The Utterly Useless Keir Starmer 112


Ministerial resignations should be the least of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic procurement corruption scandal. Ministers, MPs and their corrupt mates who benefited from these contracts should be in the dock and looking at lengthy periods of imprisonment. This blog was ahead of mainstream media in breaking details of some of these contracts which simply beggared belief, like the £250 million contract for PPE awarded to Ayanda Capital.

The truly terrifying thing is that the corrupt award of these contracts to Tory contacts with zero experience of medical procurement, or even of basic shipping logistics, has not been found to be illegal. In March 2020 the Cabinet Office declared that the Covid emergency allowed procurement safeguards to be suspended under the Public Contract Regulations 2015 section 32 (2) (C) – “direct award due to extreme urgency”. To the Tories, that simply removed all tendering, pre-qualification and price checks and allowed them to just give out massive contracts on the old boy, you scratch my back, system, totaling tens of billions of pounds. The use of inexperienced companies – plumbing suppliers, American jewellers and private investment firms being just a few examples – to provide vital PPE must have been a factor in consequent shortages and excessive deaths, particularly of healthcare staff.

I understand emergencies. If established suppliers of medical equipment had been granted huge orders without proper scrutiny I would not have much objected. But what we have instead seen, stinks (and we should never forget that the procurement emergency arose in the first place because the Tories had stupidly run down the national emergency stockpile for a pandemic).

I do not think it impossible that courts may yet find that the ability to offer “direct award due to extreme urgency” does not exempt ministers from all duty to ensure that companies awarded contracts were suitable and capable, or exempt ministers from the need to eschew corrupt patronage. But for the moment, all the High Court has decided is that Matt Hancock broke the law in not publishing details of awarded contracts within thirty days. That is like getting Al Capone on tax accounting – far worse crimes lie beneath. But for now it is what the legal system has given us.

Yesterday we were faced wth the stunning spectacle of the so-called Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, refusing to call for Hancock’s resignation over the Covid-19 procurement debacle. That is not, Sir Keir gravely told us, what the public want to see.

Indeed, with Starmer as Labour leader, the public of England and Wales appear resolute in wanting to vote Tory, so presumably Starmer will not oppose them in that either? Starmer appears not only to have misunderstood “Opposition” in his job title, he clearly has not grasped “Leader” either.

Do you recall when the Blairites told us that once Labour eschewed all nasty thoughts of regulating extreme libertarian capitalism it would romp ahead in the opinion polls? Corbyn was duly smeared and jettisoned, and it took Starmer once elected about five minutes to show that he had simply lied in pretending to share Corbyn’s interest in social justice. The Labour Party has now been dressed in the Union Jack, has pandered to anti-immigrant racism, has embraced the hardest of Brexits, has become an unequivocal cheerleader for Israel, and declared itself primarily concerned with the interests of businessmen, yet still Labour polls worse than under Corbyn. This despite a bumbling, incompetent and corrupt Tory government whose only achievement is measured in death toll.

The Labour Party under Starmer is simply useless. I have not the slightest idea why it believes itself to exist. With the super patriotic Knight of the Realm as his second, Boris Johnson could bumble on for many years to come, while Tories just get richer and we all get poorer.

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112 thoughts on “The Utterly Useless Keir Starmer

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  • nevermind

    When I heard Sir Keir Starmer lament about how bad Russia is treating Navalny, the man who outed his supporters to Putin’s police, landing many of them in jail and others recorded for prosperity on Tv, I nearly regurgitated my porridge.
    That hypocrite, a has-been lawyer in the services of the Trilateral Committee who ignored the regulations and laws that govern EAW when it comes to holding and framing innocent publisher and journalist Julian Assange, he’s a failure per se.
    To try and fit up and prosecute a whistleblower of significant war crimes should make him liable to be prosecuted, and left to rot in a high security prison.

    The man is a toxic stooge for Israel and America, not a leader.

      • Caratacus

        That was my thought too – he has the unfortunate demeanour of a rather ordinary boy who has suddenly found himself mistakenly promoted to the position of Head Prefect and is now permanently anxious that he is about to be found out for the useless, posturing non-entity he really is.

