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Video: Starmer is asked if he will back unions protecting workers against being forced back to unsafe work. The answer is ‘Yes’, Keir. Not ‘We’d have to look at it’

We’re the Labour Party and we don’t support killing workers for profit

Thinking about it: Keir Starmer

Labour leader Keir Starmer was asked on right-leaning radio station LBC today whether he will stand with unions if they tell their members not to go back to unsafe workplaces. Boris Johnson has now announced that workers must return to work if they can’t work from home – a move putting low-paid workers at the highest risk.

Starmer answered that ‘We’d have to look at it’:

Credit to Saul Staniforth for the video spot

No, Keir. The answer is simple:

Yes. Yes we would.

We’re the Labour Party and we don’t support killing workers for profit.

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66 comments

  1. Consummate lawyer and politician
    Forget it if you think he is going to come off the fence, debateable if he actually believes in anything
    Now who taught us that

    1. The challenge Lin and Doug is – as eg Grenfel cladding tragedy, Hillsborough policing tragedy, Dame Cressida Dick’s tragic execution of her duties, resulting in the young man Jean Charles de Menezes murdered in cold blood as he sat reading a newspaper. Dick’s officers pumped six or seven bullets into an innocent young man Jean Charles. That was before Dick was re-employed.

      After that tragedy, on THREE occasions in as many months, KNOWN terrorist were allowed to murder several people during GE campaigns. Tory PM Theresa May, then rewarded Cressida Dick with a Dame hood.

      Therefore Lin and Doug, ever optimistic me won’t hold my breath. Of course all victims must be robust in their right to justice. They must never give up‼️

      They have to fight against a system embodied by the Julian Assange pursuer SIR Kier Starmer ex DPP. You may listen to Starmer doing what he and his like do best. Without a gram of shame, he will utter weak empty words. Even then Doug, he will not mean them. Many tragedies, a few mentioned above, have neither converted Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan-Smith, Michael Howard, Ann Widdecome, Edwina Currie and Norma Major’s husband John, Nicholas Soames, Margaret Thatcher, Grant Schapps, Blair nor Sir Kier Starmer.

      Starmer’s record proves that. Starmer neither means what he says nor says what he means. He is doing his one duty. That duty is, by all and every means, maintain the Same Old Same Old. Starmer’s mission is to protect it. Sabotage and persecute all who attempt to even slightly reduce its inbuilt need to exploit the poorest.

      Undermine any who believe a different way is perfectly sensible. Undermine even with the most improbable slanders eg AS slanders of the only Opposition Leader in my lifetime who is PASSIONATE about stamping out ALL racism, historical TORY inspired bigotry and their insatiable fetishistic LOVE of blackening up and dressing in Nazi uniform. Yet SIR Kier Starmer failed to defend Jeremy against those slanders. It can be assumed that he approves of that racism as he has failed to spend 1/100 of the time he spent criticising his Tory chums about their well known diverse bigotry and racism. He must know that the Tory Party was always the nest of choice of racist. Have we ever heard Starner try to “root out” racism from the Conservative Party ? ? ? No, me neither.

      What sort of Starner hypocrisy is that❓ What sort of Starmer dishonesty is that❓What sort of Starmer BETRAYAL is that ❓ Starmer treachery? Starmer joint enterprise with johnson? Starmer priorities❓ Starmer disloyalty❓ STARMER DETERMINATION to maintain the status quo. The status quo we all know that has failed going on at least 48,500 precious lives.

      We can collectively do better. We have no choice.
      🌹🌹🌹

      1. Thanks for this mate. A very concise description of a Charleton. So called ‘Top Lawyer’ not conversant with the H&S act 1974. I find it hard to believe that Labour members fall for his ‘forensic’ bullshit. He should do the honest thing and cross the floor. The Tory MP Bone and Piers Morgan are doing a far better job of opposition than him and that tells us all we need to know

  2. S.44 Employment Rights Act 1996 says employees have the right to refuse to do unsafe work without loss of pay. This is because the employer has a duty to establish and operate a safe system of work. Starmer should highlight this in Parliament or elsewhere and put the onus on Bojo to explain what he’s going to do about it.

