Analysis

Labour’s conflicting positions suggest COVID can tell whether an 18yo is at school or uni

6th-formers must be at school ‘no ifs no buts’ – but uni opening should be delayed

The Labour Party now has two contradictory policies on 18-year-olds in education.

6th form students must go to school under Keir Starmer’s ‘no ifs no buts’ demand – but Kate Green has now called for the opening of universities to be paused because of the dangers of the soaring ‘second wave’.

Can the virus tell whether it finds an A-level student or one starting university?

Green is absolutely right to call for a pause – though the call should have been made far earlier, before students incurred the cost and isolation of finding themselves locked down away from home. Even Tory Matt Hancock admits the young are in more danger than previously acknowledged.

But Green’s call only highlights the wrongness of Starmer’s enthusiasm for kids in classrooms – now the hotbed of the second wave.

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55 comments

  1. The words on the wall behind Starmer indicate he’s in a primary school – so what exactly is the expansive gesture all about?
    Were the six-year-old audience in the middle of a full two minutes’ standing ovation after a great speech, saying “Thank fuck you’re not Corbyn – we hated his policies and we didn’t like him sharing platforms with terrorists?”

  2. Starmer runs with the “winners” having been brought up in leafy Surrey and attending a private independant school in Reigate Surrey were I was a Labour councillor.I was a refugee from the Cotton industry collapse and we got lucky with a job for my father in Surrey…an offer my parents couldnt refuse because of my parents shops going the way of the mills in Bolton.Background matters and family..Mine were working class Irish Catholic .and so traditionally had and still do a Hatred of the establishment Conservative and unionist party.My thoughts on the knights Labour party is treachery and infiltration of a working-class party by a obviously Tory plant .Why are we supprised that he would cast working-class kids aside and worry about young adults in university and call for them to be Home for Xmass..My Neices and Nephews will come home for xmass from university whatever the knightly Strummer or the university think because they are activists and young adults that have seen this immoral government and the support from nu Labor cast aside their future and the lives of 2 uncles and do not need any advice from the treachery of nu Labor right wing imbeciles or the jackboot of the Conservative and unionist party.

    1. He was actually a Grammar school boy “He passed the 11-plus examination and gained entry to Reigate Grammar School, then a voluntary aided state school, although it converted to an independent fee-paying grammar school in 1976 while he was there.” And “He was born second of the four children of Josephine (née Baker), a nurse, and Rodney Starmer, a toolmaker.” Not exactly a silver spoon start, though his life has taken a different course since. His siblings failed the 11+ andwent to Secondary Modern. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keir_Starmer

      1. liz3321, lots of grammar schools had delusions (or at least aspirations) of being as good as public schools and they tried just as hard to inculcate the same values in their students – illusions of Little England and the ‘benefits to the natives’ of the British Empire, whose recent passing was still mourned in the 1960’s and I’m sure the 1970’s.
        I went to such a school.
        It was easy to tell which of my peers were swallowing the establishment bullshit and which weren’t.
        Different generation but I’d guarantee Starmer was a swallower.

      2. ps in 1965(?) I chose for one of my prize books John Lennon’s ‘A Spaniard in the Works’ just to enjoy the dropped jaws of the gowned & mortar-boarded masters when the title was announced on stage in front of the whole school by some establishment figure whose name I forget.
        I’d stuffed it in the middle so nobody spotted it until he was in the act of handing it to me and congratulating me.
        Only a small victory but still sweet, especially the confusion on his face when he had a split second to decide whether or not to criticise my choice after just praising my achievements.

      3. Here’s some good news the latest polling shows that the Labour Party has overtaken the Tory Party

        “Labour has recorded its first poll lead since Boris Johnson became prime minister, marking an extraordinary changes in fortunes for the two main parties.
        Keir Starmer’s party now has a three-point lead over the Conservatives, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer. In a result that will stir more unrest among Tory MPs over the performance of the prime minister, the poll put Labour on 42% support, with the Conservatives on 39%.

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/sep/26/labour-takes-poll-lead-as-parties-see-major-switch-in-fortunes

      4. Great news that Labour leads the Tories by 3% – now we just wait for the correct planetary alignment and Sir Kermit will magically turn from Arnold into Ace Rimmer and smite the Johnsonites for us – is that the plan?

