Starmer’s call for Campbell’s reinstatement is major campaign blunder. Who next, Umunna?

Labour leadership candidate Keir Starmer has called for former Blair adviser Alastair Campbell to be readmitted to the party. Campbell was expelled last year after admitting on radio that he had voted LibDem in the European Parliament elections.

Labour’s rules require ‘auto-exclusion’ of any member who supports a rival party, yet Campbell’s supporters complained about the supposed ‘injustice’.

Starmer told the Huffington Post:

Alastair is a constituent of mine. And he was a long standing Labour member, a huge contribution to the party. I think we need to get past this whole question of chucking people out and expulsions, etcetera.

Huge numbers of Labour members welcomed the expulsion of a man who not only voted LibDem, but also consistently attacked both their politics and the leader who represented their views.

Many of those same members have long been angered by the claims of right-wing politicians and Establishment media of widespread antisemitism in the Labour Party when the figures show otherwise, with a single individual responsible for fully a third of all complaints last year.

Yet Starmer combined his call for Campbell’s return with a push for an increase in summary expulsions that many members feel have already led to deaths that the party is investigating.

Starmer’s comments represents a serious campaign blunder just a day after ballots started to go out to Labour members, affiliates and supporters – and a serious misjudgment of his electorate. Who else does he want to welcome back – Chuka Umunna?

Starmer is not alone in misjudging his audience. Rebecca Long-Bailey made a major misstep in endorsing demands from organisations that she seemed not to have properly read.

But Starmer’s comments, together with Angela Rayner’s tone-deaf ITV interview about MPs’ lack of respect for Jeremy Corbyn, seem to suggest that the pair – touted as favourites by the mainstream media – think they already have the contest sewn up, in spite of the early stage of the voting process.

If so, it may yet backfire on them – especially now that Long-Bailey has followed deputy candidate Richard Burgon’s example of directly challenging their rivals’ weaknesses when she published a list of her campaign donors after Starmer avoided a question about his.

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81 responses to “Starmer’s call for Campbell’s reinstatement is major campaign blunder. Who next, Umunna?

  1. I want to know who his donors are – so I can work out what they expect from him for their money, but as to who else he’d re-instate, Oswald Mosley??

    No Donor List, No Vote

    • Keir Starmer is a member of the Tripartite Commission. So I will not be surprised if a few individuals linked to big corporations are donating to his campaign, to them it is an investment.
      Keir Starmer was the architect of the disastrous Brexit strategy of pursuing a People’s Vote and remain at all cost. In my opinion this was the main reason we lost the last General Election.
      Hence, easy to know what is expected from him from the big money donors on the Tripartite Commission: to lose the next General Elections to the tories once again, and in the process debilitating the Labour Party even further.

      • So it was not a nightmare. Reality gets worse. I wrote of rumours of this months ago, now reported in DM that “Mr Watson is reported to have been recommended for a seat in the Lords by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn despite being widely criticised over his links to the fantasist ‘Nick’, whose real name is Carl Beech,”

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8044505/He-wrecked-lives-like-peerage.html

        That an open wrecker like McNic, of us the members, AND Jeremy, could he recommended for a peerage, is a TERMINAL lack of sound judgement, reality and reflection. Appeasement of bullies and slithery TWatson, is beyond comprehension. Anyone please, how does that help “the many”…❓❓❓

      • AT LAST🏆🏆🏆 Jeremy being excellent at PMQs He has dumped the scatter gun approach and replaced it with brilliant sustained FOCUS on the dreadful Tory failure at flood management AND flood victims. He has shone a spotlight on Johnson’s irresponsibility and crassness. Jeremy contrasted Johnson’s invisibility re the flood victims while schmoozing at a Black Tie Tory dinner.

        As ever the 1% have the eyes and ears of Tory Johnson. Johnson may no doubt say “F” flood victims. I give Jeremy a clear crushing win over Johnson at this PMQs by standing up for the distressed flood victims with FOCUS! AT LAST!!!
        🌹🌹🌹

      • @Gorria

        Other “celebrities’ include Jeffery Epstein and Henry Kissinger.

