Analysis comment

Starmer resigned during chicken coup – because others had

Leadership hopeful’s letter reveals reason for resignation
Keir Starmer (image: Parliament website)

Leadership hopeful Keir Starmer resigned from Labour’s front bench during the infamous ‘chicken coup’ after the 2016 referendum, in which the Labour right tried to topple Jeremy Corbyn less than a year after he had been overwhelmingly elected as party leader.

The resignations led ultimately to Owen Smith’s leadership challenge – which saw Corbyn returned to his post with an even bigger majority.

Starmer’s resignation letter reveals his motivation in leaving:

I have maintained my support for you… However. the resignations… materially change this. It is simply untenable now to suggest that we can offer an effective opposition without a change of leader.

This has not gone down well with Labour supporters such as Chelley Ryan:

Corby formed a new Shadow Cabinet and went on to win that September’s leadership contest by a huge majority.

Less than a year after the chicken coup resignations that Starmer thought made it ‘simply untenable to suggest that we can offer an effective opposition without a change of leader‘, Corbyn destroyed Theresa May’s parliamentary majority in the 2017 general election – on a manifesto that respected the referendum result.

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63 comments

  1. Starmer was also one of those scab MPs who wanted Chris Williamson out of the Labour Party.

    1. Chalk and cheese. Starmer an establishment enabler politician, Williamson an establishment questioner and opposition.

    2. On the subject of Chris W, Sqwawkbox never reported on what actually happened internally after the court found in his favour. I presumed the silence was because of the closeness to the election. Was the decision to expel him on other grounds taken at an NEC meeting? I heard from another source that not one member of the NEC spoke out in favour of Chris Williamson and that Corbyn was absent. Sqwawkbox – could you write an account here of what actually happened? I’m sure many would find it relevant to the process of finding a new leader.

      1. It’s a sad episode – sadder because it’s not unique.

        Few of the PLP defended Williamson – or Marc Wadsworth – or Jackie Walker – or – or ….

        And that includes Corbyn, although he didn’t call for scalps.

        The Israel Lobby has achieved its objective : the defeat of Corbyn and, now, the Tory promise to hamstring the BDS movement and throw Palestine to the wolves along with Williamson and Co.

        Perhaps it’s now a mark of moral honour to get chucked out of Labour for ‘antisemitism’ – it seems to be a proof of humanity, political literacy and intelligence.

        The hard fact is (forget the sectarian politics), as Peter Oborne revealed in his 2009 documentary – *all* politicians are shit scared of the evil that is the anti-Palestinian interests.

    3. Said it before. Needs repeatin. Starmer must NEVER even be shortlisted for Deputy Leader. Jeremy & team gave Starmer a position despite that letter. THAT, goes to the heart of our problem. It is VIVID in my CLP. URGENT problem: persistent pathetic puzzling determination to appease OPENLY DESPICABLE creatures while allowing Jeremy’s most faithful long standing friends to be picked off one by one and pushed under a bus by the NEC. Heartbreaking and mind boggling it was for me to hear on BBC 5Live, the very night after Alastair Campbell was rightly expelled, Shami Chakrabati, in her usual whining tone, saying that “Campbell could be welcomed back at a later date”. With soul crushing advisors like that, Jeremy had an uphill battle. They must be politely thanked by letter and dismissed.

      Immediately after the Ref, Jeremy said Article 50 should be triggered. That was IMMEDIATELY followed by more invisibility and silence. The likes of Starmer, Chackrabarti and Thornberry pressured him LONG BEFORE Party Conference. A failure to hold firm and persuade, thus left a vacuum for others to set the narrative. EVEN WORSE , Jeremy then came out of hiding to voice their utter rubbish.

      RESULT? Younger + not so young, who fail to do their own research, were infected. Infected with a diseased idea that to vote Leave was racist and Conservative when the Labour history proves the very opposite. Jeremy would have been ELECTRIC campaigning for leave, been on the winning side of our traditional voting Labour Heartlands, YES LABOUR HEARTLANDS , the party was formed to serve them‼️‼️‼️ Were that history known and appreciated and RESPECTED, Jeremy would now be designing and IMPLEMENTING Brexit. Instead we now have the charlatan Johnson able to do as he wishes. And fixed in law, curtesy of the MULTIMILLIONS of the GINA MILLAR arrogant REMAINIAC alliance of so called “CENTRIST” and OBSCENELY labelled “MODERATES” who are NEVER moderate in calling for selling arms, INVADING IRAQ on a pack of ANTHONY BLAIR LIES and more BOMBING of SYRIA. At least we can rejoice that their LIES against Jeremy and £££ millions spent damning themselves, has produced just what they did not want. BRILLIANT🎉🎉🎉

