Keir Starmer’s victory speech just finished the Labour Party

Keir Starmer
Steve Topple

Keir Starmer has won the Labour leadership election. No surprise in the result, as he was the favourite all along. But what’s worrying is there are no surprises in his victory speech either. Because Starmer just gave the worst response imaginable.

Starmer in, Corbyn out

Starmer was elected with 56% of the vote. Angela Rayner was also elected as deputy leader. The outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted his congratulations:

The Tories seem happy, so far, with Starmer’s victory. Their party chairman Amanda Milling urged him to:

put aside the divisiveness and infighting that has plagued the top of the Labour Party for the past five years

Sorry, what…?

But it was the new leader’s victory speech that was most telling. Aside from the usual niceties, Starmer said:

That’s why in the national interest the Labour Party will play its full part. Under my leadership we will engage constructively with the government.

So Starmer’s making out like Corbyn somehow didn’t “engage constructively with the government”. Even though he repeatedly wrote to it with suggestions, asked all the right questions at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), and constantly stood up for the public.

Clearly all that might have been a bit too edgy for Starmer. He continued by saying Labour wouldn’t do:

opposition for opposition’s sake.

And that the party under him would make sure it was:

Not scoring party political points, or making impossible demands, but with the courage to support where that’s the right thing to do.

It’s perhaps this which sticks in the throat the most. Because the Tories’ response to coronavirus has been all about politics.

Omnishambles

There are numerous examples of why coronavirus is political. As The Canary‘s Emily Apple recently wrote, the government’s response has been a shambles:

First, Johnson downplayed the virus; then there was herd immunity; now, there’s lockdown. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has long been clear that testing is key. …

But NHS staff are still struggling to get tested with only around 2,000 able to access tests up to 1 April. The government has lied time and again. Johnson promised 10,000 tests a day, then stated he was aiming for 25,000. But these tests aren’t materialising. And many people blame the lost months when the government either failed to take action or was promoting herd immunity. One in four NHS staff, meanwhile, are off work and self-isolating. And frontline staff are dying.

As Apple also pointed out, Johnson’s even losing the support of the mainstream press too. And with rumours published (yet denied by Downing Street) that Johnson’s senior aide Dominic Cummings essentially said ‘let old people die’ to save the economy, you have to question what the government’s priorities are.

Tory eugenics?

Some believe Tory policy is killing people:

Others, meanwhile, feel that despite coronavirus this is typical Tory behaviour anyway:

Meanwhile, certain groups of sick and disabled people have been getting forms asking them to agree to “Do Not Resuscitate” notices if they catch coronavirus:

So, as tax expert Richard Murphy pointed out, it’s hard not to think that the Tories are deliberately carrying out eugenics – where people deemed lesser than others are intentionally got rid of or stopped from having children:

Starmer: game over already

For Starmer to say he won’t score political points is ignoring the reality of a situation that is utterly political. But it perhaps sets out his centrist stall well. So, instead of Corbyn’s consistently robust challenging of the government, and groundbreaking, radical approach to policy, will the Labour Party become just another vehicle for hand-wringing centrism?

Gayle Letherby perhaps summed this sorry mess up best:

Starmer has a lot to prove. But his first speech as leader shows he probably isn’t going to deliver.

Featured image via BBC News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
      1. Yep it sure looks that way , perhaps we can now give them a taste of the shit we have had from fucking centrists over the last 5 yrs ,,, fuckem all .
        How I wish we had had the the balls to split the party when TWATSON was making so much destruction a routine event .
        Chris Williamson was bang on right and I hope over the coming years a new Left Wing party will emerge to destroy the Centrists Labour MPs in their own constituencies.
        Corbyn gave a glimmer of hope to the many and we loved it , having tasted that , we’r e not giving it up easily for another Blairite clone git like Starmer , all the charisma of a tofu bar .

