burnham, would likely clean up at the next election. Someone truly on the left like Mick Lynch, if he were an MP, surely would as well. But someone on the centre-right, positioning himself a hair's breadth to the left of the Tories is definitely not offering a way forwards. People who want Tories will vote Tory and people who want an alternative will seek an actual alternative.

This must be a frustrating time for you, given that even the members of the soft left who made you leader are turning against you. Even your own shadow ministers are considering resignation to save their own careers. I am sure you are feeling the pressure, but you keep falling back on the blame Corbyn strategy, so it would be remiss of me to not mention how Corbyn transformed Labour's fortunes after the Miliband disaster and didn't make excuses or blame the last leader, because let's be honest, that would be lame.

Now I know you've gone to pains to "win back trust", to make gains in the Tory south and rebuild the so-called red wall. Your focus groups seem to have convinced you the way forward is to drape yourself in the Union Jack, repeatedly tell the nation you're not Jeremy Corbyn, be reluctant to criticise the calamitous Tory government and refuse to take a position on any major issue.

In short, keep telling everyone how much of a patriot you are and give the Tories enough rope to hang themselves so you win a general election by default. Only, you must be aware this strategy is not working and endlessly blaming Jeremy Corbyn and sneering at unions will not make you Prime Minister. If anything, it undermines your credibility and shows you lack confidence in your ability to turn things around.

I'm a member of the working class, the exact type of person you should be proud to represent. I was born and raised on a rough council estate in a single parent household and fed by free school meals and income support. My adult life has been a mix of unemployment and mostly low paid jobs. And I live in what was one of the safest Labour seats in the country. I say was because I don't know what it is now, and the people around here have no idea what your party stands for anymore.

We need a party that stands with unions because the unions are standing up for our economic interests during a cost of living crisis. They're the ones fighting against the real-terms pay cuts the Tories (and even you) are telling us to accept. We were already finding life hard, now we're finding it impossible and we're supposed to be able to look to you for a way out.

If you genuinely think you're offering us representation, I'm afraid you've got us massively wrong and draping yourself in the Union Jack really isn't going to cut it. If you somehow survive in your job until 2024, I genuinely believe you might achieve the unthinkable: turning our safe red seat blue. And I promise you this is not because we are all Tories. You couldn't find a person in my town who'd publicly admit to voting Tory because they would be driven into the sea!

So instead of telling the working class what we want, please start listening, because we so desperately need the representation you're refusing to provide.

Take my kids' primary school, for example, which set up a foodbank. It received donations from local businesses like Greggs and topped them up with its own surplus stock and gave out food to anyone who wanted it. There was no means testing because there would be no point. Almost everyone around here is "skint" - that's working class terminology to describe peasantry. (Please don't include it in your next speech to show how in touch you are, though!)

On top of this, the school sometimes gives out clothing - hand-me-downs from other parents - including school uniforms and shoes which have been outgrown. This is necessary because so many parents are struggling to feed and clothe their kids in the fifth richest nation on Earth. I know first-hand the panic of trying to buy uniforms in time for the next school year.

The system is not working and people like you, who think it requires only minor tweaking, might as well be living on a different planet.

I was sitting in the local park with my kids the other day. The park is shit, by the way. Half the swings, and other features, were removed for no obvious reason, leaving us with half a park in a boggy field about a mile and a half from where we live. There are no parks on our estate, meaning I have the joy of dragging three small kids that distance, just so they can play out. As you can imagine, it's exhausting.

So anyways, I was sitting in the park as my kids played on the tiny slide and the two bouncy elephant things which are pretty much all the park has now, and as smoke wafted our way, my gaze turned to some of the older kids. They had built a large bonfire nearby and were probably at risk of a nasty accident. It was the kind of thing we used to do when we were kids, growing up on the same estate. To be honest, we did a lot worse than build bonfires and boredom was the main driver of our behaviour. Good kids doing foolish things.

A bunch of other kids had built their own swing from the frame which previously held real swings, and they were taking turns getting pushed by one of their mothers. They were making their own fun because there is naff all around here, and even replacing a swing is too much for the local council, apparently.

Another kid was playing music from a ghetto blaster or boom box or whatever the kids are calling them these days, and I pictured someone like you saying they couldn't possibly be living in poverty because they have an electronic gadget! 

Sounds bloody stupid, doesn't it? But that's the kind of crap we hear all the time from the privileged middle class. They pretend our struggle isn't real, even though their worst fear is ending up just like us.

We started playing frisbee and then a couple of hooligans decided to race a motorbike which they'd quite possibly nicked (that's working class for appropriated, I think) and so we had to go back home where it was safer. It's hard to take the kids to nice places when you don't even have bus fare, so it's the crappy half-built park or nothing.

You see, that's the thing about poverty, it's not just about money being a bit tight, or whether you can pay the bills and keep the bailiffs away, it's also about living in areas that have been totally left behind. Areas where there aren't many, if any, safe places for children to play. Areas that are run down, and let's be honest, more than a bit depressing. Areas where people find it near-impossible to "better themselves". (I hate that term though, because I don't need to be better, and nor do most of the rest of us. We need our local area to be better and the free market isn't going to help with that.)

People like us, stuck in our run-down council estates with no opportunities, we need answers, we need solutions, we need policies, and most importantly, we need someone who will fight back against corporate power and the diabolical Tories. And we're not seeing any of this from you.

We need to know what your plan is to bring better jobs to our region, to regenerate our towns and get our high streets going again, to ensure that wages and, yes, benefits, are actually sufficient to ensure we can live dignified and stress-free lives. But you're not telling us anything. You're not even talking to us. And what's worse is you seem embarrassed to represent people like us, so instead, you've created this northern working class caricature that you feel more comfortable representing.

And it's a really fucking offensive "socially conservative" caricature that is not representative at all. 

First of all, we are not a monolith - there is no working class hive mind. We are not all secretly hating gays and foreigners and other minorities. And we're certainly not getting a hard on when we hear the national anthem. We get all types around here, but the general trend is that we hate the Tories and we want major systemic change.

I take objection to the idea that bigotry, I mean "social conservatism" is the norm in the red wall. Don't get me wrong, there are bigots, but I would definitely say they were more common, or perhaps more vocal, when I was a kid. 

Today, there is more inclusivity. I saw a young lad the other day dressed in, shall I say, a flamboyant manner, which would have gotten him beaten up in the 90s, but today no one bats an eyelid at such sights. We have Muslims and immigrants in much higher numbers than we used to, and I myself married an immigrant. While we have certainly been on the receiving end of racism, those racists would be roundly condemned by 80% of our neighbours. I, as a straight man, am just as comfortable sitting in a gay bar as a straight bar, just as happy to talk to a trans person as a cis person. It's only the gammons who are uncomfortable with this sort of thing, and it's one hell of a projection to treat the working class like one gigantic slab of gammon. Most of us think gammons are idiots.