      And now vultures and vipers of “People’s Vote” effluent.. “PEOPLE’s VOTE” …as if geese voted before, the snajes slither around EVERY mainstream media studio, dripping their foul slime and poison. THEY LOST! SO CALLED “CENTRIST” all ALL LOST!! Big names Ummuna, Soubrey , Smeeth, RIDICULOUS SWINSON, lost their seats LOST !!! And STILL JEREMY and his team, hiding Hiding HIDING ‼️‼️‼️ Hiding from what exactly⁉️⁉️⁉️

      GLARINGLY OBVIOUS points that need repeating NOW to CRUSH the myths, CRUSH the lies, Show up the GHASTLY NASTY TONY BLAIR and SHAMELESS ARSTAIR CAMPBELLEND, and yet, silence, hiding, more silence more invisibility except to still HOLD TIGHTLY the TOXIC BARBED STINKING BALL of historical TORY STRIFE now morphed into the unadulterated CLAPTRAP of Starner, Thornberry, Lammy, Blair, Mendacious Mandelson, Owen Smith, Luciana Berger who LOST IN HENDON… REJECTED IN HENDON‼️‼️‼️ Were i in Hendon, I would have rejected her too!!! LUCIANA BERGER CENTRIST MODERATE DUMPED … SEATLESS. FLUNKED FAILED TOSSED RUBBISH TOSSED OUT O U T of HENDON ‼️‼️‼️

      It must be said LUCIANA BERGER FOUND WANTING in HENDON‼️‼️‼️ UMMUNA in City & Westminister DUMPED the Saville Row seats failed to fool the peoppe i the City. These facts need repeating. Soubrey, Smeeth… folded, kaput. Twatson would have been dumped also BECAUSE OF his HYSTERICAL REMAIN stupid obsession!!!

      These facts need repeating. Total HOGWASH that Jeremy and our Manifesto was too left wing. Too long? VERY YES! Poorly presented? Extremely yes! Lamentable sequencing and sense of priority? Yes. But tis definitive arseholery to think PUTNEY is now the hotbed of revolutionary socialists. That almost all of red London are now committed Marxist. Bewildering poppycock! Study post Ref, and post election maps. Constituencies deliver victory NOT overall vote percentage. I pointed that out in response to a few here BEFORE the election.

      Some are STILL challenged by facts. Fantasies and tremulous speculation, clog their circuits. The mother of all macular degeneration afflicts them. So they can’t see the plainest evidence. Areas lost voted leave‼️ We HELD those that voted remain. Johnson Cummings won the most seats under the system we have. They won because we took their Tory argument, tried to quiet it with “Constructive Ambiguity” while Johnson & Cummings accepted our victory. A victory of decisiveness & reality. We live in reality NOT UTOPIA. CumJohnson promised to deliver that which Jeremy Corbyn ALWAYS believed re the EU Grand Project. LEAVE 🌹🌹🌹

  2. Good to know what kind of Socialist Starmer is. You have to get behind somebody before you can stab them in the back!

    1. We have no reason to believe Kier Starmer is actually a socialist. I can honestly say I have scoured the net and labour publications for positional statements from him on this, and there is none.

      My conclusion: He WAS a centrist plotter who opposed Corbyn because he (Starmer) unquestionably accepts the gift Mr T bestowed on Labour, centrist managerial neoliberalism.

      Moreover, for him to claim he joined the resignations because they were extensive, suggests that even if his reposition-lie were false, the man has no principles.

      In short, not Labour leadership material.

  3. He seems to have a habit of making the wrong decisions what with is plotting with Watson about forcing Remain and 2nd referendum on labour. Not to be trusted.

    1. Would help if we knew how they are going to deal with key issues
      Then we can gauge which is the best candidate,
      It’s not like the party doesn’t have enough challenges on its plate

      Can I hold my hands up and say I completely misjudged Labour leavers, did not see them ever jumping directly to the cheap and nasties,
      Could not have got it more wrong and if I’m honest i say fuck em
      Only consolation is FPTP, we are not talking a lot of votes,
      I agree with JC we won all the policy arguments but sadly underestimated the price of democracy, moral hazard medears

      1. Now THAT’S the way to win back our millions of ex heartland voters Doug the moron ! Just hold to that simple mantra of ‘fuck em’ , laddie. Don’t bother to try and understand what the EU’s unlimited labour supply and neoliberal deindustrialisation has done to our heartland voters – just write em off eh. A toxic view all too prevalent amongst the Labour Party’s unthinking pro EU middle class membership. Surely time to re-unite with the Lib Dems in a new middle classes-only Liberal Party – free of those troublesome poorer working class ‘left behind’ losers, who seriously thought their Labour Party respected their democratic 2016 Referendum vote , eh ? And, sorry lad, but it WAS indeed a bloody big lot of votes – millions of em – the majority of our MP’s came from Leave-voting seats. .

