Analysis comment

Corbyn enters fray over school return in implicit rebuke to Starmer’s failure

Effective opposition…

Jeremy Corbyn has spoken out publicly on the catastrophe of coronavirus outbreaks in schools, with a quote from an article by Unison’s Roger McKenzie putting guilt squarely on the shoulders of the Tories for the deaths that will surely result from Boris Johnson’s determination to keep children in school despite skyrocketing numbers of outbreaks.

Corbyn’s quote reads:

With a growing amount of infections in a growing amount of schools and nothing being done to protect members those deaths will be the responsibility of this negligent government.”

Corbyn’s comment was an implicit rebuke to Corbyn’s successor as Labour leader. Starmer’s approach has gone beyond merely fully cooperating with Johnson – including a secret letter pledging support on the back-to-school plans of a PM whose actions have cost tens of thousands of needless deaths without so much as an expression of regret.

Starmer has even pushed Johnson in case Johnson showed any lessening of his haste to put children and teachers back into classrooms that even the government’s own ‘SAGE’ scientists admit are not safe:

Starmer has also ridden roughshod over the concerns of unions, sending his Blairite Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green out to tell TV viewers that masks weren’t needed in schools. Until the Tories u-turned partially under pressure from parents, teachers and scientists, at least – and then Green duly copied them.

Corbyn’s clear statement put Starmer to shame, but he and McKenzie didn’t go far enough. When deaths ensue from forcing children and teachers into proximity while virus levels are high and climbing exponentially, the guilt will be on the head of Starmer and his supporters, as well as on the Tories.

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24 comments

  1. S’funny really. Maybe the only time (hammer of the right) Starmer has been definite, enthusiastic and committed about something . . . it should be this!

      1. The law as presently constituted is an enemy of the people but not in the way you seem to suggest – ie nothing to do with brexit.
        The adversarial system of law is the enemy of the people, as is the fact that it holds property sacrosanct above life and liberty, and that it demands company directors put the company’s principals’ – its owners’ – interests above all others.
        Judges themselves may or may not be our enemies – many more are than are not I’m certain – but Supreme Courts have occasionally reversed governments and that’s a good thing.
        Societies need laws.
        Just not all the laws we have now, and not lawyers.
        To put the lawyers out of business the clearly stated INTENT and PURPOSE of laws needs to be enforceable to avoid weaselly lawyers and accountants finding loopholes for the rich to push their money and privilege through.

  2. Well done Jeremy! I imagine that this was a difficult decision for you to take, but it is the right one, facilitated by your immense integrity and considerable courage.

    Well done Jeremy Corbyn.

  3. Starmer? A HUGE REMAINER! Me? A HUGE LEAVER (of the UK) – I now live in Greece and it’s WONDERFUL. We have (for those who understand) IKA, AMKA and Residency. In other words we have kissed Brexshit Britain Goodbye and have a Free Greek Healthcare. Join us!

  4. It’s good that Jeremy Corbyn is a tiny bit visible again and openDemocracy currently has an interesting article by Andrew Fisher (“I was at the heart of Corbynism. Here’s why we lost – Structual factors, not individual failings, defeated us”), well worth a read:

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/i-was-heart-corbynism-heres-why-we-lost/

    Seriously, although I am a convinced remainer in the Labour Party, Andrew’s analysis causes me to me re-examine the inclination. 🤪

    1. Fisher argues that “Labour is now a party committed to public ownership and opposed to privatisation,for stronger rights at work”etc,no it bloody well isn’t, as Starmer and the PLP will be showing you over the coming months and years qwertboi.

      1. Exactly! Hence my re-examination.

        If socialist members of PLP do not start countering- or at least challenging – Starmer’s trilateral/third-way/centrist ideology, then my political activism will be directed elsewhere, somewhere more productive.

    2. Fisher’s quitting in September 2019 I can only assume was to avoid personal blame for the upcoming defeat, since it did nothing to avoid it – an opinion based only on the lines between his own.
      He seems to imply that Starmer’s claimed support for the manifesto can be trusted – ie that the left’s ‘gains’ are set in stone – the kindest interpretation of that is gullibility.
      Starmer’s said and done nothing to make me believe that ‘pledge’ was anything more than electioneering – a fingers-crossed sop to the left which will never be honoured.
      I’d need a lot more substantial proof of Starmer’s good faith than what appears to be Mr. Fisher’s job application.

