Analysis comment

Starmer exploited miners for votes – but didn’t mention Orgreave on anniversary of brutal police assault

Starmer’s leadership campaign video used striking miners to enhance his credibility. But whole anniversary of Battle of Orgreave passed unmarked by Labour leader

Earlier this year, Keir Starmer bolstered his leadership campaign with a video in which a South Yorkshire miner spoke over footage of striking miners and print workers of how Starmer had always stood with them.

Yet now, as Labour Party leader, Starmer made not one mention on his Twitter feed – or any at all, according to Google – during the whole of Thursday’s anniversary of the 1984 ‘Battle of Orgreave’.

On 18 June 1984, Margaret Thatcher sent in heavily armed police – and soldiers disguised as police – against miners striking to protect their jobs and the communities that depended on them. Many of those communities are still devastated, yet the leader of the Labour Party didn’t see fit to mention them.

Starmer did find time to tweet a tribute to the late Vera Lynn:

But it was left to Ian Lavery and other backbench left-wingers to mark the devastation inflicted on mining communities by the Tories. Lavery tweeted an iconic image from that day – of a mounted police officer assaulting a woman bystander – that could scarcely be more relevant today:

And last week the former party chair – whom many would have backed to win the leadership if he had stood early this year – paid tribute to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and encouraged people to attend a virtual rally this weekend to commemorate the battle:

Nor is Lavery’s solidarity a phenomenon that only appears for leadership campaigns, as his record has been consistent throughout his years as an MP:

Starmer’s silence on the day did not escape the notice of those still fighting for justice for those battered and wrongly accused in 1984:

The official Orgreave Justice campaign thanked MPs and others who did show solidarity on the anniversary:

But from yesterday’s performance it seems Starmer’s interest in the miners these days is limited to using them to burnish his left-wing veneer during the leadership election campaign.

Given Starmer’s condemnation of Black Lives Matter campaigners last week, it seems that it’s up to others such as Lavery to show real leadership and solidarity with the working class.

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  1. Starmer is what is colloquially known as “a piece of shit”,or if you are Irish,a “Bollocks”.

  2. Starmer clearly has no feel for the mood of the people or the significance or direction of events.
    Lawyers, even those involving themselves in human rights issues, will only ever see society through an establishment prism – because the law is designed to maintain the status quo, not to challenge or improve it.
    Given the choices he’s made it’s obscene that he calls himself a “human rights lawyer.”
    No more lawyers of any kind in Labour please – people whose stock-in-trade is dissembling can never be trusted.

  3. Time we moved on.
    Affiliating Labour with miners and other ‘cloth cap and pigeon racing ‘ cliches is of no relevance in
    21st century politics. Repeatably harking back doesn’t resonate.Corbyn used to remember everything . Hardly a day went by where he wasn’t commemorating something or other. Where did it get him.
    Skwawkbox, what’s the point of deriding the leader of the opposition? It’s just more in fighting and
    reasons for division within the party.
    Attack the Tories. There’s enough going on to criticise this government, without singling
    out ‘ Starmer hasn’t tweeted ‘ !!

    1. ”Time we moved on.”

      Yeah, alright.

      Move on where? Right back to 1979 is where. At least another two parliamentary terms where there’s no discernible difference between the toerags and *ahem* ‘labour.’

      You don’t ‘attack the tories’ by not attacking the tories.

    2. Skwawkbox, what’s the point of deriding the leader of the opposition?

      WHAT ‘opposition’ is that, then?

      Get your tongue out of his crack, and give us all one instance where stammer’s provided meaningful opposition ffs.

    3. ”There’s enough going on to criticise this government, without singling
      out ‘ Starmer hasn’t tweeted ‘ !!’

      Ok, so stammer hasn’t tweeted…nor has he criticised the government – and even according to you he’s had enough to do that for.

      If you’d took notice of what’s been going on you’d know that there’s a certain premier league footballer and an NHS cleaner done more to highlight the injustices and snideness of the real toerags than stammer’s EVER done – even since becoming an MP, nevermind the so-called leader of the opposition.

      Even as DPP he was letting toerags off the hook; and in one instance the plod openly told us one of them had committed fraud.

      The polygonal-headed shitbag resigned that very day when he could left himself the legacy of being a DPP who sent not one but two toerags to the clink.

      Crackin’ fella, him. Principled & forthright, and no mistake**

      **I’m off to surgery in a bit to get my tongue surgically removed from my cheek. You’d do well to get yours removed from between stammer’s arse cheeks.

    4. My mother is a better leader of the opposition, and she’s been dead for 35 years.

    5. Peter Berry”Time we moved on “To what?and where is this knight of the realm taking the party amd the working-class the party used to try to represent?

  4. I Just don’t like this man.

    I Don’t trust him. Don’t trust him at all.

