A Labour MP just put Keir Starmer’s leadership to shame

Keir Starmer looking away from Jon Trickett
Steve Topple

A backbench Labour MP has made a video about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Its narrative and analysis have shamed Keir Starmer’s response to the crisis. Because it highlights in under two minutes the ‘tale of two Covids’. It’s the story of how rich people have made a killing while the rest of us suffered.

A Tale of Two Covids: us…

Jon Trickett has been the Labour MP for Hemsworth since 1996. On Thursday 11 March, he put out a short video. It was called A Tale of Two Covids. In it, Trickett showed how the pandemic has affected people differently. And the video clearly highlights how for many of us, coronavirus has been a disaster.

Trickett highlighted how the NHS has:

  • “Lost” 22,000 beds.
  • “A record 4.5 million people still waiting for treatment”.
  • Been ‘insulted’ by the Tories with a 1% pay rise.

Then, he moved on to workers. Trickett noted that there are:

  • 10 million people “precariously employed”.
  • 5.5 million people “paid below the living wage”.
  • 4.7 million people on furlough.

He also detailed the effect of the pandemic on communities:

  • 4.2 million children live in poverty.
  • 10 million adults do too.
  • “Deprived areas have the highest Covid death rates”.

Trickett then turned his attention to who had benefitted from the pandemic.

… and them

He noted that:

  • “1,000 billionaires’ wealth soared by £2.76 trillion globally”.
  • ‘The London Stock Exchange increased by £639bn during the pandemic’.
  • “Big business” has cash reserves of £909bn; equal to 35% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Of course, all this is the tip of the iceberg. For example, six out of ten Covid deaths have been disabled people. The number of destitute households has more than doubled. Meanwhile, the number of so-called “dollar millionaires” in London (those worth the equivalent of $1m) has exploded. The Guardian wrote that:

one in 10 people living in London are dollar millionaires, with the data highlighting the yawning inequality gap in the capital. More than 2.5 million (or 28%) of those living in London are classed as “living in poverty”

Socialist solutions

So, Trickett outlined in the video what policies he think would help. His ideas included a wealth tax:

But ultimately what Trickett has done is shown up the Labour leadership.

Showing up Starmer

People have been critical of Starmer for effectively aping the Tories. He has repeatedly backed Boris Johnson. But despite Labour’s polling seeing a bounce after Starmer became leader, its numbers have since gone into reverse.

Trickett’s video also appears to be a dig at Starmer’s leadership. Because it ends by saying that these ideas represent:

a radical socialist agenda. Join us.

This is put on screen with no link to joining the Labour Party. As SKWAWKBOX wrote:

was Trickett talking to the dreary party leader when he posted just two words with the video? “Brace yourself.”

His video is at odds with the Labour leadership. And it’s clear it was intentionally so. Where Trickett is going with this remains to be seen. And as one Twitter user said:

Some one needs to tell Keir… this is how you do it.

Whether Starmer would listen or not is another matter entirely.

Featured image via ITV News – YouTube and Wikimedia – Chris McAndrew 

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Good for Jon Trickett. It’s about time someone started to point out publicly just how grey and dreary the current Labour leadership is, how it lacks fire in its belly or any commitment to a better future for all. When he stood for election I said Starmer reminded me of a bank manager. I was, wrong, they are much more interesting.

    2. Its good to take in the film, and realize the beautiful heat behind Trickett’s response to the lack of basic human decency in England as a whole. He has no intention of letting Integrity Initiative’s Political adgenda as portrayed by Starmer determine the Labour Party’s compassion.

    3. Why are you omitting Keiths title?
      Sir, kinda gives her allegiance away, Subject of a monarch, blue political leanings, council to a Queen yada yada yada, doe’s that really sound like a Unionist leader to you……
      Single tier party politics is the PROBLEM.
      Kakistocracy continues

    4. Trickett is the kind of socialist Mandelson says should be purged from the Party. What he calls the “fraudulent left”. As if anyone who came within a million miles of that chiselling, manipulating, greedy, unprincipled little shyster Blair has any right to call anyone fraudulent. There are millions of us who agree with Trickett. We have had enough of vote-for-me-and-shut-up politicians. Most of the 10.2 million who voted Labour in December 2019 would not disagree with Trickett. Yet that voice is now illegitimate within Labour. The things he wants to talk about are ruled “not competent for discussion.” What is not competent in Labour is its leadership. We remain socialists, or better, anarchist-socialists who see a self-governing society as the aim and socialist measures as they way forward. We are millions, but Labour is no longer our home either as activists or voters. We should all be political Banksies. As there is no legitimate institution in which our views can find expression, we will find our own means; peaceable, witty, funny, life-loving, but uncompromisingly opposed to capitalism and all its shoddy, unjust works.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.