The Pointless Keir Starmer 137

On Thursday, Labour under Keir Starmer got a lower percentage of the vote in Wakefield than they did in 2017 under Jeremy Corbyn. In 2017 Labour got 49.7%. On Thursday they got 47.9%. I want you to think that through.

Inflation is soaring. Consumer confidence in the economy has gone through a steeper plummet, and to a lower level, than at any time since it was measured. Worse than the 2008 banking collapse. Worse than the height of the covid panic.

The Tory government of Boris Johnson is highly unpopular. The electorate has formed the view that Boris Johnson is an untrustworthy liar and plain chancer. 18th century levels of corruption have not just returned, but been plainly exposed.

There could not possibly be a more fertile ground for an opposition party in a mid-term by-election, when swings against the government are almost invariably much higher than at subsequent general elections. For Labour in these circumstances to still get a lower vote share in Wakefield than they did in the 2017 General Election which they narrowly lost, is a terrible performance.

The attempts to boost the hapless Starmer off the back of it are pathetic.

Starmer’s role has been simply to emasculate the Labour Party, and to purge it of any elements that might seek to pose a threat to rampant neo-liberalism and wealth inequality. His efforts to ban Labour MPs from supporting striking railway workers must be anathema to anybody who has the slightest feel for the history and traditions of that party and indeed the most basic understanding of its very raison d’etre.

This Tony Benn quote from the 1980’s has come into vogue because it is prophetic, and the process appears now complete:

If the Labour Party could be bullied or persuaded to denounce its Marxists, the media – having tasted blood – would demand next that it expelled all its Socialists and reunited the remaining Labour Party with the SDP to form a harmless alternative to the Conservatives, which could then be allowed to take office now and then when the Conservatives fell out of favour with the public. Thus British Capitalism, it is argued, will be made safe forever, and socialism would be squeezed off the National agenda. But if such a strategy were to succeed… it would in fact profoundly endanger British society. For it would open up the danger of a swing to the far-right, as we have seen in Europe over the last 50 years.

Starmer is in one sense the apotheosis of this process. Not only has he acted to purge the Labour Party of socialism, he also offers so very little of a meaningful alternative to the Tories that there is very little danger of the Tories being voted out of office. Not only is he a safe right-wing backstop, he is a self-redundant safe right-wing backstop.

Just as Jeremy Corbyn did before being felled by the entirely fake anti-Semitism crusade of the united state and corporate media, Mick Lynch has this week been showing how attractive the electorate find left-wing thinking, and the notion of greater wealth equality, if they could only get to hear it.

YouTube is full of clips of Mick Lynch besting the furious and unintelligent attacks of the media hacks. The moment I found most interesting was on Peston, where he was again being pushed to reveal himself as an evil Marxist who could thus be pigeonholed and ignored. Asked who his political hero was, he replied “James Connolly, the Irish Republican Socialist”.

Regular readers know Connolly is one of my heroes too. What I found most striking is that the highly paid political journalists on Peston had never heard of Connolly. To paraphrase Noam Chomsky, I suppose if they had heard of Connolly, they would not be sitting where they are sitting. Knowledge of working class auto-didactic leadership is not a requirement to propagandise for the elite.

The knowledge that the British strapped a dying man to a chair so they could shoot him again might lead to all kinds of unauthorised thought.

Doubtless Starmer would ban his MPs from mentioning it, if he knew.

Here in his native Edinburgh, school children are not taught about Connolly either. My son Cameron was last year taught all about Burke and Hare in school in local history, a suitably grisly and cautionary tale of the Irish working class in Edinburgh. They were taken to Surgeon’s Hall and shown the book bound in Burke’s skin.

Five minutes walk further they could have been at Connolly’s damp birthplace on the Cowgate, and learnt of his life and teachings. The curriculum does not do that.

Which brings me to Scotland. Everything I have said about the Tory crisis and Starmer’s failure to inspire and seize the moment, is true in spades about Scotland. There simply could never be a more propitious time to strike for Independence. Pushed by their activists, the SNP at last claims to have “fired the starting gun” on an Independence referendum.

I see no political alternative but to take them at their word. I quite understand the suspicions of procedural trickery of my closest political friends, but my strong view is that we have to set aside doubt and make the campaign a real one, which acquires its own popular momentum and becomes unstoppable. When Wallace arrived at Stirling Bridge, the more established Scottish political leadership were not necessarily seeking a pitched battle. Let’s get this fight started.


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137 thoughts on “The Pointless Keir Starmer

1 2
  • Carl

    Yes very prophetic from Tony Benn. The irony is that the liberals who are desperate to ensure Starmer, Hillary and co are the leftmost possibility in politics – abandoning the working class entirely – also claim to fear the slide to fascism.

    • Highlander

      The lord Tony Benn….. I listened to him on many occasion, and always came away, thinking, he is doing more for the Tory party votes than he was ever going to do for his fellow man. A very able intellectual and economist the fact was, it was always producing negative connotations to his well publicised speeches. Unlike Enoch Powell, whose speeches were always misquoted. As his rivers of blood speech where he wanted Americans in particular thrown out of England to retake and regain sovereignty and there influence in English life stopped immediately. The ram jet technology created by England in the 50s was taken by America lock stock and barrel with all designs and tooling. Those that created the technology, unemployed. Americans are thieves and gangsters.
      Getting loans from the IMF, to purchase wheat, given four weeks by the IMF to buy the wheat from America, the price increased four fold, for four weeks. This is what the world is dealing with….. time for this chapter in history to close.

      • Bayard

        “The ram jet technology created by England in the 50s was taken by America lock stock and barrel with all designs and tooling.”

        Not to mention the electronic computer, invented by Tommy Flowers and Alan Turing. I suspect that it was agreed during the war that the US would help us in return for helping themselves to any bits of our trade and industry that they fancied the look of when the war was over.

  • Nick

    If you examine the Labour Party’s policies under Starmer, I think you will find that he is considerably to the political right of Ted Heath (Tory PM 1970-74).
    Taxation? Highly progressive under Heath – income tax top marginal rate was over 90% on high incomes;
    Economy? Heath left the steel industry, railways, electricity, gas etc in public ownership. There was some discussion about de-nationalising the steel industry, but none at all about de-nationalising the railways.