    • geoff foster

      Isn’t better to just worry about what he does in our country – he has to wait 4 more years before he gets to make any case to the public. In the mean time the Tories have the opportunity to nail him for anything. I’m kind of sick of people bringing up Israel and America all the time – they are far from perfect and I am in no circumstances sticking up for either state. But people grand standing over these 2 countries need to focus on this country and not whatever those countries

  • writeon

    I thought Corbyn was hopeless too. I thought the entire shadow cabinet was second rate as well. Nice enough people, possibly; but not really up to the challenges they faced. I imagined that Starmer might prove to be more competent, at least. But no, if anything he’s much worse.

    I think this has a lot to do with the political structure, the historic culture of politics in the UK. It’s, at its most basic level, a system designed to maintain the ‘class rule’ of a conservative minority over the interests of the great mass of the people, whilst at the same time pretending to be a ‘beacon of democracy’ in a dark world. For example, the electoral and voting system that is weighted in favour of the Tory Party. Meaning they can see 42% electoral support, magically transformed in massive parliamentary majorities over the anti-Tory population.

    It’s virtual ‘one-party’ rule, with brief interludes of ‘opposition’ rule, just to keep up the appearance of a healthy and functioning democracy.

    Labour’s role in this political theatre is to… lose loyally and legitimise a thoroughly rotten and structurally rigged system. But when the ruling establishment benefits so much from the existing political culture and the narrative surrounding it, reform doesn’t seem possible. The Tory Party is now the party of English nationalism, and Labour is too. The Tories do though seem, and are protected by a vast and powerful media propaganda ministry, far better than hapless Labour, who look and sound like bunch of losers. Johnson, remarkably, easily outclasses Starmer in ‘leadership’ qualities. But he would, wouldn’t he? because the ‘game’ was created and designed for people like him and protects and promotes his type.

    Perhaps the best outcome would be the rapid collapse of the Labour Party as we know it and hopefully something better might rise from the rubble, in time, in time. Old-fashioned, bourgeois liberal democracy, has existed the political stage and a new/old, neo-feudal political system has emerged in England where even the ‘mascot socialism’ of Labour no longer has a designated role anymore.

    • Goose

      Never understood union led opposition to proportional representation (PR). They claim PR would undermine their influence (presumably they mean in pushing forward ex-officials’ as prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs)). But seriously, what have the millions spent supporting Labour given them?

      If we used a truly proportionate system, like all real democracies do, we’d have had progressive majority govt ..after progressive majority govt, guaranteeing all the things the unions claim they’re fighting for. The Tories would never have dominated like they have. Had they managed to win power it’d have only been in a coalition, so that would’ve moderated their worst excesses.

      PR also prevents embedded political corruption and stops intel agencies overreaching and becoming too influential. Look at the current big two parties’ consensus over the controversial Spy Cops legislation; such a cross-party stitch-up would be unthinkable under a PR system where people could easily switch to another party and know their vote will count and they’ll still be represented.

      • laguerre

        It was Thatcher who put to death consensual politics. What might have developed in the 70s to make Britain closer to the German principle of cooperation in industrial development was replaced by beating down the workers in 19th century style. What’s happened since is only the inevitable product.

        • Goose

          And throughout that time, they and those sympathetic to them have controlled the media. So history and public perceptions of the Tories and their management & economic competence, are completely removed from reality. We aren’t as completely brainwashed as say North Koreans, but when it comes to the Tories and the aristocracy, many in England are firmly under their spell, whether consciously or otherwise.

          • Goose

            Scotland can at least escape and the public then decondition itself from these tabloid/media ingrained falsehoods. England may never awaken.

          • laguerre

            What can I say about Murdoch? A foreigner who controls UK media. He evidently has no interest in what Brits want, only in his own interests. we’re as brainwashed as North Koreans.

          • Goose

            Unlike N.Korea there’s the thin veneer of democracy and democratic choice though. The UK establishment wisely tread carefully to as not to make it too obvious.

            We aren’t allowed by the media controllers – the gatekeepers – to debate lots of things though : the monarchy, different electoral systems; constitutional reform and federalism.

