Analysis

Starmer breaks campaign promise to maintain Labour’s left policies

Financial Times interview and Phillipson appointment signal swing back to fiscal caution reminiscent of Labour’s determination to out-Tory the Tories on spending under Miliband. Change is needed urgently

Keir Starmer on the Labour leadership campaign trail

Keir Starmer is preparing to break his campaign promises to stick to Labour’s left-wing policies and spending plans, according to an interview he has given to the Financial Times – and a letter from one of his appointments to the Shadow Cabinet.

During the Labour leadership election, Starmer tried to increase his appeal to the party’s left-wing member majority by pledging to maintain Labour’s plans to invest in the economy, scrap tuition fees and raise taxes on the richest – but now he is signalling a sharp departure from that stance.

Starmer has told the FT that his predecessor’s leadership was the ‘number one’ doorstep issue during the general election campaign – ignoring the fact that Labour lost more than fifty leave-voting seats after Starmer pushed Labour into supporting a new referendum – and then attacked Labour’s manifesto spending plans:

Not even a hint that Starmer’s referendum push might have been responsible for the loss of more than 50 leave seats

Starmer’s appointment of Bridget Phillipson as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury was already a signal of his intention to ignore his promise, as Phillipson attacked even Labour’s hugely successful 2017 general election manifesto for offering too much to voters.

But now a leaked letter from Phillipson confirms the u-turn on his promise. She has written to front-benchers warning them that she doesn’t care about the public “popularity of individual policies” – and not to even think of planning any policies that involve spending without Starmer’s and the Treasury team’s approval “long before any planned intervention”.

The move is tragically reminiscent of Labour’s determination to look more ‘credible’ than the Tories on spending, which began under Ed Miliband, saw then-Shadow DWP Secretary Rachel Reeves promise to be tougher on benefits claimants than the Conservatives and reached its culmination in the order from then-acting party leader Harriet Harman to abstain on a vote to cut benefits to the UK’s poorest:

The uninspiring shame of New Labour’s ‘Tory lite’ pitch

That dreary, uninspiring and self-evidently ill-advised stance showed how out of touch Labour’s ‘bubble’ was with the appetite for change among the public and how utterly bereft of imagination and vision the party’s ‘leading’ lights then were.

It will do no different now. Urgent and radical change is needed.

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121 comments

  1. I’m still undecided about whether or not to remain in the Labour Party but every day the evidence is stacking up that it is no longer a place where I can do anything meaningful.

      1. Did you really expect her to remain in post. If either Nandy or Little Becky had won the she would still have been history.

    1. Not a hard decision to make. He’s about as fake as it gets. Party is finished, don’t waste your money on subs keeping him and his traitors in caviar.

      1. You sound just like a Tory troll, trying to undermine support for any possible opposition to your masters.

      2. Mark lockett, Starmer is NO opposition to the tories. He is about as near tory as it gets and as devious. He got elected on a promise that he would uphold the left wing policies of Corbyn and he has now ditched it with an outright lie. He doesn’t deserve the support of the membership. He has filled his cabinet with a vile bunch of right wingers and sacked all those from the left.
        If anything it’s YOU who sounds like a tory troll by your obvious support for Greasy bonce.

      3. “He got elected on a promise that he would uphold the left wing policies of Corbyn and he has now ditched it with an outright lie”

        I have yet to see any actual evidence of this. There is lots of wild speculation and conjecture but no actual evidence.

    2. Anyone knows if Dido Harding, TalkTalk’s ex Chief Exec was /is a Tory donor❓❓❓ Harding, gifted role … put in charge of belated poor testing and previous non existent contact tracing. Any idea cost of this latest Tory outsourcing❓Thanks🌹🌹🌹

    3. @tomlondra

      Whilst I admire your stamina, just how many more blows to the face can you take?

      Labour is the party of the middle class and selected minorities. Tories are the party of religion and business (exceptions excluded).

      We’re 60%+, they’re 40%+. Time for a fresh start.

      For the many, not the few.

    1. Still trying to make excuses for the creep.You really are hard of thinking aren’t you Stevie boy.

      1. john – What is wrong with encouraging others to inform themselves by reading the original article that the above article relies on?
        Do you think there is a reason why people shouldn’t read it?