    Starmer: top rate of tax on obscenely large incomes will never exceed 50%
    No suggestion of re-nationalising anything

    So nobody should call Starmer “Tory lite”. He’s a full-on 1970s Tory, and he’d have been on the right wing of the Tory party then, one of the members who wanted to replace Heath with somebody like Thatcher.

    • Squeeth

      @Nick, I think you’ll find that few people liable to 90% Income Tax paid it. For every tax rate except the low ones, the state pokes a few nice holes in it so that the money flows towards immunity. You could write an Income Tax law on a sheet of A4 but this would mean that everyone would have to pay it.

      • Nick

        few people liable to 90% Income Tax paid it

        Not true. If it had been true, Thatcher would never have reduced the top tax rate, because there would have been no reason to.

        In fact, the Thatcher tax changes, which made the income tax much less progressive, contributed to the well-documented increase in inequality which continues to this day, and Starmer’s income-tax policy is a lot closer to Thatcher’s than to Ted Heath’s.

  • Geraldine Waugh

    I agree with your comments about James Connolly. The only reason I know about him was that my father took the time to explain to me who he was. He is never mentioned in the education system, but then the education system is designed to elide or cancel out all those who challenge the dreadful injustices and inequalities of the system in the UK (and elsewhere). Tony Benn is right: the British elite are determined to weaken any opposition and they are assisted in this by the appalling right wing media. I’d like to see the Labour Party remove Starmer as leader and put in his place a much more courageous leader. As for Scotland, it looks like Sturgeon is a MI5 stooge….

  • Tom Welsh

    The truth is that the entire British political system – like the US one – stands exposed as a sham, a fake, and wholly irrelevant to the needs and wishes of the nation. MPs emphatically do not represent the people of their constituencies: they are employees of their respective parties, which in turn are corporations in the pay of larger and less specialised corporations such as banks and arms manufacturers.

    The government and the PM are incredibly unpopular and utterly distrusted. Yet the so-called “opposition party”, Labour, is if anything still less popular and trusted. It may be a clue that the “Conservative” party has no intention of conserving anything that is good about Britain, and the “Labour” party has absolutely no interest in or care for working people. (It might, if it experienced a shining moment of truth, relaunch itself as the “Friends of Israel” party, although the Conservatives might object that the name is their trademark). As I recollect there used to be some small fringe party called the “Liberal somethings”, whose main distinguishing characteristic was a lack of liberality which would be envied by Genghis Khan.

    Even the monarchy is being dragged further and further into discredit, although the Queen has fought a brave rearguard action to preserve its credibility and perform its main function as an insulating layer between the political parties and the surging hatred of the citizen body.

    We no longer have a real monarchy; we never had a democracy; we are ruled by a shadowy oligarchy which serves the bidding of the corporations insofar as that is compatible with jumping hastily to obey the orders of Washington. The best thing any voter can do, in his or her own interest and that of the nation, is to ignore all elections and other political manifestations so that it becomes unmistakably obvious that the government does not have any kind of popular mandate.

    • SleepingDog

      @Tom Welsh, the Queen bravely what now? Bravely preserved the reputation of the royal family by paying blackmail money to distant cousin Antony Blunt? At least, that seems the gist of a documentary to appear on Channel 4 tonight, The Queen and the Russian Spy.

    • zoot

      “the Queen has fought a brave rearguard action to preserve its credibility and perform its main function as an insulating layer between the political parties and the surging hatred of the citizen body”

      stated barely a week after she knights unrepentant war criminal and ultimate symbol of the monoparty neoliberal system, Sir Tony Blair.
      thank you for your bravery, ma’am.

    • Mr Lee

      the Queen bravely what?

      Remember Jimmy Saville:
      John Lydon knew;
      the people who protected him knew;
      Prince Charles didn’t(?) know;
      the Queen didn’t(?) know.

      I am amazed at the poor quality of royal advisors – they seem to miss the obvious.

      Jimmy Saville was knighted in 1990.

    • Highlander

      Their name is their trademark….. that hysterical, you never get conservative or Tory on any pamphlet put through your doors up here, not even the top up sleiket back door entry for electing Tory MSPs have the “trademark” on their offices.

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    One quibble, there was an earlier, optimum opportunity to push for independence.
    Between the Brexit vote and the point of exiting the EU. The polls were neck to neck.
    Sturgeon did hee haw. Hardly surprising given the revelation that the ever present guardian of her doctrinal boundaries, Liz Lloyd went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and that particular institution is a fertile CIA recruiting ground.

    • Skip_NC

      That article demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of North Carolina culture. The whole of the article is like asserting that Parkhead is fertile ground for Rangers, simply because of geographical closeness. Of course, this does not invalidate the first part of your comment.

    • Republicofscotland

      Well spotted Vivian with the state the SNP is now in, and what we know of the fit up of Alex Salmond, we must assume that she is compromised. I’ll wager she’s not the only SNP personnel who is working for an outside agency, to the detriment of Scotland and Scottish independence.

      • Skip_NC

        Liz Lloyd and her boss may well be compromised but to assert that it is via UNC-CH is the stuff of conspiracy theory. Those of us who live in NC and pay attention to state and national politics might be persuaded by some evidence. Culturally, UNC-CH is just not that sort of institution.

          • Skip_NC

            Aye, I contemplated that this morning. I think Duke is more plausible than UNC-CH.

        • Republicofscotland


          Liz Lloyd was on Craig’s radar for leaking info to the media with regards to the Alex Salmond fit up, and it’s not outwith the bounds of possibility that Lloyd was approached and agreed to work of the CIA in Scotland; it happens all over the globe. In Scotland we have many at the University of Glasgow that work for the destruction of Scottish independence in the John Smith building.

          No offence meant but you wouldn’t know who the CIA approached unless they approached you.

          • Vivian O’Blivion

            And Catherine Smith, the Chair of the John Smith Centre for Public Service is herself a former employee of the US State Department, although she tries to hide this through disingenuous misdirection.

          • Skip_NC

            I cannot disagree with anything you say. My initial comment was to make two points:

            1. The Calton Jock article offers no serious evidence of a nefarious UNC-CH link.
            2. UNC-CH culture does not make it fertile ground for CIA recruitment.