            Hence why most people are ignorant about PR and alternative systems. Claims that the public support FPTP and the monarchy, are often made and completely bogus, when there is no serious debate of alternatives permitted.

  • Roy David

    I recall at least one CEO of a UK medical supplies company relating in an interview in the early days of the pandemic how he promptly got in touch with a Government department to offer various services to aid the drive for the much-sought after PPE – never to be contacted again. Instances like that seemed to quickly vanish from MSM coverage of the issue, too. Now we know why.

  • Tarla

    Why would Starmer oppose Johnson as he’s made it clear the Labour party are part of a national government. And they will not rock the boat in these times of ‘national emergency’. Starmer has also been clear, the march of fascism in this country is to be encouraged, and wrapping himself in the Union Jack has become a key component. By his actions and deeds, he’s making it abundantly obvious, that he doesn’t want the Labour party to be associated with being the party of non whites. Starmer’s brand of National Socialism is the epitome of Labour and that is why it’s endorsed by all the reactionary elements that put the boot into Corbyn during the election campaign.

  • Peter

    “The Utterly Useless Keir Starmer”

    He’s much worse than useless. I thought it was obvious from Day 1 that he was an Establishment stooge.

    His primary purpose seems to be to destroy the Labour Party as a party of the ‘left’. A role which, judging by his actions so far, he has taken to with vim and vigour.

    Whoever thought it was a good idea to give him the job of Shadow Brexit Secretary and then provide him with it also has some serious questions to answer.

    And just why do you think, also from Day 1, he looks so fearful all the time?

    • Peter

      Ps, apologies, slightly o/t, but can somebody please let us know whether Alex Salmond’s appearance at the Nicola Sturgeon Inquiry on Wednesday will be live online, and if so how to view it.

      Many thanks.

  • John Shipton

    Off topic but helpful in evaluating Sturgeon, Starmer and fierce necessity of Scottish independence. By Jon Cleary:

    I’ve been following Scottish independence closely now for about six months, and so have formed a view of the protagonists. Nicola Sturgeon puts me in mind of Lady Mary Archer, someone I knew for about four years. She is oh so sweet and polished on the outside – indeed a High Court judge famously said of her “is she not sweet? Is she not fragrant?”. But on the inside….phew!

    I believe it comes from a sense of impunity, a sense they can do anything they like, however disgusting and depraved, and there is nobody that can touch them because they are best female friends with Queen Elizabeth II. And the result is, well, abomination.

    Let me give you some insights.

    The source of wealth for Lord Archer is Lloyds of London, specifically the asbestosis fraud. The quotes I am about to relate come from David McClintick’s “The Decline and Fall of Lloyds of London”, Time Magazine Europe, February 21 2000 vol 155 no 7

    [ Read the rest of the comment in its original location here ]

  • Celine

    Craig, you are right. The sad point is Murdoch managed to destroy the Labour party in Australia AND he also managed to do the same here. Goodbye Labour. We will have Tories for a long long time.

  • Mishko

    Utterly useless? Au contraire, very very useful. A very useful tool.
    Sir Keir Starmer. The Sir title is a mark of usefulness.

    You know, Sir Jimmy Savile, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Ewan McGregor, on and on and on.
    (Ewan McGregor, portrayor of a junkie rolemodel and advertising/whitewashing neoliberalism in Trainspotting.
    A fine man and wonderful actor that helped driving the Star Wars franchise into the ground.
    The Critical Drinker – Birds of Prey – It’s a Garbage Movie – YouTube, 15m 18s)

    • Goose

      Oh, I think he still would. Albeit, more in pity than anger.

      To be honest though, I think Scotland gaining independence will shake the rest of the UK up. Labour will have no realistic prospect of power and demands for reform of Westminster ( HoC , HoL ), federalism and reform the FPTP electoral system will grow.

      That’s why I’d expect a very dirty fight from the UK establishment to try to prevent Scottish independence. Craig’s right to be concerned by the SNP’s blasé attitude to date, and seeming unpreparedness. It’s going to be one hell of a fight, against opponents whose ancestors once ruled over a quarter the world.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        The way things are being spun, the Welsh now think that the Scots leave, then if they don’t leave too they will just be subsumed into England. So it’s very possible that an entire break up of the Union is what the fight will be about.