      5. David – Don’t be silly, it doesn’t impress anyone. Personally I was actually rather hoping that Labour’s increased popularity would help reverse the perversity that occurred for the first time ever at the 2019 election where more of the working class actually voted Tory than voted for Labour and by a substantial margin.

      6. Liz 33up a tree I know all about the family and the school he went to and the area he lived in and most of the family story is a pack of lies.He attended one of the most snooty schools in Surrey and never showed any interest in the Labour party in Reigate,or Oxted in Surrey were he lived.He came out of nowhere in 2015 and is now taking apart the Labour party…so basically get real.Must be steve judas H day off for you to be spreading the right wing propaganda.

      7. Joseph okeefe 28/09/2020 at 5:42 am
        I know all about the family and the school he went to and the area he lived in and most of the family story is a pack of lies.

        So come on Joseph, expose the lies, lets see some actual facts to back up the repetitive innuendo you seem to rely on.

      8. Yes indeedy, David McNiven, probably most UK Grammar Schools tried to model themselves on the ‘we are better than the plebs’, ethos of public schools. Certainly mine did, in the 1960′,s when I went to a provincial Grammar school after passing the divisive 11 Plus (The ONLY ,lower middle class, boy in my entire year at my very working class primary school to do so – dividing me off from my then peer group local mates forever) .

        Too many academically able working class boys like the young Starmer will have absorbed this carefully inculcated feeling of ‘superiority’ and separation from their secondary modern school, 11 plus failing former mates – and wanted nothing more in life than to ‘get on up the social hierarchy ‘ as an individual from then on.

        My pathetic ersatz public school-mimicking Grammar school had us divided into public school-like ‘Houses’ – to compete in sport particularly. My school’s Houses , in totally landlocked Woking, were named , Hawkins, Raleigh, Nelson , and Drake. The more historically aware will recall that all but Nelson of this crowd were both pirate privateers and lifelong SLAVE TRADERS ! I still can’t understand why the school got so upset when I tried to live up to my House icon, Hawkins’, life – by dragooning the entire first year boys down to Woking Market for sale ! (a joke by the way ). Yep Grammar schools were a pernicious , divisive, institution – deliberately creaming off bright working class boys and turning then against their class in too many case – and heavily reinforcing the early life more generously equipped homelife-based built-in advantages of middle class children prior to the 11 plus to a huge degree . Keir Starmer , the cravenly conformist working class origin social climber, is a very typical, toxic, product of the UK Grammar school elitist system of social engineering..

    2. Please don’t soil the memory of The Clash’s late frontman by bringing Strummer into it! Thank you.

      1. fao Timfrom……………..apologies B4 I start, but I was @ Newport College of Art, early ’70s when a young John Mellor appeared. He was never a student but hung around the Student’s Union .He spent a lot of time sleeping on my floor; playing my guitar (despite him being left-handed) & listening to my record collection. His favourite band was the Beach Boys. He had no idea who Woody Guthrie was, let alone Bob Dylan. He had no interest in politics whatsoever, but he did enjoy being introduced to the Ska; Bluebeat & Reggae @ the Silver Sands Club on Commercial Road where I lived. On many occasions we were the only white guys in the place & for a vegetarian, he most certainly enjoyed the goat curry.

      2. With a background like his, I think he could be forgiven for not being very hip at that age. I can relate to that and to being a black sheep to boot. We all have to start our journey somewhere and, boy, did he have a journey ahead of him! You should feel chuffed; your record collection (and maybe your political worldview, too) was probably a formative influence on his cultural education. But what a fantastic anecdote to have in your armoury! Thanks for sharing.

        As for the goat curry, hey, everyone’s a hypocrite sometime or other!

      3. fao timfrom……….John was a ‘nice’ kid from rich parents & a problem brother. He kept saying that he was going to be a star, but I believed it was all talk & that he couldn’t even play a note on guitar.. He was the person least likely to become a rock star, but what did I know? His svengali mate was Mick Foot who had brains & got a job in London on a music paper (I think NME).
        John spent about 6 months listening to my records B4 he just disappeared for a time B4 re-appearing with new friends, sharing a flat with Richard & Clem in another part of Newport. Clem is dead, but Richard Frame is a historian, still living in Newport.

