Analysis comment

Starmer’s Labour hasn’t learned a thing after being shredded for claiming Rashford’s credit – now ‘we’ forced Tories to u-turn on exam grades, not 1000s of student protesters

After it initially seemed Labour was putting credit where it’s due, Green’s tone-deaf tweet puts Labour’s front bench in the wrong again

In June, after a principled and high-profile stand by footballer Marcus Rashford forced the Tories to u-turn on plans to let poor children go hungry during the summer holidays, Labour provoked outrage by attempting to claim credit for Rashford’s success, saying ‘We did it’:

As so often, Labour’s response to the impending crisis was watered down and low profile, while Rashford’s direct and vocal approach won the day for poor kids. The response to the ‘we did it’ tweet was rightly withering, as thousands of respondents hammered the ridiculous claim.

When national protests by thousands of young people forced the Tories into another u-turn last weekend, this time on the government’s attempt to steal the grades of hard-working students, it seemed at first that Labour might have learned its lesson.

The initial comments from the party and its leadership congratulated the students on their win – but it wasn’t long before Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary had turned that into ‘we’ again, in an appalling ‘quote tweet’ of a message by her last-but-one predecessor Angela Rayner:

How we forced the Tory government into a u-turn on exams.

Kate Green

Green had sported a sunburn during TV interviews after the Tories’ climbdown, but there was no sign of the mask-shaped tan-line one might expect from participation in a protest during a pandemic as opposed to, say, a garden barbecue wearing sunglasses:

Nor has the SKWAWKBOX been able to find any footage of Ms Green on the streets alongside students.

Green’s tweet was ‘ratioed’, meeting with an almost universally condemnatory response:

A few have tried to defend Labour’s ‘tactic’, claiming it’s – well, presumably ‘forensic’ – to let others do the work and then ‘be on the right side of the issue‘ jump on the bandwagon.

But a Labour modus operandi of doing little or nothing on key issues and then trying to piggy-back the credit when others face down the Tories is simply not going to cut it – it won’t fool much of the public at all, nor for very long.

If Labour wants credit for Tory u-turns, it had better be out there on the street and in the media forcing them. This does not mean saying the Tories should be faster or more transparent in doing what they’re doing, but rather making and winning the argument about what they should be doing and why. At the moment, such a hope seems tragi-comically forlorn.

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28 comments

    1. If gordon broon hadn’t baggsied ‘I saved the world’ 12 or so years ago, bet your bottom one stammer’d try it today…

      What an utterly parasitical, vainglorious, self-aggrandizing, conceited, despicable glory-whore stammer truly is.

  1. I dreamed I saw Jimmy Thomas last night,
    Alive as you and me.
    Said I, “Well Jim you’re 70 years dead”
    “I never died” said he
    ..then he went on to explain what motivated him to come out of retirement and work with Sir Keir, Angela and Boris Johnson.
    I haven’t slept since.

    1. Thanks for the rush of memories bevin!
      I first learned of Joe Hill and the Industrial Workers of the World – the Wobblies – from an older activist when we were talking about Joan Baez singing the song, some time in the early seventies.
      I knew the song but hadn’t known the story.

      1. My Mum was a big Paul Robeson fan,indeed he was a hero in our house, and it was his version of Joe Hill I grew up on.

      2. john thatcher, nobody who’s aware of his political activism could fail to respect Robeson – and I do – it’s just the gospel style of singing and pretty much all the music of his generation doesn’t appeal at all.
        Until Dylan music was rubbish.

      3. I’d modify that last statement – some of the juke joint blues guys were great, Woody Guthrie was great, but until Dylan I wasn’t aware of them as a 12-year-old in Lancashire.

      4. You have already been suitably admonished by Allan Howard,though he forgot to mention Swing and its first Lady Billie Holiday,though he did get in Ella.As for Robeson being a “Gospel Singer”, I’m afraid you only show your ignorance of the great man by that comment.