        Anyone at that table views you as the menu

    • …. and RLB’s judgement welcoming Ellman and Berger back into the party is?

      • RBL doesn’t have much judgement either. But at least we know where the funds for her campaign come from.
        I am not sure as to whatever, I am going to vote at all for the leadership position, but I know I am not voting for Keir Starmer or Lisa Nandy.

      • SteveH “and RLB’s judgement welcoming Ellman and Berger back into the party is?”

        Indicative of someone who hasn’t a clue or doesn’t care about the harm Zionists have done and are doing to the Labour Party. It also goes for Starmer who wants to allow Campbell, back.

        It also shows that no matter which candidate is considered, we are between the devil and the deep blue sea.

      • Did not know that
        RLB needs to move on this, it’s a deal breaker for me
        Looks like Lastminute.com for my vote
        FFS

      • I’m still minded not to vote. The choice is so unpalatable that I can’t muster the enthusiasm to endorse any of them.

        Which general attitude may leave Starmer grasping the ‘prize’, I guess.

        But, truth told and push come to shove, that’s better than an explicit allegiance to the JLM/BoD’s objectives, a hot line to the perfidious Lansman and continuing Brexit delusions from the other lawyer.

      • @JackT

        Want change? Les Gilles Jaunes is the only way…

  2. The right wing of the Party would welcome back in an instant, right wingers such as Campbell, Blair and the other Zionists. But ask them to allow genuine Socialists back such as Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein etc. and they would recoil in horror.

  3. And there we have it. Anyone who didn’t think he was the next Blair just got a nice strong whiff of the Kool Aid.

    #NeverStarmer

  4. “Starmer’s call for Campbell’s reinstatement is major campaign blunder. Who next, Umunna?”

    RLB’s calls for Luciana Berger & Louse Ellman to be welcomed back into the Labour Party. Who’s next, John Mann?

      • John Thatcher – Instead of attempting to shut me down perhaps it would be more constructive if you address the points I’ve raised. Do you approve of RLB welcoming the likes of LB and LE back into our party or her self declaring herself to be a Zionist?

      • @ steveH Do you approve of RLB welcoming the likes of LB and LE back into our party or her self declaring herself to be a Zionist?

        Perhaps steveH you’d like to address the issue of Starmers funding do you approve of Starmers behaviour in non disclosure of his funding ?

        And no I don’t agree with Bailey over her stance on Ellman or Berger and certainly that goes for Starmer and his Campbell love’in, all proving what a PISS POOR choice they ALL are .

        I have no doubt whatsoever that Starmer will be bent over a barrel by the BOD AND the JLM and the state of Israeli to do their bidding just like any of the other candidates , it is wishful thinking that somehow they will have the backbone and integrity of Corbyn regarding this .
        Choosing the least deceitful one is the name of the game here imo and right now Starmer is the bottom of the heap.

      • I’m afeared you’re pissin’ in the wind as you well know, John.

        He’s still trying to redefine the word ‘democracy’ yet he gladly allowed starmer to bulldoze through a 2nd ref/remain option without any vote being taken on it, and he still whines about how ‘undemocratic’ the referendum was, without any sense of hypocrisy OR shame.

        So if starmer says he wants the (ex)drunkard unapolgetic warmongerer back; who are we to argue?

        Our opinions DON’T MATTER, according to ‘Mr. steven h democratic’

        (I wonder what the whinge will be if starmer’s beaten?)

    • Actually – forget all the stuff surrounding Campbell’s history.

      Just look at the disciplinary issues (about time the NCC did the same instead of poncing around using the process as a political weapon).

      Campbell voted for the LibDems after criticizing the leadership and the Party. He was not an MP.

      Ellman and Berger, having lost the confidence of their constituency parties,actively told lies about their constituencies’ motivations whilst also undermining the leadership of the Party responsible for their role as MP. Berger went on to actively support another Party which she joined.

      Both were active in spreading damaging fantasies about ‘antisemitism’ in the Party.