            Could Liz Lloyd have been recruited at UNC-CH? Well, yes, but linking her one-year attendance to CIA recruitment without further evidence (and the Hertford County reference is not it) is the stuff of conspiracy theories that gets us labeled as nut-jobs. Why put that weight round our necks?

          • Republicofscotland

            Vivian @11.29.

            Thanks for the heads up on Smith. One look at the board (shibboleth) of the John Smith Centre reveals what their stance is on an indy Scotland. I’ve even read that its a safe stopover for MI5 personnel.

            Even the thought-to-be-indy-minded Andrew Wilson, who is a founding partner of Charlotte Street Partners, is on the board: Charlotte Street Partners is Scotland’s very own answer to England’s Tufton Street.


          • Republicofscotland

            Vivian 11.29.

            Jane Smith is married to Malcolm Robertson he too is a founding partner of Charlotte Street Partners, just as interesting is that Malcolm’s father is none other than George Robertson the former Secretary General of Nato, who claimed Scottish independence would lead to the Balkanisation of Western Europe.

  • Robert Dyson

    James Connolly – an inconvenient truth, one of those WOKE ideas. I saw a comment recently on the Johnson plan to override the NIP. It suggested that if it is OK to discard international treaties, the Republic of Ireland might want to revisit the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty and override that (which was undoubtedly signed under duress) to make Ireland whole again. Indeed, Corbyn/McDonnell would have taken the country in a better direction for the majority of its people; your analysis is correct. Although I will not have a vote on it, I have changed my mind now to be for Scottish Independence, it will be the shake up that could help us all.
    [I don’t really know what ‘woke’ means but I picked up it is applied to inconvenient truths]

    • Lysias

      What I’ve always objected to in that 1921 treaty is that it included in Northern Ireland two counties, Fermanagh and Tyrone, that had Catholic and Nationalist majorities. They still have them, only they’re more pronounced now.

      They had substantial Protestant minorities, but still, they were minorities. Why should they get to decide?

    • Nick

      the Johnson plan to override the NIP. It suggested that if it is OK to discard international treaties

      International treaties don’t mean anything; that’s one of the new rules in the current “rules-based order”. The USA kicked off by violating the treaty it and a lot of other countries signed with Iran. Johnson is just following his master, and the EU is tagging along; see last week’s news about Lithuania.

  • Crispa

    Wakefield was just like shooting into an open goal from a yard out with no defenders near. It means nothing for Labour’s future.
    The Mick Lynch video that has made me smile most is Jimmy Dore’s evisceration of Kay Burley’s Sky News interview of him on Day 1 and by implication the whole of the corporate media’s coverage of the dispute.

  • Jules Orr

    Starmer’s purge of the left ought to be a huge boost for the independence cause since it offers a timely and crystal clear vision of the only alternative to Tory rule in the Union.

    Will Nicola hammer home this obvious and greatly beneficial truth? Or even mention it at all?

    Will she hell ….. Sir Keir Starmer, Alistair Campbell, Mandelson etc are her ideological soulmates in both domestic and foreign-policy terms. She knows that any condemnation of NuLab centrist-establishment ghouls would be a condemnation of herself and everything she stands for ideologically.

  • Republicofscotland

    Excellent article Craig, the destruction of socialism and all the rights our ancestors bled for is well under way in the UK.

  • Laguerre

    Personally, I find Starmer very easy to explain. And it’s not as negative as everyone makes him out to be. Starmer comes from very modest origins – his father was a toolmaker, mother a nurse. That’s quite unusual for a British politician (including Benn and Corbyn, and most Labour politicians). You could even say working class. He got a scholarship to what was called in the old days a Direct Grant school (as indeed I did, though I don’t claim the modest origins). He performed well as a barrister, as is obvious in his remarks. Where it went wrong is three factors. One, he lacks the self-confidence of the public-school boys, and consequently kowtows to the establishment; former Labour leaders, like Wilson, wouldn’t feel the need to do that. Two he is a total Londoner, and lacks a feel for the North. And third he married a lady who is totally involved with the Israel claque, and has taken the cause on himself. Having a member of the MOSSAD working in your private office is not a good look. The last is why I have gone off him, but the lack of self confidence is the reason why he has difficulty in succeeding. It’s funny that all the socialists condemn one of the rare Labour leaders to be actually from the working class.

    • Ultraviolet

      No. On so many levels no.

      Let’s take your last point first. You might just as well say that feminists should not criticise Thatcher because she was a woman.

      As for the rest, I don’t accept the lack of self-confidence argument. He does not lack any self-confidence when punching left.

      He did not perform well as a barrister, unless you mean it in the sense of a dog performing well for his master. I was really pleased, but extremely surprised, when a noted human rights barrister got the DPP gig. But he was authoritarian and reactionary in the role, and that was when I knew he was a complete fraud.

      In short, he is as bad as his critics claim, and your suggestion that it is not as negative as people make out does not hold water.

      • Laguerre

        You obviously have little understanding of the psychology of people from outside the comfortable middle-class world. And no, I didn’t say anything about approval of the behaviour; in your book, one can only be black or white.

        • Ultraviolet

          He was DPP. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission. This is not someone who is uncomfortable where he is.

          And if he were, well, the role of leader of the opposition is sufficiently important that he has no damn business doing it if he does not have the confidence to be there. Yet he stood up and lied his head off to get the job, pushing better candidates out of the way. Those sort of sharp elbows are exactly the sign of someone without a confidence problem.

          And by the way, don’t tell me what I obviously don’t understand when you know nothing about me. I’m not working class, but I come from a lower middle class family, and I also mix with establishment types who think they were born to rule. I know exactly what that feels like. I stand my ground and argue for what I believe in, and it has served me very well in life, both personally and professionally.

        • Goose


          His father owned the factory.

          In the leadership campaign Starmer played down his wealth, “I’m not a millionaire,” he claimed.

          He owns seven acres of land in Oxted, Surrey. Estimated value per acre of £1.7 million, so around £12m of land. Land which he feels no need to sell to developers, probably much to the relief of local residents. The Telegraph also estimated his separate personal wealth is in excess of £6 million some years ago.

          Of course this reads like pure envy. But his wealth would be perfectly acceptable were he remotely progressive, but he isn’t. And combined with his lurch to the right, the dropping of pledges and the appointment of Rachel Reeves as his shadow chancellor, he looks like another Blair wannabe on the make.