  5. I just love this new Jeremy Corbyn telling it like it is.Why can’t he give it a second go,he has learnt a lot from his mistakes in showing compassion for the right wing destroyers and maybe a second chance for all of us including the country.We all compromise our principles sometimes but the knights way is “NO WAY” .The voice of reason and sanity..Jeremy Corbyn..!

    1. Spare us the sad Corbyn fanboy stuff, Skwawkbox. Jeremy is of course quite correct with his tweet – BUT it is simply tragic how Jeremy and that old Left faker, McDonnell, and other PLP ‘Lefts’ , after four years of cravenly failing to confront in any way the constant sabotage of the Left by the entire Labour Right and ‘centre’, and an epochal electoral defeat engineered by that same Labour Right and Centre in cahoots with the MSM, have so quickly slipped back into that comfy old ‘marginalised PLP Leftie, lifestyle , of bunging out the odd ‘radical’ comment on current events. This actually meaningless activity being in preference to actually ORGANISING to take on the corrupt Starmerite usurpers as they steer Labour back to its neo Blairite Tory-lite politics as each day goes by ! Or even better, recognizing that Labour can never be a vehicle for Left advance – and splitting from the rotten corpse of Labour, and providing the leadership for a radical new socialist party . Wont happen though will it – Corbyn and co are far too personally comfy drawing down over £80K a year for playing at Left politics for another 10 years in the politically bankrupt ‘Reserve Party of UK Capitalism’ – as he and the rest did for decades already.

      1. Blair took advantage of the least worthy, least honourable aspects of human nature to form his cabal that he called “New Labour.”
        Those people and that ‘philosophy’ haven’t changed – their self-satisfied inertia enabled Jeremy to win in 2015 but they learned the lesson and are unlikely to make that mistake again.
        jpenney, “organising” to dig out 200-plus deeply-embedded parasites (MP’s and staff) could be even harder than building a new party from scratch – and I know of nowhere near enough competent potential socialist candidates to do either anyway – do you?
        Pure dumb luck (like Jeremy’s nomination) might turn the tide in favour of the left but I fear it’ll more likely come out of desperation on the back of some very hard times.

      2. Unfortunately, I can only agree with your pessimistic post, David. The Corbyn Surge of 2015 was a total fluke – a UK part of the then Europe-wide , short-lived, ‘Left Surge’ response to the aftermath of the 2008 Great Crash – and made possible too by the tactical mistake of the then hubristic, smug, Labour Right, in enabling all those new £3 supporters to have a vote in the Leadership contest. Sadly Jeremy and co aren’t even up for trying to combat the return to neo-Blairism under Starmer within the Labour Party – or to engage in trying to build a radical party outside Labour – which might very well fail utterly . But NOT to even try either route of resistance guarantees defeat – but of course the not even trying option also enables the tiny grouplet of Old Left PLPers like Jeremy, McDonnell, Abbott , Trickett, Lavery, etc, to just slide back into their very well-remunerated, generously pensioned, old roles as posturing ‘paper tiger’ radical Lefties.

        But the ongoing global crisis of profitability of capitalism, in place well before the coronavirus epidemic , and the huge global shock to the capitalist system of the coronavirus lockdowns on surplus value production, will inevitably bring forth those ‘very hard times’ you refer to. The issue is whether it is going to be the fascist ‘Populist’ radical Far Right, or some new formations of the socialist Left that takes advantage of the social dislocation to come. If I was a betting man, I’m afraid I’d have to put the bet on the sectarian barbarians of the opportunistic Far Right unfortunately

      3. “…but of course the not even trying option also enables the tiny grouplet of Old Left PLPers like Jeremy, McDonnell, Abbott , Trickett, Lavery, etc, to just slide back into their very well-remunerated, generously pensioned, old roles as posturing ‘paper tiger’ radical Lefties.”