  3. The restrictions don’t make any sense at all. It’s either a lockdown EVERYWHERE because the virus is going to kill us all, or we shield the vulnerable and get on with it. Given that the PCR tests will find any thing you can think of including any corona virus and then count as a positive to C19 infection highlights the number of false positives that are being talked about by other experts.
    https://www.facebook.com/DropKnowledgeBombs/videos/330494188042859/

    1. There IS a strategy. But it’s very clever. Too clever for any of us to understand. Perhaps too clever for ANYONE to understand. It’s based on delay, procrastination, and half measures leading to a massive surge in infection rates then deaths, at which point there will be NO OTHER CHOICE but to take decisive hardline action (which is, after all, unpopular). Well there it is. I told you I didn’t understand it . . . nobody does!

      Off to the pub now to mix with lots of strangers. Wouldn’t normally go this early but what with them closing at 10 and all, and the new replacement Johnson catchphrase (no longer ‘Get Brexit Done):

      ‘Go early. Drink Fast.’

      https://lovesexwomenmenpoliticspoetrylifedeath.wordpress.com/2020/09/23/go-early-drink-fast/

  4. If you haven’t read it, Jonathan Cook’s laest piece is essential reading:

    My dictionary defines “espionage” as “the practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information”. A spy is defined as someone who “secretly obtains information on an enemy or competitor”.

    Very obviously the work of Wikileaks, a transparency organisation, is not secret. By publishing the Afghan and Iraq war diaries, Wikileaks exposed crimes the United States wished to keep secret.

    Assange did not help a rival state to gain an advantage, he helped all of us become better informed about the crimes our own states commit in our names.

    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/the-guardians-abject-failure-to-speak-out/

  5. Toffee – You forgot to mention that both of Keir Starmer’s parents were skilled working class (apprentice trained engineer and nurse) and were staunch Labour supporters.
    Your disingenuous diatribe about Keir attending RGS is obviously intended to deceive. Why else would you even mention this without giving the context that Keir having passed his 11+ started at RGS when it was a grant maintained grammar school, just like 1,000’s of other working class kids did at grammar schools across the country back then. The school converted to a fee paying school and because this came about due to government legislation all existing pupils (including Keir) had their school fees paid by the state. Keir’s parents never paid public school fees for their child’s education, unlike his predecessors parents who paid for Jeremy to attend prep school,
    ps: You can see Keir standing outside his rather modest childhood home in Labour’s latest party political broadcast. The stark contrast between Jeremy’s intellectual parents, childhood home and education with Keir’s very typical working class upbringing must make for an interesting comparison for those who like yourself obsess about such things.

    You have quite interesting and rather flexible views on who is and who isn’t working class, particular with regards to yourself.

    1. Excellent comment SteveH.
      The comparison between Corbyn and Starmer is well made and tells you a lot about the Skwawkbox and his followers.
      One is, a working class boy makes good. The other, a public school boy (2 A levels grade E), spends his life floating around the extremes of loony north London politics, his career ending as a humiliating joke.
      But the really interesting thing about this is that within certain cliques, The Posh Boy is idolised where as the son of a nurse and engineer, (KCB QC MP Leader of the Labour Party) is reviled.
      Please help. This contradiction confuses me. Is it plain and simple jealousy? Why is it that those, that see themselves as ‘Socialist, ‘ seem to despise success. Why is it that ‘Socialists’ are always so angry?
      Any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated.

      1. Judging people on accident of birth is Torythink – it’s part of what makes you the scum you are.
        The other part is taking possession of land and people by force, calling it your own and embedding your ‘ownership’ and the privilege that brings in what you call ‘law’ and ‘inheritance’ – the dead deciding the future.
        I’m bored with politics – I’m very tempted to just burn you in your palaces and mansions and erase tyrants, thieves and fools from history.
        A fresh start.

  6. BBC News a few minutes ago had Aamer Anwar, ex rector of the University of Glasgow and a human rights lawyer (clearly of a different species to Kermit) RAGING against universities for effectively DETAINING students in jam-packed halls of residence, some apparently using security guards to prevent them leaving and going home.
    I’m a believer in quarantine but I think he has a point – those students are being exploited.