If it's still not clear, let me spell this out: no one is impressed by your flag shagging. You're treating us like simpletons. And to add insult to injury, you've gone and made Rachel "tougher on benefits claimants than the Tories" Reeves your Shadow Chancellor. 

Now I've claimed benefits. I was once long-term unemployed and I can assure you, my diet of baked beans and porridge oats was no "lifestyle choice" and I certainly didn't need anyone being tougher on me. I was tough enough on myself.

I remember almost getting a benefits sanction because I couldn't afford to attend a job interview ten miles away. It was the day before my benefit money was paid and I did not have a penny left.

"Well, what did you spend the money on?" the woman asked me.

"Food," I replied. I was then told in no uncertain terms that my benefits were not for food, they were for attending interviews only, and any further instances would result in a sanction. I have no idea how the JobCentre expected me to eat, but there you go.

On my estate, I doubt you will find a single person who has never claimed benefits, who doesn't have a similar story to tell. And a party with Rachel Reeves as Shadow Chancellor is screaming that it doesn't want to represent us. 

It's not just a huge chunk of the working class you've alienated either. Your shocking response to Black Lives Matter has alienated many Black voters. Your horrendous fence-sitting on Palestine has alienated many Muslims. Your apparent indifference to the climate crisis has alienated many younger voters. Your disgraceful treatment of Jeremy Corbyn has alienated many socialists. And you are winning back absolutely none of the voters your People's Vote policy lost in 2019. Indeed, you are losing the People's Vote crowd by U-turning on that policy.

You are being nothing to anyone and blaming your failures on the 2019 election, yet the 2019 disaster was on you, and I'm pretty sure you understand this, because I'm pretty sure it was intentional self-sabotage. You acknowledged that such a policy would divide the "red wall", one year prior to adopting the policy, after seeing internal polling data. This was your great plan to become leader though, wasn't it? And now it has backfired. If you really want to "win back trust", an apology would be a good start.

It would appear you've sacrificed all of Labour's core principles, and I honestly don't know at this point, if you're even interested in power, or just interested in ensuring ordinary people never have power, but either way, the end result will be the same.

We have been left behind.

We were left behind by Thatcher and we were left behind by Major, but we were also left behind by Blair and Brown. I was long-term homeless under Blair, and I can assure you, none of us around here are desperate to return to the Blair days. Centrism is dead because it never offered anything to us - at least the unions are fighting our cause.

You need to pick a side: You either side with the people the Labour Party was set up to represent (and the many decent privileged people who fight our cause) or you pick the side of the people who would maintain the status quo. 

The status quo, let's not forget, means trampling us down forever. It means crap wages for the working class, overpowered corporations running the country, and no light at the end of the tunnel. No better tomorrow. No end to the constant exhaustion and lack of time with the family and fear of destitution and anti-depressants just to maintain sanity. 

If you really are on the side of the status quo, you are one of the people trampling us down and you should not be in charge of the Labour Party. You should not even be in the Labour Party.

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Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Could May Spell the End of Starmer's Leadership?

If pollsters Survation are to be believed, Sir Keith Starmer, FBPE's knight in shining armour, could be set to lose Hartlepool for Labour for the first time in the seat's history in the coming by-election. Labour has won Hartlepool at every general election since the seat was created in 1974, yet two recent polls by Survation are suggesting grim news for Sir Keith. The first poll, earlier this month, had the Tories taking Hartlepool by 7%, and the most recent poll has the Tories taking the seat by a whopping 17%.

Now, to be fair, the polls had small sample sizes (502 and 517 respectively) and are obviously not fully reliable, but these are hardly positive signs. Especially when you consider the most recent poll showed Starmer's approval rating at just 22%, compared to Boris Johnson's 51%.

The Tories are in disarray, being up to their eyeballs in corruption, and the prime minister could plausibly be forced to resign soon. Labour should be battering them in the polls and yet the reverse is true. It's difficult to see how things could be worse for them, right now.

If Labour loses Hartlepool, that's one of its safest seats gone. How does the party come back from that?

Even a narrow victory for Labour would be a poor showing, never mind a crushing defeat. The Brexit Party is out the way, Brexit is no longer an issue, and the Tories are getting every major decision wrong. The conditions are perfect for a Labour resurgence, yet the polling suggests this resurgence is nowhere in sight.

I suspect this is actually part of the reason the mainstream media has suddenly turned against PM Boris Johnson. It's not that they want the Tories out, it's just they want centrist Labour (their B team) to be close enough to the Tories, there is no way back for the Labour left. But even their best propaganda efforts are failing to convince enough voters to stick with Labour. Younger voters are abandoning the party in droves and older voters are simply not coming in to replace them.

Keith basically cut off his left leg in the hope his right leg would grow back, and all he did was leave himself without a leg to stand on.

The recent polling has come as quite a shock to the FBPE crowd because in their minds Sir Keith Starmer has clearly done everything right! He's purged Labour of those toxic lefty activists who did all of Labour's campaigning, he's treated every Brexiter like they're too thick to know what's good for them, and he's shagged a flag every time a camera was close by. He's even worn Brylcreem and his favourite Hugo Boss suit, but those pesky northerners want a bit more than that. They want representation.

Obviously, this is all Jeremy Corbyn's fault - he set Starmer up for failure by winning the Hartlepool seat twice.

Amazingly, ex-Labour MP Thelma Walker is currently polling at 6% as an independent candidate! Her party - the Northern Independence Party - aren't officially registered yet and she's still taking 6% off Labour guy Saudi Paul, which would be enough to keep her deposit. In our outdated FPTP system that is a minor miracle. Just imagine the damage Walker can do when the NIP is in full swing... 

It looks like the electorate don't want "grownup politics" after all. Strange, because I always thought us northerners wanted just three things in life: football, beer, and patronising metropolitan lawyers ventriloquising us in Westminster. But apparently not...

Fear not though, the Starmerrhoids already have their attack line planned. Keith has explained that no one seriously thought Labour could rebuild in one year after suffering their worst election defeat since 1935. Only the centrists did think that actually - they told us repeatedly they'd be 20 points ahead! And the last defeat wasn't the worst since 1935 - Corbyn won more votes in 2019 than Miliband in 2015 and Brown in 2010. It's only because of Britain's weird electoral system and the divisive People's Vote policy that he picked up fewer seats.

PV was Starmer's brilliant plan to capture the Labour Party, but he didn't stop to think he was burning the house down while he was still inside and those toxic lefties are actually the fire brigade he needs to rescue him. Oops. 