  2. Until Dylan music was rubbish

    Where does one begin! Even apart from classical music – which I assume you don’t include as rubbish – there are thousands of wonderful singers and musicians and song-writers (jazz, blues, be-bop, rock n roll, doo-wop, folk, bluegrass, cajun, flamenco, being just a few examples) that made great music:

      1. Aaaand one sometimes does… would it upset you to learn that I didn’t click on any of your music links?
        At 70 I already know what I like and what I don’t.
        I don’t even like everything Dylan did despite his genius, and I don’t like everything by my current amours, First Aid Kit.
        There’s no right and wrong in musical tastes (except disco – disco can get fucked)

    1. Not for the first time our friend McNiven is talking out of his arse.Still,we all have our moments ,good and bad.

      1. If there was a tongue in cheek emoji I’d have used it.
        Disco, punk, stadium, new romantics, metal, grunge all think the music they loved when they were teens was the best.
        Not my fault you’re all wrong. Y’all get that music categories are flexible and disputed, right?
        Oh – and Dylan got the Nobel Prize, fuckers 🙂

      1. Stand firmly on the sidelines firing abuse and vitriol at him – ie doing a character assassination-cum-demolition job on him!

        They’re not Journalists of course, but propagandists for the PTB.

      2. Talking of which:

        ‘New Senate Intelligence Committee volume on “Russian interference” smears WikiLeaks and Julian Assange’

        It is clear that a primary purpose of the Senate report is to bolster the lie that WikiLeaks and its editor Julian Assange worked directly with operatives within the Trump campaign team to assist Russian intelligence in their supposed manipulation of the 2016 US elections. In developing this elaborate and false narrative, the Senate document mentions WikiLeaks 475 times and Assange 193 times.

        [Yep, Repetition, one of Goebbels and Hitlers favourites, and ALL black propagandists!]

        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/08/20/inte-a20.html

  3. Sad Labour. Riding on the coat tails of schoolchildren is just about their level. You’re right Skwawkbox, they say or do so very little, trying to blend in and avoid controversy, that perhaps claiming the victories of others is they only way they can ever appear to be successful. Even with the mass attack on Gavin Williamson this New New Labour bunch seem to have decided that it’s cool NOT to do the standard text book opposition thing in these situations and press for his resignation. Johnson must laugh himself to sleep every night at the lack of opposition, and I have no doubt that Cummings will become increasingly emboldened by it, getting Johnson to chance his arm even more.

  4. Marcus Rashford plays in a cartel aka ‘The Premier League’ that constantly seeks to maximise profits by exploiting its market ie young, working class kids & their families. How much does it cost for a family of four to attend ‘a match’? How much does it cost to buy replica kit?

    How much does Marcus Rashford & chums extort from football, making it impossible for poor families to watch their ‘local’ Premier League Football Team. He is part of the problem, not the solution.

  5. I agree to a large extent, Steve.

    Except it was in stammer’s remit to have done something. He’s the one meant to hold political sway (Stop laughing).

    In fairness, young rashford doesn’t set the price of a kit, or a ticket, or a sky sports subscription (There’s yer glaring clues why the game’s out of the reach & out of touch with Joe Public)

    Then again, I don’t suppose he, or his agent, lowers the wage demands so at least kids can get in for a nicker.

  6. I can recall attending a protest outside the DofH when Hunt was in charge and effin about with it.
    Much to my delight I saw one Tom Watson with another Labour MP, whose name I can’t remember but I always found them to be extremely nice and approachable. Anyway I assumed they were coming along to show support by joining the protest.
    How mistaken was I, they immediately crossed over Whitehall and disappeared down the side of a govt building.
    Now to be fair to them they may have had a prior engagement. Yet I still felt they could have spared a few minutes to join us.
    Green and many other so called Labour MPs I suspect would do still do the same. It’s almost like they don’t want to be associated with, and are embarrassed to have members in the party that may believe in protesting for change

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