        1. A new left wing party would split the non Tory vote leading to more Tory MPs. I’d ask if you even care if Labour become party of government again but I’m guessing from your comment that you’re among those who would claim that there is no difference between the two main parties now that Starmer is in charge.

    1. If Keir Starmer wishes to make Labour electable again, he must steer the party away from its current perception as fixated with ‘wokeness’, political correctness and identity politics, which are, at best, of marginal concern to its natural core of supporters.

      Labour urgently needs to return to its historic role as first and foremost the party of economic justice.

      Labour lost the last election because it stopped taking ordinary people seriously. Its metropolitan, socially liberal ethos led to the unedifying spectacle of Labour MPs telling voters they had got it wrong about Brexit through ignorance or racism, and must vote again.

      As George Galloway says in the trenchant, no-holds barred assessment of his old friend Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, which is well worth a read,

      ”Labour has become a party of the university-educated urban liberal middle-class which thinks Swarfega is a Balearic island, and is entranced with personal sexual racial identity politics. It no longer speaks the same language as its working class base on and behind the Red Wall. It can scarcely now even pretend to understand them. Everyone who opposes liberalism must be an “ist” or a “phobe.”

      1. That is an almost baffling response. I think you will get from Starmer what you want though your tone comes across like that of a UKIP voter. As summarised in The Guardian, ‘New Labour leader calls for end to factional fighting and use of labels such as Blairite’.

        Though no candidate was even satisfactory, they have appointed another white male who expects to unite where there is legitimate friction. The ‘optics’ of this are antagonistic and unnecessarily so given that he is no better placed to lead than Rebecca. We have identity politics because we have repeatedly been expected to feel represented by men with a biography that seldom differs. If you cite the notion of ordinary people in that Farrage-like fashion you are showing the same obliviousness Keir Starmer has begun with. Things can’t end well if the marginalised are kept in the margins, and you can’t silence a voice that in frustration edges towards some kind of fundamentalist zeal if the figure used to bring that about is effectively only differently fundamentalist itself. Fundamentalism breeds fundamentalisms. A ghetto is a ghetto even if its patriarch is a Keir Starmer.

        We do have shared problems that are economic and ecological, and derived from what has come of this virus, but other oppressions, both systemic and those dealt by the well-represented but over-comfortable, naive or ignorant, sometimes aggressively ignorant members of the public, mean that there are many serious social issues that can only be solved by listening and mutual accommodation.

        ‘Woke’ and ‘identity politics’ used in the way you have, are right wing notions and tropes. Those, and ‘snowflake’ and ‘virtual signalling’ – these are all the glib pseudo-satirical tools of the Conservative, as often in use by the far right. If we have an interest in any kind of social justice, even if oddly focused on economic justice, it is playing into the Conservative’s hands to adopt their language uncritically.

        [Note: I am 49, male, live in a council bedsit, have no savings whatsoever and have never flown. I don’t, though, want to improve upon that at anyone else’s expense.]

    2. Who was responsible for convincing Corbyn toi have a second Referendum,, oh yes,, starmer, who did all he could to undermine Corbyn,, oh yeah,,, starmer. I thought then he was another blair (no caps for surnames deliberate) within a day seems I am being proven right. The muppet media now control the Labour Party.

