Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Keir Starmer Faces a New Wave of Critics.

with 7 comments

Labour conference set to approve new complaints process for antisemitism |  Jewish News

Paul Mason, “patience is running thin with Starmer.”

In the last weeks Starmer has lost a lot of good will from different sections of the Labour Party without any clear objectives of his own. This runs across many parts of the left, and centre-left, affecting those who had voted for him as Leader and had given the MPs for Holborn and St Pancras support during discouraging opinion polls and media comment. He has alienated the non-Corbyn left with the plan to go back to the days of the Electoral College run by the Aldermen of the Party and the embarrassing Contribution Society. He lost a lot of the soft left not backing PR. He has no clear line of the continuing disaster that is Brexit, nor has he demarcated himself from the ‘left’ and traditional Labour nationalist wing that backed leaving the EU.

Policies and debates at the Brighton Conference have yet to inspire. While some claim to see firm leadership in the proscription of marginal groupuscules and the peremptory expulsion of a wider swathe of critics, for good and, very often, much less clear reasons, other see a diversion. Starmer is only ‘in charge’ by virtue of office.

It would be a mistake, in these conditions, to call left critics of Starmer’s policies ‘Corbynistas’. They come from a variety of backgrounds. People on the centre and right of the party can be heard making comments about a lack of ‘oomph’, and a lack of direction. If a small number of factionalisiers, said to be friends of Peter Mandelson, are active, with friends in Apparat, and even, the CLPs, they have not the roots or depth to replace what was, not that long ago, Corbynism.

Is Corbyn still a living political presence. At present we can see many different lefts emerging, and different centres and rights. In any case Corbynism without Corbyn in charge never made much sense. Those mourning their loss were never going to be a force to change the world. Others, one doubted their long-term sincerity at the time. Now, you wonder what kind of left they were in the first place.

Look at the puff of the some of the ‘alt-media’ pro-Corbyn left these days..

Let us hope Bastani stays as long away from Labour politics as possible and goes into the family luxury ice-cream business.

This about a milliard times more important:

Keir Starmer would not have been elected as Labour leader if he had suggested publicly or privately that he intended to re-establish weighted votes for MPs in leadership elections, taking power away from regular members and ensuring future leadership contests would be less inclusive than the one he himself won. Labour party members would not have voted to abrogate their own rights. The triumphalism of some on the party’s right following the changes to the party’s rulebook will be greeted with resentment by thousands of party members.

One of the chroniclers of the disillusion of Starmer’s supporters is Paul Mason.

He is now explaining his evolving positon:

I find this prospect very unlikely.

This Blog stands with the weighed criticisms made by Paul Mason. Others are saying the same thing.

Corbyn can make, sometimes, relevant, critical statements on Labour’s present policies (the minimum wage for example). But Corbynism is dead. Two millennia there was one inspiring figure who is said to have returned from the dead. But while there were witnesses their testimony remains disputed. The MP for Islington North does not look a candidate to follow in his footsteps.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 28, 2021 at 2:36 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Andrew Coates

    September 28, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    • The BFAWU disaffilaition is thoroughly regressive, counter-productive for the left, does not seem to have been based upon any democratic vote of the union’s members (there was a “special conference” I believe) and appears to have more to do with the personal vanity and self importance of Gen Sec Hodson than any kind of serious politics. The Socialist Party, of course, are delighted.

      Jim Denham

      September 28, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      • Hodson has been a National Executive Committee member of the LRC, …though he does not seem to be on the LRC NEC at present/


        Ian Hodson, president of the Bakers’ Union (BFAWU) and a National Executive Committee member of the LRC, cuts through the cant. In an interview with Skwawkbox he reports on the NEC’s decision to modify the IHRA definition and adopt its own:


        I have seen Hodson speak, or perhaps that is not the right word for his shouty voice.

        By contrast some better news:

        Andrew Coates

        September 28, 2021 at 9:28 pm

  2. “The deal I thought we had with Starmer is broken.”



    September 28, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    • I must admit that bit grated.

      But then I am merely an old comrade from the Pabloite days, a leading Labour leftist, a confidant of George Soros, and, it is alleged, a member of the Illuminati.

      Andrew Coates

      September 28, 2021 at 4:50 pm

  3. Starmer’s days are numbered. He has done the job for the right that they assigned to him of weakening and marginalising the Left, and pushing through the undemocratic reforms. What they have not achieved by bureaucratic expulsion, they have achieved by driving members away, and instilling apathy. Now the Right will simply push Starmer himself to one side. Its pretty much the same strategy as applied with Kinnock 40 years ago.

    Kinnock’s rapid drive to the Right also failed to win the required electoral support. In fact, even Corbyn’s performance was better than that of Kinnock, and significantly so in relation to 2017. But defeat in 1992, meant Kinnock had to go, opening the door to Blair. Now the Blairites are clearly back, but even they are not Right-wing enough for the hardcore Right in the Party, which is the direction of travel.

    Starmer has made it clear. He says, “Victory is more important than unity.” But even political novices know that disunited parties do not secure victory. Its why the Right put so much effort into disuniting the party when Corbyn was elected. What he really means is victory over the left is more important than winning the election. Fine that cuts both ways, because given Starmer’s terrible electoral performance, its only a matter of time before the Right move against him too, as he will have failed in his own terms. But, the Left should also learn that lesson that Corbyn failed to learn.

    We need a united party for victory, and the Right will never allow unity on the basis of even progressive social-democratic politics let alone socialist politics. So, its necessary to scrap all of the Popular Frontist nonsense, about attempting unity with the soft-left and centre, who will always end up supporting the Right against the Left, and to carry through a root and branch transformation of the party, starting with kicking out the right and soft left MP’s, Councilors and apparatchiks. The failure of Corbynism was, as I always predicted attempting to bring about change from the top without first changing the underlying structure. Of course a right-wing PLP was never going to tolerate Corbyn. That is why the changes to rules on electing the Leader are not that significant. First change the PLP, by getting rid of 90% of its current members.


    September 29, 2021 at 10:04 am

  4. Starmer and his team have managed the impressive feat of replacing ‘Corbynism’ (whatever that was) with something even less likely to have mass appeal – obligatory reality-denialism. Rosie Duffield’s statement of a basic fact about female anatomy is, according to the brightest spark on Labour’s front bench, “something that shouldn’t be said. It is not right.” It’s a gift which will just keep on giving for the Tories, who are going to use it mercilessly to make mincemeat of this virtue-signalling shower of an opposition.


    September 29, 2021 at 1:08 pm

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