Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

As Support for Keir Starmer Grows and Grows Socialist Worker Attacks “Right-wing Labour Leadership Candidate.”

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Peter Tatchell, Starmer would make a “fine Labour Leader”.

The Newsnight debate yesterday.

This is highly recommended:

Peter Tatchell, a human rights campaigner and longtime acquaintance of Starmer, remembered him as always being “very open to representation from outside his own circle” as DPP.

“I was involved in helping to defend two Balochistan activists who the government of Pakistan was trying to frame on terrorism charges,” he said. “When I approached Keir about the case he immediately said ‘Come in and see me. Let’s talk about it.’ He was a very high-profile, busy man at the time but he took the time, you know, which I think is a measure of his character and integrity.”

Tatchell said Starmer would make a “fine Labour leader” but said he hoped he would take on some of the “very thoughtful, intelligent proposals” made by Clive Lewis, the left-wing Labour MP who dropped out of the leadership contest in the early stages.

“I think the Keir you see today is pretty much the Keir of 30 years ago,” Tatchell added. “He’s got a very sharp mind and is very articulate. I think it would be a great asset if he can work on a sense of humour as well. … Yeah, it’s a bit hidden.”

Keir Starmer Is Not Who You Think He Is. Emily Ashton.

James McAsh writes on Labour List.

Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner are in the lead by a considerable margin. Each has approximately 60% of nominations. Two in five CLPs have nominated both candidates, one in five have nominated each one alone, and only one in five have nominated neither.


 Perspective on the EU is still a factor. CLPs nominating Starmer and Thornberry are more likely to be in areas that voted Remain, while those supporting Long-Bailey or Nandy more often voted Leave.

Nonetheless, the Brexit vote does not disrupt the headline results: Starmer has won a majority of both groups, Long-Bailey is in second place, and Nandy is beating Thornberry to third place. Perhaps we’re not so divided after all.

It is all but impossible that Starmer and Rayner will lose. Moreover, their staggering leads make it clear that they have hoovered up support from both previous Corbyn supporters and his critics. Is this a new era of unity? A happy compromise between those who want the Corbyn project to enter a new stage, and those who want it to end? Or rather, will the expectations for the new leadership be ultimately irreconcilable? Only time will tell.

As the Labour Party looks to a new leadership to replace the failed pro-“People’s Brexit’ Corridor Cabal that damaged the party during the election.

From the SWP sidelines comes further reasons to back Starmer charging him, falsely with wanting to “move to the right”, and sneering at his human rights work, and, correctly, with having been pro-internationalist on the issue of the European Union.

The SWP no doubt thinks that if they repeat the claim that Starmer is a “right-winger” long enough people might believe them.

Right wingers lead as Labour leadership race enters final stage

Right wing Labour leadership candidate Keir Starmer looked set to enter the final round of the contest with the most nominations by far.

Starmer had won backing from 280 Constituency Labour Parties—local party organisations—as Socialist Worker went to press.

His nominations surpassed the left’s candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey, who had the backing of 131 CLPs, and the two other candidates Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry.

Among those nominating him last week was Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency Islington North—prompting gloating from the Labour right and barely concealed joy from political pundits.

The deadline for nominations was Friday this week. The final stage of the contest—a ballot of individual members and affiliated supporters—was set to run from Friday of next week until Thursday 2 April.

Yet the scale of the nominations for Starmer is an indication that the mass support that sustained Corbyn’s leadership may not become backing for Long-Bailey.

Starmer says Labour has to move right to be electable—and activists worry that this is swaying members.

He has tried to cultivate an image as ­someone who supported workers as a campaigning lawyer.

Yet he also relies on his image as a “respectable” politician due to his background as Labour’s shadow Brexit ­minister and as Director of Public Prosecutions.

Starmer was one of those responsible for Labour’s slide towards backing a second referendum—which was central to the disastrous 2019 general election result.

He also ­publicly backed ­remaining in the European Union. Yet demoralisation among Labour members mean some are pulled by the idea that Labour needs a leader more acceptable to the right and the media.

Meanwhile, Long-Bailey was attacked for promising to ban bosses from forcing workers to answer emails out of working hours, and to ­support “every” strike.

Yet her campaign has also made concessions to the right—including ­backing MP Angela Rayner over the left wing Richard Burgon for deputy leader. She’s also backed rules that would allow left wing activists to be purged from Labour for anything more than the ­mildest criticism of Israel.