    3. Starmer suggested fast-track expulsion for members accused of anti-Semitism. Not proven guilty, but accused. That is the ex-DPP throwing due process on the fire. Only c 2000 members have been accused. Many of them have been suspended and left in limbo. Months, years have gone by and they have heard nothing. This is not the action of a democratic party, but closet totalitarianism and thought-control. Starmer says he will deal with the problem of anti-Semitism in the party. Will he deal with the problems of paedophilia and domestic abuse? Take any random 500,000 people. Will some be paedophiles? Some domestic abusers? The law of large numbers makes it inevitable. Anti-Semitism is a small, peripheral issue in the party, as is domestic abuse. Starmer, however, accepts without demur the false claims of the B o D, the CST, the Jewish Chronicle and Zionist Labour members. He is potentially about to expel members who will have no right of representation or appeal simply because a Zionist accuses them of anti-Semitism. The Zionists have viciously attacked and traduced Noam Chomsky because of his criticism of the Israeli State. Is Chomsky an anti-Semite? The danger is that Labour is on the verge of installing Stalinist methods at the heart of its bureaucracy. Further, it may do so in order to placate racists. Zionism, as practised by the Israeli State since 1948, is patently racist. 1.8 million people are imprisoned in the Gaza Strip because they are Arabs. That is racism. Chaim Weizmann, hardly an insignificant figure in Zionist history, put it simply: “There is a qualitative difference between a Jew and an Arab.” That is racism. And it was Weizmann who, when assisting with the finessing of the Balfour Declaration wanted the term “Jewish people” to be replaced by “Jewish race”. That is racism. There is no Jewish race, any more than there is a Christian race or and English race. There is one race: the human race. Starmer may be about to slavishly cave in to the demands of a Zionist lobby which in its ten pledges demands, among other idiocies, that any Labour member who supports or gives a platform to a suspended member should also be suspended. That means if a member under administrative suspension turns up at her branch meeting, as she has a right to, all the members at that meeting could be suspended. Starmer may be about to permit the Zionist lobby to make rules for the Labour Party and by so doing to decide Labour policy. He is almost certain to permit the Zionists to dictate Labour policy on Israel/Palestine. This is intellectual feebleness and moral cowardice. What needs to be said is that Zionism, as defined above, is racism and the Labour Party will have nothing to do with it. Thornberry, that dim-witted apologist for Israeli oppression, called for the waving of Palestinian flags at Labour Conference to be banned. What will Starmer do? At the next conference we need to be sure that every delegate is offered a Palestinian flag as they enter, and if we can get the funds, a copy of Ilan Pappe’s Ten Myths About Israel. You can get a copy for less than tenner. Buy one. Turn up. Hand it to a delegate. Buy two. Three. As many as you can afford. All the signs are that Starmer will give the Zionists all they ask for in a desperate and pusillanimous effort to solve a problem of their invention. A problem which doesn’t exist. Labour is not institutionally anti-Semitic. There is a tiny number of anti-Semites but a big majority of anti-Zionists. That is the right position. Zionism is racism. It oppresses the Palestinians. The solution is a single democratic State. One person one vote and the rule of law. Just like here. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, unless you’re an anti-Arab racist.

    4. Magicmancunion, you are oh so right. Starmer says he is going to fight a problem purely created by the BoD, the gutter press, the Jewish Chronicle etc – a problem which doesn’t actually exist and has seen the removal of great MP’s like Chris Williamson. Why is Starmer singling out anti-semitism? What is so special about the Israelis that requires different treatment to everybody else in Society? What has he got to say about 40% of the referrals to the NEC came from one Labour MP, Margaret Hodges, is she going to be disciplined at all for gross misuse of a procedure that saw the scapegoating and removal of left wing members?

      I am not a member of the Labour Party but am a socialist and am a huge fan of Jeremy Corbyn who always spoke the truth, who was a tour de force at the Despatch Box, always asked incisive, relevant questions and faced the most vicious, malicious, vitriolic, sustained personal campaign against not only against a Leader of the Opposition but unprecedented in British political history. This against a man who is the most decent, truthful, honest and humane person currently in British Politics.

      Starmer’s speech is worthless, absolutely worthless. The MSM are already telling him to rid the party of anyone who is left wing, they are all but naming who he should be in his Cabinet and so on and so forth. He is an MSM lackey, when the MSM say Jump he will say How High. People forget that under Corbyn’s leadership Labour Party membership jumped from 130,000 to 550,000 making it the biggest political party in Europe, so the new members must have felt this was a party that spoke for them.