    2. SteveH, I wouldn’t call Starmer’s and Phillipson’s approach “cautious,” I’d call it “cowardly.”
      Trying to pre-blame everyone but herself for anything that goes wrong is the obvious purpose of her letter.
      “Policies fit together” – “sense of overall direction/not series of unrelated offers” – “no spending Tories could criticise” – in other words no need for anyone else to contribute ideas, this is a dictatorship.
      Starmer’s changes “subtle?” – the fuck they are.

      1. David – I made no comment on the BBC article, I simply encouraged other to read it in full and make their own minds up.. Is that a problem and if so why?

      2. Steve, I made no comment on your comment 🙂 🙂 and no, of course it’s not a problem.
        My objection is to the meaningless twattitudes in her letter and the BBC’s failure to recognise pure bollocks when they print it.

    3. Every leader makes changes. Since the left pretty much had most positions in the party sown up, it makes sense that Starmer would appoint a few from across the divide in an attempt to be more inclusive.

      Unfortunately, the hardliners insist any change is a betrayal and lay out the conspiracy that it’s all part the Blairite plot to take back control.

      I would prefer to wait for actual evidence before I start another civil war that helps the Tories again.

      1. AT NO TIME did the left “[have] most positions in the party sewn up” – where do you get such utter bollocks from – CCHQ? Guido Fawkwit?
        “Actual evidence” – what? Like the leaked report? The antisemitism lies? Ever heard of “The Lobby?”

      2. Actually, most of the senior staff positions are held by people from the left of the party.

        Secondly, what on Earth has the lies about anti-semitism to do with Starmer betraying the membership.

    1. helsbells2022 – Why not?

      Surely it is better for everyone to inform themselves rather than relying on other people’s interpretations.

      1. Since when did the bbc ever write anything but pro establishment propaganda? They spent the last five years spreading lies and smears against Corbyn. Anyone would be a complete mug to believe anything which came from there.
        I have a badge on my table which reads “Is that true or did you hear it on the bbc?”

      2. Cardinal Sin – It wasn’t me who wrote a blog based on selected quotes from a BBC article. Whether people choose to believe what is in the BBC article or not is entirely their choice. You are more than welcome to widen the discussion by posting links to any contradictory evidence.

        All I have done is encourage others to read the source material for the above. For the life of me I can’t see why anyone should object to that.

      3. The BBC – “Where TRUTH goes to DIE.” There lies much loved truth. Dead, very dead at the BBC morgue. R.I.P. Truth.

      4. As I said very clearly above is there any reason why everyone shouldn’t be encouraged to read the source material that the above article is apparently based on. Don’t you think that the electorate can be trusted to make up their own minds rather than just blindly following someone else’s interpretation.

      5. Steve, “Don’t you think that the electorate can be trusted to make up their own minds rather than just blindly following someone else’s interpretation?”

        Err, no. If they could be trusted we wouldn’t be having this conversation. We KNOW “someone else’s interpretation” – ie the MSM’s propaganda – wins elections for the Tories every time.

    2. Because he’s either a paid troll, or a deluded sap.

      Take your pick…

      Either way, his opinion is worth piss

  2. Starmer is precisely the lying right wing piece of shit must of us here predicted.

    1. ”Starmer is precisely the lying right wing piece of shit must of us here predicted.”

      And then some.

  3. “Starmer has told the FT that his predecessor’s leadership was the ‘number one’ doorstep issue during the general election campaign”

    This – unfortunately – is simply the case, despite the Lexitory insistence on the salience of Brexit. Catch up.

    ( … and no – I didn’t vote for Starmer)

    As to the economy – I predicted the effect of the confected Corona Panic – and this is just a foretaste of how the austerity agenda is being raised from the dead. Labour – Starmer or no – is now, once again, caught in the trap.

    1. Of course Jeremy’s leadership was a major issue on the doorstep- the character assassination campaign jointly engaged in by the establishment, the Right Wing elements of the PLP the MSM and the gullibility of the electorate ensured that this was the case.

      1. Gullibility of the electorate
        Brainwashing, propaganda and bullshit at every level
        Why do we put up with it, why do we play by their rules, they get to frame the story, choose the language and go unchallenged
        Cheap and nasty Tory party have a visceral hatred of the NHS
        Would be a good start

      2. Reply to Doug
        I think the worst offender was the BBC which is financed by our licence fees. We need to campaign to end the licence fee and let the Tory Party for whom they are cheerleaders pay for their propaganda themselves

      3. No
        What we need is a free press and media
        What we have is the billionaire lap dog press which is anti democratic
        Close them down, get rid, they won’t be missed
        Pour money into local journalism and media
        Give regulator real teeth
        Never again

      4. Of course, you’re both right – the media campaign was seminal in rubbishing Corbyn. But it became the outstanding ‘fact’ of the campaign, along with the connected ‘antisemitism’ narrative.