      2. Quite right Doug, we, the membership (the people with votes) have to know HOW the candidates will respond to issues before we can confidently give any of them our vote.

        One thing I know, the young post-2015 entrants to Labour (many of whom are Momentum supporters and members) will certainly press this. Older members like myself are actually more manipulatable to master conmen like Starmer and Blair (and Watson) – so let’s guard against it.

      3. BadPenney
        It has fuck all to do with left behind communities, show some respect for the Labour party and our policies
        There are good people out there who put in a shift and a half, for what ,
        Too many who we know support No Deal and care not a jot about the carnage it will wreak on jobs and standards,
        No time for Little Ingerlanders, fuck em

      4. ‘heartland voters’

        You have to be a monumentally ignorant twat to use that description for Tory voters.

    2. Clive Lewis’s toxic ‘vision’ was of staying in the neoliberal straightjacket of the EU, which would make most of our 2017 and 2019 Manifestos impossible. And of course he was a very leading light in the second referendum campaign which betrayed our 2017 commitment to our Leave voters to ‘respect the Referendum outcome’. Clive was therefore a key player in shifting Labour to our suicidal Remain and Second Referendum position, which lost us the election, and probably our heartland voters forever. Some ‘visionary’. But I can see why the full time paid troll, Jack T. would favour slippery faux ‘Leftie’, Clive, as Leader.

      As for the wooden ex DPP, and ‘our man from the deep state’, Kier Starmer, he has the charisma of a dead sheep, but with less personality and theoretical understanding . It would though be hard for the Tory press to pin any , ‘Red Kier’, smears on him. Though the very name suggests his parents might well have been Lefties – so possibly room for the press to smear him with those Ed Miliband-style , ‘the man whose dad hated Britain’ lies yet !

      1. jpenney, “the neoliberal straightjacket of the EU” yeh of course, I get it now, this is why the Tories and particularly the far right in their party wanted to get out of the EU, it’s because the EU are fully behind Thatcherite policies – according to you, dummy.

      2. jpenney, is Lewis “faux” left simply because he did not adopt a hate-the-EU lexit position? If so, you are condemning many fine socialists. It reminds me of the revolutionary marxists back in the 1860s accusing the new ‘democratic socialist’ types of being pro-capitalsim simply because they did not plan to ‘overthrow’ it. Over-simplistic perhaps and certainly anti-conciliatory. Jeremy Corbyn wouldn’t like it.

      3. qwerboi, good point. I remember a ‘Socialist’ telling me the only way you could overthrow the system was by violent revolution!

      4. Interesting that the Tooting Tory Support Club is very vocal and celebratory at the moment.

  4. Well – this focus on Starmer is interesting – in contrast to the lack of criticism of people like Lavery and Trickett who just voted as Tory enablers.

    1. They voted with their conviction, you may not agree with them. Calling them Tory enablers is pathetic.

      1. I’m sure a lot of Tory enablers vote with their convictions (such as confusion may be termed) – like the duggies in the ‘Heartlands’

    2. “Tory enablers” – Lavery and Trickett did not enable the tories to follow their bad brexit, the voters gave the despicable charlatans a massive majority.

      Lavery and Trickett did something much worse: they rebelled and broke party discipline. I have no respect for that: they disobeyed Corbyn’s lead in order to vote for a BAD brexit. Doesn’t look good and doesn’t reflect well on serious euro-skeptic lexiters

    3. RH does this mean that a knight of the realm is a cad?Will this mean a man of such high standing and principal will not get my vote…And after all the! favours bestowed on our knight whilst at the helm of the mighty DPP and the favours he bestowed to gain his impressive knighthood he may now have to withdraw from the leadership election. Truly devastated by the news of his treacherous behaviour.!. 😂

    4. Tory enablers aren’t MPs who vote with their conscience, or, for that matter, those who serve their constituents on specific issues we happen to disagree with.
      Tory enablers are MPs, pundits, ‘opinion formers’ and mere members who *consistently* attack the party and or it’s leaders – such as many Pro-remain Corbyn-hating MPs, and a few loudmouths on this very forum.
      They are ones who lose us votes, lose us seats, lose us elections, and ironically (as they’re mostly Remainers) lose us on Brexit.