        If that is the case, I imagine that the fight will be truly the dirtiest ever fought.

        • Coldish

          Rhys (18.07): you have a point. Wales is more closely integrated with its neighbour to the east than is Scotland with its neighbour to the south and Wales has fewer natural resources than Scotland. But the contrast over the last 12 months between the relatively low excess mortality rates during the Covid-19 pandemic in both Wales and Scotland and the carnage in England demonstrates that Wales and Scotland can be (indeed are) better off when they have the opportunity to administer themselves.
          One can see the data at euromomo.eu. Click on ‘Graphs and maps’. Scroll down to ‘Map of z-scores by country’. This is a map of Europe showing the excess all-cause mortality in the most recent week for which full data are available. The darkness of the blue shading reflects the level of excess mortality over the normal year on year level for that country in that week. This morning (24 Feb) the map showed data for week 5 of 2021 (1 to 7 February). England is shaded ‘Very high excess’ (z-score between 10 and 15), while Scotland is shaded ‘Low excess’ (z-score between 2 and 4) and Wales is shaded ‘No excess’ (z-score less than 2). In western Europe only Portugal had a higher z-score than England in week 5. That means that in proportion to the populations, the excess death rate in that week was at least 5 times as high in England as in Wales and at least twice as high as in Scotland. If the chief cause of the excess mortality this winter was the Covid-19 pandemic (euromomo does not distinguish cause of death, but it is a reasonable assumption) then in week 5 you were much less likely to die of Covid-19 in Scotland than in England, and very much less likely to die in Wales. An wider awareness of these statistics would be a major boost to the independence movements in both Wales and Scotland.
          You can see the maps for earlier weeks by gently moving the small blue ball along the time bar above the map. A z-score of 2 means that the level of excess deaths in that week was 2 standard deviations above the base mortality rate expected for that week in that country.
          Scrolling further down you can see time series graphs of weekly z-scores dating back 5 years for each of the countries and territories participating in the euromomo scheme, which is operated by the public health agency of the Danish government. You can zoom in to show a shorter period from, say, January 2020 onwards. This enables you compare the response of different countries to the pandemic throughout the year.

  • doug scorgie

    Squeeth
    February 22, 2021 at 20:09

    “Liarbour made it legal to charge people for visiting their doctor in 1949.”

    Please elucidate Squeeth and supply some backup for your statement.

  • FranzB

    With regard to Hancock, he should probably be in prison for manslaughter given the catalogue of decisions taken in the early part of the pandemic, viz:-

    • moving sick elderly people from hospitals to care homes
    • preventing sick elderly people being moved from care homes to hospitals
    • failure of GPs to attend the elderly in care homes
    • the application of blanket ‘do not resuscitate’ notices to care homes
    • redirection of PPE destined for care homes to NHS hospitals

    See Amnesty International report:- https://www.amnesty.org.uk/care-homes-report

  • FranzB

    Matt Kennard did an article asking five questions of Starmer questioning:-

    – his relationship with MI5 with regard to allegations of MI5’s participation in torture
    – when did Starmer join the Trilateral commission?
    – why did Starmer meet with the US attorney general?
    – what role did Starmer play in maintaining the Julian Assange extradition to Sweden case?
    – why did Starmer have such a close relationship with The Times?

    https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/05/five-questions-for-new-labour-leader-sir-keir-starmer-about-his-uk-and-us-national-security-establishment-links/

    Interestingly, Starmer has just hired an Israeli spy from Unit 8200 to work on its surveillance of posts on social media. (Unit 8200 is the cyberwarfare arm of AMAN, the intelligence branch of the IDF). Starmer is anything but useless, he’s destroying the labour party. So incensed are some branches that they are threatening to strike in forthcoming elections.

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/uk-labour-party-hires-former-israeli-spy
    https://skwawkbox.org/2021/02/16/momentum-bristol-declares-campaign-strike-after-96-of-members-vote-yes-in-response-to-partys-abuse-of-members-and-officers/

  • Colin Smith

    The concept that you cannot be anti mass immigration without being racist, loses credibility for much of the argument. It is a regularly repeated trope.

