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As the battle for the soul of the Labour Party heats up, the Skwawkbox Article entitled, “Exclusive: Welsh Labour branch becomes first to vote no confidence in Keir Starmer,” it said that, “Keir Starmer’s self-inflicted abysmal week continued on Thursday evening with a successful vote of no confidence by Labour members in Aberconwy. On the same day that NEC members ordered party general secretary David Evans to rebuke Starmer for his political interference, contrary to the EHRC recommendations Starmer has promised to implement, in Jeremy Corbyn’s disciplinary case and for undermining an NEC panel that was following independent legal advice when it lifted Corbyn’s suspension, Starmer’s office also received a letter from Jeremy Corbyn demanding copies of all communications relating to the former leader’s suspension, reinstatement and subsequent withdrawal of the whip. At the same time, a string of local Labour groups passed motions calling for Corbyn’s immediate reinstatement.”
Now the Skwawkbox are soliciting tips on which CLPs are following suit so that they can keep us fully updated on the push-back campaign! This does not bode well for Starmer’s Progressive Left Labour Socialist purge. In reporting how the, “Labour leader’s bad night continued,” Skwawkbox said, “Valley Branch Dyffryn in Aberconwy passed what may well be the first of many motions of no confidence by local parties in Starmer and his leadership: Motion of No Confidence in Keir Starmer. This branch believes no one can argue with this quote from Red Labour: ‘The right to debate, strike, speak out in support and to show solidarity to others goes to the very soul of the Labour Party. Freedom of speech and democracy are precious but both are increasingly at risk. We must not stand by in silence whilst these hard fought for fundamental rights are ripped away.’ It is therefore with great regret that this branch finds it necessary to list the following actions which are indicative of the Labour leadership’s descent into dictatorship.
These actions are designed to remove those members who are prepared to challenge the leadership when it puts the interests of multinationals, economic growth and the so called ‘national interest’ before workers, Trades Unions, solidarity with the oppressed and disadvantaged and world peace:
1. Whipping the PLP to abstain on the ‘Licence to Kill Bill’ and the ‘Spycops Bill’. The Labour Party should be making it clear by their actions (not just their words) that they oppose any illegal actions by British Armed Forces and likewise oppose the despicable actions of undercover police officers in the UK.
2. Commenting on an ongoing disciplinary matter in order to gain political capital when the General Secretary has expressly forbidden it. (Andrew Marr Show, Sunday 1 Nov, after the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn). This gave the impression that the Labour leader is allowed freedom of speech that members are not.
3. Disassociating himself and the party from the tradition of solidarity with the oppressed peoples and nations of the world. Labour and Starmer should have shown solidarity with Assange and the Black Lives Matter movement. It is not acceptable that there was silence in response to events in Venezuela and Bolivia.
4. Bullying and authoritarianism (even more so than Tony Blair). Starmer sold out Rebecca Long Bailey (a fervent advocate of the Green New Deal), the members and the previous leader. His latest action, cynically removing the Labour Whip from Jeremy Corbyn, is further evidence of his determination to rid the party of Socialists.
5. Tackling anti-Semitism and other forms of racism. Starmer refused to support and stand up for Black MPs on the left. He has failed to recognise Jewish diversity by ignoring Jewish Voice for Labour and other Jewish party members who supported Jeremy Corbyn and the socialist policies he promoted. He has allowed himself to be pressured by organisations such as the Jewish Labour Movement, the Board of Deputies and Labour for Israel. He authorised out-of-court settlements, contrary to legal advice, leaving the door open for unlimited claims against the Labour Party.
6. Complete disregard of Labour Party democracy. The Green New Deal was ratified by the 2019 conference, published in the 2019 manifesto and is supported by 70% of the membership. Replacing it with the ‘Green Recovery Plan’ is a wishywashy, half-hearted, sop to multinationals. The country and the world do not have time to take it easy!!
7. Starmer’s transition from apparent socialist in the mid 1980’s (pro-bono work with pickets, denouncing the use of ‘paramilitary’ policing methods) to an establishment stooge when Director of Public Prosecutions and as an MP.Starmer failed to protect Julian Assange, increased fines and custodial sentences for benefit cheats, increased powers of arrest for protesters and oversaw CPS involvement in police undercover work in left wing groups. He also refused to indict either the policemen who killed Jean Charles de Menendez or the policeman involved in death of Ian Tomlinson. As an MP he abstained on the 2nd Reading of the 2015 Welfare Bill.