    1. And Starmer is a human rights barrister, and ex
      Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service, and although not an employment lawyer, he didn’t realise there was legislation protecting the health and safety of workers? More importantly, he thought workers can be forced to work in unsafe conditions and wouldn’t deserve support for refusing to do so!

  3. Perhaps some people will jump at the chance of resuming work so they can pay bills and put food on the table. Not everyone is covered by SSP.

    Just a thought…

    1. Some people will – the point is they shouldn’t be blackmailed or bullied into risking their lives to feed their families.
      If we tolerate this…

      1. …then your children will be next, yeah MSP know the score.

        I don’t have kids myself, but I’ve heard of this thing called instinct, which has this habit of COMPELLING parents to risk their lives for their kids, in extremis…

      2. timfrom, parents will GIVE their lives for their kids – the point you’re missing is that if they come home from work infected because of a bullying employer, they’re putting their whole families at risk.
        The real choice they face is the risk of being sacked & their families eking out an existence on UC – or the risk of family members dying if they don’t have the space to self-isolate within the home – and most don’t have that space.

    2. Yes of course there will sadly be many, many people not covered by furlough and SSP, and just as many people who are not members of unions (although this period in time will surely give people pause for thought about membership in future) but that isn’t the point being debated is it? The point is Starmer, the Leader of the Labour Party, actually responding to the question by saying “We would have to look at it”. Disgraceful.

    3. The job of the opposition is to ensure that workers are protected at work and if they cannot be protected that they are still pay, so that they can pay their essentials.
      The Spanish government is doing just that. Why Britain the 5th/6th economy on planet Earth can do it, while Spain can? This is the type of question that Starmer should be asking only that he wants, because he doesn’t give a damn about low pay workers.

    4. You are absolutely right Timfrom – people in in-work poverty have no reserves of cash to fall back on and will have to make a stark choice – go back to work putting themselves,their families and their communities at risk of infection in order to put food on the table and pay bills or stay safe at home and lose what little they have and facing debt,eviction and homelessness. In these circumstances many people will go back to work and the virus will take more lives.

    5. Another failure he should be addressing… ppl shouldn’t be forced into unsafe work conditions because financially they have no choice
      Draconian times
      Plus don’t local authorities have a duty of care to the children

      1. Charities backed by Labour are challenging these attacks on statuary safeguards

        https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/charties-legal-threat-children-care_uk_5eb44287c5b6526942a3affb
        ″There is no obvious link between Covid-19 and the vast majority of the protections snatched away from vulnerable children. Indeed, since 2016 there have been three failed attempts by government to remove some of the most significant safeguards taken away this time – actions which were, in the past, strongly resisted by parliamentarians, care experienced people, social workers, children’s lawyers, charities and others.”

        Labour has backed charities and Tulip Siddiq, shadow minister for children and early years, has put forward a motion in parliament.

  4. Remember when steve h was allegedly ;’weighing up’ his options during the last leadership campaign, but voted for the slimy polygon head anyway – Just as we all knew and said he would?

    Well take note of how steve h has modelled himself on the slimy bastard…See how starmer evades a simple enough question to which we’re pretty sure we KNOW how he’ll act on it, but hasn’t the bollocks to actually say so.

    But watch when starmer eventually allows the toerag government to retrospectively change/abolish S44 of the Employment Act 1996 which enables employees to challenge the adequacy and the suitability of any safety arrangements at work without worry about losing your job, having your pay cut, suffering a demotion, transfer or poor appraisal, or being forced to work longer hours to make up for other’s absences in order to meet targets.

    ‘Twas steve h and his ilk gave us starmer, and in doing so put the political landscape back 40 years or more**.

    Never forget that. Never forget what steve h is…And it most certainly isn’t socialist, is it?

    **Well actually it WILL be more, because slime’s NEVER gonna out the toerags anytime soon; not with his indistinguishable policies he ain’t.

    1. Toffee – As I’ve said before you take it upon yourself to invent things to fit your own twisted narrative. I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be a ‘socialist’. I joined the Labour Party not the SWP,

      Labour is a Democratic Socialist Party that believes in a well regulated mixed market economy.