  • Baalbek

    Jeremy Corbyn’s problem was that while his heart was in the right place, he simply did not have it in him to effectively counter the barrage of lies and smears his opponents mobilized against him. He is too decent and gentle a man for today’s vicious and underhanded politics.

    Starmer, in contrast, is a complete muppet and a fully captured puppet with nary a shred of decency, integrity or self-respect in him. He serves global capitalism, the US-led empire and the interests of a small but powerful apartheid state. There really is no there there. The man deserves only contempt.

    His letter to Swedish prosecutors several years ago begging them to continue persecuting Julian Assange with the bogus “rape charge” reflected his despicable character perfectly.

    I fear democracy is already lost. The trappings remain and the media hypes elections to no end, but the powers-that-be ensure that candidates who even think of representing their constituents, rather than the ruling class and moneyed special interest groups, are thoroughly rubbished and destroyed.

    In a genuine democracy that values free and fair elections the media would not have been given free reign to savage Jeremy Corbyn for literally years on end. A genuine democracy would have checks and balances in place to prevent devious candidates like the muppet Starmer from pulling their calculated bait-and-switch manoeuvres. A genuine democracy would severely the influence of money and oppressive foreign powers.

    There is very little the atomized man or woman on the street can currently do to right this sorry state of affairs. The leading countries of the west are fast becoming managed Potemkin pseudo-democracies with a globalized neoliberal ruling class that prevents by any means necessary their hegemonic power from being challenged.

    Much of this was predicted by sharp minds decades ago and now it has become reality. Since we live in a declining empire the oppression will likely become more overt as the ruling elites’ ability to influence the public via subtle means decreases.

    I think it is safe to say the days of periodically electing governments that have the people’s interests at heart are over.

    • Mary

      I blame the mind dead populace who have been fed a diet of reality shows and soap operas from that box in the corner of the room. That is all they care about seemingly.

      Sound bites and video clips rule. OK.

  • Dave

    After years of saying there’s no money to end austerity (austerity was a political policy to stay within the criteria for joining the Euro-currency) they’ve now found £billions to impose austerity on steroids, for the many not the few, as the billionaires become multi-billionaires.

    And yet Labour, Lib Dems and SNP support this ultra-austerity, worse than No Deal, under guise of fighting a seasonal ‘flu’ virus. I had thought the ‘virus’ would be used to Stop Brexit by wrecking the economy, resulting in an extension of the transition period, but Labour never opposed this worse than No Deal Brexit and isn’t using the wrecked economy to bring down the government to promote an alternative.

    Starmer like Boris et al has been captured by the Big Financial/Corporate interests whose new business model is repeat and indemnified vaccinations under threat of continued and repeat penal and inhumane restrictions restrictions. A model that promotes coercive experimental drugs over healthy living and therapeutics.

    Set the corrupt procurement of PPE (which probably is of no benefit against a microscopic respiratory virus) in this context and it all makes sense as the big pay-off for supporting the Great Reset to entrench the existing powerful elites (1%) against the populist revolt.

    • Polly Titian

      Just because you’re living in a totalitarian fascist despot state does not mean that everything is made up. Covid has killed millions around the world and the UK has the highest death rate on the planet.

      The virus maybe microscopic but it is carried in tiny water droplets that come out of peoples mouth and nose and wearing a mask certainly stops those.

        • Enquirer

          It’s lockdowns and other measures to cut transmission that have rid the world of flu temporarily – flu is less than half as infectious as Covid.

          • Jive

            Sadly there is not a shred of evidence to support that statement. Most likely, flu numbers have been replaced by dodgy tests and targeted reclassification …like magic, there is no flu but plenty covi.

            There is, on the other hand, lots – and increasing – evidence that lockdowns kill now, and create an even greater future bill to be paid.