8. Complete u-turn on his pledge to unite the party and keep the party on the socialist path which very nearly ensured a Labour Government in 2017. His actions during his first 7 months have promoted factionalism never seen before in the party, in
complete contrast to the actions of Jeremy Corbyn when he took over the leadership. This branch therefore moves that it has no confidence in Keir Starmer as Leader of the Labour Party.
The branch also unanimously passed a motion demanding the immediate restoration of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.”
The Media are too ready to support Keir Starmer’s evisceration of the Labour Party as is rather obvious from the HuffPost Article entitled, “Can Keir Starmer Find A Way Through The Jeremy Corbyn Row?” They generously contend that, “As legal letters fly, the Labour leader needs to show his political skills more than ever” but wrongly place the onus on Corbyn to appologise for telling the truth, “Jeremy has got to make a full apology. No ifs, no buts, no caveats, no qualifying sentences. He has got to admit he got it wrong. It’s not every day that one former leader of the Labour party tries to tell another former leader of the Labour party what to do. But although Gordon Brown’s words were typically robust, it seems very likely that Jeremy Corbyn is typically determined not to take anyone’s orders. In fact, far from some kind of olive branch being devised to mend relations between Keir Starmer and his predecessor, tonight Corbyn and his allies have ‘lawyered up’ for an almighty legal battle to get him reinstated as a Labour MP.”
HuffPost report that, “Not one but two letters have been sent by Corbyn’s solicitors to the party, preparing the grounds for legal action. The raft of claims includes breach of contract, “double jeopardy” of being effectively tried twice for the same alleged offence, indirect discrimination, freedom of speech and data protection breaches. A mass of documentation is also sought, including the use of GDPR laws to make subject access requests for any references to Corbyn’s case within Starmer’s office and Labour HQ. A further letter to general secretary David Evans from 14 Corbyn-supporting members of the NEC warns of legal action is likely. The NEC members say Starmer’s decision to withhold the whip undermines the party’s own disciplinary process, after a properly constituted panel decided to restore his membership this week. Their letter says the ‘direct political interference’ in the process by the Labour leader was ‘unacceptable’.” Time for ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ to get tough: no more ‘turn the other cheek,’ enough is enough!
According to HuffPost, “it is that phrase – direct political interference – that is at the heart of this whole mess, for Starmer’s critics on both the left and the right. In fact, the idea of ‘acceptable’ political interference seems to be the cause of much of the conflict. One of the central charges against Starmer is that for all his protestations that he was staying out of disciplinary process against Corbyn, his own office was actively engaged in contacts with the former leader’s helpers in a bid to find a “grand compromise” (as I mentioned on Tuesday) to resolve the situation. That compromise involved a clarification from Corbyn that concerns about anti-Semitism were neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated’ (both words he had used to talk about the scale of the issue). The clarification would be published before an NEC panel met. In return, the party would restore his membership, while sending him a ‘reminder of values’, one of the weakest possible sanctions.” We must ‘remind’ the NEC that adhering to the truth is an essential value for MPs!
The HuffPost clarify that, “It’s worth saying that Starmer’s allies reject the claim that there was any such deal, while accepting that Corbyn’s team lobbied hard for his reinstatement. There is also dispute over alleged agreement about the timing of the clarification statement, the wording of which is said to have been agreed by both sides within two days of the original suspension. Although some of Starmer’s allies may have wanted the statement published earlier than this week, Corbyn felt that doing it too far in advance of an NEC decision would lead to charges that it didn’t go far enough and wasn’t a full apology (see, G Brown) and would then make life difficult for the NEC. It’s claimed that Starmer then broke his side of the agreement (seen as a sensible compromise by its supporters, and a dirty deal by its critics). The NEC panel imposed a stronger sanction than expected, issuing a formal ‘warning of conduct’ letter. It also made a request for him to pull down the original Facebook statement that got him suspended.”
HuffPost claim that, “Starmer’s withholding the whip was the biggest dealbreaker, however. Which brings us back to the current impasse. The perception that Starmer ‘reneged’ on the ‘deal’ is what is making Corbyn dig in right now. Even though there are still efforts on both sides to find some way out, I understand the former leader is reluctant to take any assurances at face value: if he agreed a new statement, there is real doubt Starmer could guarantee it would lead to a return to the PLP. ‘Starmer chameleon’, is the Left’s song right now. But Starmer faces claims that he has also reneged on his promises to the Jewish community. As one Labour MP put it to me after the NEC decision: ‘First they were attacked, now they feel betrayed.’ Starmer himself said when he was elected in April that the test of his leadership would be that former Jewish members could feel comfortable to return. So when Margaret Hodge told him she was ready to quit this week, the pressure to act was intense.”