    Who were his real sponsors for leadership, the ones he is determined to conceal?

    1. Is that a rhetorical question? Skwawk and the Canary revealed a while ago, the main one was pro-Israel lobbyist Trevor Chinn, to the tune of £50,000.

  5. The Knight of the realm is as we all know is a bought and paid for member of the establishment. How many of those who voted for him now recognize that now. Alas, they realise, just, as those who voted for the other malogen they have been taken for numpties!

  6. Just so we know who we’re dealing with, Tony Blair called for the release of Deirdre Barlow, a fictional character in Coronation Street but has nothing to say about Julian Assange, who is quite possibly where he is today in Belmarsh prison with the complicity of Sir Keir Starmer. Blair and Starmer are no less the enemy than the Tories, and all the more dangerous for hiding in plain sight, disguised with nothing more than a red rosette.

    A YouGov poll on 4th April 2018 found that Tony Blair had a public approval rating of minus 53%. By comparison:
    Theresa May -29%, Jeremy Corbyn – 8%, Julian Assange -1%.

    1. ”Just so we know who we’re dealing with, Tony Blair called for the release of Deirdre Barlow, a fictional character in Coronation Street”

      I remember that all too well (It was Deidre Rachid to be pedantic…It drove me nucking futs seeing people putting ‘release deidre rachid’ signs up in their windows…Made me wanna release the hounds). I also remembered that: ‘Am I bovvered?’ scene with that whatsherface (ginger-haired comedienne?)

      Both instances gave me the urge to kill fluffy woodland creatures in unspeakable ways.

      Bliar dumbed-down politics when he engaged in that sort of behaviour. I blame that gobshite for more people being interested in ‘reality Tv’ crap than things that directly affect their day-to-day existences.

      And he’s still breathing…

    1. Vastly over-long – I’d probably have called it “a masterclass in milking it” if I’d wasted my time reading further than the unfeasibly bloated first few sections, filled with what the Yanks call ‘motherhood and apple pie’.
      Coalition be fucked. There’s no common ground between me and them – the right are just an emergency backstop for the Tories, with 90% of the same views and policies.
      Socialists should have nothing to do with them.

      I don’t need to read any more of an ‘analysis’ that ignores the coordinated treachery of the PLP and the party machine in its utterly spurious “Inquiry into why we lost the election.”

      Thanks for the link though – at least now we know what Starmer’s been doing instead of opposing the Tories.

      1. David – Whilst I am in general agreement with you about the contents Milliband and Powell appear to be the driving force behind this ‘analysis’. From what I’ve read so far there isn’t any indication that Starmer had much if anything to do with it.

      2. Steve, even the least-competent lawyer would know better than to leave his fingerprints on the whitewash brush.

    2. Is this the same report that got leaked recently and caused Stammer to set up an inquiry to go after the leakers, rather than the corrupt officials it exposed?

  7. The Knight of the realm is a bought and paid for member of the establishment. The following text gives an outline of some of his achievements for them.

