Keir Starmer has torched the Labour Party in one fell swoop – telling socialists to eff-off while barring former leader Jeremy Corbyn from standing as a candidate at the next general election. Of course, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. However, is it now time to just shut up about Labour and move on?
Starmer: blah blah blah
Starmer was speaking after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) lifted the Labour Party out of the special measures it had placed on it regarding antisemitism. As Sky News reported, the EHRC:
had been scrutinising the party since ruling it was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination more than two years ago.
But the watchdog has said that, under Sir Keir’s leadership, the party has improved its complaints and training procedures to protect current and future party members.
The Labour leader, writing in the right-wing Times, said:
under my leadership there will be zero tolerance of antisemitism, racism, or discrimination of any kind.
An interesting statement, given that Starmer’s team has expelled or investigated dozens of Jewish members – most recently forcing an 85-year-old holocaust survivor to quit the party:
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The EHRC taking Labour out of special measures at the same time that a Holocaust survivor is silenced and threatened with expulsion for wanting to tell his story – which is his prerogative, tells you all you need to know about this political situation & the EHRC.
— mona mishin 🤚🏽…💙 (@absolute_INTJ) February 15, 2023
our common goal must be to help the British economy off its immigration dependency. To start investing more in training up workers who are already here.
Meanwhile, his policies have been echoing the Tories – like his support for the electronic tagging of more refugees. Plus, Starmer has repeatedly chosen to ignore Islamophobia:
Keir Starmer cares so much about tackling racism and prejudice, he let this man back into the Labour Party. No room for Jeremy Corbyn though. Hypocrite. pic.twitter.com/HoD5fJtnaQ
— Taj Ali (@Taj_Ali1) February 15, 2023
One example of this was his lack of support for Labour MP Zarah Sultana when people were sending her Islamophobic abuse.
Clearly, though, those issues aren’t a priority with the EHRC.
Socialists out, racists in
Starmer gave a clear indication that socialists are no longer welcome in Labour – saying that the “door was open” for them to leave:
Keir Starmer – "We can say firmly, proudly, confidently that the Labour Party has changed… from a party of dogma, to a party of patriotism… the party is unrecognisable from 2019… & if you don't like that change… the door is open & you can leave.. " pic.twitter.com/GC7ExVTkMR
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) February 15, 2023
One socialist in particular will not be returning:
Keir Starmer: “Jeremy Corbyn will not stand for Labour at the next general election…”
So categorical. Former leader's path to being re-elected as a Labour MP blocked.
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) February 15, 2023
Starmer’s refusal to allow Corbyn to stand is predictable – but also downright hypocritical and dishonest:
Served in Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet
Campaigned for him to become Prime Minister
Defended him from accusations of antisemitism
Called him a friend
Promised to keep his radical domestic policies
He is one of the most dishonest politicians of the modern era. https://t.co/wkgn45muyo
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) February 15, 2023
As the Canary‘s Joe Glenton previously wrote:
The reason Keir Starmer… [is] so desperate to slander Corbyn is because they fear and hate the ordinary working people who identify with the reformist program he put forward during his time as leader. Sadly, these capitalist goons are what the public is left with in the Labour Party, now – and Corbyn is well out of this toxic mess.
What’s Corbyn to do, then? As of 12pm on Wednesday 15 February he hadn’t commented on Starmer’s actions. However, people were calling for him to form a new party:
Jeremy Corbyn could absolutely stand as an independent, and win. Why would he limit himself, though? @jeremycorbyn has the influence and support necessary to expand such a campaign to become a whole new party capable of attracting hundreds of thousands of votes and winning seats!
— 𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗮𝗺 (@Geordetroiter) February 15, 2023
So, where is Labour heading now?
Shut up about Labour?
Starmer wrote in the Times that:
The Labour Party I lead is patriotic. It is a party of public service, not protest. It is a party of equality, justice and fairness; one that proudly puts the needs of working people above any fringe interest.
This rhetoric is predictable – given Starmer has thrown protesters to the wolves, refused to sanction transphobic MPs and ignored the Forde Report’s recommendations over racism in his party. Of course, this was all apparent back in 2021. As the Canary wrote at the time, in Labour:
The left wing is being systematically and permanently destroyed. Starmer and Co have plotted a course back towards the corporate, capitalist status quo. So is now, finally, the time for anyone with socialist tendencies to leave the party and put their efforts into a more worthwhile project? The answer may well be a resounding ‘yes’.
Now, Starmer has given his clearest indication yet that Labour is no longer anything remotely left wing – in fact, it is little more than a racist, discriminatory Tory-esque husk. The time of supporting these right-wing charlatans is well and truly over. It’s probably time to stop talking about them as well. However, the public is now faced with no choice from its two main political parties. So, we need to look to trade unions, grassroots community groups and each other to affect change. Whether Corbyn will feature in this on a national level remains to be seen.
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