        • Squeeth

          My (limited) experience of the hereditary middle class is that they don’t like it when they meet a pleb who’s better educated than them, cleverer than them and indifferent to their pretensions. Calling them middle class scum doesn’t help either. ;O)

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Keith Starmzy’s old man actually owned a factory that made tools, Laguerre, so Sir Keith disingenuously describing himself as the ‘son of a toolmaker’ is a bit like Sir James Dyson’s kids telling people that they’re the offspring of a vacuum cleaner salesman. I’d imagine that Starmzy Sr. could have afforded to send young Keith to private school if need be, especially with his Mrs’ salary coming in*, but chose not to since in the much more meritocratic environment of 60’s & 70’s Britain he would have viewed it as a waste of money.

      Re: ‘The last is why I have gone off him’

      “I’m reading a book on Adolf Hitler and I’ve found out things I never knew about him: for example, did you know he liked to piss on people after sex? That put me right off him.” Martin ‘Bigpig’ Mor, Edinburgh Fringe, circa 2004

      * “My dad used to like my mum to dress up in the bedroom as a nurse, um, um – and then he used to like her to go to the hospital and work nights as a nurse to earn money to enable our family to have a nice, middle-class lifestyle, um, um, the nice, middle-class lifestyle. Stalagmites, stalactites.” Harry Hill, circa 1996

  • Bayleaf

    The title of this piece is “The Pointless Keir Starmer”. I disagree.

    As a member of the Trilateral Commission, Starmer is tasked with helping to bring about a one-world government. From the perspective of the “One Worlders”, Keir Starmer is anything but “pointless”. He is their man, through and through.

    His turn as Prime Minister will come. We need understand the consequences of his elevation to PM.

  • Pears Morgaine

    It’s important to view these figures against turnout. In 2017 it was 66%; last week just 39.5%. Turnout at by-elections is generally lower and prior to 2019 Wakefield had been solidly Labour since 1932. An ousting of the Tories was a forgone conclusion.

    • craig Post author

      I am not quoting total votes, I am quoting percentage of the vote. The low turnout in a mid-term byelection generally is due to government supporters staying home, not the opposition. So Labour’s performance was really weak. I think that is perhaps what you are also saying.

      • Goose

        A UK political backdrop more conducive to winning Scottish independence is hard to imagine.

        Labour certainly aren’t on Blair’s New Labour trajectory to power c.1994-1997. Best-case scenario: they are looking at a coalition and I’d imagine the Lib Dems will drive a very hard bargain after getting so badly burned in the 2010-2015 coalition. In my opinion, the Lib Dems will only provide a supply-and-confidence arrangement, as they should have with the Tories, rather than the formal coalition. And for that S&C arrangement the Lib Dems will at a minimum demand: PR for local elections in England; democratic reform of the HoL and possibly a referendum on PR (true PR not AV). AV isn’t proportional and Clegg should never have agreed to that.

        It’s been obvious for the now over two years he’s been leader that Starmer has no star quality or charisma. And seemingly little interest in changing anything, begging the question as to why he even wanted to become leader? Even if he did have early Blair-type charisma, I suppose people would be suspicious given how that turned out.

        As for Wakefield: Labour threw everything at Wakefield, running non-stop campaign ads on Youtube for weeks in advance targeting all Wakefield area residents (whether logged in to Youtube or not, so using IP address – which is sketchy on Youtube’s part). They even ran campaign ads promoting their candidate Simon Lightwood throughout election day itself – right up to 10pm when polls closed. Which I thought was against electoral law? It’s not allowed for TV or Radio afaik?

        • paul

          I’d imagine the Lib Dems will drive a very hard bargain after getting so badly burned in the 2010-2015 coalition

          That is funny, Daniel Alexander hardly got burned, but drove a hard bargain for a lordship and sinecures in merchant banking. Pretty good going for a flim flam man for a dysfunctional national park.

          • Goose

            Burnt politically. They went from 57 seats to 8.

            I agree, many landed on their feet financially, none more so than Nick Clegg who joined Facebook, now Meta. Sir Nick Clegg is now President, Global Affairs at Meta, after a promotion earlier this year.

            One of the amusing things about Clegg’s move Stateside, is in how previously he was one of the biggest critics of the UK’s ‘default Atlanticism’ and subservience to the US. Read this article from 2010 – Nick Clegg: Our real loss of sovereignty is not to Europe but to the US.


            That was in 2010, any leader saying that today would be oh-so-refreshing. It’s easy to understand why the Lib Dems won so much support prior to their disastrous coalition.

    • Coldish

      This was also the lowest Labour vote at a parliamentary election in the Wakefield constituency since 1931. That includes 2 by-elections (in 1932 and 1954) and 22 general elections.

  • Peter Garner

    Starmer’s problem is that he totally lacks passion, unlike his predecessor, Corbyn, and, dare I say it, Arthur Scargill.

    I’ve forced myself to watch PMQs on a number of occasions and although there’s this chap opposite Boris that claims to be the Leader of the Opposition, I never actually notice him. I’m well aware that rhetoric alone doesn’t make a leader, but for goodness sake Sir Keir, just show some passion and maybe come up with an original idea or two? Right now, we have some good local Labour people worth voting for, but if it ultimately means that Starmer stays on as “leader” I shall not bother voting for them.

    • Goose

      Indeed. For the most part he looks like someone who’d rather be anywhere else.

      It’s possible the Establishment asked Starmer to do this due to their concerns the Labour party was veering leftwards under Ed Miliband 2010-2015. Remember Ed Miliband and his party voted against taking action in Syria, in 2013, causing widely reported fury in top intel and military circles. Starmer is apparently a friend of MI5’s former DG Jonathan Evans and worked closely with MI6. We’ve seen recently with the Grayzone’s email leaks, how former MI6 head Richard Dearlove felt it perfectly reasonable to meddle and interfere in UK politics and Dearlove made his anatagonism for Corbyn perfectly clear in the 2019 election campaign.

      I’d imagine when Starmer eventually steps down he’ll walk straight into a number of cushy non-executive directorships and receive incredible sums of money. And nobody will think that strange for such an uninspiring individual.