Keith fans have a great cover for his coming failure though - their story is as follows: Labour only won Hartlepool in 2019 because the Brexit Party took votes from the Conservatives!

Please don't mention this claim is provably false because the Brexit Party actually took significantly more votes from Labour than from the Tories, and Corbyn still won the seat. Also, don't mention that by going with this line, they are actually suggesting the people of Hartlepool never wanted the People's Vote (this being the policy they said would win the 2019 GE). And finally, don't mention that according to their own logic, those voters should be rushing back to Labour in droves, but instead they're going to the Tories, NIP, and anywhere but Labour.

There seems to be a complete disconnect with wor Keith who is currently in the process of suicide by focus group. He fails to realise the reason Hartlepudlians voted for Brexit is the same reason they're rejecting Labour now: they are fed up with the establishment and desperate for change.

There is a reason Labour came so close to government in 2017 and won Hartlepool by a landslide - Corbyn offered a meaningful alternative which Evans and Starmer have ensured can never happen again by dismantling Labour's internal party democracy.

In perhaps the most tone deaf move ever, Keith is screaming from the rooftops that he's the pro-establishment guy, then he's parachuting in Saudi Paul without a democratic selection process and expecting the people of Hartlepool to accept whatever shit he dumps on their doorstep because they have nowhere else to go. Talk about taking your voter base for granted!

There are huge issues facing the north, with limited infrastructure, appalling public transport, and shocking lack of investment. Yet Keith is telling Hartlepudlians a status quo which filters all their money to the southeast is somehow best for them - they're just too thick to understand. But look, Keith can wear boxing gloves for the cameras and throw the kind of punch which suggests he's never had to deal with the rough and tumble of working class life!

Keith fans love to boast about his working class credentials, but he's never actually lived in the real world. His father was not a "tool maker," he was the owner of the tool factory. The boss. The capitalist. And his interests were totally incompatible with the interests of the working class. Clearly, Keith has carried his father's life experience into his politics. He is the kind of man workers need to be unionising against so it's absurd to expect unions and the working class to get behind him. 

Keith is not an ally, he is an enemy.

Starmer's Labour very deliberately left working class northerners with nowhere to go, failing to consider they were creating fertile ground for new parties to emerge. It's no surprise to me at all that the Northern Independence Party is on the rise. It's addressing the north/south divide which centrism simply has no answer for, because status quo politics by its very nature can't change what needs to be changed. And the people know it.

Even Labour's internal polling predicts defeat in Hartlepool, with only 40% of previous Labour voters saying they will definitely vote Labour this time around - and this from a sample of 10,000 voters. Labour fears it's also at risk of losing Sunderland and Durham councils for the first time in 50 years.

Therefore, I'm sticking my neck on the line and predicting Labour will lose Hartlepool, Saudi Paul will fade into obscurity, Starmer will remain in denial until his allies force him out, and Labour will go into catastrophic free fall. Why? Because even if Starmer goes, the neoliberal rot at the heart of the Labour Party will remain and working class voters simply don't want establishment politics. 

The "grownup moderates" are making Labour everyone's least favourite option because they stand for absolutely nothing. They've already lost Scotland to the SNP, trust for Labour in the north is at an all-time low, and no amount of flag shagging will ever turn the Tory south red. Labour is losing the youth vote, the BAME vote and the socialist vote. It has no red wall, no safe seats and no one to knock on doors, so where the hell are its votes coming from in 2024?

Labour is on a downward spiral, it's a dying party, and that's why it's time for the left to build something new. Even if Starmer manages to cling onto Hartlepool by the skin of his teeth, he is simply postponing the inevitable. Why waste another second of your energy fighting for a party which has contempt for your views and no future?

If you're a northerner, get behind the Northern Independence Party. If you're a southerner, take a look at the Breakthrough Party. And let's start winning over all those disenchanted voters who've been abandoned by Westminster. It's time for change and May's local and by-election results could be the awakening Britain so desperately needs.

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Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Why Won't Labour Address the North/South Divide?

If you pay attention to social media politics in the UK, you can't have missed the launch of the Northern Independence Party, if only because Labour centrists won't stop freaking out about it. And the louder the Starmerrhoids scream about how irrelevant the NIP is, the less convincing they sound. 

While few are expecting the NIP to start winning parliamentary seats overnight, the threat of them picking up 5% of the vote share is real, and depending on where those votes come from, they could easily sway the outcome of local and by-elections.

Take Hartlepool for example: a historically safe Labour seat which was betrayed by Sir Keith Starmer and his disastrous People's Vote. A seat where the public are rapidly losing trust in Labour and unsure what the party even stands for now. 

The NIP is contesting this seat in the coming by-election and it's entirely possible their vote share will come from disaffected Labour voters. This could spell trouble for Starmer, given Labour's margin of victory in 2019 was fairly small at approximately 3,600. 

Keith must be praying those Hartlepudlians who lent the Tories their vote solely for Brexit will save his skin by not voting the Tory shade of blue again. But he knows the Tories could be looking at a Covid vaccine bounce, meaning a larger vote share for them and a smaller vote share for Blue Labour. 

The bookies have the parties neck and neck, and if Starmer loses the seat, this would be a huge hammer blow to his leadership. How could he blame Jeremy Corbyn, when Corbyn's Labour twice won this seat, despite the best efforts of centrist wreckers?

Defeat might force Starmer out of a job and Labour would then surely go into free fall, because centrist attacks on party democracy mean it would end up with another out of touch centrist in charge. (Please let it be Jess Phillips!)

Now you might scoff at the idea of a new fringe party picking up a significant vote share, but NIP are, on the surface, a single-issue party (they would not describe themselves as such) with a strong and instantly recognisable brand. Let's not forget, the Brexit Party picked up a significant vote share because people instantly knew what it was about on name recognition alone. (No one knows what Labour is about now.)

If you're a disaffected voter stepping into the booth, feeling unenthused about any of the main choices and you see Northern Independence Party on the ballot, you might just put a tick in that box. After all, no one else is listening to your concerns about the decline of your region. The establishment has left you behind.

This could be a powerful effect, and when you combine it with the fact the NIP has a credible candidate in former Labour MP Thelma Walker, only a fool would dismiss their chances. Winning Hartlepool outright would be incredibly tough, but picking up the 5% vote share to hold onto their deposit would seem entirely feasible. And would represent a huge achievement.

From Labour's perspective, the best approach would be to take ownership of the issue, to acknowledge the severity of the north/south divide and tell the public how they intend to address that. But they aren't and won't

Let's not forget, Labour had 13 years in power under Blair and they did nothing meaningful to address the north/south divide because they were too busy dropping bombs. Labour abandoned their natural base on the assumption us northerners had nowhere else to go and they've been haemorrhaging support in the "red wall" ever since. It's laughable that centrists now blame Jeremy Corbyn for this problem when the one halt in the decline came at the 2017 general election. Corbyn was actually reversing the trend until Keith got his way with PV and betrayed the north all over again.