      Basically – Campbell is a one-day wonder, and Starmer’s intervention stupid.

      The role of zionist MPs is of a different order, and links with the role they have played in blackening the reputations of the Party and a clutch of good anti-racist, loyal members. Anyone supporting their re-admission is complicit in their disgraceful behaviour and self-serving fabrications.

  5. OK, so we have to take Southside, Leeds and surround the HoC – where else do we need to control on Day One?

  6. I don’t know if anyone linked to this Craig Murray piece earlier, but here it is anyway:

    Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 1

    Lewis had thus just flat out contradicted his entire opening statement to the media stating that they need not worry as the Assange charges could never be applied to them. And he did so straight after the adjournment, immediately after his team had handed out copies of the argument he had now just completely contradicted. I cannot think it has often happened in court that a senior lawyer has proven himself so absolutely and so immediately to be an unmitigated and ill-motivated liar. This was undoubtedly the most breathtaking moment in today’s court hearing.

    Yet remarkably I cannot find any mention anywhere in the mainstream media that this happened at all.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/02/your-man-in-the-public-gallery-assange-hearing-day-1/

    • Interestingly, scarcely any MSM, The State Broadcaster, CH4 News or any other MSM outlet either published this or even bothered to mention the trial. They used the distraction of the Weinstein trial to deflect from a far far more important event. Proof positive, as if the posters on weren’t already aware of it, of propaganda at work.

    • I’ve done a quick (as opposed to exhaustive) scan of The Groan, and I can’t see any significant reporting of the case.

      This is a significant mark of what has happened under Viner’s editorship and the earlier history of the paper as taking on the security state.

      Nick Davies’s ‘churnalism’ has now decisively taken over from investigative reporting.

  7. It will be interesting to see the results of yesterdays latest Survation poll on the Labour leadership when it is published.

    • Interestingly, I was polled by Survation on Sunday. Sorry to let down some of our conspiracy mongers, but both the structure of the poll and the respondent “weighting” questions beforehand were totally fair.

  8. The most important offence caused by Campbell was his writing to constituents in my constituency Party (a projected Conservative – Lib Dem. marginal) asking them not go vote Labour but vote Lib. Dem. It was quite a successful achievement. Does Starmer not appreciate the damage to the morale in Labour ranks and candidate (getting a low vote) when openly campaigning to damage Labour.

    • No, the worst thing that he did was to make alterations to an intelligence report in order to make a case for invading Iraq. That resulted in the death of at least half a million people.

  9. It just goes from bad to worst untill the party rids itself of these jokers it keep happening

  10. Well, he didn’t actually “Call for Campbell’s reinstatement” did he?

    Personally, I could care less who re-joins, they are a tiny minority even if they remain malcontents.

    I’m voting Starmer. He is the best chance we have of cooling down the idiotic civil war that has helped the Tories cling on to power against all reason…

    • ”I’m voting Starmer. He is the best chance we have of cooling down the idiotic civil war that has helped the Tories cling on to power against all reason…”

      Jesus wept. I’d be afraid he’d be getting suicidal tendencies on reading that ^^^

      Do some homework, Mark, and educate yerself on just WHO was behind this ‘idiotic civil war’ you mention.

      Vote starmer, get someone who has aided and abetted the toerags, rather than opposed them..

      (Still gotta enter me details, Skwawky)

      • You very spectacularly miss my point. I didn’t say who was or was not behind it. I’m aware that Starmer was part of the “chicken coup”. I’m aware he followed the three-line whip as a new M.P. and abstained on the Tory Welfare bill, but he later opposed it at every stage.

        Since then he has been very careful not to pour petrol on the flames of dissent.

        He has by far the greatest appeal across the divide and so is, as I said, the most likely to bring the stupid in-fighting to a end.

        Compromise is the only way we can move forward and demanding the next leader toe one particular line is bound to bring more conflict.

        He is right in that we cannot win anything disunited.

      • You very spectacularly miss my point. I didn’t say who was or was not behind it. I’m aware that Starmer was part of the “chicken coup”. I’m aware he followed the three-line whip as a new M.P. and abstained on the Tory Welfare bill, but he later opposed it at every stage.

