Analysis comment

Starmer calls on Johnson to recognise Palestine (well, not really) – a message to Batley and Spen? (video)

Starmer’s PMQs intervention surely has one eye on Batley and Spen’s one-in-five Muslim population – but what he actually said is not what he likely hopes they’ll think they heard

Remarkably, during today’s PMQs, Keir Starmer called on Boris Johnson to recognise Palestinian statehood. Or more accurately, he almost did.

Starmer didn’t tell Johnson for the UK to take the lead for other G7 nations by unilaterally recognising Palestine. He told him to ask other nations to come to an international agreement on recognising Palestine – akin to calling for international agreement banning nuclear weapons or carbon. In other words, something in the long grass that is desirable but unlikely ever to happen.

It seems that Mr Starmer is worried about the roughly one in five voters in Batley and Spen who are Muslims – particularly with the entry of George Galloway into the contest, who is said to still have some popularity among locals after his tenure as MP for nearby Bradford West, but can’t quite bring himself to tell Johnson that the UK should recognise Palestine and be done with it, setting an example for other nations to follow:

Starmer reacted to news of the Batley and Spen by-election by binning the party’s rules requiring 12 months’ membership, so that murdered MP Jo Cox’s sister could represent the party, in what many considered a cynical and cowardly move to shore up Labour’s slim chances – and his call on Palestine, sadly, looks similarly spineless.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to without hardship, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. George will put them (voters) straight about Starmer. They know he supports Zionism “without qualification”.

    1. Heard it. Pure Starmer deceit. Exactly as the promises he used to deceive enough of the members.

      1. People instinctively know when faced with insincerity. And captain hindsight just doesn’t lead on issues. Brexit is the prime example, you’d think a remain supporter would say “I accept the reality of Brexit and will do the best for the country but I think Britain’s future is served best by rejoining”. But the captain has forgotten his previous stance and is now a flag wearing nationalist but people notice.

      2. spot on lundiel. the people notice but not the members on the “Left”. More odd, our own leaders either fail to notice or sincerely expect to “catch” filth loving “flies” with the sweetest Biodynamic honey. Then, lundiel, explain this, why do our leaders then rescue every single filthy fly, lovingly feed them even more of the finest honey ? And, strengthen them to infest and attack us even more viciously than before ?

        And help me with this lundiel; how come not one single tiny drop to us, those battling against the long history of attacks from flies? Filth loving … more filth spawning flies ? …

        … flies hatch from Margaret Thatcher’s OWN wriggling maggots … Why lundiel why ? ? ? It just does not add up.

      3. There is a debate on the 14th June on recognising the Palestinian State. Let’s see what Labour has to say then.

      1. Here are Galloway’s last four outings. He lost his deposit in 3 out of the 4 occasions and he only just managed to scrape through and hold onto his deposit on the one occasion he didn’t loose it.

        2016 London mayoral election Respect 1.4%
        2017 general election Manchester Gorton Independent 5.7%
        2019 general election West Bromwich East Independent 1.4%
        2021 Scottish Parliament election South Scotland All For Unity 1.5%

        Again the self appointed ‘guardian’s of the left’ are pinning their hopes on yesterday’s men.

      2. He’s not in it to win it. He knows he’s well enough regarded in Bradford to be able to nick enough votes to damage Labour’s chances. That is his main objective, to bring Starmer down and good on him!

      3. timfrom – So just another wrecker then, who is offering nothing positive to the people of Batley. Is it any wonder that you never make any consistent progress when that is all you’ve got to offer. What’s Bradford got to do with anything?.

      4. Have a look at the map. They’re next door to each other. Galloway was a Bradford-area MP, as you surely recall. I’d say getting rid of Starmer is wrecking of the most public-spirited kind, not just for Batley, but the whole country!

  2. This is how Johnson’s government responded yesterday

    Petition: UK Government to formally recognise the State of Palestine
    Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

    Parliament will debate this petition on 14 June 2021.

    Government responded
    This response was given on 8 June 2021
    The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. We continue to encourage progress towards a negotiated two-state solution between the parties.

    You can read their full response here

    1. Thank you SteveH for the UK Government’s response 8 June 2021: “The UK will recognise A Palestinian state at a time WHEN it best serves the objective of peace. ”

      The UK Government in collaboration with the USA and European powers digested by the EU regime, wiped THE state of Palestine OFF the map. “From the mountain to the sea”, “from the river to the sea”, “from” where it was as depicted in the maps, INCLUDING in the Palace of Westminster, Palestine was “WIPED OFF the MAP”.

      That to date, “serves the objective” of the opposite of “peace”. That i believe is deliberate. The objective was and is CONTROL of a strategically valuable location by the UK, USA and European establishment (deliberate singular). The dispossessed Palestinian “Many” to date, pay the deadly price of ZERO peace.

      The Government’s response exposes the truth. That is, the lack of peace is DIRECTLY due to external powers. The UK, USA and the EU callously refuse to restore the Palestinian state to the map. The UK refuses to “recognise” THE “Palestinian state” while funding and arming occupiers against peace. They contravene international law and basic human decency.


      1. …ON the maps …
        of course 💐💐💐

      2. The bulk of the funding and MILITARY protection is actually not complex. Both are mainly now from the USA. The EU and us the UK are now more for assistance eg military bases and sinister cosmetics eg Bliar abusing a misplaced British reputation to lend a veneer of “respect” to George Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

        But as in the history books even those written by the victors, ALL is geopolitical dominance by any means to keep wealth and control in the claws of a tiny few.