      Starmer the Stooge. To say that there will not be opposition for opposition sake – what is he saying? That Corbyn just opposed things because he wanted to. Rubbish. It is lucky we had a good Leader of the Opposition until yesterday – because all the things the Government implemented for Coronavirus didn’t come from them, it came from Corbyn in letters, at the despatch box – he was advocating a proper response, PPE for frontline NHS staff, enhanced testing etc. We don’t have a combative, astute, people-centred Leader of the Opposition any more, we have a puppet on a string, controlled by the right wing of the party and the MSM.

      RLB would have been mky choice with the inestimable Richard Burgeon as the Deputy Leader.

      Oh well, the Government has already set in motion, with the unopposed Coronavirus Bill, the foundations for a Fascist, Totalitarian Police State and it is already being used by the Police to prosecute for example, a man who went into a hospital and filmed that it wasn’t overwhelmed or even full – 3 months in prison – The draconian lock down is a tool to start this process. However, as Starmer has no concerns about this Bill and has said he is not going to oppose much – he is buying into that. So, lets recap, we have a pathological liar with a serious narcisstic personality disorder whose senior advisor is a Eugenicist, who is currently in hiding not because he has CV-19 – he doesn’t – but because it means he can avoid difficult questions and doesn’t have to face the public – just like he did in the GE, hiding in fridges, refusing to attend TV interviews, re fusing to meet the public, lying through his teeth (Oborne website) and who doesn’t give a damn about the British nation, who has not an iota of interest in any sort of responsibility and who sees the office of Prime Minister as a showcase for what he believes is his ‘wit’ and charisma. We have now, in the Leader of the Opposition not, as we had with Corbyn, a serious minded, solemn politician who put the interests of the many before the few, but an MSM stooge, a puppet for the right of the Labour Party, someone who is not going to oppose Govt policy but to gently rebuke it, who is going to allow the ushering in of a Fascist State, increased loss of Civil rights and liberties and creeping totalitarianism because he won’t oppose the most draconian aspects of the Coronavirus Bill. This country is now well and truly f****d – no meaningful opposition, a fascist Government and an MSM that h as been handed so much power by this Government they are uncontrolled and uncensored. What a carve up

    5. Please explain to me why ” That’s why in the national interest the Labour Party will play its full part. Under my leadership we will engage constructively with the government.” is a contrast to what Jeremy Corbyn has done and said? Surely that’s a reaffirmation, and as Keir is the new leader, it is appropriate for him to reaffirm, isn’t it? Is there a non-verbal tone that insinuates that Keir contrasts his stand-point with Jeremy, even if incorrect? I apologise if I missed that.

    6. I’ve just seen some of Starmer’s shadow cabinet. All the brilliant committed left such as Ian Lavery and Barry Gardiner have been sacked. Lis Nandy Shadow Foreign Secretary anyone? Guaranteed war and USA lapdog. This country is well and truly f*****d. Starmer is a dud. It’s time for anyone who cares about the many about injustice about inequality about quality of people’s life – in short – anyone who has even remotely socialist or left wing views should leave the party now. Starmer has said all his energy will go into winning the next election now – that ideology requires being a stooge for the MSM supporting the rich kowtowing to the media when they command it and just saying anything people want to hear. The Tories must be ecstatic thrilled that they now have free reign to do what they want as Starmer has stated there will be no opposition. What does he mean no political point scoring? That’s right wing MSM speak. Can he give examples of when Corbyn indulged in political point scoring. Like someone said on here Starmer isn’t fit to lick Corbyns boots. He’s a sham a yes person without a single socialist thought in his head. Shame on him.

    7. I only……watched around……two minutes of……..Starmer’s…..supposed…….victory speech and couldn’t……stand his long pauses……in the middle of…….sentences any longer. I stopped the video, couldn’t take any more of it.
      Boy that guy is sooo boring. Does he *ever* get to the point?
      The right of the party think that this is the guy who’s hold the government to account? He may well kill them with boredom.
      He has all the charisma of a wet lettuce and my membership of the Labour Party is lapsing in September, I won’t renew it while he’s in charge.
      Corbyn gave people like me hope for the future, gave me hope that we *might* see some equality in my lifetime. I hope the right wing faction of the PLP choke on their choice of leader.
      Despicable, the lot of ’em!