            If all your news and information on this comes from BBC et al, all this might sound like off, extreme bunk. But look deeper and just a little off grid and it is clear …what a lie we’re sold

  • writeon

    It seems that Starmer’s definition or understanding of political… leadership is quite bizarre; as it’s actually the opposite of ‘leadership’ as most people understand the concept; rather, it’s about ‘following’ not ‘leading! Slavishly following the narrative and role he’s allotted by the media and current political culture, rather than engaging with it critically in any meaningful way. For example; that Brexit is going to harm the millions of ordinary people who were duped into voting for it. That they were wrong and now they, especially in the north, are going to pay a price for their mistake. Their lives made much worse, sacrificed on the bonfire of rabid English nationalist mythology and crass dogma. Who are they going to blame now they don’t have the Europeans to blame anymore for the gross inequalities of British life? Or do they simply attack and blame Europe even more?

    • Brian c

      Starmer was the figure most associated with forcing them vote again on Brexit — the policy that lost Labour the 2019 general election.

      Now he’s done a complete 180 and is draped head to toe in red white and blue. Easily done, because his 2nd referendum antics were never about stopping Brexit.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “‘leadership’ as most people understand the concept”

      I don’t understand it at all. It turns up in word salads.

  • Johny Conspiranoid

    Starmer is an obvious puppet. When the Labour vote crashes an explanation will have to be found which does not involve Blairism being in any way unpopular. A start has already been made on this with a narrative of old Labour voters in the Red Wall being upset about political correctness.

  • ronan1882

    “The Labour Party has pandered to anti-immigrant racism”

    It’s not just vote seeking pandering. The Labour Party really is institutionally racist to its bones. Not against Jewish people as the great lie manufacturers would have us believe but against nonwhite people. Every administrator exposed in the Labour Leaks making racist comments has been quietly readmitted to the party. Only today a Black woman who was favourite to win Bristol’s mayoralty has been stripped of her candidature by the Labour Party on the most spurious grounds. And of course all this racism and Union Jacking is approved by ostentatiously antiracist liberal media like the Fraudian and BBC. So long as the party remains back in the firm grip of neoliberals and warmongers its racism will simply not exist.

    • Goose

      Another problem is the fact there’s so much intel effort going on undermining one of the parties in our threadbare, no choice ‘two-party democracy’ note the inverted commas.

      The left simply don’t know who to trust. Take Momentum, Novara media’s Michael Walker produced a video ostensibly aimed at ‘re-educating’ labour members on what antisemitism is in the run-up to the last election, Walker and his boss Jon Lansman knew full well actionable cases of antisemitism within the party involved just ~0.03% of the membership. Why on earth did Momentum feel the need to draw attention to the subject highlighting all those tropes when there were so few cases among the then 580,000 strong membership? Maybe they were swept up in the media hype? I dunno?

    • Enquirer

      Anna Rothery, the popular black candidate for Liverpool mayor has also been removed as a candidate “and has demanded an immediate Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation into what they believe is the institutional racism of her deselection by the national and north-west party.” under Starmer’s leadership

      https://skwawkbox.org/2021/02/23/exclusive-labour-black-socialists-groups-video-demands-rothery-reinstatement-and-an-ehrc-investigation-into-institutional-racism-of-her-removal-as-mayoral-prospect/

  • Piotr+Berman

    The Labour Party under Keith Starmer and Starmer himself are extremely useful. First, in cooperation with HMG they keep the Overton window sufficiently narrow. Secondly, would Tory greed and stupidity exceed the abilities of their political machine, nothing much would change. With a safety net as solid as the Labour Party under Keith Starmer, Tories can frolic on tightropes, sure to bounce up again after any misstep.

  • Marmite

    But surely saying that he is ‘utterly useless’ is euphemistic. ‘Utterly useless’ is kind of okay in government. It is what we have always accepted and joked about. But I don’t think him being the leader of Labour is anything to joke about. I would say that Keir represents an even worse form of evil, because it is the kind of evil that cloaks itself in the appearance of middlebrow incompetence (the kind of stupidity that Oxbridge breeds so well). So I think it an inaccuracy to say ‘utterly useless’ here.

  • Mike Barson

    You are an inspiration in the dark tunnel of these times Mr Murray…. raise a glass to an authentic voice in a moribund ocean of big whoppers!
    May justice prevail in these dark days!

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