So now, instead of acknowledging past failings and showing us their plan to fix our regions, Labour is like a rabbit in the headlights, terrified of upsetting its flag shagging base. And its focus groups have come up with the ingenious plan of writing a hit piece in The Times. This move offered the type of exposure the Northern Independence Party could only dream of. No wonder their Twitter numbers are going so high!

So this piece in The Times was written by a Labour guy who proudly told us how northern and English he is, and then went onto describe a middle-class experience which is totally alien to most of us northerners. (The middle-class to us is like the upper-class to you southerners. We're all poor here.) He  went on to describe the NIP as a glorified Twitter account (one which is getting more engagement than Keith's and doesn't need an army of paid bots to boost its numbers) and just threw petty insults at it. Not only was he insulting the party, he was also indirectly insulting every northerner who is looking seriously at the Northern Independence Party because our issues are not being addressed by Labour. He then had the gall to suggest the NIP was needlessly dividing the left, when the left have spent the last few years being mocked, ridiculed and purged by his neoliberal party. He honestly believes the best strategy is to further insult the people his party deliberately pushed away and demand they fall in line. It's so excruciatingly tone deaf.

Why didn't he address any of our real concerns? Why didn't he discuss how the north has twice as many underperforming schools and much lower numbers of pupils going onto university? Why didn't he discuss how the average income in West London is double that of Sunderland? Why didn't he discuss our higher unemployment rates and shocking lack of job opportunities? Why did he disregard our lack of investment in public transport?

The Labour guy, who I won't be naming, simply told us how lovely and middle class his life is in the northeast and how this made him proud to be English. I promise you 99% of northerners would've been rolling their eyes.

We have been left behind by Westminster and very deliberately so. 

If the north was an independent country, it would have a population of 15 million (comparable to the Netherlands) and would be the 74th most populous country in the world. It would also be 24th largest by GDP per capita. This means an independent Northumbria would be far from helpless. It would be a medium-sized country more than capable of producing enough to provide for its people through fairer distribution of resources. 

We're never going to achieve that while we're attached to the Tory south because they're always going to vote for a status quo that favours themselves over us. We are essentially at their mercy. We are under the dictatorship of the southern middle class, and Labour is not offering a way out.

Labour could fight for proportional representation to strengthen our voice in parliament. They won't. 

The Socialist Campaign Group could break away from Labour and fight for us. They won't.

In short, we have been abandoned by those we chose to represent us, and we have been left with nowhere else to turn. If Labour won't offer us hope, the only remaining option is to destroy the party and replace it with something better, like the SNP did in Scotland. And all you need to do that is 5% of the vote share.

Labour has already been routed in Scotland, meaning it has no route back to power in Westminster. It's a walking corpse. Now imagine the Northern Independence Party picking up 5% of the vote in every Labour/Tory Marginal. Labour's share of the seats would collapse. And while you may find that idea horrifying, we're talking about a Labour Party which has abstained on some of the Tories' most sinister policies, like the Spy Cops bill. And we're talking about a Labour Party that, through Yvette Cooper, played a large role in the introduction of ATOS assessments which have brought misery, and even death, to the disabled (I know people who were left suicidal by this policy). 

The Labour Party is the Tory Party. It's the establishment's B team. If we can completely smash Labour's seat share, the public will abandon it in droves and they will then be looking for something new. In the north, that will be the Northern Independence Party, and in the south, you can expect the rise of a new left-wing movement in the near future.

We are going to see a new kind of opposition. An opposition spread across a coalition of anti-establishment parties who individually could not hold a majority in Westminster, but collectively might, and at the very least will play a huge role in shaping the national debate. Northumbria could become a semi-autonomous region like Scotland, but it's likely Scotland will declare full independence in the next ten years, at which point the remaining union will likely collapse, and Northumbrians will not want to remain attached to Tory England.

The Northern Independence Party could well be the start of something - a movement driven by people who've had enough of career politicians and want to shape their own destiny. Expect the smears and dirty tricks to come. They already are. Don't even acknowledge them. Just keep driving our narrative and focus on dismantling the last vestiges of the British empire.

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Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Sir Keith Starmer and His Magical Changing Principles

Sir Keith Starmer is easily one of the most impressive politicians in the UK. He brushes his hair every day, wears nice designer suits, and tries really hard to never upset Conservatives (with a big "C" or a little "c"). 

Sir Keith effortlessly performs impossible feats like transforming himself from a socialist into a conservative and then into a centrist in an eye blink. He just has to utter the magic words "Focus group" and voila! we have a totally new man with a totally new set of beliefs. What is especially impressive about Sir Keith is how his views always perfectly align with whatever he thinks the general public want him to think. He is a real conviction politician.

To paraphrase the great Tony Benn, there are two kinds of politician - weather vanes and sign posts, and obviously what the public want is a weather vane.

Take, for example, the Labour leadership contest where Sir Keith was uttering words like "radical" which he wouldn't fucking dare utter now, unless it's to sneer at a Corbyn supporter and tell them how childish they are. Sir Keith even promised to honour the Labour manifesto, yes, that set of leftie policies which gives his upper-middle class base nightmares. And I'm pretty sure he once called himself a socialist, prior to him becoming the nation's number one culler of socialists. What a guy!

Today we are facing one of the most important pieces of legislation in our lifetimes, legislation which threatens the very fabric of what is, let's be honest, an already extremely shit pseudo-democracy, and Sir Keith is flip-flopping all over the place.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill (I typed that by memory so probably got it wrong) is that notorious piece of legislation which Screamy Patel wants to force through Parliament to steal your democratic right to peacefully protest. Screamy wants to tell you where you can protest, at what times your protest must start and finish, and how loud any protesters can be. Protests will need Screamy's advance permission, and if anyone so much as picks up a megaphone, or starts chanting, or stays a little beyond their allocated time slot, they could face up to ten years in prison. That's more than a fucking rapist gets! 

Screamy also wants to jail people for ten years for defacing statues, but she is yet to clarify whether that includes gammons shagging the statue of Winston Churchill. We can but hope.

Up until Friday, Sir Keith was planning to abstain on this sinister, authoritarian piece of legislation, but now he has flipflopped, I mean magically transformed his principles, after uttering the words "focus group." Now Sir Keith is actually going to vote against the bill and he is acting like he planned to do this all along, prompting his supporters to attack Diane Abbott for her earlier criticisms of the abstain position.