  5. He was also the director of public prosecutions during the arest of Assange and kept him under arrest for extraditon to Sweden. The twitter trial also showed poor judgement. An establishment man through and through. His article in the Guardian smeared us with anti-semitism again even though we are doing all we can to stamp it out. I have Jewish friends in my CLP who are appalled. He also criticied Corbyn – when HE WAS THE ARCHITECT OF THE LOSS. He bounced the 2018 conference into having remain on a peoples vote – dumping the respect for the refrendum that we had in 2017 which was a much better result for Labour. We would have won if the LP had not run Jeremy down and organised that chicken coup which he took part in.

    1. I’m not defending Starmer but he was obligated to pursue Assange because of the European arrest warrant issued by Sweden.

  6. How could anyone vote for a pretend socialist knight and just look at how he got it.Why do we tolerate these bought and paid for establishment groupys.And anyone who aceppted a knighthood can never claim to be Labour.. or a socialist…..

    1. Joseph OKEEFE 21/12/2019 at 2:25 pm

      Joseph, what do you mean by “and just look how he got it“. To the best of my knowledge Kier got his knighthood when he retired from his stint ot being the DPP, just like every other DPP before him. This really doesn’t seem to something that justifies an exclamation of “and just look how he got it”. Have I missed something that was relevant to him becoming a ‘Sir’?

    1. I didn’t notice him condemning the Tory Prosecutor’s actions,so it is very relevant to Starmer.He is everything I despise about the right in the LP, weak and unprincipled.

    2. Very relevant to Starmer!
      Starmer was Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) from 2008 to 2013.

      The emails requesting that Sweden didn’t drop the investigation and not interview assange in London were sent in 2010/2011
      according to this.
      https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/oct/19/uk-resisted-julian-assange-questioned-london-emails

      It’s unbelievable that Starmer would not have been aware of these emails as this was a very high profile political case.

    1. Which if you read the article would explain how Kuensberg ‘knew’ that postal votes looked grim for labour. They fiddled with the votes and leaked the news to her.

      1. I am hearing too much about this. It explains how tories have been getting the vote of working class people. They simply steal it

  7. I’m fascinated by some of the comments here.

    I’ve just been talking with people with links to to the NHS and with the University sector. Just a sample of actual, real experience outside the ken of Tooting revolutionaries. Both sectors key to the future of the UK as a civilized and functioning society fit for the future.

    All had stories to tell of the particular disasters already brought by Brexit and the profound stupidity evident in the election result.

    … and here are sleepy dreamers defending the bringers of disaster and *still* whinging about irrelevant internal squabbles – and pretending that such irrelevance is ‘socialism’.

    Try getting out more, even if (as Mitch Benn puts it), moving to Scotland might not be possible – whilst the English (‘where the monkeys rule the zoo’) ‘piss away all that they had’. 🙂

    1. “the profound stupidity evident in the election result” – the profound stupidity of Remainers plotting against the only party that could get them a referendum and – possibly – stop Brexit?
      I have regular contact with NHS and education staff (schools, not unis), and they have consistently reported on the tory disasters, with a few made worse by incoming Brexit. Both areas have argued all along that Brexit has been a terrible distraction, and has allowed the tories to cut much deeper than if anyone was bothering to focus on their problems. Most of them, like me, voted Labour on those issues (plus housing and a few others), while so many Remainers sought to undermine the LP, and handed the lot to the tories – allowing Brexit, condemning the NHS to death, and probably destroying basic education for a generation (with the expected unemployment levels, the tories have little need for educated workers).
      “profound stupidity” indeed.

      1. Heenan, “Remainers sought to undermine the LP” you got that wrong as usual. It was actually the other way around. It was a small but vociferous group of Lexiters in the Party who even now are trying to blame Remainers for trying to save the Labour Party and the country from the Brexit disaster which is about to befall us. There are Remainers and Leavers who were deliberately trying to use Brexit to target Corbyn, they were and are despicable.

      2. “Brexit has been a terrible distraction,”

        Of course. A distraction engineered by the Tories, aided and abetted by the saps like the Tooting revolutionaries and the gullible SunMail duggies.

      3. Note we’re onto lies.
        The record shows that it was Remainer MPs, almost entirely, engineered option to Corbyn’s leadership. First the Quitters, then the ones they left behind.
        It’s simply s lie to blames the Leavers for the party dissent.
        You never heard of Tom Watson?
        I was a Remainer, but not a liar.

