Analysis comment

Starmer whips MPs to vote against return of Parliament 2 June – but not supporting teachers, unions, doctors trying to prevent schools opening 1 June

Labour tries to delay MPs’ return – but even on that there’s confusion

Keir Starmer

Labour leader Keir Starmer imposed a 3-line whip on MPs today to vote against a government motion to bring MPs back to Parliament on 2 June – but there was confusion, with some Labour MPs not sure whether the whip was applied to the scheduling vote or just to a trade bill later in the day.

Labour voted en bloc against the motion, but lost by 350 votes to 258. However, the same firmness has not been shown by the party’s leadership in support of teachers, their unions and the doctors who support their opposition to the Tories’ plan to force children back to school a day earlier than MPs will return to Commons business.

When asked last week whether he would back unions working to protect their staff from pressure to return to unsafe workplaces, Starmer’s response was not the resounding ‘Yes’ many might expect from the party of workers. Instead, he said he’d ‘have to look at it’:

Starmer’s soft stance on the return to school has been echoed by deputy leader – and former Shadow Education Secretary – Angela Rayner and Shadow Business Minister Lucy Powell, who have both added their support publicly to arguments for a speedy return, despite having no brief for education and in spite of the strong opposition of teaching unions and the British Medical Association, who do not believe the Tories’ track record during this crisis merits any confidence in the government’s assurances that it is safe for children and teachers to be back in school.

If there are safety grounds for wanting to delay the return of MPs when the government has no control of the crisis, those would apply even more to delaying the return to schools, even if it wasn’t Labour’s intrinsic duty to support working people and their unions.

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  1. SIR Starmer’s record before this Labour position, was dire. His wicked cooperation with Obama and Trump to make Juliane Assange suffer, and other wicked doings, prove beyond doubt that Starmer was bad news. His acts since allowed to occupy the Labour position, is further proof he cannot change. He will not change SIR k Starmer will remain bad news for the many.

    1. “Bad news for the Many”.

      I think that even if I HAD voted for the knight to lead Labour, I’d be starting to question my choice by now.

      So, please do NOT leave Labour. Stay and help other members realise what a devious charlatan Sir Erik of the trilateral Armrest is.

      1. qwertiboi, i won’t leave. Nasty forces will have to drag me out. i’m v stumped though. diff to understand the defeatist attitude. though i feel stumped, nature nurture makes ne think, there IS an answer, there must be a way… it is jus logical. I realise now that some genuinely find that outlook impossible. While its just basic logic to me. Almost all of the right wing in the world are humans just like us. It is illogical to believe that they can do things that we can’t. It makes no sense. But it makes even less sense to believe that we should give up on 100 years of infrastructure etc, go form something new and it will be ok. It is as if world history his invisible. Recent history is invisible. Nothing feeds insight or provides an example of doing basic things with some modicum of reality. Trolls are useful as they provide free coaching in rebuttals. And we need that on the “Left”. But qwertboi, it is puzzling and saddening when some appear genuinely defeatist and dedicate their efforts to spreading it. Why??? Why take time to do that??? Have they no interest to pursue??? Hobbies to enjoy???

        Still fear not. I won’t leave especially to join leavers. Those who were treated abominably like Ken, George, Chris etc have my sympathy as they are not quitters and George & Ken fought back. I admire that. Ken defeated the Bliar sheath … in fact two sheaths -Dobson and King. George defeated some other Bliar tosspot. But re odd leavers here, quitters never win. If even i were expelled quitters and pipe-dreamers wilfully blind to the blatant unforced errors of non stop appeasements and apologies, hold zero appeal🌹🌹🌹

      2. Signpost “Nasty forces will have to drag me out….”

        Drag you out? Nothing so old school, signpost. Even though, like the snakes from Ireland, antisemitism magically evicted itself from Labour the very second that our former leader announced his intention to stand down, the accusation of it is just too useful to the brain-dead centrists currently ascendant in Labour, and if ever they want to remove us, that’s how they’ll do it.