Suddenly Starmerrhoids can see that abstaining would've been stupid, but of course, if Sir Keith did abstain, the same people would defend him to the hilt. Totally. Not. A. Cult.

Looks like Sir Keith changed his mind on abstaining because angry centre-right Blue Ticks realised they'd lose their ability to protest, if ever the Tories planned a train line through their back yard or allowed an Aldi next door to their local Waitrose. Privileged people realised they were losing their voice too, so that's why things had to change. 

I mean it's fine when plebs lose their voice. They only use it to ask silly questions like "Why can't I eat for the last three days of every month?" and "Can we have our polar ice caps back, please?"

You will be pleased to know Sir Keith was not elected Labour leader to represent the plebs, which is why he spends 75% of his time purging them from his party. It's important to remember Labour was founded to represent upper-middle class people and gammons, and if you remove the right to protest, you actually silence the two whiniest, most self-entitled and snowflakey demographics in our society. It is for that reason focus groups said "Whoa!" and Rupert Murdoch said, "Okay, Keith, I'll let you do some opposition today, but just this once."

So Sir Keith looks set to actually vote against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill (again typed by memory), rather than abstain, and you can expect a bit of nasal grandstanding about how much he cares about our democracy. It could, and indeed should, be the perfect opportunity to see Sir Keith soar in the polls, but his shameless opportunism is so painfully transparent, nobody can trust a word that comes from his mouth.

Sir Keith fails to realise the public actually want politicians who believe in something, politicians who understand the complexities of legislation and recognise dangers, even when the majority of people don't. We understand popular opinion can often be dangerous because people are not always privy to the full details and don't have time to pore over them anyways. That's why we elect politicians to do the right thing, even when it's unpopular for them to do so. 

Sir Keith is telling us he will only do the right thing when it's politically convenient and that makes him incredibly fucking dangerous. We are looking at the most authoritarian Tory government Britain has possibly ever seen and we deserve real opposition with real substance. We deserve so much better than Sir Keith Starmer and his magical changing principles. We deserve a viable alternative.

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Saturday, 6 March 2021

The Establishment Has to Go

So the kids are back at school on Monday and I finally have time to write again... 

Now I take lockdown as seriously as anyone, but I'd be lying if I said I'd not been counting down the microseconds to this moment! Three months with three human whirlwinds turning your house into a daily disaster zone is enough to make anyone's brain melt. 

Finally the schools are reopening and the kids are relieved because I've called off the naughty children's home they were about to be sent to. And now they get to stay a while longer and fight over the bashed up old Nintendo Switch which they miraculously have not completely destroyed yet. Phew.

I can thankfully breathe again. And work. And how better to get started than to sum up all the recent happenings I've not had time to write about? This could take a while...

First of all Sir Keith Starmer - what an absolute dickhead.

Pardon my French, but that really needed to be said. It was actually therapeutic typing it out. I personally think Keith is trolling us now. The number one defence his supporters have offered up until this point is that he would be a moderate Tory. That keeping the actual Tories in charge would be even worse for us. That Starmer has us by the balls and we'd better bloody do as he says. Well, that argument is now dead in the water.

This is because Sir Keith has clearly positioned himself to the right of the most right-wing government this country has seen in our lifetimes. 

How can you possibly support this and call yourself left-wing?

Keith is very supportive of Rishi Sunak's plan to hike up tax for the working class, including our wonderful and heroic nurses. But Keith is absolutely furious that Sunak plans to increase corporation tax to 25%. Not only is his position obscene, it's economically illiterate.

"It will hurt growth," Keith says. No, it fucking won't.

Corporation tax is only charged on profit, and only then does the 25% get charged on profit that a corporation does not reinvest. You know how the right have been telling us for years that lower corporation tax encourages investment? Well, to their credit, the Tories are incentivising reinvestment and making those who don't reinvest pay a little more. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Rishi Sunak fan boy, far from it. But Sunak is unquestionably to the left of Anneliese Dodds on fiscal policy. And that is unacceptable.

Starmer would like to set corporation tax at around 18%, which would be among the lowest rates of any developed country. Sunak on the other hand, plans to set corporation tax at 25%, which would bring it in line with most developed countries, and most, if not all of them, are performing better economically than Britain right now. 

You'd think Starmer would understand this, given he wants to be Prime Minister. Personally, I think he's livid the Tories have adopted John McDonnell's tax proposal and made Starmer look like a Tory knob head. They've completely outmanoeuvred him again.

No wonder the Tories are 13 points ahead in the polls. 

But wait, that was from before all this happened, and when you consider public approval for the Covid vaccination program is high, you can expect the next opinion poll to make grim reading indeed for Keith. I will try not to laugh.

Corbyn's Labour forged a coalition of public sector workers, the working poor, ethnic minorities, and generally decent human beings. Starmer has attempted to forge a coalition of racists, corporations, and complete and utter bastards. And hilariously, they are now telling him, they prefer the Tories. He is just their plan B.

Keith has dug himself into an almighty hole, and all this comes before the local and mayoral elections. So what has Keith's preparation for these elections been? More Stalinist purges and an attempt to rig the Liverpool mayoral election by installing a neoliberal no one wants. Keith has declared war against Britain's most socialist city and deprived them of their socialist choice in Anna Rothery. I cannot see this ending well for him. 

So what's the solution to all of this? 

Well, I was reading in some right-wing rag, the people around Starmer rather hilariously think the way forward is to purge anyone even slightly left-wing, including deputy leader (and Starmer loyalist) Angela Rayner! You really couldn't make it up. They are making no secret of their plans to turn the Labour Party into UKIP version 2.

Of course, not everyone around Starmer is an insane right-wing nut job, and some are now genuinely fearful they will lose their seats in 2024 as voters abandon Labour in droves. If Keith performs terribly at the local and mayoral elections, it's entirely possible he will be pushed out. However, don't get too excited because these people don't learn and they certainly don't want unity. Expect the next leadership contest to be a complete stitch up with a winner absolutely no one wants, like Yvette Cooper. Vomit.

Just start a new party already, Jeremy Corbyn!

Anyways, that's enough ranting about Keith and Labour because I want to discuss Harry and Meghan and their abysmal treatment by the royal family. Let's be clear: these relics have absolutely no place in modern society and they must go. Like yesterday.

The royals have vilified and tried to destroy Britain's first Black princess while she is carrying the Queen's frigging great-grandchild. How completely and utterly sadistic does one have to be? I genuinely fear for the personal safety of Harry and Meghan and hope they can somehow escape this madness and live in peace.

The sheer hypocrisy of these people.

For years, our royals have flown over to Saudi Arabia to hang out with their mates, the Saudi royal family and sell them bombs which get used to commit crimes against humanity. Now suddenly they're upset that Meghan wore a pair of ear rings gifted by the Saudis? Are you kidding me?