  7. In Germany football clubs can have 20% attendance if the positive test rate stays below 35 / 100,000
    The WHO states you are in control of the virus if its 5,000 or less
    Guess what our policy is

    Students conned into signing contracts for education and accommodation, then locked up and no guarantee of any face to face tuition
    Hands up those who still think this is a public health issue or a ‘snouts in troughs’ issue

    For the record I care not a jot what your background is, your morals, beliefs and character are better indicators of what kind of a fucker you really are
    Same goes for class, your born with it, money and status buy you nothing
    Starting point with politicians and journalists should be your a spineless and gutless scumbag until proven otherwise, but don’t expect us to hold our breath

  8. Just came across the following article in my inbox:

    Yet another Kurdish woman is jailed for insulting the megalomaniac Turkish president

    Can you imagine being sentenced to prison for insulting Boris Johnson? Seems ludicrous, doesn’t it?

    But thousands of people in Turkey have been imprisoned for insulting its dictatorial president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Anyone even slightly critical of the man, and his ruling party, risks spending time in jail.

    https://www.thecanary.co/opinion/2020/09/25/yet-another-kurdish-woman-is-jailed-for-insulting-the-megalomaniac-turkish-president/

    1. Allan – The thought police have already started
      https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/sep/27/uk-schools-told-not-to-use-anti-capitalist-material-in-teaching
      Schools in England told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching

      The government has ordered schools in England not to use resources from organisations which have expressed a desire to end capitalism.

      Department for Education (DfE) guidance issued on Thursday for school leaders and teachers involved in setting the relationship, sex and health curriculum categorised anti-capitalism as an “extreme political stance” and equated it with opposition to freedom of speech, antisemitism and endorsement of illegal activity.

      Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the measures effectively outlawed reference in schools to key events in British history, and that it symbolised growing “authoritarianism” within the governing Conservative party.

      1. David – Those were the inane and desperate ramblings of a committed Blairite. I am pointing out the actual instructions that the DoE has issued to schools. You really should read the whole article to appreciate the potential impact of this. It is essential to resolutely defend academic freedoms.

      2. The harder the Tories push, the sooner resentment will turn to anger.
        I’ve been angry for decades and restless waiting for you lot to catch up – so let the shitheads do their worst.

  9. Professor Russell Viner UCL and Great Ormond Street in Guardian 27th September
    Schools must be kept open and stop testing children

    1. Doug – This was originally reported way back in May so given that the prevailing advise has changed in the meantime is it perhaps also possible that the advice has changed because new evidence has superseded the evidence you are quoting.
      https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/may/22/children-covid-19-adults-data-coronavirus
      The original report in May also included the following
      “In times of uncertainty, what we need to do is mitigate risks,” Viner said. “I would concur very strongly that an effective test and trace mechanism in place is very important to mitigate the uncertainty about transmission from children.”
      Something we self evidently don’t have.

  10. For the benefit of SteveH and all StarmerBots, all of whom have been dancing in the streets and building bonfires in order to celebrate Starmer being 3 points clear in one Outlier Poll, here’s Politico’s Poll of Poll, which, demonstrates Starmer has not pulled ahead, rather he’s closed the gap with the PM, this without having any policies whatsoever, or able to name a single policy position on National TV, so, here’s the reality: https://www.politico.eu/europe-poll-of-polls/united-kingdom/

    Hardly 20 points ahead is it SteveH?

    1. christopher – Nobody is dancing in the streets etc but why is it so wrong to draw attention (without the claimed hysterics) to Labour finally having both the party and our leader leading in the polls, its been a while
      If you care to check the polls you will see that their has been a steady but consistent improvement in the polls since Keir was elected leader, even the poll you quote to back up your doom-mongering from what you say clearly shows that Labour and Keir’s popularity are showing an upward trend,
      I never claimed it was a 20 point lead, that claim was your transparent attempt to belittle the improving popularity of the Labour Party and its leader, anyone would think that you don’t want Labour to be in power.

      1. Tories are ahead in the polls – so what – does that make them the best people to govern?
        We KNOW democracy is broken, and we know who broke it.
        You just make yourself look ridiculous (and that’s putting the most charitable gloss on it) when you try to defend the indefensible.

      2. David – You like everyone else is entitled to their opinion. I’m still trying to work out what yours is with regard to Labour winning power at the next GE.

      3. David – “Tories are ahead in the polls”
        ps: You may have missed it but the whole point of original post was that both the Labour Party and the LOTO were leading in the polls for the first time in a long, long time.

      4. That should have read “When Tories are ahead in the polls…”

      5. Steve H trying a fishing expedition to trap posters into saying something he can report back to HQ…knightly on and receive the silver.ignore the judas.