        Nobody’s safe from the crazy brain-dead centrists who think that history ended in 1997 when capitalism became a transcendent utopia and poverty, hunger, homelessness and destitution are false news.

      3. ‘ Almost all of the right wing in the world are humans just like us. It is illogical to believe that they can do things that we can’t. ‘

        The right-wing politicians are totally different to genuine left-wing politicians. They are war-mongering, hate-mongering, fear-mongering, manipulating, deceitful, devious, duplicitous and totally corrupt, and needless to say, most of them are psychopaths and ‘work’ for the 1%, the capitalist elites and the Establishments.

  2. But that CAN’T be right????

    He’s only just made sure matt hancockup got told off by teacher in class because he’s that good? His ‘forensics’ make Quincy M.E. look a rank amateur, we’re meant to believe. He could take on all them toerags blindfolded and with on arm tied behind the back**

    So why has he done that, I wonder?

    **And he’d still allow them to do as they please, the utter bucketful.

    1. Young children being forced back into school so the many can be forced back to work. Just heard, Civil Servants got an email today, advising they may be working from home for 12 – 14 MONTHS.
      Cambridge has been the first uni to suspend face to face tuition. That’s the story of Tory ideology. No heart. No care. No shame. No integrity. No ethics. No value for the lives of the many.

  3. Wot a fuckin hypocrite ! Yep a real good choice for New Labour Mk2 Party leader ,, says it all … just shite

  4. As a non-supporter of Starmer, I ask the simple question “Why should he support continued lock-up and the destruction of livelihoods when it has no basis in evidence?”

    Once again, Skwawkbox retreats to naively apeing the Tory myths.

    1. ‘Once again, Skwawkbox retreats to naively apeing the Tory myths.’

      Simple solution then, isn’t there, dicky? Don’t visit the site, and not even to come on and spout your usual attention-seeking drivel.

      After all, only tories visit this site to get their tory propaganda, and you’re not one of them , are ya?


      1. Well, he has His priorities sorted, never mind anybody else……. To sayi am not impressed would be the understatement of the year.

      2. You have him bang to rights with your “attention-seeking drivel” Toffee,our resident inflated ego actually needs our response to validate his pathetic self image as contrarian and controversialist, just ignore the bloody fool,that will hurt him most.

    2. We have the evidence of France, they opened their schools only to have to close them down again.
      I will argue that it isn’t in the best interest of teachers to keep schools closed, the more than they carry on lesson using zoom and similar, the more the government would argue that pupils don’t need a teacher present, but just a class room assistant to keep discipline so that 500-1000 pupils can attend the same recorded lesson by a very experience teacher in different class rooms.
      Hence, if teachers are expressing fears to come back to work because they don’t feel safe, I believe that it is best to err in the side of caution and support them.
      After all, we only have to see the numbers of bus drivers that have died because of Covid-19, the same with carers and NHS staff. Once you look at percentages it isn’t a huge number, but that isn’t a comfort if you or a love one happens to be the “lucky” one.

  5. Erm, so Starmer is happy for Johnson regime to rule via de-facto diktat? Parliament waved through the Corona bill and other bills have been changed by statutory instrument,s so wasn’t much opposition anyway but fgs there isn’t even a pretense of a Parliamentary democracy now. Oops, I forget UK is a constitutional Monarchy and king in waiting is calling for those who have lost jobs to come out of lockdown and pick fruit and veggies, no doubt for min or below min wages. Erm where is this modern land army going to live? How can they afford or practically get to the ‘land’ in the first place?

    1. Oh, they’re paying them? I thought they were looking for volunteers for the New Land Army.
      This is a small country, you can cycle anywhere in a week or two – Norman Tebbitt said so.
      All those Coronavirus deaths and he’s still alive – where’s the justice?

      1. I’m sure you are right David, it will be volunteers as it’s an HRH suggestion, I didn’t bother to read it fully. Same questions arise though, where are they going to live and eat if not paid and how are they going to get there in lockdown. On your bike, if you have one and don’t forget to wear your mask. lol

      2. No, I wasn’t ‘right’ Maria, but I was just kidding. Must try to remember to use smileys 🙂
        I’m sure they’ll be paid.
        Usually such seasonal work provides accommodation of sorts I believe, often in old caravans kept on the farms for that reason.

