Showing posts with label Starmer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Starmer. Show all posts

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.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

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.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

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!

PRINCE ANDREW HUNG AROUND ON A CHILD TRAFFICKER'S PAEDOPHILE ISLAND AND YOU WANT TO INVESTIGATE MEGHAN???

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...

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

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.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Monday, 18 January 2021

Peace and Justice Project Launch: Corbyn is Fighting for the People Centrists Won't

Yesterday saw the launch of Jeremy Corbyn's Peace and Justice Project. And for a working class leftist like me, it was an immediate source of renewed hope.

I've been homeless. I've been long-term unemployed. I've been, for a while, financially comfortable and, for much longer, I've been working poor. 

I've known what it's like to go days without food, to not be able to switch the heating on, to not know if I'll have a roof over my head next month. I've seen first-hand the cruelty of our immigration system and the systemic racism that exists in this country because I committed the crime of marrying an immigrant and having mixed-race children. I'm one of the many who've been very deliberately marginalised by establishment politicians and I'm not prepared to stand for it any longer. That's why I'm now an activist.

People like me have no representation from the major political parties. And this is why a Peace and Justice Party is needed.

In the past 12 months, Starmer's Labour have fallen over themselves to move away from the working class struggle, from the fight against systemic racism, from even tackling the biggest problem we are currently facing as a species - the climate crisis.

I don't consider myself hugely uncompromising in my politics, but I certainly do have red lines. If a politician wants my vote, here's what commitments they must make - these things are non-negotiable:

  • A plan for ending homelessness
  • A guaranteed living wage
  • A guaranteed access to food for all citizens (and non-citizens)
  • A determination to eradicate all forms of racism always, not just when politically convenient
  • A green industrial revolution

There are many other things I'd really like to see, but they are things I would be prepared to compromise on. However, the things I've listed above are, like I said, non-negotiable, and I don't think that's even close to being unreasonable. 

Unfortunately, we now have a Labour leader who would vilify someone like me, rather than address these vital concerns. A Labour leader who will let corporations dictate policy and treat the working class his party was founded to represent as an afterthought.

Starmer's idea of representing the working class is meaningless soundbites like "patriotic foreign policy" and concerning dog whistles like "no truck whatsoever with the Black Lives Matter organisation." Let me tell you, when you have a Black family, the language Starmer is using does not fill you with any confidence that he is committed to racial (or social) justice. He comes across as a politician who is taking our vote for granted while trying to win over the UKIP mob.

Does he not realise there is a huge, disregarded chunk of the population whose votes he could target? A gaping hole in the political spectrum where no party is placing their focus? Did it not occur that might be a more viable and credible strategy, given these would be the people his party was founded to represent? Or does he just not care? I know what I think...

Starmer's reluctant to tell the public what he actually believes on anything. Principles? What are those? 

And on those rare occasions Starmer does talk policy, it's to water down Labour's amazing 2019 manifesto. Indeed, his shadow chancellor has indicated we are now back to the pre-2015 austerity-lite Labour Party - from the period when Rachel Reeves boasted about being "tougher on benefits claimants than the Tories." Shudder.

Labour is once again the party of anti-immigration mugs, and as the husband of an immigrant, I find this truly alarming.

I've been made politically homeless. Not in a whiny centrist from the Corbyn-era way. I'm politically homeless from the perspective of once being actually homeless and now having no-one willing to solve the problems I've experienced first-hand.

All I want is a cause to get behind. Something to fight for. 

The irony is I would've gladly accepted compromise with Starmer's centrists in order to achieve badly-needed change in this country, as long as they were willing to address our key concerns — concerns which should be the priority for any Labour leader.

Sadly, Starmer would rather vilify people like me. The Parliamentary Labour Party treat committed activists, lifelong trade unionists, and our most passionate socialist MPs like the enemy, like non-persons. Starmer is perfectly happy to write for racist right-wing newspapers and cosy up to fascists, but if you show solidarity with someone he's declared a non-person, you get booted out the Labour Party. He's an astounding hypocrite and he's made it clear compromise isn't happening.

