Starmer’s awful week ends on an even sourer note

Keir Starmer on Sky News
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It’s not been a good week for Keir Starmer. From National Executive Committee (NEC) walk-outs to briefing the Sun, the Labour leader has been mired in controversy. But the situation just got a whole lot worse for him.

Strong-arming Bristol

As The Canary previously reported, there have been some dodgy goings on in Bristol. The SKWAWKBOX wrote that the party machinery suspended prominent members of two of the city’s Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). It noted on 25 November that the party had suspended:

First the chair and one co-secretary of Bristol West… for allowing a motion – decisively passed – in support of Jeremy Corbyn.

Then the other co-secretary… on the nebulous grounds of suspicion of breaking some unspecified rule. …

And now, the chair and secretary of Bristol North-West CLP have also been suspended – and again on suspicion of breaking some unspecified rule.

So, you’d think that CLPs might be erring on the side of caution when it comes to supporting Corbyn. Wrong.

Growing dissent

The website Stats for Lefties has been compiling figures on CLPs that pass motions in favour of the former Labour leader. It noted that this includes motions or votes which have:

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called for… Corbyn… to be readmitted to the Parliamentary Labour Party, have expressed solidarity with Corbyn, or who have passed a motion of no confidence in Keir Starmer or David Evans [Labour’s general secretary].

So, as Stats for Lefties said on Saturday 28 November:

9% of CLPs defying the Labour leadership may not seem like a lot. Yet with Bristol as a backdrop, 58 CLPs defying the party line about a former Labour MP isn’t bad going. And the Labour Party seems all too aware of the feeling in some CLPs. Because this week it clamped down further on support for Corbyn.

Shutting-down debate, the Starmer way

The SKWAWKBOX also noted on 25 November that the party has effectively banned motions that support Corbyn. It published an internal memo from Labour’s “governance department”. It stated that “all motions which touch on” the “issues” surrounding Corbyn “must be ruled out of order”. That is, CLPs must throw out any motions relating to the former Labour leader:

Labour governance department memo

SKWAWKBOX said that:

Labour is officially equating any and all expressions of solidarity with Corbyn or criticism of its political decisions with racism.

Also, it noted that one Jewish Labour organisation has taken issue with the party’s attitude. SKWAWKBOX wrote that:

Jewish Voice for Labour… described it as ‘grossly insulting and inflammatory’ and ‘weaponising’ Jewish concerns for factional purposes

But despite all this, over 50 CLPs have spoken out anyway.

Centrist authoritarianism?

So, it’s perhaps testament to the grassroots support for Corbyn that CLPs are breaking rank. It maybe also shows these groups representing the feelings of many members. But moreover, the situation for CLPs shows the authoritarian nature of the party under Starmer’s leadership. A place where unless you’re a centrist, you seem to be becoming less and less welcome.

Featured image via Sky News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. I see that the Chair of one of Labours Nottinghamshire CLP’s has been suspended because they raised the question of Jeremy Corbyn having the whip withheld.
      Apparently one member (who happened to be Jewish) objected to the point being debated. As, however, he did not get his way he left the meeting stating he felt discomfort at remaining.
      Now I apologise if my comment might be taken with any offence, but it seems to me that yet again a minority (in this case a single member) within the Labour Party do not wish matters raised that they are opposed to. And that when they do not get their way, they spit their dummies out and use their ethnicity in order to force their will on the majority.
      Maybe if they accepted the will of the majority in the first place, and used their voices to put forward their views, instead of painting all those who think differently as prejudiced, then they might find that less abuse comes their way.

    2. Now is the time, in the midst of this authoritarian assault on the members by the leadership and the bureaucracy, not simply to change the leadership, but to reform the structure of the Party. Its existing structure was conceived in the 19th century and belongs there. In its place we need three things:

      Power to remain at branch level

      The hierarchy of power to be replaced by a hierarchy of function

      The bureaucracy to be dismantled and replaced by a federal administration with no power to make decisions

      In place of the present structure which passes power upwards, this model retains it at Branch level. Branches federate to higher levels, but power does not pass upwards. No body in the Party should be able to order Branches to do or not do anything. Federation should take place under rules agreed by all Branches. The first rule should be that Branches are fully autonomous and not answerable to any other Party body. In short, power to the members, Power to the people. Function can be passed upwards, but that function implies no power. Labour needs to be horizontal not a vertical association. Equality of every Branch. Equality of every member. Power always at the grassroots. Now is the time to fight for this. Don’t miss the opportunity. Get a motion passed.

    3. One should shed power as quickly as its gained. Posionous stuff.
      Like the lie of antisemism still portayed as a fact about Corbyn. Starmer is a pawn in a deep state military move to dismantle , and discredit all those seeking a peaceful vision for ourselves/ the planets future in one move.
      They are succeeding so far in their quest for Forever War. This isn’t coming from a desire for a Open Society , a place in which their worries can be discussed.
      Conformity in ideas, Secret stuff, lies is posion for a democracy.
      The perfect storm is about to come for England financially as Starmer seeks raw political power to solve the issue of order. It seems “Conformity is Unity” for an idea never allowed to be discussed.
      Peace, Sensibilty of Mind, Sanity isn’t on his list.
      The consequences are coming hard, and fast since the lying charade of Brexit began.
      Best to everyone contemplating a New Party writ different.

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