    Once appointed, this millionaire “radical lawyer” fitted seamlessly into the state apparatus and the defence of its crimes. Three years earlier, on 22 July 2005, the Metropolitan Police had killed electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent man, with seven shots to the head in an underground train carriage. He had been misidentified as a terrorist in the aftermath of the July 7 London bombings. In 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), under the leadership of DPP Sir Ken MacDonald, refused to prosecute any officer involved.
    After the police’s account of what happened on the day was comprehensively demolished, a 2008 inquest jury into Menezes’s killing returned an open verdict, refusing to rule that the police acted lawfully. They had been barred by the coroner from reaching a verdict of unlawful killing. Starmer, as the new DPP, nonetheless approved the decision not to prosecute any of the police officers involved.
    He tried to do the same in 2011 in the case of Ian Tomlinson, a father of nine who was brutally attacked by police officer Simon Harwood in 2009. Harwood hit Tomlinson, who was walking with his hands in his pockets in the other direction, across the back of the legs with a baton. Tomlinson was unable to break his fall, causing fatal internal bleeding to his liver shortly afterwards.
    Fifteen months later, Starmer announced that Harwood would not be prosecuted. The CPS was forced to proceed a few months later when an inquest jury found that Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed.
    In 2011, Starmer was in court to witness the collapse of a trial of environmental activists after the involvement of undercover police officer Mark Kennedy was revealed. The case began the “Spycops” scandal, which has since exposed the extensive, long-term infiltration of left-wing and environmentalist groups by police agents, who grossly abused the rights of campaigners and perverted the course of justice in countless court cases. The CPS is suspected of having been closely involved.
    As DPP, Starmer refused to pursue the matter. Referring to an in-house CPS investigation, he accepted the manifestly untrue:
    “If Sir Christopher Rose had found systemic problems, then I would quite accept perhaps a retrospective look at all the cases. But he didn’t, he found individual failings.”
    Starmer was no less reliable on the crimes of British imperialism. Under his direction, the CPS refused to prosecute MI5 and MI6 personnel in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The agents were suspected of participating in CIA extraordinary rendition programmes and the torture of detainees in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan.
    Most infamously, in 2013 the CPS pressured Swedish prosecutors into maintaining a fraudulent investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as a pretext for securing his arbitrary detention in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Uncovered emails show Starmer’s department writing to their Swedish counterparts, “Don’t you dare get cold feet!”
    The new Labour leader also proved himself a pliant tool of the coalition and Tory governments during their reign of austerity. After major student demonstrations in 2010 against the planned trebling of tuition fees were met with a brutal police crackdown, Starmer implemented new guidelines to encourage the prosecution of protestors. They read:
    “Prosecutors should have particular regard to whether there is evidence that a person had come to the protest equipped with clothes or mask to prevent identification, items that could be considered body protection, or an item that can be used as a weapon…”
    The terms were kept deliberately vague to allow virtually any hand-held object or face covering to be used as a pretext for an arrest. His guidelines were designed to prepare the state for the implementation of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government’s vicious spending cuts and the mass opposition they would provoke. Explaining his actions, Starmer told The Guardian at the time, “There’s a potential for a number of protests over the coming years that may be quite large…”
    Following the London riots in 2012 and the rubber-stamp sentencing of over 1,000 young people, Starmer praised the efforts to rush defendants through the courts:
    “For me it was the speed that I think may have played some small part in bringing the situation back under control.”
    He visited Highbury Magistrates Court in North London in the early hours of the morning to boost the morale of the prosecutors and praise their efficiency.
    In 2013, after Tory Chancellor George Osborne launched a gutter-press campaign against “benefits cheats,” Starmer issued guidelines for the CPS allowing those accused of improperly drawing social security to be charged under the Fraud Act. This allowed for sentences of up to 10 years. He also removed the financial threshold on sending cases to Crown Court, meaning even the smallest “offences” could be punished with long-term jail time.
    In 2014, Starmer was granted a knighthood for his services. A year later he was elected to the safe London Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancras. The same pro-capitalist, pro-state politics has characterised his parliamentary career.
    In 2015, Sir Keir abstained from the vote on the Tory Welfare Bill, which left 13 million of the most vulnerable people in society an average of £260 a year poorer. The year after, he voted for retaining the Trident nuclear weapons system, against an “Investigation into Contrasts Between Public Statements and Private Policy” in the 2003 Iraq War, and for the Investigatory Powers Bill — better known as the Snoopers’ Charter. As shadow home office minister, Starmer spearheaded what he called a “constructive engagement” between Labour and the Tory government to get this mass surveillance law on the books.
    The same year, Starmer joined the likes of Hilary Benn in resigning from the front bench to begin a coup of Labour MPs against the newly elected leader of the party, Jeremy Corbyn. During the subsequent leadership election, Starmer backed Blairite nonentity Owen Smith. Starmer’s leadership team includes Matt Pound, the head of right-wing pressure group Labour First, born out of the witch hunt of left-wing party members in the 1980s.
    After the 2016 leadership challenge, Starmer made full use of Corbyn’s prostration before the right and appeals for party unity to take up the role of Shadow Brexit Secretary. He used this position to champion a policy for maintaining British capitalism’s relationship with the European Union, working in alliance with pro-EU sections of the Tory Party.
    Now Labour leader, he has signalled his readiness to join a full-blown government of national unity with the Tories, in response to the coronavirus crisis.
    Starmer’s shadow cabinet appointments have already won the praise of their Tory counterparts, with new Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds posting on Twitter:
    “My first act as Shadow Home Secretary has been to speak to Home Secretary Priti Patel this evening about the public health emergency we face and the constructive dialogue that is going to be needed in the days and weeks ahead.”
    Other shadow cabinet appointments include former leader Ed (“austerity lite”, “controls on immigration” mugs) Miliband and arch-Blairites Rachel Reeves and Lord Falconer. Corbyn loyalists Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Barry Gardiner, Ian Lavery and Jon Trickett were removed, and Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott jumped before being pushed. The political chameleon and loyal flunkey Rebecca Long-Bailey as Shadow Education Secretary is the supposed “flag-bearer” of the “left.”

      1. Lack of paragraph spacing’s not his fault Toffee, Bubber didn’t write it.
        He copied and pasted it from whoever did write it.
        He also chose not to credit that person.

    1. Briambotou…..Thanks Brian for taking the time to list just some of the crimes this establishment “Plamt ‘has committed on is way to destroy the Labour party and undermine the working-class .

      1. Yes, it has been pretty obvious for some time that he was the establishment’s man , however, many were taken in by his spin and some continue to be taken in or are more concerned with scoring petty points!

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