Starmer's showing himself to be a technocrat who is every bit as out of touch with ordinary people as Boris Johnson. His entire game plan is to count on Johnson being so horrendously awful, he wins a general election by default. But a supportive mainstream media can only get him so far. The more the public see of Starmer, the less they like him. And he's somehow polling behind the worst prime minister in memory. 

The reasons are simple: He won't stand for anything, he won't offer hope, and he won't provide solutions.

Starmer's telling people like me things will not change, the structural problems will remain, the issues I care about largely ignored, but I'd better vote for him because the other guy's even worse.

I could not think of a less appealing message from a Labour leader (at least Blair tried to inspire), and my concern is that a vote for Starmer may ultimately do more long-term damage to the future of this country than a vote for Johnson. This is because he would snuff out the hope of a transformative Labour government for yet another generation. Horrifying.

Step forward Jeremy Corbyn and his new Peace and Justice Party, I mean Project

God, I do hope it becomes a party!

The launch was brilliant, inspiring. There were outstanding speakers like world-renowned academic Noam Chomsky who is still fighting for us at 92 years old. There was an incredibly impressive climate activist called Scarlet who is only 16 years old. Other speakers included Unite leader Len McCluskey, economist Yanis Varoufakis, future prime minister Zarah Sultana, and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell (whose message was pre-recorded).

Corbyn said: "The pandemic is intensifying three deep, connected and global crises: the climate emergency, an economy that generates inequality and insecurity faster than prosperity and freedom — and a global order that holds back the vast majority of our planet’s people.

"But we have both the ideas, and the power when we come together, to overcome these crises. What our movement does today will be felt for generations to come.

"Our movement can turn the dial towards peace and justice."

During the show, we heard how the PJP will actively campaign against the Murdoch empire and the concerning plans to create a British equivalent of Fox News. This was music to my ears. We've desperately needed something to counter the pernicious influence of Murdoch for 40 years. Jeremy Corbyn now plans to do this while Sir Keir Starmer plans his latest column for the S*n newspaper. 

See the difference here? Starmer wants to work with and represent sinister billionaires who are holding back our country. Corbyn wants to defeat them. Who do you think is on your side?

There was also the predictable, but much-needed talk of countering imperialism, campaigning against the war machine and promoting peace around the world. And you know that, unlike other politicians like former "Middle-east Envoy" and corrupt warmonger Tony Blair, Jeremy Corbyn will approach this with absolute sincerity. Plus, he has a movement of people behind him, only too willing to amplify his voice.

Corbyn spoke of an "economic security project" to support families impacted by austerity and Covid-19 by working with unions and foodbanks. He spoke of an "international justice project" focusing on ensuring Covid-19 vaccines reach as many people as possible. (At present some countries are buying three times more stock than they physically need, leaving other countries with little or nothing, and this is clearly unacceptable.) He also spoke of a "climate justice project" to fight for the implementation of the Green New Deal Starmer wants to water down. (Seriously, who is this man fighting for? Fossil fuel companies?)

The fact is Jeremy Corbyn spoke like the Prime Minister we should have, the leader we deserve, the person who actually cares about the things all politicians are supposed to care about. It's unbelievable to me that 90% of our political representatives couldn't give a damn about any of this. Even more unbelievable is that Labour centrists helped install someone as dangerous as Boris Johnson. As far as I'm concerned, they own every Tory failure and every excess death as a result of this corrupt government. They can shove their fake calls for unity up their arse.

The show was closed with Emeli Sande's "You are Not Alone"  a song that both gives me chills and triggers PTSD! Every time I hear it, I'm taken back to December 13th 2019 and that devastating electoral defeat that crushed our dreams. But now those dreams have been reignited. 

Finally we have something to cling to, something to campaign for, and although my hope is for the PJP to become a new political party, even if it remains just a "project", we at least have have a way of coming together and making our voice heard. We've had 40 years just hearing the voice of the billionaire class. It's time to fight back.

As Yanis Varoufakis said: "Democracy has never failed because it's never been tried."

If you ask Corbyn, he will of course tell you the PJP is not, and will not become, a political party — he will tell you to stay and fight, but if his current court action against the Labour Party is unsuccessful and he fails to get the Labour whip restored, we could see him take a very different position. It all hinges on whether Corbyn is up for that challenge because his supporters certainly are.