        I’ve missed your point?

        What bleeding point? You’re whining about an ‘idiotic civil war’ but starmer was a major instigator of it? And instead of admonishing & ostracising him, you think he’s THE choice to pull it all together? Christ on a bike…

        You don’t start a fight in a boozer then complain everyone’s fighting, unless you’re some sort of deficient.

        As for your pitiful attempt to defend slimeball starmer over the welfare bill ; it’s no different to him shooting someone at point-blank range with a sawn-off, then phoning NHS111 for first aid advice for your victim ffs.

        Apparently the enormous membership’s meant to be hope for the future? I’m afraid there won’t be one if the party’s full of people of the same mindset as you.

        I hope to Christ it isn’t.

    • Mark a couple of points
      1.The idiotic civil war was not and never has been driven by the Left , the RW Progress brigade and the RW PLP were and still are the drivers behind it.Yet you are going to vote for one of the main players ( 2016 coup ) in the hope he will somehow unite the party ….
      2.You should care who it is thst is favoured for re joining esp with high profile influencers and power players like bellend Campbell.
      Starmer has as much chance of ending the civil war as me becoming Leader.
      Check his voting records and his appalling stance when DPP re Julian Assange , these are facts that anyone voting for him should consider CAREFULLY.

      • “The idiotic civil war was not and never has been driven by the Left”

        It wasn’t an exclusive copyright, obviously, but the innocent face doesn’t convince. It was a small clique of Lexit ‘Leavers’ who decided to use the stupidity of terms like ‘betrayal’ ‘traitors’ etc. against the majority ‘Remain’ preference of Labour support.

        The injured innocence trope doesn’t work in reality – as a sample of certain posts here will demonstrate.

      • @ RH 26/02/2020 at 3:18 pm · ·

        “The idiotic civil war was not and never has been driven by the Left”

        It wasn’t an exclusive copyright, etc etc

        Oh for goodness sake RH ,so the RW never used such terms either ( childish triviality ) but lets nevertheless , shoe horn in your favourite obsession ” remaining ” , the civil war as Mark puts it , was over a much much larger scope and depth than simplistic leave or remain arguments , all be it the VOTERS in our Red Wall heartlands certainly put paid to any doubts about the legitimacy of Remainers trying to over turn the referendum result .
        No matter what one thinks of the referendum itself , that is now history and a painful lesson that folks like yourself and all the other remain pushing MPs inc Starmer should learn and learn well .
        The use by the RW MPs and their lackeys on the NEC /NCC in expelling innocent , as proven by Chris Williamson winning against them in a court of law , far outweighs any childish insults.
        No imo there is clear water between the tactics used by the RW of Labour and those of us on the Left , those RW tactics has resulted in a devastating defeat and possibly 20 yrs in opposition , certainly if Starmer and his mates win .

      • Ares is not to stop the war
        Ares is to win the war
        And that means writing off this Leadership election

      • “your favourite obsession ” remaining ” ”

        Uh, uh. The point I was making was not about the relative virtue of each standpoint – it is about the fictional claim to virtue by the so-called ‘Left’, who indulged in exactly the same sort of rhetoric – with all the hysterical shite about ‘betrayal’ etc. etc. as common rhetoric.

      • Given his wide appeal across the party, only those who are not more interested in fighting their own party than fighting the Tories will continue the squabbling. Sure they exists, but with the majority behind a leader both sides can tolerate, those malcontents will be under much more pressure to cease and desist.

        If they don’t the membership will almost certainly force through mandatory reselection which will not make them popular among fellow M.P.’s.

    • Mark Lockett, can’t you read? He did! I posted his quote. Also your joke that handing power to the Civil War traitors will stop a civil war, exposes u 4 what u r.

      • LOL! Because I don’t say what you want me to say and tow your particular line letter for letter, then I must be “one of them!”

        What I am, is sick of us all taking part in self-sabotage. I’m not buying into the whole childish “They started it!” argument. We are all keeping it going with arguments like that. We all share some responsibility to stop this and focus on getting the Tories out.