        Maybe I’m wrong but don’t they get their pensions & other benefits whether or not they leave Labour to form a new party or even if they lose their seats?
        I doubt any of those named are expecting ermine are they?
        And isn’t opposition 90% futile anyway – pretty close to the definition of a paper tiger?
        I don’t see what Jeremy would lose by leaving – in fact I think in his case leaving Labour if only to protest its lack of genuine opposition to the Tories would be seen as entirely honourable, win or lose.

      4. David McNiven, I agree with you that staying inside Labour ‘to try to keep the red flag flying’ is a fruitless, Sisyphus.
        , project – but Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott, and co aren’t even currently TRYING to re-build a vibrant, Left opposition to the return of Labour to Tory-lite neo Blairism – via a supposedly rejuvenated , Left-led, Momentum, for instance . I agree that they could ‘do a Tiggers’ and split from Labour to form a new socialist Party – and NOT resign and force a by-election in their seats – hence safeguarding their substantial salaries , expenses, and accruing pension entitlements for the life of this Parliament. Wouldn’t be a good look though would it for a new radical Left Party? Given the FPTP electoral system there is no guarantee that as candidates for a new radical Left Party (under massive attack from the entire MSM) they would capture their seats in the next General Election though. So, our old Left heroes, Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott, Lavery, et al, just choose to sit in their comfy seats, make very few waves for Starmer and co, and apart from a few irrelevant tweets (or even, from McDonnell, actual PRAISE ! ), just return to the comfy irrelevance of the traditional ‘radical’ Left PLP member . Not very impressive.

      5. Your posts – ALL of them – are just one constant stream of negativity jpenny. Apart from signpost, you are by far the most negative person I have ever encountered. With people like you around just trashing JC endlessly, I think I would just say Fuck You and your ilk, cos how on earth could we even begin to try and re-build the left with such unbelievably negative people around like YOU.

        You think you’re clever don’t you jpenny, and you’ve got it all sussed out, but you’re so fucking clever that you don’t realise that you think in black and white, but MOSTLY black. Fuck off and form your own party if you think you’re so goddam superior, and STOP infecting this site with all your negative poisonous shite!

        Have you EVER been positive about ANYTHING in you life, cos you just come across to me as a REALLY REALLY bitter person!!!

        Fuck off and grow up you nasty piece of shite!

    2. There is no ‘new’ Jeremy Corbyn Joe, and yur just spouting yur usual shite. How do YOU know what he has learnt! The reality is – and YOU know it – that if he speaks out on anything ‘anti-semitism’ related, he gets hammered by the corporate media and the BBC and the Jewish newspapers and the JLM and the CAA and the BoD et al. In other words, what you are doing is a falsehood – ie pretending to readers of skwawkbox that because he contradicted Starmer he’s somehow suddenly a new man and has changed and is not afraid to speak out anymore blah, blah, blah.

      B/S! When Jeremy was leader he spoke out on numerous things of course criticising the Tories/Government, BUT whenever he refuted anything to do with the A/S claims, he was attacked and vilified and condemned, along with bucket-loads of faux outrage.

      And it’s not as if the MSM gave this particular story any coverage anyway, because as far as I can ascertain they just completely ignored it, and skwawkbox appears to be the only news outlet that covered it.

    1. Jeremy Corbyn said: “The dangers of the privatisation of the NHS have never been greater than during the Covid crisis.

      “There have been massive contracts already handed out to Serco and many other companies to deal with [contact] tracing or other elements.”

      The Islington North MP criticised the mainstream media for having derided his efforts last year to expose a Tory government plot to put the NHS on the table in post-Brexit trade negotiations with the United States.

      At a packed press conference in November, copies of 451 pages of uncensored trade negotiation papers, which Mr Corbyn said proved that the government was ready to sell the NHS to US firms, were handed to journalists.
      Mr Corbyn said: “What was the response from our [mainstream media]?
      “Was it to thank me for releasing these documents and for putting them in the public domain and showing just what a threat to the NHS a Tory government was and a sweetheart trade deal with Donald Trump would be?
      “No, they claimed that they were a Russian plant and [in] some way or another Russia was involved.”

      1. After the threat to break international law, it remains to be seen whether Boris will get a trade deal with the US at all. Not if Nancy Pelosi has anything to do with it!

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