      4. heenan73 – the simplistic equation of ‘Remain’ with anti-Corbyn attitudes is typical of the ill-informed Brexiteers. who have a very shaky notion of the Labour Party (or a tendency to pursues a Tory policy at all costs).

        The Brexit issue cut right across the Party, with large majority in favour of ‘Remain’, so it’s hardly surprising that you can find anti-Corbyn MPs with ‘Remain’ views.

        If you look on this site, you will note that the most adamant ‘Leavers’ are equally dismissive of Corbyn.

        Sorting out real (as opposed to spurious) correlations is a mark of perceptiveness.

      5. I’m not a Brexiteer, I was a Remainer. I have a clear view of what happened.
        Look at the facts, not what you’d like the facts to be.
        The party was split. Much nearer 50/50 than 90/10, as proven by the seats lost at the election, as well as many, many, many opinion polls (though I’m sure you’ll have ONE to support your delusions)
        The MPs who vilified Corbyn were, for the most part centrists, and virtually all of them were Remainers. Look at their voting record. They just were. Sure a few Brexit MPs awere opposed to Corbyn. But few – if any – briefed the tory press or went on TV to libel him or accuse him of virtually everything short of murder.
        And all the prominent Labour people who opposed him, Chuka, Watson, Jess Phillips … I could go on, right down to Rosie Duffield, are Remainers.
        Sorting out real correlations is a mark of looking at the evidence, not cherry picking that one bit in the corner that suits you, and lying about the rest.
        What’s the point of lying about it? Are you insane?

      6. heenan73 22/12/2019 at 3:20 pm · ·

        “The party was split. Much nearer 50/50 than 90/10, as proven by the seats lost at the election, as well as many, many, many opinion polls”

        Can you provide some links to some opinion polls that support your ‘assertions’?

      7. Cognitive dissonance describes someone who constantly attacks the only party capable of avoiding brexit, then – having played his part in losing them votes – blames them for Brexit.

      8. “Can you provide some links to some opinion polls that support your ‘assertions’?”
        And there we go.
        Misses the whole argument in it’s sublime entirety but wants to start a fight on one itty bitty point that isn’t worth worrying about, because he won’t believe it anyway. Twat.

      9. heenan73 at 4:07 pm
        🙄
        Or to put it more succinctly, you were telling porkies.

      10. You UltraRemainers are in denial: you’re the liars, not me.
        And well you know it.

      11. heenan73 at 4:33 pm

        In denial of what, you are the one that has been caught out telling porkies. Unfortunately for you bluster, diversion and faux outrage are not a substitute for evidence.

      12. Just because I won’t be sidetracked does not make me a liar. Merely someone who does not wish to be sidetracked.
        You, however are a liar if you deny the role of Labour Remainers in losing us the election.
        But as consistent Tory-enablers, that’s hardly news to you or indeed anyone reading this thread.
        So sod off with your petty insults and discuss the issues.
        Or accept the truth. For once.

      13. Andrew Heenan at 5:49 pm

        Still bugger all in the way of evidence then.

        to quote you Allan “as proven by the seats lost at the election, as well as many, many, many opinion polls

        It was you that chose to place so much emphasis on the evidence of“many, many, many” opinion polls not me. It is disingenuous of you to claim that this didn’t form a central part of your argument. It’s hardly my fault that your multitude of ‘evidence’ doesn’t exist.

        You should learn that it seldom a good idea to over-egg the pudding.

    2. “Disasters already brought by brexit”
      Can you please explain as I was labouring under the misapprehension that troubles in the NHS are all caused by tory restructuring and underfunding on a grand scale, which has little to do with the kind, benevolent souls who run the EU..

      1. Aidey – You are right about underfunding being a key issue.Of course, Brexit has already, and will continue to affect this particular aspect.I doubt (understatement) even more the benevolence and integrity of the ‘souls’ now given free reign by the duggie Brexiteers 🙂

        But the specific concern that I was referring to is related to the supply of medicines – a problem that is happening *now*.

    3. Then, you should collate EVERY SINGLE instance of how Theresa May and Orban Johnson’s BAD WA brexit has harmed
      /will harm the country and/or the education sector, and publicise it.

      Labour HAS to be consistent and persuade our lost voters that when the tory brexit goes bad and harms them, it harms them because it was not Labour’s ‘sensible’ pro-trade brexit, but a recklessly bad anti-business, anti-worker TORY BREXIT.

      This has to be our focus long-term as brexit’s rancid orban-esque fruits are delivered by Victor Johnson and his dirty Russian money (£975,000 spent on Facebook in last 2 days of GE by Tories). Dirty Money. Dirty government.

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