    8. Kier Starmer is a mental pygmy. His shadow cabinet are no better. What they represent is a Neutral Party Lite. They present as a weak, non assertive lame agglomeration of political wannabes that don’t have a clue how to get anywhere. Or, as they don’t know where they want to go they can’t know how to get there.

      They are not Socialists. They are wan kers. Going through the motion with no purpose other than self gratification.

      Recall Corbyn if you want to rebuild a socially responsible government. Or move to the USA where they already have the finest government that money can buy.

      1. Bkwanab – Kier Starmer’s speech translated :

        I Sir Kier Starmer do solemnly Swear that, as Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition I will:

        • Not provide or endeavour to provide any opposition to this Government. I will though, offer a mild rebuke now and then when they have made mistake(s) such as Austerity, Universal Credit and the removal of civil rights and liberties
        • For the good of the nation I will work constructively with this extreme right wing Government to ensure that the poor and vulnerable are further stamped on and support the chronic mess this Government has made of the British Economy by not questioning their track record and not proposing that anything should change
        • Sack from the Party all those alleged anti-Semites without investigation, without trial and without the right to a defence. I will also use this process to rid the Party of all those socialist, left-wing activists with the help of the UK Jewish British Board of Deputies
        • Unite the Party by clearing out any Corbyn supporters from the Party and from the Cabinet so that the Party will no longer have any dissenting voices to Tory Government Policy and purging the Party of all socialist principles including those that built the NHS, the Welfare State, Free Education and other socialist things
        • To allow a foreign Government, with the help of the BoD to, not only dictate The Party’s Foreign Policy but also to dictate its internal policies. This will provide a foundation for our Foreign Policy to be linked to that of the Israeli and USA in keeping with this current Government’s excellent objectives. The Shadow Foreign Secretary has deep-roots with Israel and the British Board of Deputies and her appointment will promote this policy
        • Do whatever the MSM tell me to do in order to maximise my potential for becoming the next Prime Minister. If they say Jump I promise to say ‘How high’. At their request, I have already sacked Cabinet Ministers who were loyal to Corbyn. I will do their bidding willingly and without question because it is important to support their blind allegiance to this corrupt Government and to get them on my side for when I am the next Prime Minister
        • Will not provide any challenge at all to the draconian Coronavirus Bill because the serious erosion of civil liberties and rights and the handing of huge power to the Prime Minister is what the people need to be kept in line with the official propaganda and fake news promulgated by this Government. My main priority of course, was firstly to appease the BoD; nothing else is more important at the present time
        • For the good of the nation, I will fully support further draconian measure that hand more and more powers to the police to enforce conformity of the citizens. People will know me to be firm in this regard as I refused to sign Warrants for the arrest of the police who murdered that Brazilian on the London Underground
        • Protect the rich from any transparency and scrutiny as to their business affairs as it is not necessary. I applied this to myself during my election campaign by refusing to disclose my list of financial backers so I must apply it to the rich and the powers that be also
        • Refute utterly, completely, emphatically and unequivocally all socialist principles and policies so that the newly Right-Wing Labour Party politicians are free from a conscience about supporting the many and not the few
        • Support this extremely right-wing Government in their progression towards Totalitarianism in the hope that I will one day lead the country as the Leader of such a regime
        • Refer to Jeremy Corbyn as my friend publicly whilst all the time stabbing him, his progressive, visionary Manifesto and his loyal MPs, in the back as I did when I resigned from his Shadow Cabinet because everyone else was doing in order to oust him from the Leadership of the Party

    9. It shows the Labour party has a life of its own irrespective of its young members or the 400,000 who joined due to Corbyn’s policies. Its been going on ever since Corbyn was elected leader but now its just obvious.
      A Party without the populace which supported them is so strange. They exist only for the few.
      A very popular movement ” for the few” no matter what social persuasion you have.

