Analysis

Exclusive: right’s misleading membership claims are hiding black member exodus and 2k-per-week fall under Starmer

Labour right has shaved language to give impression of healthy figures and claim influx of new black members

Labour right-wingers have claimed that the party’s membership has increased under Keir Starmer – and that the party’s membership is increasing, in spite of a reported exodus because of Starmer’s appalling reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, his comments on the toppling of a statue of a slaver and Labour’s record of failures on anti-black racism under his leadership – which included Starmer’s appointment of an all-white ‘diversity panel‘, as well as soft treatment of those involved in racism revealed in the leaked Labour report.

Claims have been put about that the membership has increased to 580,000 and that the party’s black membership is now higher than it was under Jeremy Corbyn. However, both of these are misleading.

A National Executive Committee member told the SKWAWKBOX that the claims use slippery language to hide the reality:

The membership figures were given with a massive health warning, which has just been left out of the right-wing narrative and while a higher proportion of joiners are BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) than those leaving, that’s because the numbers who registered their protected characteristics among current members are so low as to be meaningless.

New joiners now are asked to declare, so you’d expect the figures to be higher – but for most leaving, we don’t know whether they are BAME or not, because the party only started collecting data on it a year ago.

Until very recently, the party did not even ask for ethnicity information – a legacy of the party’s right-wing ‘old guard’ before Jennie Formby took over as general secretary. When Momentum put out a call last year for more BAME, young and working class people to step into leadership roles, right-wing group Labour First dismissed the call as ‘ridiculous‘.

So the proportion of new black members joining is higher than something that wasn’t even measured – and analysis of the party’s membership figures shows that the claim of a total membership of 580,000 is similarly smoke and mirrors.

Labour has not published an official membership figure since the 552,000 revealed in the leadership contest – and analysis of local party membership figures in fact reveals a small trickle of new members and a steady stream of leavers.

In the CLPs for which data could be obtained for analysis, leavers and those on the verge of lapsing – the easiest way to leave the party – outnumber new joiners by between 8:1 and 16:1. Overall, the pattern seems very consistent, with around 3% of membership having formally left the party and 3% about to lapse – and this suggests that in the 17 weeks since Starmer became its leader, Labour’s net membership has fallen by more than 2,000 members a week.

So much for right-wing claims.

But while the right wants us to believe that membership is rising as an endorsement of Starmer’s leadership, in fact they are quite happy for members to leave as this increases the right’s chances of winning and retaining key positions within the party. In fact, many think that some of their actions so far have been designed to increase the rate at which left members leave.

The SKWAWKBOX’s advice to Labour members remains the same: stay in and fight – but do so with eyes open and don’t fall for right-wing flim-flam about a flood of new members supposedly inspired by beige.

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27 comments

  1. We can expect the lies to continue, how can they think they will garner more support, such lies usually come from the Conservatives, oh wait, they both have the same way of thinking.

    What a tragedy the Labour party is now, truly not going to be good for the country.

    1. Thing is Dave, the vast majority of people out there WON’T get to learn that it’s a falsehood, in effect.

      1. I just did a quick search, and the following Express article was the only related article I found. And DO check out the comments at the end! Shills at work!

        ‘Corbynite rebellion crumbles after plot to undermine Starmer by quitting Labour backfires’

        https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1315570/jeremy-corbyn-labour-party-membership-numbers-sir-keir-starmer

        PS See further down the comments for a couple of other interesting articles that came up in the results.

  2. ”Labour right-wingers have claimed that the party’s membership has increased under Keir Starmer – and that the party’s membership is increasing, in spite of a reported exodus because of Starmer’s appalling reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, his comments on the toppling of a statue of a slaver and Labour’s record of failures on anti-black racism under his leadership – which included Starmer’s appointment of an all-white ‘diversity panel‘, as well as soft treatment of those involved in racism revealed in the leaked Labour report.”

    You forgot to mention that he’s utterly f***ing useless on just about everything else he’s touched upon.

    So, let’s hear it, steve h…A pound to a pinch of pigshit your answer’s gonna be that we’ve got to: ‘Wait and see until the official figures come out.” , because you are utterly fucking bereft of the ravages of intelligence.

    ..So on second thoughts , don’t bother. In fact, don’t bother posting anything, ever.