Labour lost the general election partly because its leadership under Corbyn consistently conceded to right wing arguments, allowing them to take hold and undermine him.

Now the pressures of “unity” and “electability” look set to drag the party even ­further to the right.

Fellow supporters of Brexit, Spiked, are also anti-Starmer.

On another identity issue, the ‘Trans pledge’, the leadership debate has seen Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey back calls to purge Labour of feminist dissent on the issue.

In thoughtful and reasoned comment Lindsey German said earlier in the week said that the issue should not be used to shout down debate,

No platform should only be for fascists

Laura Pidcock, the former Labour MP who has such a good record on the left, has come under attack in the past week for making the following statement as part of a much longer article: ‘The women’s movement needs space to talk about sex and gender without fear of being “no platformed”’. She has been called bigoted and transphobic. Yet what she says is absolutely true. There is no justification for refusing a platform to someone who wants to discuss these highly controversial issues. They are not fascists, indeed many have a long record of fighting oppression. Moreover, they are as resolutely opposed to attacks on, abuse of, or discrimination against trans people as are the people attacking them. So they cannot be lumped in with right wingers who want to deny trans rights.

The truth is there is no automatic unity of the oppressed and positions need to be argued and fought for. Demonstration against feminists who are concerned about transgender issues, shouting them down, trying to get them sacked or removed as speakers, should have no place on the left. It’s 50 years since the first women’s liberation conference in this country and, guess what, women’s oppression remains a major factor in our society.

Here is Starmer’s reaction to the calls for a witch-hunt on the issue of trans rights.

Instead he backs this democratic pledge:




8 Responses

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  1. This was the first time I heard of just how venomous the dispute about trans rights could get.


    Helen Steel, somebody greatly admired in the movement (and incidentally supported by Keir Starmer during the McLibel trial), who had endured a living hell from Spycops, had to put up with this,

    “I was invited to speak here after being surrounded and threatened at a bookfair by a mob of around 30 people who claimed to be advocating on behalf of trans people. This was after I intervened to stop the bullying of two women who were distributing leaflets about the Gender Recognition Act and proposed changes to it.

    “Some of those who surrounded and threatened me at the Bookfair were also involved in a physical attack on a feminist at Speakers Corner when women met there in September after trans activists successfully bullied a venue into closing down a debate about the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. I was lucky enough that people stepped in to defend me from attack at the Bookfair, but the mob surrounding me shouted abuse at me for over an hour and would not leave me alone and it was an extremely intimidating experience.”

    “Since the Bookfair, I and those who stepped in to protect me from the attack have been subjected to a sustained bullying campaign of lies, smears and even death threats. All of this for women holding opinions which those trans activists disagreed with. ”


    Andrew Coates

    February 13, 2020 at 5:16 pm

  2. Can we have a reference for Starmer advocating an all BAME list for the selection of MPs? I think I have read this correctly. If it is true then Labour can forget ever being in Government again as well as it being discriminatory. This will be the shortest suicide note in history as well as illegal but well known East End crook Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote will no doubt support it as he has hustled money on this fraud for years. The whole transgender issue is a vote loser as well as most people, while not against this sort of thing, don’t want it taught in schools and certainly don’t think it’s a political issue on the lines of housing, immigration, employment and all of the other real issues that affect their lives.

    Dave Roberts

    February 14, 2020 at 9:42 am

  3. Andrew Coates

    February 14, 2020 at 11:33 am

  4. Thanks Andrew. On the telly just now a former police officer has won a case in The High Court against a case of “Transphobia”. In other words it doesn’t exist. The College of Policing is now deemed to be anti white and anti hetero. The fightback starts here!

    Dave Roberts

    February 14, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    • The Tendance finds itself in the happy position of being against all identitarians, far right, Blue Labour, communitarians, religious, and liberals who think they are left-wing.

      Andrew Coates

      February 14, 2020 at 1:30 pm

  5. I’m against everyone who works within capitalism. As they are the enemy of all workers.

    Steven Johnston

    February 14, 2020 at 2:36 pm

  6. So Andrew, you have no identity and no opinions? Mr Johnston. You are then with the wealthy barrister who doesn’t like white van person who displays St George’s Cross because they are now the workers.

    Dave Roberts

    February 14, 2020 at 3:55 pm

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