      6. SteveH28/09/2020 AT 2:02 AM
        David – “Tories are ahead in the polls”
        ps: You may have missed it but the whole point of original post was that both the Labour Party and the LOTO were leading in the polls for the first time in a long, long time.

        Nope, he was right fist time…

        Openly supports tory policy AND brags about it.

        Openly courts right-wing press; even briefing them and giving them prior notice of ‘resignations’ within his own party.

        Openly courts big business and wealthy suitors, whoring out MPs for dinners etc in order to drum up ‘donations’ from them (In return for favours, no doubt) because he has to recoup the losses made by rank & file working class members leaving, as well as paying out his mates for assisting his shithousery in ousting Corbyn.

        Looks like a tory, speaks like a tory, and acts like a tory = tory. And you bang the drum the loudest for him, ergo YOU are a tory, too.

    2. Well SteveH,

      The Party’s not my Party as I’m Banned from it for slagging off the Kinnock Clan.

      Further, and as a Socialist its incumbent on me to vote for a political party that at least is Left-of-Centre, which, Starmer’s ‘under new leadership” Tory Tribute Act ain’t.

      Of course, the Blairite geniuses are of the opinion still, this after more than 20 years past historical reference, that the Left ain’t got anywhere else to place its vote, which is strange, because in Wales we have quite a number of Parties and one Party that won’t get a vote from me is a Rightist Labour Party.

      In a nutshell, if I desire to vote Tory, I’ll vote Tory, but under no circumstance with I vote Red Tory based on the fact, I’ve never voted Tory. Oh, and Torfaen is a marginal, so not the brightest of ideas naffing off your core vote.

      1. christopher – Well thanks for making your position so clear but the fact remains that whilst the UK uses FPTP for GEs the only route for the Left is through Labour. Perhaps you should ask yourself how many of your Welsh parties would still exist if you didn’t have PR for the Welsh Assembly

      2. “the only route for the Left is through Labour” – that thinking would deny that UKIP/Brexit party could possibly have the effect it patently did have.
        Just because what’s gone before is often a good indication doesn’t mean there’s a physical or natural law at work so don’t get cocky with your “the only route” bollocks.
        The people decide the route..

        It was utterly impossible to predict communism occurring in 1917 and equally impossible to predict its collapse in the 1980’s.
        In 1939 nobody would have believed the thousand year reich would be crushed in only six years or that Germany and Japan would recover as quickly as they did.
        China’s rise to economic superpower in a few decades was a thousand times less likely than a brand new socialist party – alone among a sea of conservative parties – winning a UK election in hard times like these.

      3. In fact now that I think about it, “the only route for the Left is through Labour” is identical to “UK elections can only be won from the centre.”

        That would have been comprehensively disproved in 1997 without you corrupt Quisling rat cunts working for the Tories, and you fucking know it so don’t pretend otherwise or presume to teach politics to anyone here.

      4. David – It would have proved nothing in 2017 apart from the electorate supported a centre left manifesto. Much the same as many other European countries who have centre left governments.

      5. Meant 2017 not 1997 obviously – no idea who wrote that while my back was turned.

  11. “Well, allow me to retort…”
    If Labour were to win the next election those who pretend to be ‘centrists’ would be secure – the lie that Labour can only win from the centre would be called ‘proven’.
    The lying, cheating and corruption that kept Corbyn out of Number Ten in 2017 would be quietly swept under the carpet and neoliberalism would be entrenched FOR EVER – because AI/robotics will soon shift the balance of power MASSIVELY in their favour.
    That is unacceptable to me. Starmer, Blair and all ‘centrist’ Labour MPs are unacceptable to me for knowingly enabling that absolute dictatorship of the 1%.
    Anyone knowingly refusing to address that inevitable outcome is unacceptable to me – those too stupid to understand it get a free pass, obviously.
    Which are you? Stupid or complicit?
    To answer your question I won’t be voting Labour unless Starmer confesses, apologises, steps down, nominates Corbyn and he’s re-elected leader.
    Short of that I’ll be choosing the least offensive option and that’s voting Green, as I’ve stated before on at least one occasion.

  12. University students assemble en masse @ their Halls of Residence & they commune; party & socialise resulting in a spike in Covid 19 cases. Did nobody in the great & good cohort who masquerade as our leaders predict this might happen? Must have been quite a shock. Whatcha gonna do now, bring them home or lock them up?

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