      1. Oh DO shut the fuck up, knobby. You claimed you “supported” Corbyn. If that’s claiming to be a socialist I dunno what is.

        And I wouldn’t go around accusing people of inventing things after your risible record of doing just that.

      2. Toffee – Are you intimating that Jeremy’s lifelong membership of Labour, a Democratic Socialist party, bas been nothing more than a disingenuous lifelong deception.

      3. Cardinal Sin – What on earth made that evidence free f…wit notion pop into your head.

        You remind me of a angry child who is frustrated at themselves because they are still desperate to lash out but they’ve run out of arguments.

        Please feel free to keep us all informed of any evidence you have to support your f…wit theory.

    2. Oh sorty steve h I missed a word out inadvertently.

      Here’s how ithe quote ought to have read:

      “If that’s NOT claiming to be a socialist I don’t know what is.”

      There. I’ve fixed it. Even though you knew full well what I originally meant.

      So go on, let’s see you worm your way out of this one… You pleaded your support for Corbyn and party unity, despite all the A/S bollocks… Where were you when starmer ratted Corbyn out?

      And who have you deified ever since he became leader?

  5. And for those still giving slimeball the benefit of the doubt….Imagine that question had been turned on it’s head.

    imagine it was along the lines of: ”Would you make changes to allow businesses more power to COMPEL workers to go to work in order to kick-start the economy?”

    If you’re STILL unsure how starmer’d answer that then there’s NOTHING down for you OR the workers.

    1. Toffee – It was Keir Starmer who demanded a national standard for workplace safety, and also the one who raised the issue of a lack of childcare for those now expected to go back to work.

      1. And it was career starmer who just dithered on a simple question that he should be answering immediately if he’s THAT concerned about worker’s safety, numbnuts.

        He’s every bit as predictable as you. And you’re simple in more than one way.

      2. The Toffee (597) 12/05/2020 at 8:00 am
        Were you still relying on the short and carefully selected clip given in the above article when you wrote the above.. In a previous comment I have linked to the full question and answer exchange, it is less than 4 minutes long. I suggest watching the full context gives quite a different impression.
        https://skwawkbox.org/2020/05/11/video-starmer-is-asked-if-he-will-back-unions-protecting-workers-against-being-forced-back-to-unsafe-work-the-answer-is-yes-keir-not-wed-have-to-look-at-it/#comment-145563

  6. Fascinating how Swawkbox has rolled over to have the tummy tickled by the Tory ‘Panic!’ narrative – at the expense of the effect on millions of workers.

    Basic fact : If you’re under normal retirement age, you are not much in danger from Covid-19. Impoverishment certainly won’t enhance your life expectancy.

    If you’re over 65, the issue may require some modification to lifestyle – but don’t knee-cap the rest of society.

    1. Last time I looked “Tory panic” was way more laid back and lacksadaisical than the measures in the rest of the world – you know, those with lower deaths per head of population. (Except the USA of course where their leader seems to think the same way you do
      )

    2. FFS when will you just piss off and eat a bowl of anthrax or scuba dive using a tank of sarin or something?

    3. The paid troll, RH, lying yet again with his ludicrous claims : ie “If you’re under normal retirement age, you are not much in danger from Covid-19. ” . Too many non retirement age workers , poorer, direct contact with the public workers particularly, in the NHS, care homes, transport services , etc, and particularly ethnic minorities , have died from coronavirus so far, for scum like RH to get away with peddling the cynical age-divisive shit that ‘only oldies are in danger’ (with the barely concealed message to younger people to ‘let em die – so you can get on with your lives, unscathed’) .

      Covid 19 is a brand new, highly contagious global super-virus, to which no-one has any immunity at all . It spreads exponentially, and is fast mutating (14 sub-strains have been identified in the UK so far !) . It kills people from all age-groups – not ‘just’ the old, but the HUGE number of UK citizens with pre-existing weaknesses and illnesses too.