  3. The article says “analysis of local party membership figures in fact reveals a small trickle of new members and a steady stream of leavers. n the CLPs for which data could be obtained for analysis, leavers and those on the verge of lapsing – the easiest way to leave the party – outnumber new joiners by between 8:1 and 16:1” So to verify this, can we see the analysed figures and the names of the CLP’s concerned. ? Otherwise it is simply assertion.

  4. Socialist Campaign Group had 34 members in May according to Lloyd Russell Moyle.
    Maybe more MP’s will join because of Sir’s shrivelled balls, but maybe some will take a step to the right for perceived career advantage, who knows?
    Jeremy was the chance of a generation but it’s over. I don’t expect a second chance in my lifetime.
    If another chance does come it will be the result of successful legal action leading to exposure in the MSM (to save their own bacon) of the criminal conspiracy of traitors and a stolen election – any other kind of disaster limited to the Tories alone just lets Starmer walk in.
    Labour’s falling membership numbers make Starmer look bad and Jeremy look good but are otherwise irrelevant without mandatory reselection I think, but the chance of that now is probably zero.
    The future for socialism in Labour looks nonexistent with Starmer leading, which is why I quit.

    How can socialism rise again while members support the right with subscriptions and canvassing?
    Even if the MSM does get so sick of Johnson’s shenanigans that it pushes for a no-confidence vote and an election – we’re no better off with Starmer.
    Short of pure dumb luck (like Covid picking off all the right wingers) I see no alternative to building a new socialist party.

    1. I agree with all David said here and similarly I left Labour
      failing to adopt mandatory reselection at the 2017 Conference spelled the end of the Corbyn era(it was a nail in the coffin) so when certain people are playing left winger I take it with a pinch of salt (yes Len I’m looking at YOU)
      you’ve got a solid Blairite rearguard in Labour Mandelson,Johnson,Kinnock,Blunkett,Campbell etc sothe chances of another Corbyn leading are very remote eventually the right will gun for OMOV party democracy is not the way the Labour right operates

      1. Is there another JC waiting in the wings. If one does emerge do we have the energy to go through a self destructive civil war Let’s say that happens what sort of socialist party would we be left with. Would it have the finances, the single-mindedness to fight a general election against the despicable but confident and well funded authoritarian – they are not Conservatives – party? I think that such a task is too great. Time to consider forming a new Party. ☮️

  5. Yes it’s difficult to imagine people flocking to join in response to the leadership, charisma and policies of Starmer.

  6. There seems a bit of misunderstanding or different from my understanding for the numbers of members of LP. I meant to have left LP after Corbyn’s defeat, but many asked me to stay to keep fight on for socialism and Corbyn. Corbyn also told us to stay and fight on. That was a reason I stayed. There must be many like me, stayed on because of Corbyn, please do not mislead the fact, there is already so many gimmicks going on within LP.

  7. I love beige- but I hate Sir Keir Starmer and the sneaky lies that his people tell to pretend they are not catastrophic centrist intent on the destruction of Labour and the working class.

    And yes, I am staying in Labour to fuck up their plans.

  8. Kumiko Shimizu, what I write is just my opinion – deduced from events and from what I read.
    I don’t claim my opinions as fact, but neither are they gimmicks – except when I’m feeling whimsical or sarcastic 😎
    I’m often wrong but I’m more often right – one has to make up one’s own mind what one believes.
    I have no access to Labour’s true membership numbers.
    My thinking goes like this – Labour MP’s, staff and ‘grandees’ lied and cheated to prevent Corbyn winning elections.
    Lying about membership numbers is small beer compared to that, so why wouldn’t they lie to pretend Starmer is more popular than Corbyn?

    Maybe soon the membership will all be singing “Oh, KEE-EE-IR STAR-MER.”

  9. In my branch 80% of members joined since 2015. Only 8% joined in 2020 and 20% have left or in arrears with membership fees ( leaving )

  10. I was one of the many who joined Labour because JC gave us hope. Sorry but this is one time that I believe that Jeremy Corbyn & Skwawkbox. are wrong. The left were never stronger than the last few months under JCs leadership, yet the right are so deeply imbedded that they’ve managed to virtually destroy the Labour left with their treachery and sabotage. I doubt it will be long before they decide they can’t risk another Corbyn and go back to only allowing the PLP to elect the leader. Fighting from within to win the party back, is about as likely as hoping to make your tea hotter by trying to remove the milk.