    • SleepingDog

      @ET, yes, it was quite interesting, including Corbyn’s rather acerbic mention of Starmer’s Ten Vows (or pledges or whatever on becoming Labour Party leader), which surely amount to some kind of fraud, gaining office by deception. Perhaps we need new political fraud legislation/enforcement?

      • Goose

        Darkly amusing how if his ten pledges pamphlet had been promised goods or services, he could be challenged as an unscrupulous rogue trader under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

        11. Goods to be as described (5) A change to any of that information, made before entering into the contract or later, is not effective unless expressly agreed between the consumer and the trader.

        Members of all UK political parties are generally viewed by party elites as absolute mugs, there to be deceived and laughed at.

      • Jimmeh

        > Perhaps we need new political fraud legislation/enforcement?

        That would be problematic. It would have the effect that a politician could be silenced by the threat of a fraud investigation. And the people who would decide whether some political utterance amounted to fraud would be the same kind of people that have consigned Assange to Belmarsh and extradition.

        So I don’t approve of special “political” laws.

        • Goose


          Possibly. I merely highlight the fact there are no guarantees in politics whatsoever, as in life.

          Journalist Owen Jones likened Starmer’s two-faced behaviour to Johnson campaigning to rejoin the EU upon being elected to push through Brexit.

          Abandoning 10 detailed Pledges – pledges that he wouldn’t have won the leadership without, does seem a particularly egregious betrayal. Quite why those he beat, such as Rebecca Long-Bailey, haven’t called him out, I don’t know?
          The fact the media won’t mention this and constantly talk up his saintly ‘integrity’ just adds insult to injury.

          Example. Leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey wanted to introduce Open Selection: allowing CLPs to democratically select general election candidates, think US primaries – a positive, locally empowering step. Starmer nodded along at the hustings and promised to democratise candidate selection.
          In Wakefield, London imposed their chosen candidate, Simon Lightwood, to CLP protest; the entire Wakefield executive resigned in protest, all 14 (largely unreported by the media). It’s not the first time, Labour HQ keep doing this under Starmer. Stuffing the party with London Southside HQ picked Blairites, parachuted in against local objections.

          • Mark Sharkey

            When Starmer stood for leader, he needed the membership to vote for him, hence the 10 pledges which he had no intention of honouring (he has no honour).
            Having been elected, the only people that can get rid of him seem to be the PLP who were almost all dead against Corbyn and are well happy to go along with the….

          • Bayard

            “..such as Rebecca Long-Bailey, haven’t called him out, I don’t know?”

            “Nice little political career you’ve got here, Rebecca. It would be a shame if something happened to it, like it did to Jeremy, wouldn’t it?”

          • Goose

            Mark Sharkey

            Indeed. The Blair legacy of shaping a party in his own image still lives on in today’s PLP. Blair was leader from 1994‒2007 remember, plenty of time to impose his will on selections.

            Starmer even tried to further stitch-up future contests for the party’s unrepresentative right-wing, by scrapping one-member-one-vote (OMOV) for leadership elections; wanting to give the PLP more say at the expense of ordinary members. There is no way members would have endorsed him had he mentioned doing any of this – it’s basically an overt attack on those who elected him.

            They sprung the change on the party at conference without prior warning or discussion and tried to bounce it through as a package of measures. Fortunately, the unions, and especially Unite’s Sharon Graham, weren’t having it. But they did get a rule change through that means any PLP candidate would need the backing of 20% of party MPs to get onto the leadership ballot – up from 10%. This was obviously another move to prevent left-wing representation on any future ballot. They also raised the CLP ‘trigger ballot’ threshold, in a move designed to protect right-wing MPs, it is now however protecting left-wingers that the leadership is agitating against at CLP level.

            The man is hideous imho.

            Everything about Starmer and the illegitimate right-wing who control the parliamentary party is about stymieing the prospects of the left and stopping another Jeremy Corbyn slipping through. He’s a servant of the elite and nothing more.


            Well yes, and he and the people around him are certainly vindictive enough to go after her for merely passing comment. No wonder Sturgeon seems to respect Starmer for some ungodly reason. She knows a thing or two about vindictiveness.

  • Derek Rogers

    “The SNP have “fired the starting gun” on an Independence referendum…Let’s take them at their word and get this fight started.”

    Absolutely. And let the SNP be the first casualty.

  • Republicofscotland


    It could be that support for Assange is growing within the journalistic community, I certainly hope so.

    “An international coalition of journalists, editors, and publishers has called for the immediate release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from a British jail and demanded that all charges against him be dropped.

    Fifteen representatives of international journalist and publishers’ unions and organizations from six countries gathered in Geneva on Wednesday for the “call to free Julian Assange in the name of press freedom.”

    “We are demanding that Julian Assange be freed, returned to his family, and finally permitted to live a normal life,” said Dominique Pradalie, head of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which counts some 600,000 members across 140 countries.”

    • Squeeth

      The closer Assange gets to perdition, the more that the hacks who have betrayed him will crawl out of the woodwork, safe in the knowledge that the bandwagon has no wheels and points in the wrong direction.

  • pasha

    The point of Keir Starmer is to be the public face of the red wing of the British omniparty, just as Joe Biden is the public face of the blue wing of the omniparty in the US.

  • Barofsky

    Pointless Starmer? Pointless? By no means, Craig, you have it barse ackwards (the ‘Loyal Opposition’), the entire point of the Labour Party since its creation in the early 1900s, is precisely to keep capitalism afloat The Labour Party is a party of Imperialism! I mean, even the meek and mild-mannered Jeremy Corbyn, was just too much for the ruling class so roll out Starmer, creature of the corporate, security state, with deep ties to the security establishment, no danger then, of him ‘going off the rails’. This is capitalism with its back to the wall, in desperate straits, the wheels are coming off and the socialist voice of reason is nowhere to be seen. I believe my folks, both Reds, lived through this in the 1930s but in reverse; our Ukraine was their Republican Spain.

    I’m still waiting for the Labour Party to die the death it deserves and move over and make way for the new!

  • Toby

    Supposing the major UK parties (and the nationalist parties too) were all carefully tuned to have identical pro-war, pro-big business, pro-globalist policies, so that no matter who people voted for, they always got the same result.

    How would it look any different from what we have now?