      The disgusting RH, and his anti-Semitic, male chauvinist fellow troll, ‘Doug’ are busy doing their paymaster’s bidding , to underplay the seriousness of Covid 19, in order to get workers back to work for capitalism – regardless of the death toll.

      The round the clock troll, RH, is simply playing the toxic message of Trump and his rich Republican supporters in the USA – ie, trying to get everyone back to work – even though workers in the manual jobs involving close interactions with others will die in droves. RH doesn’t give a toss about ‘workers not at work , and not earning’ , he’s just a paid propaganda puppet of that billionaire’s pal, Peter Mandelson and co.

      Good to see that, surprisingly, SteveH at least ain’t buying the pure poison RH has on offer for once ! Factionalism in paid trollworld ?

    4. Oh dear dear me RH you have now crossed the Rubicon and jumped the shark , sadly your comments are no longer of any note or merit .
      Your constant attempts to smother the facts with some laughable line of don’t panic , ( sounds just like that other fool Corporal Jones in Dads Army ) you belittle those older and vulnerable citizens who have already died .Even more insulting to ones intelligence is you try and reverse engineer this line of criticism as if people ( who are taking sound precautions based on medical and scientific advice to protect themselves ), are foolishly following some kind of Tory panic reaction.
      The only ones panicking are the Tories over trying to get people back to work , and those workers aren’t having any it and quite rightly as they can see the dangers of it !

      Better regarding countering “the effects on millions of workers ” to put your efforts into attacking the Chancellor who right now is busy removing the means which they had to support themselves in this crisis , constantly shooting the messenger ( SB ) just makes you look an obsessed idiot .
      Just why are you so keen to see millions of workers going back to work in unsafe conditions , even if they are younger and hence possibly more likely to survive then they become carriers of the virus .Witness Seoul , one case infects 1900 others all bars shut and the genie is out of the bottle ,,, again.

      Define ” not in much danger ” just what facts and science is such a subjective statement made on ?

      You made the same mistake over your support for Remain and support for Starmers stance , that cost us the election and people their lives , interesting to note that today despite having the opportunity to back a delay to the Brexit proceedings your man Starmer U Turned and was happy to let Brexit continue apace even to No Deal ,, he didn’t repay you much for cheer leading and support on remain now did he .
      Learn from your mistakes and you are making yet another stupid one now .

      1. “The only ones panicking are the Tories”

        And you rob, bad penny et al, to be fair…

      2. On the contrary Timfrom , I am not and never have been panicking over the CV19 , like many sensible people I peruse the Net and inform myself from multiple sources and do indeed listen to the likes of Prof Ashton and his excellent analysis and advice which I then follow . So far so good , by all means should you wish not to follow sound advice but see it as panicking then go right ahead and ridicule / ignore said expert advice , that is your decision.Until there is proper testing , tracking ( not likely under this Govt ever to happen ) , and ultimately a vaccine then one is reduced to quarantine type measures which will be utterly undermined by stupid twat Johnson and his knee jerk back to work diktat.
        PS , he hasn’t got a plan … you know , just waffle and 58 pages of BS .

      3. ……..& if you don’t panic now, you obviously don’t understand the situation.

    5. The AVERAGE age of patients put on respirators due to the severity of their Coronavirus illness is 65. So 50% are UNDER retirement age. Mr Johnson is 55, and didn’t exactly have a mild illness.

      1. Indeed, he probably had NO DISEASE AT ALL and the stunt was designed to buy insurance against culpability in the public mind. Doctors expressed surprise at his ability to make a speech on re!ease from hospital and his going direct to Chequers where his pregnant girlfriend was waiting!

        The most frightening thing about this whole crisis is witnessing how easy it’s been for the media to whip up hysteria to the point where many supposedly switched-on people are quite prepared to trade away their freedoms for a bit of “security”. As Benjamin Franklin observed, such people deserve neither!

      2. I actually got the figure wrong, for which I apologise. The average age of a person receiving intubation is in fact a little under 60 years, not 65, so considerably more than 50% (more like 75%) of people receiving that support are under retirement age. Because of the shortage of respirators, only those thought more likely to survive are given this treatment, based on a protocol which discriminates against those less likely to survive: those over 70, and with certain pre-existing conditions are (hopefully) made comfortable, and allowed to die.