        … and it hasn’t gone away. I haven’t seen a more powerful media propaganda campaign, and it has left an on-going legacy.

        Now, we’re into another controlled narrative – this time about Covid-19 and its lethality. Again, it’s striking how many intelligent people are totally unaware of the wider picture that includes alternative information and perspective, such is the monochrome of the MSM narrative.

        The current media situation of control is what really scares the f. out of me – not a virus.

      5. Chicken and egg. We can’t get elected with the media against us and we can’t fix the media until we get elected.
        Unless we do what I’ve been banging on about forever and promise them jail whenever we do get elected.
        Then they have to ask themselves if they’re 100% certain they can keep us out of office whatever ‘outside forces’ appear out of nowhere to ruin their cunning plan.
        Which could happen at any time in a world that’s throwing somersaults.

    2. WRT RH
      No IT IS NOT and I have told you many times on previous threads that the number one issue on the door step of Bolsover ( and thus you can read the same for most Northern Red Wall Towns) was NOT Corbyn but BREXIT and the Labour Partys sell out with becoming a Remain Party .. I know because I spent 2 solid non stop fucking days door knocking and it was depressing I can tell you .
      SO tell us all how many doors did you get out and knock on !! .
      I am fucking furious with the likes of you , you banged on about remaining despite the evidence that would cost us the election , AND IT DID . Not once have you and your cohort shown ANY contrition of the catastrophic shit storm you have unleashed and now you sat on your hands didn’t vote at all and some how think that absolves you of any responsibility of a Starmer Leadership. Well it does not , in fact not voting is worse than voting as many people have died to get you the vote . Yep I voted RLB and it stuck in my throat BUT I bloody well knew that the alternative .. Starmer would be FUCKING appalling . AND so it is !.

      1. You can get as furious as you like, Rob – I’m not happy, either at the way the Lexitory line helped to hand the initiative to the Tories, and gifetd the LibDems votes from the Labour constituency. But current angst won’t make any difference to the hard fact that it *wasn’t* Brexit that was critical – it was part of the wider Tory narrative (‘Get Brexit done’) that Trumped anything the Labour Party did. All part of a years-long MSM campaign that conned those open to conning.

        You surely don’t really think that the majority of Brexit voters were voting on the basis of knowledge? They were voting on the basis of Tory propaganda via their MSM organs – exploiting stuff like immigration, general xenophobia, susceptibility to the organs of propaganda and basic lack of knowledge. Labour failed to take an oppositional view until too late – and we’re now paying the cost.

        As I’ve said – do ‘Catch Up’ and stop living illusions about what you’re up against. It was obvious that Labour would lose the election as soon as it was called because of its perceived weakness – which the Lexitories had unwittingly helped to build. And now, they’e (a) complaining because they indirectly got Starmer elected to leadership and (b) are stamping their feet and leaving the Party and (c) mounting no effective opposition to the latest Tory propaganda scam.

        Remember – Brexit was a TORY policy – and now we’re into another scam courtesy the same nexus, this time with a major influence specifically from Big Pharma, and the same gullibility is helping it.

      2. Rob, the left was very firmly split over Brexit and a few very forceful voices tried to make leaving the EU seem like a tenet of the left. It wasn’t, the vast majority of us on the left wanted to remain in the EU and support our Socialist comrades in Europe. The Tories with Johnson and Cummings made it appear to be anti-democratic to go against the referendum, a referendum where the vast majority were kept ignorant by the right wing media of the benefits of the EU. Was August Landsmeer being anti-democratic when he refused to go along with the herd? True democracy is when all those who partake in a vote have all the information upon which to judge the issues.

        Brexit and the call for another vote when more facts became available did not bring down Corbyn, it was the destruction of his credibility by the Zionists in the media and our own Party, coupled with the unwitting co-operation of some on the left such as Skwawkbox which did the damage. The shear bloody mindedness of some on the left who preferred to go along with Farage and the Tories rather than the majority of members, to achieve their fixation of leaving the EU, has done incalcuble damage to the Labour Party.