    I would suggest that Keir Starmer, a Trilateral Commission member (I urge people to research this invitation-only rich man’s club) was specially installed to make sure that the Labour Party did +not+ offer any genuine opposition to the Conservatives.

    And that is why he is finding such mediocre support – and why so many voters are abstaining – in circumstances that would normally point to a landslide victory for a functional opposition party.

    • Bob (not OG)

      Exactly, there is no real choice anymore. The system is now completely owned and run by its corporate masters and associates in the WHO, WEF, WTO, IMF etc. etc. ad nauseam (while their media brainwashes the populace, to keep them asleep). Billionaires fund their disgusting ‘think tanks’ who then spew forth policies to further enrich them, which get enacted (even though no one voted for the billionaires or think tanks).

      Things are changing though, due to the increasing cost of energy and resources, which the cabal can’t do anything about. Many believe the economy is being crashed deliberately by the PTB, but I think that’s giving them too much credit. The fake science of economics is meeting the real science of physics. It was only a matter of time.

      Tom Welsh is right – don’t vote for any of them, it only lends them legitimacy.

      • Squeeth

        You might take a look at several countries to the east and south ,who are creating the alternative on the bones of the nazis in Ukraine.

  • Deb O'Nair

    It has often crossed my mind that the reason for Starmer is to alienate the unemployed and the working poor in order to foster on them some hard-right populist in the near future, thereby making the Nazification of the UK complete.

    • nevermind

      the hard right New Labour leader called Paul Mason?
      Excellent exposure of the media’s hype to placate a millionaire who is a global hegemonist, a man who has the rogue/placated advice of a foreign security service in his very own office and who has disregarded international rules with regards to EAW. Managing to file a case of a secret undercover police officer’s affairs with clients – illegal sexual engagements – to disappear in the long grass whilst being DPP, really is taking the p..s.

      He is the sole backstop guarantee for the establishment, the decades-old complicity of the media, and one of the reasons why people revolt.

      Today we saw 50 people picketting Norwich Railway station with many members of the public donating to the RMT strike fund. Other unions are now balloting their members and I could not think of a better time to have a general strike.
      Rampant Inflation, fast-disappearing living standards and public services down in the dumps, hardware stores are running out of sandpaper and wire wool as the public is polishing pitchforks.

  • Goose

    I’m no fan of Johnson and certainly not the plank of wood that is Keir Starmer. It seems to me many of Johnson’s personal problems are largely concocted by the media. The BBC has every reeason to want him out with their licence fee under threat. But this effort to remove him is media wide, which suggests there is more to it. The media are clearly trying to force him out by continually talking up growing pressure for him to go, as if trying to make something happen rather than report it. Johnson was never universally popular in the parliamentary Tory party, nor was Brexit. In the party’s leadership vote in 2019 he won less support from Tory MPs in percentage terms, than he did in the recent no confidence vote when 148 voted against him.

    By far the biggest of Johnson’s recent problems has been the ongoing mountain out of a molehill ‘partygate’ nonsense. For all the talk of wild parties at No.10, Johnson wasn’t there for the worst excesses. The civil service has managers and Johnson isn’t directly reponsible for the running of No.10. More at fault, if anyone, is the cabinet secretary Simon Case, who bizarrely hasn’t quit and miraculously escaped censure. Case’s background is that of GCHQ’s Director of Strategy, he was also Private Secretary to both David Cameron and Prince William. Before Case they had Mark Sedwill another intel establishment insider.
        Why are cabinet secretaries now intel-connected people and not senior civil service mandarins? My best guess, is because intel people are great for leak enquiries: think ministerial mobile phones. It’s easy to connect the dots if you have access to phone records showing which ministers spoke to the particular journo(s) breaking these stories, or even those in close proximity, via access to phone-tracking data.

    Maybe related. What do folks make of an audio recording of the SNP’s private Westminster meeting leaking to the Daily Mail? Anti-independence dirty tricks starting early?

    • Laguerre

      You think Partygate was a mountain out of a molehill – you’re in a minority there. It had a massive political effect around the country, and not only in the media.

      • Ultraviolet

        I have long struggled to get my head round why it was that nothing else was having any impact on Johnson’s popularity – when there was so much to choose from – and yet Partygate gained traction and did real damage.

        I suspect that is why Starmer has gone all in on it.

        But this fact alone highlights the massive danger in doing so. Partygate is personal to Johnson, notwithstanding the broader culpability of the party keeping him there. When Johnson is replaced, Starmer has nothing.

        It is possible that the cost of living crisis is also having some impact, but the effect of Partygate is so all-encompassing that it is difficult to be sure. However, Starmer’s lack of any viable strategy for tackling it means that, like so much else, even if it is having an impact on the public’s view of the Tories, it is not likely to benefit Labour much.

        • Goose


          Starmer comes across as a sanctimonious, hypocritical c*nt over ‘partygate’. He bangs on about it because they’ve nothing to say on govt policy.

          Starmer called for Rishi Sunak to resign merely for accidentally walking in on that surprise birthday cake party. He repeatedly tweeted that simply being investigated merited resignation.

          As for the Durham gathering; Labour claimed Angela Rayner didn’t attend the Beer & curry night, until photos emerge showing her present at which point Labour then corrected itself, saying there had been a mix up. Starmer, the self-declared Mr Integrity, claimed on LBC Radio that there were 6 other people in attendance. But on ITV’s Loose Women. Asked to clarify the numbers in attendance Sir Integrity confidently said there were “about 15 or so” there. Who’d trust this guy? Is Luke Harding holding his beer?

          He probably only took the stance he has in promising to resign if given a FPN, because he knew Durham didn’t issue one retroactively to Cummings. But …they have issued them to others and apparently they have someone who has contradicted parts of Starmer’s story, so who knows?

      • Goose

        I’m not defending Johnson, there’s lots to go at in criticising him and his govt. For instance, I think the awarding of billions in Covid contracts while the normal tendering rules were suspended, should gain much greater scrutiny. But Labour seem weirdly disinterested in that, probably not wanting to upset potential financial backers?

        Beyond raising a glass, in a toast to a leaving colleague, and being ambushed with a cake, what exactly did Johnson do? The public seem to think Johnson was involved in wild parties, he wasn’t. The SNP’s Ian Blackford even likened events to debauchery.