The HuffPost were eager to let the Labour NEC panel off the hook for making that awful decision in favour of reinstating Corbyn. To make their decision more understandable HuffPost say that, “Amid the fog of civil war, there are lots of conflicting claims in all this. One is that the NEC panel decision was ‘unanimous’. I’m told that actually the whole reason its meeting lasted four and a half hours was because two members fiercely resisted the idea of readmitting Corbyn. There was no formal vote at the end, but more a weary resignation that they were outnumbered. One key argument against Corbyn was that he breached the rule which sanctions conduct that is ‘grossly detrimental’ to the party. Crucially, the party has frequently considered that ‘seniority’ within the party is an ‘aggravating factor’ for such cases. That’s why councillors and council deputy leaders have been expelled in the past, and you can’t get more ‘senior’ than a former leader of the entire party.”
HuffPost say, “Some in the party think Starmer’s biggest failure was not to follow through on his own pledge made in April to ‘begin work immediately to deliver on my campaign pledge to establish an independent complaints process’. Others think that it will be impossible for any independent system to work out what is and isn’t ‘grossly detrimental’ the party, rather than the party itself. As a former DPP, Starmer may believe the legal case against him is thin, overblown and unlikely to be treated seriously by any court (judges are reluctant to engage in internal party rulebooks, but even less keen on interfering in party political decisions like whipping). One extra complication in all this is Corbyn’s own unique approach to politics. In what is seen by some as a microcosm of his leadership reign, I’m told even some of his supporters found it difficult to get hold of him at key points in recent weeks, when his sign-off was needed. ‘He just went awol,’ one said. A degree of chaos meant some things were decided at the very last minute.”
The HuffPost reveal the latest twist in the ongoing saga, saying, “The new letter from chief whip Nick Brown to Corbyn (as revealed by the Guardian) informing him of a three month suspension from the whip, may strangely offer a glimmer of a way out. It refers to him being suspended pending a PLP investigation, which suggests an interpretation of breaches of its standing orders is still up for grabs. But ultimately it’s a lack of trust between Starmer and Corbyn that dominates things right now. And the political as well as legal fallout it has begun.” The Labour Party has a nasty track record of going after the same target victim over and over again until their reputation is decimated by very public smears and removal is final. HuffPost say, “Former chair Ian Lavery told our podcast today that Starmer was a ‘tinpot dictator’. And while making clear he wanted everyone to unite, Lavery warned: ‘There’s always the opportunity of a leadership challenge and the rules allow that to happen. It just depends how Keir’s leadership develops’.”
In another HuffPost Article entitle, “Keir Starmer Could Face Leadership Challenge If He Keeps Dividing Labour, MP Warns,” they report, “Ian Lavery tells HuffPost UK that Starmer appears to have a ‘personal and political vendetta’ after refusing to let Corbyn sit as a Labour MP. Keir Starmer has been warned he could face a leadership challenge if he continues what appears to be a ‘vendetta’ against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. Former Labour chair Ian Lavery told HuffPost UK’s Commons People podcast that the ‘opportunity’ for a leadership challenge would always be available, but stressed he wants the party to ‘settle down’ and ‘unite’. Lavery hit out at Starmer for refusing to let Corbyn sit as a Labour MP – even though his party membership had been restored by Labour’s ruling body. He was initially suspended last month over his reaction to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into anti-Semitism in the party.”
According to HuffPost, “Lavery told Commons People: ‘It looks very much that this is a vengeful, divisive, provocative sort of move from Keir Starmer. ‘This isn’t about uniting the party – it looks to me as if it’s a personal and political vendetta now from the new leader of the party to the previous leader of the party’.” I would add that Keir Starmer’s conduct comes across as the ego-driven power trip of a very insecure individual who lacks not only confidence, but any genuine ambitious ideas; his fantisemitism navel-gazing, ‘I’m better than Corbyn’ pitch is an uninspiring turn-off. They say, “The Wansbeck MP urged Labour to set out clearly who was making the decisions on Corbyn’s suspension. ‘Who made the decision that Keir has got the overriding powers to overrule the national executive committee [Labour’s ruling body]?’ he said. ‘I’m not being melodramatic but that’s a little bit like a tin pot dictatorship to me. ‘We’ve got to have some form of democracy in the party and at this moment in time it doesn’t look like we have’.”