And then there's the bullying accusations which have suddenly come to light two and a half years later, perfectly timed to coincide with the Oprah interview. What were those allegations? That Meghan sometimes sent emails to her staff early in the morning when they were still in bed!


What the fuck is wrong with these people? And how can anyone still support them? I cannot begin to comprehend why anyone would back the royal family after they revealed their sheer vindictiveness for the world to see.

It was particularly heartwarming, however, to see Whoopi Goldberg and her panel on The View absolutely tearing the royals to shreds over this. Here is a clip:

Next thing I wanted to touch upon is the Tories' obscene waste. 

One percent. That is all they can offer our heroic NHS staff. One frigging percent. We asked those people to risk their lives for us and then gave them a pay cut in real terms. But at least we clapped for them. "We couldn't possibly afford any more," says expenses cheat Nadine Dorries who had to repay £3,000 she wrongly claimed. 

Perhaps the Tories spent all of our money paying off Priti Patel's bullying victims. £340,000 is what they reportedly paid to Sir Philip Rutnam after making the poor man's life hell. But Patel is always getting accused of bullying and we are always paying out compensation on her behalf, it seems. And yet she gets to keep her job?

In the real world, if your boss has to pay out six-figure compensation sums due to your behaviour, you get dismissed. But then again, we're talking about Priti Patel, a woman who was previously sacked for having secret meetings with a foreign power, which sounds alarmingly close to treason. It seems no indiscretion is severe enough for the Tories to finally rid themselves of the "Prittster," making me wonder what dirt she has on them.

But it's not just Priti Patel who is proving a huge drain on the nation's resources. I'm hearing we've just given another £15 billion to Serco, taking our spending on Test and Trace up to £37 billion, which according to my maths is 50,000 times more than what the Republic of Ireland paid. Someone please tell me my maths is terrible because this is horribly depressing.

The Tories have a magic money tree for their corporate mates and empty gestures for those who are willing to die for us. Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?

Anyways, this piece is ballooning a little more than anticipated so I'm going to cut it off there and probably do a part 2 in a day or so. 

In summary, we need to abolish the Tories, abolish the Tories in the Labour Party, and abolish the Royal Family. And if you disagree with those sentiments, we definitely can't be friends! Until next time...

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Saturday, 6 February 2021

Can Starmer's Flag Shagging Really Win Over the Red Wall?

I'm from the so-called "red wall" - a northeast working class town where almost everyone is poor, having been shat on by consecutive neoliberal governments of both the red and blue variety. 

I'm as working class as it gets. In fact, a better term would be underclass. I was raised in a council house on a rough estate by a single mother on benefits. We saw all kinds of crazy crap. Drug dealers kicked our door in once, even though we were never involved in any of that stuff. My next-door neighbour drove a car through someone's house, demolishing the living room wall. A little old lady was robbed in front of my eyes when I was playing in the street. 

Fights were an almost daily occurrence and the kids had nothing to do but get in trouble. Our playgrounds were building sites and derelict buildings until we reached the wise old age of 11. From then on, childhood was subways and cider bottles in a haze of cigarette smoke.

So please, if you're from a middle class background, don't lecture me on what is or is not working class. You're not from my world and you have no clue.

The man who was my step-father for a while was your stereotypical working class voter, the kind who Starmer seems to be targeting, but is actually nowhere near as representative as Labour's focus groups suggest. He would take us to football games at the old St James Park, back when a ticket was three or four quid, and my brother and I would be almost crushed to death in the stands at 5 and 7 years old. I honestly don't know how we survived! He would then drag us into jampacked pubs in Newcastle where we'd hear all kinds of racist crap. Ironically, two of this guy's best mates were Black and Asian, but they were okay, apparently, they were "the good kind".

"I love them to death," he'd say, "But all the others, they're <insert racist stereotype here>" He'd then say something like, "I agree with Labour on this or that economic idea, but I also agree with the BNP on this racist idea."

On a positive note, there was always consensus among working men that our country needs socialism. That's why it's so laughable when privileged people tell us working class voters in the red wall don't want left-wing ideas, when even far-right voters up here do!

I know all too well the type of voter Sir Keir Starmer is trying to attract, but Keir clearly doesn't, because he demonstrates such a huge misunderstanding of them and us. I promise you, not one of these people is getting excited by the sight of Keir standing before a Union Jack. Not one of them is nodding along as he praises the Queen and calls her a "beacon of hope". 

Know your fucking audience, Keir!

And another thing, the far-right are not representative of the "red wall". Not remotely. They're the gobshites in the local pub that everyone is scared to challenge. The big tough guys who will take a swing at anyone who disagrees with them. Okay, not all are like that, in fairness. Some do have a decent human side, but a good deal of them are just psychopaths. And I have the scars to prove it. 

Growing up in a town like mine, getting into fights comes with the territory, and that's just one of the reasons I don't bother setting foot in pubs anymore.

Even as a child, I wasn't afraid to challenge these people. When I heard racist crap coming from their mouths, I would call them out (and my mother would quietly agree, but bafflingly still chose to be with her fascist alcoholic boyfriend). 

Sometimes, rather tellingly, I'd get concessions, something like "I know, you're right." Because even these people knew their racist bollocks was wrong. And certainly all of the nicer, politer people within earshot did.

That's a more accurate picture of what life is like around here. A minority of far-right idiots and a quieter majority who reject their world view. But an even more accurate picture would be to say times are changing, that even some of the people who were so entrenched in their racism and homophobia and Islamophobia and all their other bigotries are starting to waiver.

It really isn't uncommon, for example, to hear people who used to express outright disgust at homosexuality, suddenly expressing more inclusive attitudes. I've encountered that quite a lot actually, and as the brother of a gay man, it's been nice to see attitudes change.

The lie we're told is the red wall hates the left-wing. The reality is the red wall has always been left-wing economically, and is socially more left-wing than it used to be. That picture is obviously a simplification, but in my experience, it's fairly accurate.

I've seen, for example, friends I grew up with, people who used to sway me with dumb anti-immigrant arguments, suddenly shifting towards inclusivity. I've seen people who were once vocal homophobes, drinking in gay bars, not because they're gay themselves, but just because they're hanging out with their gay friends. I've seen people who were once open racists, chatting up pretty Black or Asian girls. The last man to give me a taxi ride was rather camp and spent the journey telling me how beautiful he thought Cristiano Ronaldo was!

The point I'm making is that we don't need to make concessions on bigotry because it really isn't that hard to pull a good number of people away from it. Social conservatism is not the norm for the under-50s and only the extremists will cling onto their outdated views.