    2. Charlie should stop picking nits out of Mrs Parker-Bowles and get picking fruit instead of scrounging from the public purse in council houses with hundreds of bedrooms more than he needs. Not to mention the property pilfered over centuries. Get picking Charlie‼️‼️‼️

      1. Richard Branson STILL trying to scrounge. He has reduced his begging from £7.5 billion to half a billion. His island as collateral. Go ask your banker chums Branson‼️‼️‼️ There are people who are in need. You are not. You Richard Branson are a selfish greedy parasite to want a handout of half a billion GBP‼️‼️‼️

      2. He should take Camila with him too, no need to go to the gym to keep fit, a month picking fruit should do wonders for their level of fitness.

      3. Maria, same with the warmongers. Why don’t they and their children go first and in front⁉️⁉️⁉️

  6. At end of the day they the Blairites pride themselves on being just as ruthless as Tories
    It was a race to the bottom, there was never a hostile environment that new labour didn’t like
    Prison population doubled under new Labour and Tories
    Heres the test
    Which parts of our manifesto do you think Keir will implement and which will be dumped

  7. Mmmm, ‘betrayed’ suggests he has failed us, but alas, I think he hasn’t. He has DUPED the members who were taken in by his lies, omissions and deceit.

    The Trilateral Commission is membership by-invitation only group of financial capitalist, renters and neoliberal billionaires and – of course – ‘useful idiots’ like Sir eriK. He was a member before he won the votes of only 1/3rd of Labour members.

    The vast majority of Labour members are seeing how right they were not to vote for him.

  8. Why does Starmer need to whip MPs on this vote; it’s not his decision!

  9. Well – at least Starmer is doing one thing right :

    “There was a headlong rush to close down social contacts, transport and confine people to their homes. The results have seen the worst economic recession in 300 hundred years, probably eclipsing that following the War of Spanish Succession and the great frost of 1709 …..

    ….Lockdown must be lifted in short order, simply because there is no alternative …. The education of a generation of school children will be blighted. We have the impression that politicians boxed in a corner are reluctant to let go of the strings ….”

    – Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine

    No good claiming to ‘follow the science’ and then base policy on an incoherent mediia narrative of t Panic! generated by the Beeb, Sun, Mail and Guardian..

    1. … “Labour’s intrinsic duty to support working people …”

      Exactly – not to ponce about generating unending and untold hardship on a the back of a frightened population subjected to myths..

    2. RH, the ‘school-haters’ might have their minds changed by being denied school. Kids are like that. Blight is not inevitable.
      It’s believed that in very young children there are ‘windows’ in which they have to learn certain life lessons – but I don’t accept that that applies to school age children or to organised education.
      People develop at different speeds. Kids who appeared dull at school sometimes make it up later.
      There is no reason for anyone’s education to be “blighted” – it’s not as if they’re falling behind a separate cohort even if those with parents capable of home schooling do have an advantage – they have that advantage in normal circumstances.
      Key workers’ children who’ve remained in school may actually be disadvantaged by becoming bored while the others to catch up – or is it suggested that society should just write the others off?
      Just start again from the beginning of the term that was cut short – after a period spent in reviewing the preceding term – put back exams until the curriculum is completed and put back the school leaving age by the time lost to CV. Or by a whole year if educators are incapable of adjusting curricula to a different seasonality – pfft.
      Legislate that employers and universities shall demonstrate that they’ve made appropriate enquiries of applicants and have made appropriate allowances for this generation of kids.

      Recession and governmental incompetence are only inherent to capitalism.
      You get that this is a socialist blog, right?
      In a socialist society – even in a mixed (but command) socialist economy – after such a period of ‘lockdown’ we just pick up where we left off and continue as normal.
      No debt incurred to be repaid to the children and grandchildren of today’s rich bankers and investors for the next hundred years.
      “Repay” the rich for “lending” us the money they invented or stole from our labour in the first place?
      Fuck off.

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