    6. Complete and utter bollocks. I know several people who have had the virus that are aged 25 to 50. My wife is a nurse and she knows the angles with Covid19. A local 28 yr old died of the virus and he had no underlying health issues. My Mother died of it in her Care Home when the Govt refused her and her fellow patients hospital treatment. This virus kills and leaves many incapacitated. If you want to catch it well that’s OK by me, but don’t ask for medical help. Deal with it yourself.

  7. It’s a little disappointing that I had to search out the link below because it wasn’t provided in the article.

    I would encourage everyone to listen to the above question and answer in full so they can contextualise the short clip that has been selectively quoted above. (the whole exchange is less than 4 minutes from start to end).

    https://youtu.be/5m695e8MYXE?t=845
    The link should take you to the relevant start point (I’ve tested it) but if not the exchange runs from 14:05 to 17:40. If you’ve got the time please watch the whole interview, it covers a number of interesting issues relating to the governments Covid-19 response.

  8. Johnson, on being asked whether/how employers would be held responsible for employee safety, said there’d be random visits by inspectors.
    Anyone who’s ever worked in industry knows how much that’s worth.

  9. Ask Uncle Festa if he supports unions who defend members for refusing to work where guidance has not been followed
    Will he waive any time limits and costs of bringing a case to an employment tribunal
    In any case of individual claiming benefits can he guarantee there will be no sanctions

  10. The HSE’s Business Plan for 2016/17 shows that the funding the executive receives from central government will be over £100 million less in 2019/20 than it was in 2009/10, bringing the total reduction since 2009/10 to 46%.
    Shoestring economics and the revising of the current precautionary principle to the dumbed down American version.
    We just past International Workers Day!!

  11. There are five reasons that Sir Keir Starmer is unsuited to leadership of the Labour Party. They are:

    1 – His membership of David Rockefeller’s invitation-only Trilateral Commission, a elite group of arch-capitalist CEOs and billionaires that promotes neoliberal interests and values;

    2 – The Starmer CPS’s political persecution of Julian Assange, its political persecution of environmental and anticapitalist activists, and its serious mishandling of a Jimmy Savile sex crime case;

    3 – Starmer’s failure to disclose his donors;

    4 – Starmer’s (intentional) mishandling of Brexit, and;

    5 – Starmer’s opposition to Corbyn.

    These are each very serious disqualifications for party leadership in my eyes. Gregor Flock, founder Global Civil Society Network develops the five “unsuitabilities” very well on medium.com.

    Please read them and decide to stay in Labour and organise to resist this Starmer-fronted centrist onslaught against Labour, Labour values and the 99%. https://medium.com/@GregorFlock/down-with-keir-starmer-consorts-part-1-starmers-shady-past-3eb9d7763997

    He might be endorsed by the Daily Telegraph, Trilateral Commission and BBC, Sir Keir is only as strong as Labour members’ support for him.

      1. Apart from the fact that whilst there is plenty of supposition and innuendo the linked to blog contains very little in the way of actual evidence.

    1. qwertboi…………the phrase “unsuited for Leadership of the Labour Party” is probably the most understated I have ever read!

    2. qwertboi, your five reasons are all valid, but I don’t believe they argue for or against the case for staying in Labour, or for leaving and building an alt-socialist party.
      When Corbyn was leader the Blairites managed to prevent Labour winning two general elections despite his massive support among the young and the left. They’ve even more control now.
      Labour can win a GE quite easily now that the MSM sees Snotty as ‘safe’, but it’ll be no advantage to us or the many.

      It’ll be like a Blair shandy – still neoliberalism, but all pink and milky.

      1. Very true David. Very true. Same as when New Labour introduced a pitifully inadequate minimum: once it was implemented it would serve a valuable purpose.

        Is the Labour Left definitively unelectable, and does it need to slip-in on the course tails of a centrist, neoliberal front? MMmmm. Hard to know.