This is why Starmer's comments on issues like the Black Lives Matter protests and his lack of condemnation on racism and transphobia from his own MPs has been so frustrating to me. I see no tangible benefit to him acting this way, and to the contrary, he is sacrificing votes from minority groups while weakening the fight against bigotry. Labour should be focusing on winning people back to the left, not inching towards far-right territory while taking its voter base for granted.

One line you will always hear around here is "We never vote Tory," or more often some sweary equivalent. Once upon a time, everyone was employed in the mining and ship-building industries, crime was low and communities were strong, and then Thatcherism happened. 

From that point, we knew beyond doubt, the Tories weren't on our side, but then to our exasperation, Labour moved in that same direction. They told us they were just like them.

I find it rather hilarious when middle-class Starmerists tell me who or what the red wall is, when I'm literally part of it. I was raised here, I live here, and in all likelihood, I will die here. So listening to that lot describe northerners or the working class, honestly, they might as well be aliens talking from a different planet. They have no idea, they really don't.

Sir Keir Starmer has gone from draping himself in the EU flag to wanking over the Union Jack, and he honestly doesn't think we can see how superficial this all is. He really thinks we're all knuckle-dragging simpletons desperate to burst into a rendition of God Save the Queen. 

My God, he is so fucking clueless.

Now that's not to say we aren't patriotic around here. Many, if not most, are. It's just we're patriotic in a very different way to what Starmer thinks we are. If you walk through my neighbourhood, you might on rare occasion, see a Union Jack hanging from a window, but these displays are not filling most of us with patriotic pride. They're likely to be met with shrugs of bemusement or mutterings of "What a fucking mess!" It's not that we have anything against the flag. Most of us don't have strong feelings one way or the other, and actually think it looks cringeworthy when we see these very false, OTT displays.

Our sense of patriotism is more like this: We hate imperial wars but love our soldiers. We feel sad to see anyone sleeping rough, and when we see a homeless veteran, we feel a particular sense of betrayal. This is because we want a country where we look out for one another. We want solidarity, and we're not getting it from the Tories or from Labour.

We want more council houses so everyone can get a roof over their heads. We want better pay so we stand a chance of getting on the housing ladder. We want more jobs so no-one is left unemployed. We want affordable utilities and proper investment in our schools and hospitals. 

This is the kind of patriotism we believe in, and if Sir Keir Starmer said those exact words, I promise you, he'd win a lot of people over. Maybe he should hire me to be his speech writer, instead of parroting whatever lines are fed to him by Rupert Murdoch.

Here's the problem: When politicians like Starmer fail to address the above concerns, that's when far-right arguments start reaching people. That's when the disenfranchised start being swayed. It's when Tories start putting the blame onto refugees or other poor people or whatever marginalised group the far-right have targeted. It's not the job of the opposition to join in this game. It's their job to address people's material needs so they're not duped into turning against one another.

It's very easy for the far-right to sway people with emotive arguments. They just have to say the name Lee Rigby, for example. But it's important to remember Lee himself utterly rejected these politics, according to his family.

Around here, almost everyone is anti-establishment because the establishment offers nothing for us. Wages are crap and everyone is on Universal Credit, even when we're working. The kids are on free school meals, our streets are falling apart, our public services are shite, and we desperately want change. This is why so many northerners voted for Brexit. They wanted to shake up the establishment, and I may disagree with Brexit, but I very much understand the sentiment.

And now we have Mr Remain thinking the way to win back voters he lost with his People's Vote is to double-down on his pro-establishment credentials and say how much he agrees with the Tories. This is not what we want. It really isn't.

How about telling us what you stand for, Keir? How about telling us your plan to make tangible improvements to our lives? Because empty gestures and hatred of Corbyn will only get you so far.

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Saturday, 19 December 2020

Xmas Cancelled in SouthEast: Starmer Furious That Johnson Did What He Told Him To

Sir Keith Starmer has expressed his fury that Boris Johnson cancelled Christmas in the southeast of England as a direct result of schools reopening in September (which Keith told him to do). 

A Labour spokesman explained: "We didn't mean that crap about 'no ifs, no buts.' Our focus groups told us to appeal to right-wing dickheads to score a few cheap political points. We didn't think in our wildest nightmares Johnson would be stupid enough to listen to us." 

(Note: I may have slightly paraphrased there.)

So there you have it, Captain Hindsight knew what the right thing to do was all along. He just told the government to do the exact opposite because optics are much more important than principles for Blue Labour, even if it means a few teachers might get sick or die. I have no polite words for these people.

But let's not let the Tories off the hook here because let's face it, they've been completely and utterly useless this year. Dangerous, in fact. 

I still can't believe Tory voters let Johnson cancel Christmas just because they didn't want Jeremy Corbyn to give them free broadband. Especially when you consider they've been screaming for the last 20 years that lefties are trying to "cancel Christmas!" They're a confused bunch, Tory voters. But to be fair, most of them struggle to see past the end of their bank balances. Or their racism.

So here we are, with Europe's highest death toll, with a totally avoidable second wave while New Zealand is back to normal, having seen about 25-ish deaths, thanks to the socialist leadership of Jacinda Ardern. God, I fucking love her! Please don't tell my wife.

The southeast has been put into Tier 4, and don't ask me what that means because I'm no journalist, I'm just an idiot blogger and I really can't be arsed to check. Is anyone keeping up with the rules these days? I just know that if you are put in Tier 4 and try to visit relatives at Christmas, you can get in trouble with the police, so please don't. Plus, don't bother making plans if you're in Tier 3 because you'll probably be put in Tier 4 on Christmas Eve, about three hours before midnight... 

"Don't be silly, they wouldn't do that!"

Really? Well, they did it to Muslims about three hours before Eid, but in fairness to the Tories that was probably because they see Muslims as second class humans. Then again, they see most of us as second class humans, especially us council estate dwellers.

What a way to end the worst year in living memory, eh? Not content with needlessly killing our vulnerable citizens for capital interests, inflicting "long covid" on 20% of sufferers, haemorrhaging (took me six attempts to spell that correctly) jobs,  and completely and utterly decimating NHS services, they haven't let many of us get together for Christmas. They really have given us the worst of all worlds. 

Merry Christmas everyone (Tories excluded!)

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Monday, 14 December 2020

BREAKING: Sir Keir Starmer Abstains on White Supremacy

Today, Sir Keir Starmer appeared on an LBC live phone-in...

That in itself should be enough to set alarm bells ringing. I don't listen to LBC myself, but I'm constantly told it attracts all kinds of racists and right-wing nutters. It's exactly the sort of place you'd expect a Labour leader to avoid, especially when his lot spent five years insisting you don't share platforms with undesirables.