    10. STarmer’s first act was to grovel and kiss the boots of the B o D. One of its current leaders, Marie van der Zyl, is an employment lawyer (don’t go to her if you’re Palestinian). She says she chose her profession because: “I have always felt a real sense of justice and fairness.” She goes on to say she has ” a great passion for Israel” and wants to “promote a sympathetic understanding of Israel.” How can a concern for justice and fairness sit with a passion for Israel? It is like this: “I have always felt a great sense of fairness and justice and have a great passion for apartheid South Africa and wish to promote a sympathetic understanding of racism.” She isn’t a lawyer because she cares for justice and fairness but because it makes lots of dosh. Israel has been since its inception a racist State. The Nation State Law is racist. The ethnic cleansing of 1948 was racist. The siege of Gaza is racist. The Israelis are engaged in the slow genocide of the Palestinians only because they fear wiping them out quickly would bring an international response. To want to promote a sympathetic understanding of this is the morality of the sewer. And yet it is to people like this Starmer has just bowed down. He is giving them the right to lead anti-racist training in the Party. He might as well have invited the EDL. Racists are welcomed to heart of Labour while life-long anti-racists are suspended and expelled. The Labour party has lost its reason. This can’t end well.

    11. Incidentally, on 30th November 2016 the Commons debated a motion proposed by the SNP that the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee should conduct an investigation into the contract between private and public policy over the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the presentation of intelligence relating to it. It was heavily defeated as Labour MPs closed ranks to defend Blair. Some, of course, may have felt the investigation would get nowhere or was unnecessary in the light of Chilcot. However, take a look at the speeches. Their tenor is defensive. Starmer voted against, as did the following members of his shadow cabinet:
      Rosena Allin-Khan, Liz Kendall, Jon Ashworth, David Lammy, Thangam Debbonaire, Ed Miliband, Jess Phillips, Angela Rayner, Rachel Reeves.

      1. Oops — I see that McEvoy’s story was posted after Mr. Topple’s. Apologies.
        But still I have to wonder why he ignored Starmer’s declared obeisance to Israel.

    12. A US evangelical charity, Friend Ships, is currently establishing a hospital facility in Gaza. Sounds good, doesn’t it? The man behind the charity is Don Tipton. He used to run polo clubs in Beverley Hills and lived next door to Ronald Reagan. He is an apologist for the State of Israel and calls it, “The one real land grant: God’s promise of Israel to the Jews, which was not from the Russians, not the Americans, not the UN, certainly not the Johnny-come lately Arabs.” He met Netanyahu through the tele-evengelical, right-wing Pat Robertson. His advisor in Israel is Ran Ichay who claims that archaeological finds make Jewish “religious, emotional and historical claims to Jerusalem” self-evident. There is no such evidence. There is no evidence Abraham existed. Just as there is no evidence god exists. It’s a matter of belief. Belief is not evidence. Ichay says; “The whole world sees us as criminals.” This is what is known as a persecution complex. The whole world? Israel receives billion of dollars a year from the US. The EU bends over backwards to help it. Ichay is responsible for a truly lunatic claim that Israel has a legal right to the whole of Palestine. His claim is that this is what was decided at San Remo in 1920; that UN resolution 181 was passed by an inappropriate body and is invalid because the Arabs attacked Israel. that resolution 242 is not valid either. “The Arabs, aided by the West,” he says, “will always be antisemites.” Israel is not aided by the West? The Arab attack on Israel came after long provocation and the incursion of the settlers into land guaranteed to the Arabs by Balfour. But most crucially, Inchay ignores that the San Remo agreement agreed that the mandates granted the powers should not “involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” His feeble and demented attempt to establish a legal basis for Israeli racism and oppression wouldn’t convince a mediocre law undergraduate. There seem to be no limits to the deceptions and self-deceptions of the Zionists. Racism is what it is and Israel since 1948 has practised it consistently.

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