    3. Corbyn’s leadership was an issue on some doors, but in my experience it was mostly Corbyn appearing to do a U turn on Brexit and no showing leadership. How could they trust Labour when in the last GE (2017) it when with a manifesto of respecting Brexit and within months it was all about remaining in the EU and now, if ever Labour won the election the final decision would be decided in a special Labour Conference? Most leavers told me that they knew the result of such Labour Conference and it would be to cancel Brexit and remain in the EU. In the process Corbyn was called all sorts and none of it was pleasant.
      I believe, we lost in 2019 because simply put we broke our promise to respect Brexit and once the public lost trust no matter what was in our manifesto we weren’t believed; those that voted to leave expected that once in government Labour was going to do a U turn and have a vote in Parliament cancelling Brexit and remaining in the EU. You are right they blamed Corbyn for no sticking to his guns and no longer trusted him.
      Those that voted to remain but have accepted the Brexit result, didn’t trust us either on account of breaking our electoral promise on Brexit. Many undecided voters would say something along the lines, Labour promised to enact Brexit at the last election but now you aren’t going to. So how do I know that you will not break the promises in this manifesto, when you broke a promise you made in the last one?
      It would appear that Starmer is proving suspicious members of the public right in not trusting Labour. No point in trusting a Party in which the leader promised to keep to the policies of the 2017 manifesto, when only a little than a month appears to be renegading on them.

      1. Maria – Labour policy was to renegotiate the withdrawal deal and then put that to the electorate to decide whether they wanted to leave on Labour’s terms or stay in the EU. The special conference was never intended to cancel Brexit as you claim, it would have decided which option the party would support, Everyone would still have been able to vote as their conscience dictated. I would contend that misinformation like yours didn’t help the situation one bit.

      2. Maria, your observation and analysis in 99.97% of your post is as clear and as brilliant as this magnificent sunshine. Your excellent analysis re the KEY reason for the GE victory giveaway, will disinfect like sustained sunshine the myths and revisionism created and propagated by the few.

        We must learn. They are good at it. They plan, they organise, they are ruthless. We can learn to disinfect the country of their myths, revisionism deliberately distorting facts. Starmer and his merchants of lies, know what they do. We CAN beat them. It takes effort. Yes. Sustained intelligent collective effort. We must not be forever protesting to governments for crumbs they may decide to brush off the table.

        We must learn what we need to learn from Starmer & chums. And as we are generous, return their support to Jeremy and us. Their four year support is their property. We never needed it. We should have never accepted it. We must return their support to them ASAP. FOUR years worth in four months. Be generous. Be quick. Be flexible. Be effective. Be intelligent. Be determined. 🌹🌹🌹

      3. Maria, people on both sides of the canvassee’s front door respond to each others’ questions, statements and persuasions in different ways, and people often don’t tell the truth about their voting intentions or their reasons for them.
        People on the doorstep don’t have the least compunction about lying.
        As a brexiteer you’ll tend to get brexit-favourable responses more often than a remainer will – and a remainer will get remainer-favourable responses more than you will.
        People mostly avoid arguments and try to please – or at least try to avoid telling you to fuck off to get rid of you. Agreeing with you gets rid of you with least hassle.
        I haven’t canvassed for Labour but I’ve done a shitload of it commercially in case you’re wondering. Not the kind that’s appropriate to left wing politics, that’s for sure.

      4. I have canvassed for Labour & that’s all on the nail.

        The most annoying answer to the question of voting intentions, no matter how the question is posed, is “I haven’t made up my mind yet”. This classic translates to “I don’t want an argument on the doorstep because I’m voting for the opposition”.

      5. Oh, and ps – I’m as left as left gets but I’m a remainer. Not to the extent of cheating the electorate out of what it wants, just to the extent of asking it to confirm that it still wants it.

      6. David McNiven, I couldn’t vote on the Referendum because I am not a UK citizen but rather a EU citizen. If you must know the date after the Referendum I cry because the UK voted to leave. Have I been able to vote I would have voted to remain.
        Perhaps the reason, people were giving me explanations on the doorstep is because I have a strong foreign accent, a big smile on my face and was willing to engage with them by asking why were they undecided? what issues did they have? Trust or better put lack of trust was a big issue.
        Steve H, you can spin it in which ever way you like it, but on 2017 in our manifesto is was a clear commitment to enact Brexit. Once the goal post started to move, both brexitiers and some remainers lost faith in Labour fulfilling their manifesto promises. After all we went back on our promise on Brexit and they couldn’t trust us. The remainers would say I have to vote LibDem to make sure that we have a choice to remaining in the EU and the brexetiers would say, Labour promised in 2017 to enact Brexi, why we need another vote. We have the vote already and my side won, I don’t trust you to keep your word.
        Keir Starmer during the leadership contest promised to keep to the 2017 manifesto and what is he doing right now? It appears that he is changing his mind and going back on his promises. I am sure that we will find enough delegates at Labour Conference to vote in favour of whatever he wants.
        Needless to say that if Starmer doesn’t keep to the 2017 manifesto I will not be canvassing for Labour at the next General Election. I cannot vote in a general election, but since I don’t trust Starmer, I cannot say to anyone to trust him either, to keep any promises that he makes, manifesto or no manifesto.