Say what you want about "splitting the left vote," Starmer is not even pursuing the left vote and he is probably going to lose in 2024 regardless. But the chance of the left finding any way back in the Labour Party is slim to none. 

In my humble opinion, now is the time to find the spirit of Keir Hardie and trade unionists in 1900 when they got together to take on the establishment, to replace liberalism as the political alternative to conservativism. That alternative was stolen from us by infiltrators, by a neoliberal fifth column, but we can start again. Socialism can become a renewed force in British politics but I can only see that happening outside the Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn, over to you...

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

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.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Starmer Abstains on Horrendous Tier Bill, but Corbyn Does the Right Thing Again

Tonight MPs voted on new, tougher tier proposals from the Tory government to prevent a third Covid-19 wave. While tougher action would certainly be welcome, some would argue the proposals simply do not go far enough. Plus, they are inherently unfair and the support packages are woefully insufficient. 

For example, pubs which are no longer allowed to serve food will get a one-off payment of £1000, which would not cover their bills for a month. Without further action, we could be looking at mass closures in the areas which are facing the harshest measures.

Surely, Covid-19 measures should be the same throughout the nation. You would certainly expect the leader of the opposition to make that argument. If the government is failing to adequately protect the public, it's the job of LOTO to step in and argue for an alternative. Someone really should explain this to Starmer.

In the end, only 78 MPs voted against the proposals, but not all were heroes - some 55 were Tories - mostly nutjobs who want no action to be taken at all. It's safe to say the Tories were revolting, in both senses of the word.

Jeremy Corbyn was, of course, one of the few Labour MPs to do the right thing and vote against the plan. He was joined by some colleagues from the Socialist Campaign Group. Here are the other Labour MPs who took a stand:

For all the SCG's faults, at least a few of them still know how to vote on principle. Starmer certainly doesn't. Some would argue he does not know what his principles are yet. A cynic might suggest his principles are conservative and the best way he could support the Tories was to sit this one out, like he does on every contentious vote where human rights are at stake. It seems human rights are not the type of thing a Blue Labour leader should take a stand on, but to be fair, Starmer has more pressing issues like purging socialists from a socialist party.

It's certainly worth mentioning that if Starmer wasn't supporting the Tory farce from the beginning, we would never have found ourselves in this mess. Countries like New Zealand acted strongly and avoided the catastrophe we are facing, but Starmer would prefer not to embarrass the government by pointing this out. He would rather support them while people are dying - 72,000 and rising. 

Here's me thinking meaningful opposition meant opposing government failure, but what do I know? I'm just a loony leftie. Silly me.

Starmer actually ordered his MPs to abstain, saying he recognised restrictions needed to continue, but he was "far from convinced" the new system will work. Absolutely fucking useless.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

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?

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Monday, 23 November 2020

Has Starmer Ended His Own Career?

When the internal Labour report was leaked to the public, the new party leader Sir Keir Starmer was accused of attempting a cover up. Even worse, he was accused of promoting some of those named in the report - which let's not forget shows evidence of horrendous behaviour - from the racist bullying of MPs to the deliberate sabotage of general elections. 

If the accusations are true, then they are truly damning. 

Not only would the culprits have to face immediate expulsion but possibly even prosecution. And if the Labour leader is as close to the suspects as he appears to be, he would surely have to resign.

The anger from the Labour membership is palpable. When Starmer announced an investigation into the investigation(!), eyeballs rolled and understandably so. Surely, the appointment of Martin Forde QC was an attempted stitch-up, wasn't it? Not so fast...

A party insider has stated to The Guardian, the ongoing investigation is proving a "nightmare" and the Forde team want to "look into everything". It would seem the promised independent investigation is turning out to be just that. And it would also seem the last thing those suspected of wrongdoing want is proper scrutiny. What if the Labour leaks report is only the tip of the iceberg?

The recent EHRC report into Labour antisemitism was labelled a stitch-up by the left, a politicised attempt to bring Corbyn down. But despite hysteria from the mainstream media, it's reasonable to say nothing in the report was particularly damning of Corbyn himself. Indeed, it showed the only times his team were guilty of wrongdoing was when they interfered to speed up and improve processes. 