  12. So glad as a working class left wing democratic socialist I just left Labour after 40 years (apart from leaving for a few years over Iraq).
    I do think we need a new left wing democratic socialist party though I love the left in Labour I chose to leave, but some suggest there is likely to be purges probably using AS so they may be joining us like it or not but if should be built from below and not around 2 personalities.
    I think the rich & powerful are worried about such a party which is why their paid or volunteer place men (it is usually men) on left sites (everyone has one, the Tory Party or Blair/Mandelson have probably organised this?) are trying to steer the disillusioned left to irrelevant Left Unity (ruined by bourgeois Trot groups).
    The Tories are Neo-Liberal B’stards & so is Starner.
    Perhaps need a peaceful, democratic, left wing democratic socialist revolution and make Jeremy Corbyn Leader, but with a tough working class warriers as deputy!

    1. Bazza – Have you consulted Jeremy about whether he has any interest in your plans for him ?

      1. SteveH – do you have any reason to believe Corbyn wouldn’t join a new socialist party if it was properly constituted, had a manifesto based on 2019’s, had growing support among the young, and he was invited to lead it?
        Assuming his health would allow him I think he might – despite the nostalgia we all feel for what Labour used to be – and I think other MP’s might make the jump too if CV-19 costs the Tories their base as well as their credibility.

      2. David – More to the point I can’t think of one good reason why he would. Why don’t you write to Jeremy and ask for his opinion.?

      3. For pretty much the same reason I don’t write to Johnson and ask him if he’ll join the Brexit party or the Liberals when the Tories make him carry the can for the whole CV debacle after the inquiry, or Blair whether he’ll please surrender himself to the ICC if they demand it.
        Politicians tend not to disclose anything their enemies can use against them..

      4. The setting up of this new party is going to be a very tortuous process if you’re all too scared to talk to each other. There was a poll earlier in the year that asked how people would vote if Jeremy Corbyn was on the leadership ballot paper alongside the other three candidates. The results were decisive, Starmer would still have won in the first round with JC only managing to attract 25% of the vote most of which he took from RLB. It is worth bearing in mind that Jeremy’s own CLP nominated Keir for the leadership when one ponders if JC would be able to hang onto his parliamentary seat if he ran as anything but as a Labour candidate.

      5. Steve, I wouldn’t predict any success for a new party launched or even publicly proposed today – but I’m sure you’d agree that the world is changing very fast and maybe it wouldn’t hurt to start talking in private about what kind of events might occur that might signal an opportunity.
        Electorates are fickle – it’s not unimaginable that the Tories will crash and burn over CV-19 this year – it’s not even beyond the bounds of possibility that a movement away from neoliberalism could begin with an angry and frustrated NHS – it might be the last institution still respected when this is over.

      6. David – Sorry but I still think that the best chance of ousting the Tories is the Labour party. I also firmly believe in a well regulated mixed market economy. A core belief that many on here, who want to set up a new party, appear to disagree with.

        Considering all the shenanigans that went on during Jeremy’s leadership I’m baffled that the first thing many on here want to do is reduce our chances of election success by doing everything they can to undermine our newly elected leadership. Have they learnt nothing in the last 4 years apart from how to fuck things up from the very people who helped screw up our 2017 GE chances by sowing division.

  13. Now guilt by association? Be careful out there if you are a member of the Labour Party & don’t want to be expelled for saying nor doing anything……..you may not even leave your house, but if you share a ‘zoom’ platform with someone who has been expelled, then you too are guilty of anti-Semitism by association.

    Sir Keir made this pledge to the Board of Deputies to garner their support & Chief Rabbi Mirvis Ephraim has endorsed this policy & awaits appropriate action…………in the witch-hunt, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! 1st they came for………

      1. I’m afraid that I fundamentally disagree with David Wearing about immigration & the constant bourgeois accusations of racism because you voted Brexit.

  14. “I remember joking to the others, ‘There must be an incredible amount of radiation here. We’ll be lucky if we’re all still alive in the morning.'” He also stated: “Of course we knew! If we’d followed regulations, we would never have gone near the reactor. But it was a moral obligation—our duty. We were like kamikaze.”

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