  11. @ boromoor
    In my old CLP, numbers seem to be static right now ( having had a little chat with the membership secretary ) , with those leaving ( and they are leaving ! ) being replaced by new members , BUT you can bet your LIFE that those now joining are not Socialistic in any nature but Neo-liberal RWinger wankers and this I’ve no doubt is the situation around the country as the LW elements are replaced by the RW .So even if and it’s a bloody big IF the numbers are the same or increasing overall then the obvious characteristic of the party’s membership is turning more RW as a result . This is and can never be claimed as anything good for the working class people that Labour was supposed to represent and is in no way a positive indictment of Sir Starmer unless of course you are of a Tory lite nature .
    It will be interesting to see what the Teachers Union do longer term over Starmers betrayal of them and for that matter how many more betrayals he will no doubt under take before one of them has the guts to disaffiliate . That may well then ensure a snowballing of other Union to do like wise and perhaps help create a new Socialist party that actually gives a dam about the working class and really represents them and from the Unions point of view a party that represents the Union members too cos by Christ Starmer sure as hell doesn’t !!!

  12. They don’t want a large membership. They want a passive bunch of sycophants vying to get their snouts in the trough. They don’t want to represent anything that could gain momentum (small m) as they’d be pushed into a position of real leadership.
    Know your enemy. These people are fascists, they abhor democracy unless they’re in control of it. Start calling them out.

  13. …and, I daresay that the people who are opposed to democracy would love us all to leave. Like others have said, it’s the reason we should stay. In the meantime get organised as there’s nothing yet built to represent working people electorally. I think there will be though.
    Someone famous once said, ‘I don’t oppose fascists because I think I’ll win, I oppose them because they’re fascists’.

  14. I also came across the following article in the search results (see my post near top of comments), but there are TWO things the author says – at least – which are disinformation – ie falsehoods. At one point in the article they claim that:

    While these are reasonable numbers, these sites have previously claimed to be outcompeting mainstream media outlets. The reach of this content suggests this isn’t the case at the moment – although this may in part be because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The buzzfeed article that it links to in the above passage is really long, and I just quickly skimmed through the first two or three paragraphs, but whatever it says in the buzzfeed article, it is of course patent nonsense that alt-left sites have claimed that they are outcompeting the MSM.

    And at another point the author says the following:

    Throughout Corbyn’s leadership, left-wing alternative media and the Labour Party formed a relationship that provided a prominent political conduit for left-wing and anti-austerity messages. Because these outlets were perceived to represent Corbynism, many of the people who worked for them would appear on mainstream media almost in the role of spokespeople for the party.

    Well I think THAT will come as news to the people that run them! Never-the-less, it’s still worth reading.

    ‘How left-wing media sites have changed their coverage of the Labour Party under Keir Starmer’

    https://theconversation.com/how-left-wing-media-sites-have-changed-their-coverage-of-the-labour-party-under-keir-starmer-142686

      1. Perhaps I should have explained WHY I thought it was worth reading – ie that despite the false claims I mentioned, it does in fact bring it home to people how little reach and influence the alt left media have. And there are people posting on here – either deliberately or because they’re not thinking straight – who indirectly give the impression that if something is posted on here in an article, then just about everyone in the country knows about it. About a week after the GE, for example, there was a skwawkbox article about Johnson and Co doing a U-turn on something-or-other, and there were at LEAST two posters (Steve H and Smartboy if I remember correctly) both saying something along the lines of how THEY – the former Labour voters who voted Tory – will now be regretting voting for them. Needless to say – and as I pointed out to them – the vast majority of people won’t be aware of the Tories U-turn PRECISELY because they can depend on the corporate media and the BBC not to divulge such things.

    1. Also came across this earlier by Peter Oborne from May 26th (which I think was posted on here at the time, but I’m not sure):

      Has the UK equality watchdog become institutionally Conservative?

      Evidence is mounting of a double standard when it comes to Labour and Tory politicians

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/has-uk-equality-watchdog-become-institutionally-conservative

      PS And he wrote an even more hard-hitting article about the EHRC just a few days ago.

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