It would seem most of the wrongdoing arose when Labour had a general secretary who was openly hostile to Corbyn in Iain McNicol. You could make a convincing argument, based on the EHRC report, that failings on antisemitism came from the hard right of the party, not the left. Good luck trying to find anyone who would point that out in the mainstream media.

So the EHRC report failed to destroy Corbyn as the Starmerists hoped. But the Forde investigation may well destroy Starmer.

Let's consider what is taking place here.

We have Starmer facing the possibility of legal action from all angles. Some of those named in the Labour leaks report were given six-figure compensation packages, but many other former staff members are said to be considering legal action too.

We also have Corbyn (and others supportive of him) considering legal action, based on the withdrawal of the whip and the outrageous shenanigans surrounding Labour leaks. It's worth pointing out, Starmer's action following Corbyn's reinstatement by the NEC is probably unlawful and flies in the face of the EHRC report.

Multiple court cases could seriously impact Labour's finances, especially if the party were to lose. When you combine this possibility with a huge reduction in membership numbers (meaning a huge drop in income), and the recent reduction in funding from Unite, things are looking rather grim. Whichever way Starmer goes next, he is looking at potential court action from one or both sides. The last thing Starmer needs is an independent report (which he arranged) which shows him and his people in a bad light.

And look at the huge outpouring of public support on Twitter for Jeremy Corbyn last night. We're talking well in excess of 100,000 tweets using the #WeSupportCorbyn hashtag.

The Labour left are clearly mad at Starmer. But so too are the Labour hard right. They've been expressing their sheer disgust that he is too lenient on Corbyn and the Labour left in their view! They want an all-out purge and they're certainly not being quiet about it. The Labour Party is at civil war.

Starmer made the mistake of siding with the Labour hard right under the belief this would make things easier for him. What he failed to understand is the hard right didn't want a leader who would placate them. They wanted a leader who they could control, a leader who would destroy the left at all costs. These people were happy to see Labour lose the last two general elections and couldn't give a damn if Labour loses the next one.

Starmer, in his naivety, thought the right could be placated, and that if he simply got rid of Corbyn, the left would get back into their box. He ran as the "unity candidate" and he really thought he could create the illusion of party unity with this McCarthyite nonsense. This shows him to be a staggeringly inept political operator. 

Starmer has already burnt his bridges with the left, but he can never satiate the bloodlust of the right, because Labour's union backers won't allow him to. (Certainly not without an almighty fight.) Starmer could soon be without support from his faction of the party and I'm hearing murmurings it may be them who ultimately push him out. 

While Starmer may have some support from those who neither consider themselves on the left or right of the party, they can't have failed to notice Labour's awful polling. The man who promised to be 20 points ahead is trailing behind the worst government in living memory. It seems voters want more than Brylcreem and a Hugo Boss suit from a leader. They want representation.

The likes of Len McCluskey and Howard Beckett have not been pulling any punches in their condemnations of the current leader, and both have demanded the whip be restored to Corbyn. Not only is Starmer running the risk of unions cutting funding from Labour, but if he stays on this path, some unions may disaffiliate altogether. 

What's more likely is the unions will push for a leadership challenge in 2021, and it will be interesting to see which candidate they'd back. The smart money would be on deputy leader Angela Rayner, but she may struggle to win the support she'd need from the left, because many feel betrayed by her recent criticisms of Corbyn. Maybe a contender more appealing to the left will emerge in time. We shall see...

And let's not forget, the conclusion of the Forde inquiry will possibly implicate those staff and MPs Starmer has surrounded himself with. If that happens, we might not need a leadership challenge in 2021 after all. Starmer, having lost the support of both the left and right, might be forced to resign. 

I'm told internal Whatsapp messages, which are yet to be made public, would show Starmer has lied to the public about Corbyn's suspension and that his team helped word the controversial Facebook post. If my source turns out to be correct, it would seem Starmer has checkmated himself.

This could turn out to be one shortlived leadership.

**Update**

Since this article was published, it has emerged Starmer liked a Twitter thread in 2018 which suggested the scale of antisemitism within Labour was greatly exaggerated for political purposes. Starmer has recently said anyone who believes this, i.e., Jeremy Corbyn, is "part of the problem". It looks the Keith may well need to suspend himself now. Oops.


If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

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.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com