  4. time for a real labor party , this one is at best a nick clegg at worse a dear tony and David one

  5. I posted a link to the BBC article on here some days ago. The way I read it was that it’s back to trying to out Tory the Tories re spending plans. Starmer knows the massive swell in the LP membership was bought about by Corbyn and Corbynism, and opposition to austerity, so he has to shift the party to the right by strealth, which is bow he does mony things, something he learnt from the Tories?
    We are in interesting times as the Tories are working out how to make the rest of us pay for their massive mishandling of the current health crisis. This will involve further cuts and assults on wages and conditions in order to protect the 1%. It will be interesting to see wher Starmer’s shadowy cabinet stands.

  6. Sorry, shoud have read ‘which is how he does many things'(Starmer, by Stealth)

  7. I always knew he was a lying tory blairite. no hope for a real labour win, he gives the excuse that people didn’t believe the promises of that decent honest man J.C. but they were the same as the promises of the great pre war government of Attlee, and we were in a lot worse state financially then than the one we are now facing, the only thing that Starmer has that is similar is his christian name, the name of our founder, Kier Hardy.

  8. The question of whether or not to remain in the Labour Party is unimportant. What is important is that Tory neoliberal policies-promoted by whomsoever- should be opposed, by petitions, demonstrations, strikes, teach ins, etc. Through such actions opposition will be focused and organised.
    Elections are really not that important, they only seem so because all that happens between them is promises and regrets. That and, the basis of Starmerism, the regular collection of oversized pay cheques by office holders from the PLP to the Parish pump, not forgetting the Unions and the Labour Party bureaucracy.

    1. Demonstrations and public gatherings will be constrained for the next 2 years due the Corona Virus Act 2020, yes it will need to be renewed every six months, but can martial law can be implemented as a SI.

    2. Wrong ‘Bevin’ The question is giving your subs to this BS labour 2.0 is tact support for them that’s how they see it. I refuse to give my money and support to a bunch of scum that actively tried to not govern. Who actively had secret sects and slush funds using our money remember we paid for this scum to fuck up 2 elections! Now you say oh doesn’t matter if you give them money and support?

      The fuck it does this allows them to carny on! Demand your money back get rid of Labour membership. There is no turning this rotten corpse around it’s to full of right wing cancer. Your kidding yourself anything the membership can or will do in the future will change the so called party. Look at what they did to JC destroyed all hope of government and straight back at the same shit new labour 2.0 BS now….

      There is only one choice now start again and this time no broad church BS left wing of GTFO! Until this happens there is no Labour party, I recognise only Tory-lite new labour 2.0 with another plastic fool in charge…

      1. Yep nail on head grandad , I am happy to give my money directly to my CLP but I’ll be FUCKED if I am giving any of it to Starmers Party in Westminster !

      2. Unity of the left,inside or outside the LP is essential going forward.Personally I would like to see everyone on the left leave the LP,but that clearly is not going to happen.What we need to do is,when those members get disillusioned and drift off from the LP,as I believe they will, there is somewhere for them to go politically.

  9. It never ceases to amaze me how people and members can convince themselves that a member of a right wing billionaire funded anti democratic, anti socialist American organisation plus of course his track record of the disgraceful persecution of a political prisoner and his partaking in the chicken coup plus the chief architect of the refusal to accept a democratic decision would be either to trusted to keep his promises to maintain the socialist policies or not revert to form. I think the term is suckered!

  10. Your a fucking anti semite and a racist
    I’m sorry you feel that way
    How about we back up what has been achieved, who makes policy and who votes for it,
    600,000 members 11 million supporters
    What’s the first fight we can win

  11. Still waiting for him to divulge who his sponsors were in the leadership contest.

    1. The details have already been published some time ago on the Register of Members Interests website.

      1. The 30/3/20 issue lists Martin Clarke (£25,000), Clive Hollick (£25,000), Robert Latham (£100,000) & USDAW (£25000) as donors of the highest single amounts. Lots of £5000s.