        It’s reminiscent of Labour’s antisemitism ‘crisis’ – lots of noise and commotion from the media and very little hard evidence of any wrongdoing. The worst excesses in Sue Gray’s report Johnson wasn’t present for. As said, if anything the civil service has more questions than Johnson, but senior civil servant Sue Gray largely ignored responsibilities therein.

    • paul

      HA ha!

      It seems to me many of Johnson’s personal problems are largely concocted by the media.

      Then he is a product of the media, not an individual agent.

  • FranzB

    Keir Starmer has received some praise for his role in the McLibel trial (which was won finally at the ECHR). Call me paranoid, but I wondered if that was a put-up job. I read in Wikipedia that:-

    “In the course of the UK undercover policing relationships scandal it was revealed that one of the authors of the “McLibel leaflet” was Bob Lambert, an undercover police officer who infiltrated London Greenpeace; John Dines, another undercover officer, was also Helen Steel’s partner for two years; she was unaware of his true identity and motives” [Helen Steel was a defendant].

    i.e. was the trial a setup to earn Starmer some brownie points? Counter-indicators are his abysmal record as DPP, which of course was also what recommended him to the right wing of the Labour party as a safe pair of hands.

    • Goose

      Your suspicions are probably justified. Much has been said about his involvement with human rights groups in the past. They handle sensitive cases, was that his angle?

      Given he’s said diddly-squat about the treatment – the humanitarian outrage and dangerous precedent that the Assange extradition decision represents. And given how he whipped his MPs to vote through the govt’s Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021. Which some claim grants undercover officers a literal licence to kill, or ‘licence to shill’ in Paul Mason’s case?

      Starmer also sacked a Labour MP, Nadia Whittome, for voting against another sketchy piece of legislation : the Overseas operations bill – which brings in a presumption against prosecution for British soldiers for alleged conduct during overseas operations.

      This is clearly not a man on the side of defending civil liberties and transparency. He’s ‘deep state’ or loyal to it, and the only reason it isn’t a scandal is because much of our media; editors, producers , presenters are similarly puppets too.

    • Goose

      Just talk of a wider conspiracy will have people frowning.

      But the whole UK system, certainly the decision-making parts are dominated by people who attended a few elite universities and who share similar backgrounds and beliefs. Our judiciary has only relatively recently moved away from the arcane ‘tap on the shoulder’ method of appointment. Dominic Raab talks about how British judges should be the final arbiters on whether our rights have been infringed. But can we say our judiciary is representative? Liberal judges, progressive judges? No, they’re all conservative, and no one ever elected them. The two European courts the Tories’ despise: the ECJ (EU’s court) and separate European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg I’d wager are more diverse, certainly in their ideological composition, than the UK Supreme Court.

      He talks about our democratic institutions (i.e. note the plural – there’s only really one, and that’s the House of Commons, elected by the deeply flawed, unrepresentative FPTP). The Lords and head of State aren’t elected obviously. Does anyone truly believe we have reached a state of democratic perfection in the UK, as many deluded Tory MPs appear to believe?

      • Ultraviolet

        I know a thing or two about judicial diversity.

        First off, we really, really, REALLY do not want to go down the route of elected judges. That will just give the Government even more power over who they are. Only the most hang em and flog em judges would get elected. The principle of having an independent Judicial Appointments Commission, with a statutory obligation to appoint only on legal merit, is the right one.

        However, the diversity of the judiciary is terrible, particularly at the higher levels. If you are a white, male, Oxbridge-educated barrister, you can pretty much book your seat on the bench from day one of your career. For every one of those characteristics you don’t share, your chances of appointment fall.

        Even once appointed, your chances of promotion within the judiciary are similarly constrained, as noted by some judges in an article in the Eastern Eye that was subsequently picked up by the Times:

        The article refers, among other things, to the continued use of secret soundings to ensure only the “right” people get appointed. A review report published earlier this year shows what is wrong with this process – as if it wasn’t blatantly obvious:

        But sadly the establishment response has been to ignore the problems with the overall statutory framework and simply make a few tweaks within that framework that do very little to address the problems the report identified.

        An observation, too, on your comment that they are “all conservative”. Having been involved in a number of judicial reviews against the Government, some successful, others not, I can say that they are a mixed bunch. Most of them are very dedicated to applying the law correctly without political bias. But not all of them, and currently, my perspective is that we have senior judges who are decidedly more establishment-minded than some of their predecessors over the past twenty years.

        • Goose

          The judiciary may be more ethnically diverse since the Judicial Appointments Commission was introduced. But that is only part of the problem. The so-called ‘male and pale’ problem within judicial ranks was becoming embarrassing, they had to do something.

          Ethnic diversity and/or greater LGBT representation can be just a smokescreen for deeply conservative institutions however. Sure, boxes are being ticked for ‘greater diversity’ but it’s diversity in ideas, beliefs, values, and opinions we really need.

          It’s a similar situation with the political parties, and the way they obsess over quotas; ethnic candidates and all-female shortlists. All while narrowing the scope of permitted political ideas and debate within those parties. Overt efforts to promote diversity in some areas are masking increasing intolerance for diversity of opinion.

        • Goose

          As for electing judges. The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) states it selects candidates for judicial office on merit? But what does that even mean in something as inherently contentious as law?

          As we’ve seen with Julian Assange’s judicial mistreatment and the perverse decision to jail Craig Murray, decisions are very much just subjective interpretations of the law, with broad discretion handed to the judge. Quite frankly, a clever judge could just as easily argue the precise opposite reasoning in both cases, if so inclined to do so. Law often isn’t binary with the right or wrong decision obvious to all.

          I’d broadly agree with you that electing judges under our current arrangements would just result in the most reactionary ‘hang ’em and flog ’em judges’ prevailing due to the right-wing media’s unhealthy hold on society. And the Commons with its FPTP distorted majorities would be no better for selecting. But as a future package of democratic/constitutional reforms; including to the media and HoC voting system, it should be considered.

    • Squeeth

      “which of course was also what recommended him to the right wing of the Labour party as a safe pair of hands.”

      I well remember him being courted by Bliar….