        Time to grow up and put the temper tantrums and petty grudges behind us. Let’s start building bridges, mending the damage and focusing on ridding the country of this Tory government.

      • Good, Mr Lockett, so lets end the contest, keep Jeremy and have Richard Burgon as Dep and have your Starmer and his gang build bridges, mend the damage they have done, and focus on ridding the country of this Tory government. THAT is exactly what they should have doing instead of two coups and four years of pure nastiness. So great idea Lockett, just wring target.

    • Mark, the “idiotic civil war” is necessary if we’re to oust the nearly-Tories who call themselves “centrists” who’ll lead us into serfdom only slightly more slowly than the Tories.
      Without radical socialism the 1% will own 100% of everything if we don’t stop them.
      We lost this round, that’s all.
      The people still win in the end.

  11. Just shows if Stamer gets in its Blair Mark 2 and worse and the Left will be purged.
    And Labour will probably get crushed.
    Starmer=PASOK.

    • Sadly, the Trilateral Commission’s and the Blaire/Mandelson/Campbell claque’s man , the utterly wooden, Tory-lite, Keir Starmer, IS most likely to be the next Labour Party leader, Bazza. I have been amazed at how many , previously Corbyn supporters I know who have bought into the ‘now he’s a real statesman – not attacked by the press like Jeremy, who will unite the Party win us a General Election’ utter and complete bullshit !

      Labour has reached , and now passed through, its terminal ‘PASOK moment’ into permanent electoral oblivion, via the constant sabotage of the Labour Right, the puerile non-socialist Left-Liberal politics of the bulk of its mainly middle class big city-based membership, and the disastrous 2nd Ref and Remain line in the December General Election – and the consequent permanent loss of our old heartland working class voters.
      This cogent analysis pretty much sums our current plight as a party up . https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/21/the-demise-of-the-labour-party-and-the-future-for-uk-socialism/

      • Susan Roberts makes some good points but like most similar analyses credits people who voted first for UKIP, and then for BloJob, with an innate socialist insight almost mystical in its perspicacity.
        She also ignores completely the possibility of brexit turning into such an orgy of vulture capitalism those same seers will deny ever wanting it, ever voting for it or ever having voted for the Tories.

      • Exactly. In the end, it’s another flimsy piece of post-hoc justification for a preconceived standpoint.

        Recruiting the simplistic echo of the bog-paper press to a political analysis isn’t convincing.

    • Agreed Starmer = 25 yrs in opposition, but then the boil will be lanced as the Left when purged in their 100,000s will form a new Socialist Party leaving the RW Tory lite Starmer Blair Mk 2 Labour party a mear rump of a few maybe 150,000 members .Every cloud a silver lining!!

      • What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

        Labour is FUBAR. Change is never ever going to come. May said “We will never let you be prime minister”

        Who is we? And how far do you think we goes?

        I’m half tempted to say Yellow Vests are the only way forward, but for every one who stood in solidarity would face another joining the state (RH etc etc)

        We’re f*+#ed. If the tea leaves are true, then we’ve got probably ten years at most before the world changes in way your worst nightmares couldn’t think of.

        And Trilateral Commission member Starmer is just the chap to usher it in.

        Austerity=Agenda 21.

  12. Why hasn’t Margaret Hodge ever been expelled? She physically threatened & swore @ Jeremy & now seeks to ensure that any critic of Israel is removed from a public meeting while using this criticism to criticise RLB.

    To even state the self evident truths that the State of Israel is a racist endeavour (see Bernie Sanders) & expose the existence of a pro-Israeli lobby in Parliament means YOU should be expelled, but not HER!

    Hodge appears to have some powerful ‘Guardian Angels’ in the Labour Party who can hide in the shadows.

    She recently announced on BBC that she now supports Lisa Nandy as leader & not Keir Starmer, for the same reason that many voted for Margaret Thatcher. .