      2. I’m reporting the facts as I found them – thanks for your direction. Other posters may know the three characters. I don’t, do you?

  12. How much Austerity can they take asks Johnson?….We are right behind you says the knight.

  13. Five weeks is all it took Easter island head to do what surprised no-one, ever…I’m more shocked it didn’t take the muculent gastropod five minutes.

    The best of a bad bunch, supposedly.

    1. Toffee, I’d already quit Labour by the time of the vote but I wouldn’t have voted for any of those three at gunpoint – but they were the only candidates on offer.
      Starmer’s no better than Blair but I won’t criticise anyone for rejecting Nandy and Long-Bailey either.
      I can’t even think of anyone else in the PLP I’d have voted for without serious reservations so I obviously don’t belong in Labour any more – but I won’t criticise anyone for staying.
      Corbyn as leader was enough to keep me loyal and paying, but realistically it would have taken at least a year or two to find enough decent left wing prospective candidates to secure the left’s future.
      All that sustains me is the hope of a new socialist party winning when people see Johnson & Co for the imbeciles they are.

      1. The only candidate that would have been worth voting for was taken out early on – Chris Williamson. An accident or by design?

      2. You may well feel that way but given that Clive Lewis standing on a similar platform of expanding party democracy didn’t even get over the first hurdle I doubt that you would have got the opportunity to vote for CW even if he had, had the opportunity to stand.

  14. The big give-away was that Starmer was being endorsed by the main-stream press – ie the same newspapers that spent the past four-and-a-half years demonising and smearing Jeremy Corbyn. As if the corporate media would have talked him up if he really intended to continue with the policies of Jeremy and the left.

  15. Jeremy Corbyn, John Mac & Ian Lavery etc need to pull something out of the bag to convince members to stay. Just saying ‘stay & fight’ when it seems the fight is lost isn’t doing it they’re leaving in droves. Pull some punches for god sake !!

    1. And what, precisely, would you suggest they do Foggy? They can’t FORCE members to stay if they’ve become disillusioned and think it’s pointless to do so, can they,

      As for members leaving in droves, are there any official figures to that effect?

  16. bevin, strikes and demonstrations will be painted by the MSM as “dangerously antisocial and unpatriotic in times like these” – and they’ll call Tory crackdowns on us by the heroic police and army “even more justified than stopping Scargill.”
    Even teach-ins and petitions will be called “brainwashing defenceless and vulnerable young minds” now the fuckers have realised just how gullible the electorate is after having been stupefied by reality TV and Farage for twenty years.
    If the Tories’ CV19 screw-ups don’t turn the tide all that’s left is threatening the MSM with jail for lying and political bias – like I’ve said all along.

  17. My sons advice to me is wait until after conference before resigning but I am not holding my breath

    1. Oh yeah, it’s definitely worth waiting till then at least. If Starmer doesn’t pussy out and cancel it on Covid-19 grounds, it could be a very entertaining bloodbath! It’s Liverpool’s turn to host it again this year, isn’t it? Just down the road from me, heh heh.

  18. I am more concerned about what is going on under the radar.
    “NEC officers have also discussed whether summer elections for the ruling body and September conference can go ahead. LabourList understands that no firm decision on cancellations has yet been made, but there was a recognition that all cannot proceed as normal and new virtual processes would have to be introduced.”
    https://labourlist.org/2020/05/key-nec-decisions-the-return-of-scroungers-and-a-nearly-normal-pmqs/

    1. Steve, any “new virtual processes” used by the NEC make it harder for them to reject online voting for branch business and Conference don’t they?
      Once they validate it for their own purposes how can they justify denying it to us?

      1. David – My thoughts exactly. In fact if they are going to have online voting for conference delegates why not just make conference votes all members then we would get a true picture of where the party stands rather than just the views of the selected few.

        Even if it is just delegates voting at least every vote will be effectively a card vote and we won’t have the nonsense of one person being able deny the requests for a card vote. It also opens up the opportunity for members to see how their elected/appointed delegates have actually cast their votes.

        I can’t see any logical reason to cancel this summers NEC elections. The vast majority of votes are cast online with the rest being postal votes. Covid-19 distancing doesn’t even come into it.

  19. The Labour Party, for the last few years, has been financially supported by Unions and membership fees. Has anyone, Skwawkbox, asked if this has now changed/ are the Labour Party are now taking individual big money donations ?