HuffPost report that, “Lavery said he would refuse to ‘walk away’ from Labour if Corbyn was not reinstated fully. But he said ex-MP Thelma Walker’s resignation was evidence that anger was not confined to the hard left of the party.” She is not the only person quitting Labour in disgust; it could soon become a mass exodus. HuffPost quote Lavery saying, “I want the party to be united. I want the party to flourish, move forward, win an election in 2024. If that’s with Keir Starmer, that’s fine,” Lavery said. They add, “Asked what he meant and whether Starmer would be Labour leader at the next election, Lavery said: ‘I hope that Keir can unify the party. I’ve got to say the first few months of his leadership would suggest that’s not his intention – unless he proves otherwise, of course. ‘Keir is the leader. Obviously he should be in pole position to be leader of the party at the next election. ‘But there’s a lot hinging on how Keir reacts not just to this but how Keir performs on behalf of the party.”
According to HuffPost, “Lavery said Starmer had caused ‘absolute mayhem’ among the Labour membership since being elected leader. There is ‘genuine concern’ about Starmer’s willingness to support the government’s Covid policy and abstain on legislation opposed by many in the party, including the controversial Overseas Operations Bill, he said. Lavery also called on the leader to deliver on his pledge to unify the party and his 10-point plan, which included promises to continue with ‘radical’ policies such as taxing the rich, backing public ownership, and legislating against ‘illegal wars’. Asked what happens if Starmer fails to deliver, Lavery said: ‘There’s always the opportunity of a leadership challenge and the rules allow that to happen.’ It just depends how Keir’s leadership develops. ’I’ve got to say I’m very disappointed in it in this moment in time and it’s not a left/right issue. ‘Keir Starmer is a very decent, genuine individual. ‘But it’s the direction that’s coming from him’.”
Lavery went on: “‘New leadership’ [Starmer’s slogan] is basically a message telling the rest of the country Jeremy Corbyn’s gone. ‘Why shouldn’t the message be something the party actually stands for? ‘For the many, not the few’ – that was fantastic.” I have to agree that the ‘New Leadership’ banner was like sending a massive ‘fxxk you’ to the progressive Left of the Labour Party who had achieved so much over the Corbyn years. Tory Austerity wa
s fully exposed as an ideological exploitation scam not a painful fiscal necessity; that was a huge achievement. The label on the snake oil has changed, but Tory ideology has not: the new exploitation scam being touted as ‘levelling up’ must be robustly challenged because in practical terms it is the diametric opposite. The fight to extend Furlough during crippling northern lockdowns, begging for the poorest children in the UK to get free school meals, promised laptops not delivered, and now another threatened pay freeze: this ‘Decimating Down’ targets the working poor again and again.
It took a famous young footballer to pitch in and demand food for hungry deprived children; it took Metro Mayor Andy Burnham to protest the unfairness of asking minimum wage workers to subsist of 60% of their wages. When large multi-ethnic protests took to the streets in support of ‘Black Lives Matter,’ Starmer dismissed their demand for changes to policing, brandishing his disreputable CPS record. He disparagingly referred to the BLM campaign as ‘a moment!’ Where was Keir Starmer when he should have been demonstrating robust opposition in Parliament and demanding fair treatment on behalf of the working poor? Starmer was still busy obsessing over fantisemitism in the Labour Party and using former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as a scapegoat while he buckled to the demands of the Zionist Lobby and the BOD. The obscene payment to silence John Weir’s SLAPP Suit, despite advise from Labour Lawyers he would win, established Starmer as the ‘Captain of Capitulation:’ this leaves Labour vulnerable to further suits.
Ian Lavery describes Keir Starmer’s disgraceful track record so far by saying, “But everything seems at this moment in time as though there’s a political provocation from the leader’s office.” Lavery wants to see the Party settle down, unify, move on and “hold the government to account,” but the damage Starmer has done so far is ripping Labour apart. Starmer has burned his bridges, but he stands ready to pour more petrol on the flames. Starmer should face a leadership challenge because he deliberately deceived Labour Party members last time. If the unfathomable result of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election had been challenged and fully Investigated, then I believe the corruption of Boris Johnson’s miraculous ‘Tory landslide victory’ would have been exposed. Labour would not have suffered all those excruciating demands to grovel in trying to explain defeat. Jeremy Corbyn wouldn’t have resigned he would be providing the decent progressive Socialist leadership we deserve from a legitimate Prime Minister in this time of crisis. DO NOT MOVE ON!