    • “She recently announced on BBC that she now supports Lisa Nandy as leader & not Keir Starmer,”

      Well – that’s screwed Nandy’s chances 🙂

  13. Reading leadership candidates policies on Labour List has anyone told them that Chris Williamson was not suspended for AS

    • Good point. In fact, the majority of AS victims weren’t in the end. The catch-all ‘Disrepute’ charge was the standard cover (applied selectively).

      • agreed and its fuckin criminal the Chris and many many other loyal comrades are still “out” of the party , really is time for a new CLEAN fair and honest party , true to its values of Socialism and to it’s grass roots membership .
        The dying thrashing of Labour envisioned by the charade of a Leadership contests with no discernible Leadership of integrity .
        Just like Chomsky said something along the lines of ” you can have vigorous debate but only within the narrow confines provided to you by those in power ”

        Precisely what we have here in this contest !

  14. There is very little of the Labour movement left for the parasites to feast on.
    Blair took over a going concern: a party with principles and traditions and Clause IV on the membership cards. It was also a party with massive votebanks-entire regions in which Labour had little reason to campaign because it had inherited dozens of seats. South Wales, the Scottish Lowlands, Yorkshire, Lancashire, the north and much of the midlands.
    All that is gone now, and the PLP, Blair’s real legacy, dozens of shallow careerists, uncritical students of The Establishment, authoritarian personalities with a horror of dissent and a contempt for democracy rooted in their own sense of entitlement are racing away with the shell of the old Labour Party, sans ballast, sans Trade Unions, sans the working class, into oblivion.
    Four bald men and women-including Surrender Starmer and Rebecca Lansman Bailey- scrabbling after a comb. The winner is the real loser. There just is no point in a political party bent on its own extinction.

    • “Blair took over a going concern”

      I agree with a lot of what you say, and I similarly despair at the impact of the Blair years in validating the Tory narrative.

      But the Party wasn’t in rude health before Blair took over – his accession was actually a mark of the fact that it wasn’t, rather than the prime cause.

      My memory is of an ageing Party in thrall to the stubs of post-Thatcher, insular union hierarchies (the ‘left’ often as bad as the ‘right’ – pigs and men), and riven with self-reinforcing networks of interest and back-scratching. That was ‘Old Labour’ – not the dynamic grass-roots organisation of false memory. The Blair years were a product of it. The communities it claimed as its ‘Heartlands’ were no less detached than now – but kept up the memory of voting habits as the ‘ties that bind’ were dismantled by the post – Thatcher attractions to illusory aspiration and the promise of wealth.

      To keep things in perspective – it’s shell *looked* more solid, but the present situation represents a lack of improvement rather than an enhanced terminal decline.

      Yes – the Islington tourists have replaced the nodding local donkeys that were their equivalent – but the self-interest is just a different shade of blue. The battles are much the same, even if the grip of the establishment is more obvious, if less appreciated.

  15. Starmer has self-identified as a Mandelson marionette.

    Could someone point me towards where and when Rebecca Long Bailey welcomed Ellman and Berger back into the party? What were her actual words?

    • Bob Marsden 26/02/2020 at 5:36 pm

      RLB made these statements at the Jewish Labour Movement Leadership Hustings

      Asked about the Labour whistleblowers who appeared on Panorama, however, Long-Bailey was willing to criticise the leadership. She said: “I don’t think the party gave the right response. We should not have called out or attacked former members of staff… We should apologise for how we behaved. We should settle any claims that were made.” She also confirmed that she would welcome Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman back into the party, saying what they “have been through was absolutely shocking”.
      https://labourlist.org/2020/02/how-each-leadership-candidate-fared-in-the-jewish-labour-movement-hustings/

  16. Ian Lavery MP
    @IanLaveryMP
    I find the notion that as the @UKLabour
    party, we should even consider allowing those MPs who defected in order to try and not just undermine but destroy us should be allowed to rejoin….. quite simply very offensive indeed!

    This is our Party Chairman ,, perhaps one should take note

  17. At last, a bit of perspective on this issue.
    CPS charges one individual with hate offences after ‘antisemitism dossier’ investigation
    26/02/2020 · by SKWAWKBOX (SW)

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