  20. Always ALWAYS FOLLOW the MONEY … always.
    £19.5 MILLION per week… yes, that’s right £19.5 million per week for 12 weeks. To deliver £15.00 weekly vouches to 1.3 million free school meal receiving children.
    Contract awarded to French company, without tender, under special Covid-19 emergency law.
    Did Starmer ask about that❓ Has Starmer been following the TON LOADS OF MONEY awarded without scruitiny⁉️⁉️⁉️

    1. @signpost

      Whilst I’m sure they are making money, 15 X £1,300,000 = £19,500,500

      1. That is on top of the cost of the vouchers. So, they are being the same amount of the vouchers… which parents are having difficulty cashing.

  21. Firstly, I never trusted Sir Keir to be true to his word or even to be honourable in his positions on anything, but secondly, could this be part of a CONCERTED effort to drive as many of the LabourLeft as possible OUT of the Party BEFORE the NEC Election?

    Probably not, they couldn’t fear us that much, could they?

    Erik Armrest is as Erik Armrest does, provides the centrist elite with anything it seeks.

    Should I stay or should I go??

    1. It’s not rocket science
      JC legacy is we have the numbers to do what we want
      It would criminal to leave
      Now is the time to rejoin and for all of us to recruit one more member
      Same goes for GMB elections, all of us should be out there talking to members and getting behind our chosen candidate

    2. More than anything, a few comments from the people whom Eric Armrest has definitely sidelined but who were the reason so many party members like me returned to the formerly hopeless Labour Party would be very, very welcome.

      Steve, can Skwawkbox not facilitate such a thing?? It’d Be a very valuable social service to Left members currently feeling despondent and despair at the actions of the new management, Steve.

    3. “could this be part of a CONCERTED effort to drive as many of the LabourLeft as possible OUT of the Party BEFORE the NEC Election?” YES✅✅✅ “stay or…go?? STAY✅✅✅ 🌹🌹🌹

      1. signpostnotwindchimes – From what I have read whether the NEC elections are going to take place this year is still under discussion by the current NEC.

  22. Personally I’m not sure this article is helpful; without concrete policy announcements we can’t be certain what’s changing yet and how it might be changing.

    I loved the cores of our manifestos, but in both elections they absolutely did contain far too much, especially in 2019; yes there is a tonne of work that needs to be done to right all the wrongs in this country, but the electorate don’t need to be bombarded by a laundry list of everything, they need the key announcements such as the national investment bank, how that’ll be paid for (investment = growth = tax revenue), in as clear and concise a manner as possible. Then we can do supplementary manifestos for key areas that give more specific details (e.g- investment bank could be reinforced in regional manifestos giving specific infrastructure project examples).

    What we need to know is whether this is about tightening up the messaging and focus of the manifesto pledges, versus actually ditching policies (and if so, what, and what if anything will take their place).

    Right now this kind of speculation isn’t helpful, and if it causes more left-wing members to leave Labour then it’s self-defeating; we need left-wing members to stay or join now more than ever, so that we can fight the policy battles at conference, win NEC seats, and keep the pressure on prevent a rightward lurch.

    But every single left-winger that leaves on weakens the left within the party, but it’s OUR party, so please don’t do that!

    1. The key parts of the manifesto are set in stone we should be campaigning now and every day until next election
      Only talk to media about manifesto and what it means to people
      Tories cant do policy only character assassination

      1. Doug, your heart is clearly pure enough to have underestimated the Right’s pure malevolence + pure disregard for anything that hints at benefiting the many, “key” or otherwise, “set in stone” or anything else.

        Doug, anything you or any decent person wishes will not be delivered by Starmer & associates. That is the cardinal error made not just over the last four years, but the 44 before that … and at least another 444 before those. The Cardinal error of misjudging what the likes of Starmer appreciates and respects. Note his articles in the FT and elsewhere. Starmer and chums do not appreciate what you propose or they would have done just that. No? So lets respect their wishes as they demonstrated sharply over the last four years.

        But +/or so, “we should” “now and every day” give Starmer & associates the type of support he gave to Jeremy from day one. Anything can happen at anytime. We may have fewer than four years. Therefore ASAP, return whats rightfully theirs. It is polite to return their type of support. They will recognise and appreciate nothing else. It is generous to return their type of support multiplied by at least four. They love to get more than they give. We aim to please them.