  • Lord Byron

    The Labour Party dropped any pretence of socialism in 1995, 27 years ago. When Alex Salmond tried flirting with socialism he was sacked from the SNP in 1982, 40 years ago. And yes, all mainstream British political partys are way, way to the right of Edward Heath’s government.

    To illustrate wealth redistribution, the author lives in a mansion he bought for cash in the poshest bit of Edinburgh.

    • nevermind

      Have you booked a fringe meeting Byron? When you think that Oxgang Road and the estate around it are in the ‘poshest bit of Edinburgh’ you know very little of it.
      As for the calling it a mansion, when it’s been a building site for the last couple of years, shows pettiness on your behalf.
      But thanks for your attention of the Labour party’s demise. Did you know that many politicians had journeys through various political parties, before they ended up were they are now?
      For example Ian Gibson, I call him a friend, first joined the Conservative party in Scotland only to swing 180 deg. to the SWP for a while before he joined the Labour party. At our last breakfast meeting we talked about the appalling state of politics and how Starmer was chosen by Blair to take the lead, and how he since then bulldozed socialist principles, started purging members for their views.
      RIP Ian, you were a good representative who was rubbed up for very little to resign.

  • Jay

    Unfortunately there is a very real point to Sir Keir Starmer far as the British establishment is concerned, and has been throughout his legal and political careers. His importance to them was vividly illustrated when it waa pointed out that he had binned the Savile investigation and we all saw the Tories and their media leap to shut the story down. A figure of equal importance to them is the knight’s mentor Lord Mandelson, which is why the Tories have kept a veil over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Far from being pointless, new New Labour is one of the British establishmen’s most cherished creations and is clearly going to be protected at all costs.

  • Highlander

    Aaah Connolly, a Celtic spirit that seems to be nowt extinguished in the neutered men and women of our nation.
    The perpetual teachings of Hastings and 1066, rammed into the heads of our children. Instead of the rich history tapestry and heroes of our nation, of course we produce the same dubious characters as any nation, but the vast majority of Scots have only existed under duress for the past three hundred years.
    A simple example of the power England holds over us……. Dunblane …… our future generations lives extinguished by bullets, and we are not grown up enough to be told the truth for one hundred and twenty five years……. or the Battle of St Vallery (in WW2?) where the Scots nation was slaughtered. Still subject to a “D” notice even today. And you aren’t allowed to even know these historical debacles.
    As for Labour, and the leaders that would of stopped these neonazis. John Smith, Robin Cook, Donald Dewar – to my mind, like lady Dianne, murdered, poisoned like Gaitskil in the 50s.
    Or Willie MacRae, the second post-mortem paid for by the family found he’d been shot twice in the back of the head. Of course, after being shot in the back of the head, he got out of the car, threw the keys into a burn a hundred yards away, got back into the car locked it up, closed the windows and proceeded to die!
    The policeman who found his body, made a statement to the fact, senior officers forced him to recant his statement of facts. A number of years later he the officer made a true statement. People visiting the site of Willie McRae’s death, celebrating his life, on the anniversary of his death, a three and a half ton military lorry run over the car in which they were travelling killing all occupants. So much for democracy and the rule of law.
    Starmer, a slug, a safe pair of hands, just look at how he hid the evidence to protect Saville, the crown Tory Peers of the realm, judges, politicians and associated vermin.
    His secret liaisons with the secretary of defence in America, prior to being elected leader of the Labour Party, common knowledge. The richest borough in England lost by the Tories, at the last council elections, won by Labour, proves my point. The total increase of Labour councillors after all the razzmatazz of the BBC, Labour won two councillors more, the proof, is in the pudding. Labour needs a Corbyn, or better still another Clement Attlee, the greatest Englishman ever to grace these nations. A man, because of the power of the press, none hear of.
    Unlike the pedophile, syphilitic, warmonger, American and builder of concentration camps to murder the Boer, old men, women and children. The American slug, Churchill, who in history we are taught to learn how great he was….. the first to gas Kurds, and the first to commit the mass-murdering of the civilian populations from aircraft. Aye, these things we aren’t taught, usually called the truth!

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Families don’t pay for their relatives’ post-mortems, Highlander, the state pays for them – in Scotland via the procurators fiscal. The doors of Willie McRae’s Volvo almost certainly weren’t locked when he was found (by a couple of Aussie tourists, not a policeman), otherwise how would Dr Dorothy Messer have been able to attend to him at the scene and establish that he was still breathing? It’s unlikely she would have had a crowbar in her car. Two rounds were discharged from his .22 S&W revolver but, according to the nurse who tended to him in Aberdeen, Katharine McGonigal, only one bullet was visible in the X-ray of his skull.

      Hugh Gaitskell died in 1963 of complications from a lupus flare-up. Whatever the lying liar Johann Hari has written, Churchill didn’t build any concentration camps in South Africa – on the contrary, he was briefly held in a POW camp himself (even though he was acting in the capacity of a journalist at the time) before promptly escaping, like the A-Team. I haven’t seen any evidence he was a paedophile either.

  • Peter

    “The Pointless Keir Starmer”

    Hardly pointless, if only … .

    Clearly beloved of Blair and Mandelson, his job, or point, is obviously to destroy any possibility of there ever being an anti-neoliberal, left-wing government in this country again, and what a great job he is doing – in the (former?) Labour Party at least.

    But as has been said many times before, ‘the best laid schemes of mice and men … ‘.

    As others are finding out elsewhere, the best laid schemes can have an unfortunate tendency to rebound on the schemer. Ironically, the more successful Staliner is in destroying the left in the (former) Labour Party, the more he creates the circumstances for the emergence of a new, real party of the left.

    Are you listening Mick Lynch?

  • Feral Finster

    With all due respect, and I do respect you as an honest human, regardless whether I agree with you at the moment or not, you only now are starting to figure this out?

  • Crispa

    Nothing illustrates better the absurdity and pointlessness of the Labour Party under Starmer than this year’s list of summer raffle prizes. First prize is two tickets to attend the annual conference with front seats to listen to the leader’s speech. The second prize is a cash prize of £5,000 and the third two of £1,000 each. Who in their right mind would want to be the unlucky winner?

  • Crispa

    And, with David Lammy complaining that Labour MPs should not be on the picket lines because the Labour Party is a party of government in waiting, the question can certainly be asked what is the point of the Labour Party?

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