NOTE: Their idea of undesirables is often left-wing activists like Black journalist Kerry-Anne Mendoza. We've mentioned her a lot recently and for good reason. She's been relentlessly targeted by the Labour hard-right, and Starmer issued orders that anyone who attended an antiracism event she attended would be suspended. Yes, he told Labour members they would be suspended for listening to a Black woman tell us why she thinks racism is bad. You really couldn't make this shit up, but I digress...

So Starmer appeared on an LBC phone-in. So far so bad. And it's about to get so much worse...

Starmer thought it would be a good idea to debate the legitimacy of people kneeling for Black Lives Matter and discuss whether Millwall fans should've booed kneeling footballers. Now in fairness, Starmer did defend those footballers in his own feeble way, but an antiracist really should not need to debate this shit! 

Let me spell it out for those who are confused...

You don't debate with a racist why racism is bad. You shut them down. You simply explain anyone who booed those footballers is racist. End of conversation. You do not lend legitimacy to the opposing view. It's like debating whether the Earth is flat, or having a friendly chat about whether the slave trade was a bad thing. It's not a conversation that needs to be had.

But it somehow gets even worse...

The caller went onto discuss far right "great replacement" theory and ask why Britain can't be turned into a white ethnostate. I shit you not...

"Should white people also start playing identity politics before they become a minority themselves by 2066?"

And when Starmer gave his piss-weak answer, she continued:

"If anything, the racial inequality is now against the indigenous people of Britain because we are set to become a minority by 2066... And we just have to look across to the middle-east where Israel has a state law that they are the only people in that country to have self-determination. Well, why can't I, as a white British female, have that same right?"

Obviously, Starmer shut her down immediately and told her such ideas are completely unacceptable in modern Britain, right? Wrong!

He simply replied: "We all have those rights" (not in an ethnostate, they don't, Keith) and then went on to waffle about kneeling for Black Lives Matter again. Starmer had an opportunity to condemn white supremacy handed on a plate and he declined that opportunity. 

And it turns out this was not any old caller either. This woman is reportedly a supporter of far-right group Patriotic Alternative. According to Red Flare, she has a YouTube channel where she shares videos with charming topics like "White lives matter." Click on the below tweet to see the thread in full and make up your own mind.

Now you could argue Starmer had no control over which caller would appear on the show, but LBC apparently do have some control. After all, they speak to their guests before putting them live on air. 

Those who've listened to LBC tell me it's flooded with right-wingers and suggest LBC vets their callers accordingly. I can't say whether this is true, but LBC's reputation should've been a red flag for the leader of a socialist, antiracist party (unless that is no longer what he wants the party to be).

Some very serious questions must be asked.

Why is Starmer going on shows which attract a racist far-right crowd when he's telling Labour members they'll be expelled for speaking to/interacting with/sharing a platform with anyone he declares a non-person? (Even a Black journalist discussing her experiences of racism!)

You could argue that in politics you must speak to a wide range of people, which is fair enough, but to declare left-wing journalists beyond the pale and then happily chat with the far-right is a horrifying double-standard.

Why was this person so seemingly comfortable raising such hideous topics with the Labour leader, anyway? Could it have anything to do with him previously describing Black Lives Matter as a "moment", or saying those who toppled the Colston statue were "totally wrong", or that he had "no truck whatsoever" with the Black Lives Matter organisation. Could it have anything to do with Starmer apparently failing to address the outrageous racist bullying outlined in the Labour leaks report? Or the fact he is allegedly close to some of the culprits?

Why is Starmer so comfortable, not just going on LBC call-ins, but writing for newspapers which have racist headlines on a daily basis? Why is Starmer never declaring racist right-wing journalists non-persons like he does Black left-wing journalists? Why does he completely fail to address concerns of Islamophobia and anti-Black racism in the Labour Party? Starmer is more than comfortable addressing antisemitism concerns, and rightfully so, but does he think these other forms of racism are less important?

I'm hearing Black people and Muslims say the Labour Party is no longer a safe space for them. On a personal level, I have a Black wife and kids and I don't trust the Labour leader on matters of racial justice at all.

Instead of addressing our concerns, Starmer is having cosy chats with white supremacists and writing for racist publications behind pay walls. Are these clumsy errors of judgement? Or part of a deliberate strategy to appeal to the right-wing? I know what I think, because whoever Starmer is appealing to, right now, it sure as hell isn't the left, and especially not our Black and Muslim comrades.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Stunning Hypocrisy: Starmer Donor Tweets "Self-hating Jew Trope" and Other Nonsense

It has emerged that one of Sir Keir Starmer's key donors, David Abrahams, has tweeted out a string of bizarre comments, including the "Self-hating Jew" trope, which many would consider antisemitic. He also tweeted comments which some social media users have suggested are Islamophobic or homophobic. These comments are certainly clumsy and offensive to say the least.

Starmer has repeatedly stated he never wants Labour to be associated with antisemitism again, so we must ask, will he be returning the donations he received from Abrahams? Will he be apologising? After all, this would appear to be a far worse situation than what Jeremy Corbyn was suspended for, and Labour members have certainly been expelled for this kind of social media use. 

Some would call this situation staggeringly hypocritical, especially when you consider that Sir Keir Starmer personally wrote to Abrahams to ask him to donate to Labour, as reported in The Times and other newspapers. Here are some of the tweets so you can judge for yourself whether Starmer should be asking for money from such a man:

Does this class as antisemitism in your view?

Or this?
What do you make of this?
Okay it's getting weird now...

Does this look like Islamophobia?
Or this?
What about this?
And did he just suggest Black South Africans preferred apartheid?
Racism, whether that be in the form of antisemitism, Islamophobia, or anti-Black racism, is unquestionably one of the great evils of this world, along with homophobia. Not only must we root bigotry out of society, but we must make every effort to distance ourselves from it and avoid any words which could be seen to encourage it. I would hope most people grasp this - after all it's pretty basic stuff.

It's not for me to say whether David Abrahams is racist, but I can and will say his comments are incredibly clumsy and insensitive. They've certainly offended many good people. If Sir Keir Starmer wants to be known as an antiracist, and never have Labour associated with antisemitism again, he simply cannot be associating himself with a man who uses such offensive language. He should not be taking money from him.

We've seen Labour members on the left come under huge criticism simply for standing in the same room as those accused of past antisemitic comments. I'm no fan of guilt by association by the way. I think it's shoddy reasoning and it's McCarthyite. But when Sir Keir Starmer is personally contacting a man to request money from him, he needs to ensure he knows who is dealing with. If he gets it wrong, he needs to apologise and quickly return the money. Failure to do so would be a far more serious error of judgement than that which Starmer removed the whip from Jeremy Corbyn, surely?

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