        Lets all return to them the quality and type of support they gave to Jeremy and to us. LEARN from them. Lets reciprocate. Organisation, intelligence and speed. “Work night and day” to return AT LEAST their four years of support in EACH of the next four years, with joyous intensity and with intelligence🌹🌹🌹

      2. And just HOW exactly would we go about giving Starmer & Co this ‘support’ signpost? Do we have ‘assess’ to the MSM, as the saboteurs did? Do the left do smearing and demonisation anyway! No, of course we don’t. Like so much of what you spout, it’s just hyperbole with absolutely no bearing whatsoever on or in reality.

  23. ‘The Tory System’, is killing almost an entire generation of elderly & vulnerable, along with ‘Minimum Wage Carers’ . More pandemic disasters are likely to occur…………….The next Labour Manifesto should write itself but Sir Keir is just so forensic, it has made him blind. People are dying, but now is not the time to be critical nor political………good grief! Will somebody explain to him that you need a backbone to stand up straight; is there a Labour MP who will do it?

  24. ps anyone of us would have happily organised the distribution of 2,600,000 X £15 vouchers per week to the most needy children. The company only has fewer than 170 staff and makes extremely large profits. They had no competition bidding. Twas just awarded. Will search details on the morrow 🌹🌹🌹

  25. This article is a somewhat alarmist interpretation. You have made your minds up that Starmer is a Blairite and are now looking for the slightest bit of evidence to confirm that notion.

    While we should always be vigilante to betrayal and test the arguments to destruction. This kind of knee-jerk nonsense merely causes unneeded division and bad feeling.

    You are looking for any spark on which to pour petrol.

    Starmer might turn out to be more rightwing than he has pretended to be, but let’s wait for actual evidence before we go to war again and help the Tories cling onto power evermore.

    1. Fact Keir Starmer is a member of an American right wing, billionaire funded anti democratic organisation called the Trilaterals . Fact Keir Starmer was head of the DPP and insisted that the Swedish authorities continue to persecute the political prisoner Julian Assange ( an E Mail confirmed this ‘ don’t you dare get cold fee’). Fact Keir Starmer participated in the Chicken coup and was the chief architect of pushing to negate the result of the original result of a democratic result concerning Brexit. There is no might about it by his actions not his words he is judged and there is very little doubt that his agenda is to reverse the socialist policies of the democratic socialist Labour Party!

      1. And another massive fact: Starmer has already thrown his hand in with the right wing Board of Deputies, dedicated to making sure that the Labour Party does not have a Socialist as its Leader.

  26. There are many things that baffle me but one I can’t get out of my head is a comment here not that long ago to the effect that “Labour membership has INCREASED since Corbyn QUIT”
    I didn’t question the commenter at the time and can’t remember who it was.
    Checked Google a few times but seen nothing more recent than the 580,000 that’s been shown for a year or more.
    Anyone know for sure what the current membership is and whether it’s increasing or decreasing?

      1. I have to admit Steve, I’d been hoping those who joined for Corbyn would demonstrate their disdain for Starmer by leaving in droves, forcing the party into negative equity and a climb-down by the right.
        And I thought it was Corbyn’s politics the kids liked, not that stupid tune.
        Sometimes I forget that nobody ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the electorate.

      2. I seem to remember that cancelling your membership takes a long time (3-6) mths before it physically drops of the official list so itakes a long time for mass gains/losses to filter through. Something to do with admin’s efficiency at HQ. They’ve mostly been concentrating on throwing away elections & supporting RW candiicates. Takes a lot of effort but it’s thought to be best use of their time. ;-))

      3. David – I am with you on the apparent stupidity of the electorate as witnessed by the loss of the so called ‘Red Wall’ constituencies. The only tenable explanation I can come up with for this change in GE voting patterns in the ‘Red Wall is that they had cottoned on to the fact that constituencies with a Tory MP don’t get their Local Government grants cut as much as those with a Labour MP. Having watched the election campaign unfold they unfortunately concluded that Labour was unlikely to win and decided they had nothing to loose by voting in a Tory MP in a desperate bid to protect their dwindling local services.

    1. You can bet your last penny that if it were true (and verifiable), the Bourgeoise Broadcasting and Dogwhistle Corporation would be ably assisted by the interloper entryists in the Labour Party and working it into every broadcast it makes.

  27. @SteveH: “The only tenable explanation…” was Brexit. It’s no coincidence that most, if not all, of the traditionally-Labour-voting constituencies who switched to Tory had voted for Brexit.

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