        Religion and race matters not a jot except as effective fuel and sparks to ignite, inflame and manipulate desperate pawns. Thousands of Palestinians pay with their lives. More thousands with limbs. MILLIONS with psychological distress there and here. Comparatively few occupying pawns pay with life and limb. Instead they desecrate their self respect… decency, integrity conscience. They defecate on their own reputation by wilfully traveling thousands of kilometres by air to be complicit in theft, rampant abuse and the breaking of international law.

        If religion mattered, then the occupiers would not break The Commandments by doing unto others that which they would not like done unto them.

        How can anyone love an entity they cannot see yet fail to love their neighbour whom they can see ? ? ?

        Were the original inhabitants of THAT area, one legged levitating devotees of another unknown entity with syncretic dashes of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Church of England and with an obsession with venerating quiche made with kale, the externally supported and funded abuses against humanity and international law will be, essentially exactly as it is now.

        ALL is wealth, power and dominance.


  3. I heard that Kim Leadbeater the Labour candidate, is canvassing focusing on her local connections rather than on been the Labour Party candidate.
    What can I say no looking good.

  4. Sadly, it is all just talk.
    The West Bank has been so shredded that no viable state is possible there. Gaza cannot function to even an acceptable level as long as the blockade continues. And everyone forgets about Golan.
    Either they believe that there could be such a thing as a 2 state “solution”, or they are obfuscating.
    If it’s the former, then they are fools. If it’s the latter, then they are charlatans.

    1. I don’t think a two state solution is possible or desirable any more. Israel has stolen too much land and how can anyone support a Balkanised Palestine made up of islands of land surrounded by and dependant on Israel? Palestine needs to be shared by the people that live there not colonised by people of European heritage who have no links to the area.

      1. I notice Kim Leadbeater is supporting a two state solution and is careful not to attach blame to either side.

      2. That is an interesting statement. Are you suggesting the Jews of (say) European descent whose ancestors arrived in Palestine in the last 100 years should leave (be removed, driven out etc)? Would you say the same thing about children of none white immigrants to the UK ( ‘. . no links to the area. . .’) if there was disharmony? You are on dangerous ground.

      3. I think that you have misunderstood “lundiel”‘s comment. It says “Palestine should be shared by the people that live there.” In other words, all the people who currently live in Palestine should live in a just, equal society without discrimination on the basis of religion and where religious, cultural and linguistic pluralism is welcomed. This would require a major reassessment by those in charge in Israel. Fat chance! – and prattling on about a 2 state “solution” gets us nowhere.

      4. The problem with Palestine is many properties have been stolen from their owners. How would you fix this can of worms Plain? Your comparison is also moot considering that no immigrant to the UK has successfully stolen housing yet.

        Kinda irrelevant anyway as the Israelis only have one choice, which is to double down. It’s not going to end well for anyone.

        Wonder if the Samson option is genuine and they will follow through with it?

  5. They should return it all. I know it sounds idealistic, But I live in hope…..

    1. Stolen land is the problem of the Occupier,the occupied know that this cannot be allowed,same across many different people who’ve suffered the mistakes of Colonialism.Land Stolen must be returned.

  6. Perhaps Starmer should take some time out and reply to Palestinian party members. Who say they’ve wrote to him on many occasions and are yet to receive a reply.

  7. I await the charges of anti-semitism against Starmer but I’m not going to hold my breath!

  8. fao Plain Citizen are you saying it is acceptable for religious migrants to invade a land without invitation from the indigenous population & begin a programme of ethnic cleansing & slaughter?
    An interesting phrase is used to introduce the debate timetabled on Monday in the House of Commons, that a 2 state solution is the only way to ensure democracy & the Jewish character of Israel, underlining the fact that Muslim Israelis are by Israeli Law, second class citizens therefore making the State of Israel a racist endeavour by its own stated definition. A self evident truth. A one state solution for the land of Palestine would be more equitable, with equal rights for both Jew & Arab, regardless of religion, but not allowed on any Western Gov’t Agenda because it would lose its Jewish character & identity. I summarise therefore, that ‘Jewishness’ is an obstacle to peace in Palestine & the British Gov’t has no interest in securing the Holy Land..

  9. Did he have his fingers crossed. Await comments from Dame Hodge and Lizzi Watson with earnest anticipation.

  10. Indeed. The British military regularly trains and conducts operations with the Israeli military who recently killed 253 people 66 of whom were children and injured 1948
    There has never been any debate about this in parliament and the media never mention it. Just as the media never reports on the illegal bombing of Syria carried out by Israel, the latest incursion was yesterday.

      1. How many nominations has Turner got, out of interest…?

      2. timfrom – as at 4pm today These are the figures that were read out at Unite’s EC meeting.

        Steve Turner 510,
        Sharon Graham 337,
        Howard Beckett 311,
        Gerard Coyne 189.

      3. Blimey, that many? I can see why his popularity is never reported on here, then. Going by Skwawk’s coverage, I had the impression Beckett must be way out in front!

      4. McCluskey had his final Unite executive council meeting today, where LabourList understands that the following nomination figures were read out: Steve Turner 510, Sharon Graham 337, Howard Beckett 311, Gerard Coyne 189. LabourList has been told that these numbers were disclosed to EC members at around 4pm, and that there are more nominations to allocate to candidates – but not many.

      5. lundiel – Thanks for the link but I have my doubts that this particular theory is going to save Beckett’s arse.
        Somebody else mentioned on these pages that the LW should learn from the RW. Well perhaps you should ask yourself how tenable it is for the LW to have 3 candidates whilst the RW has one candidate.

      6. Unlike some here, i have never been a member of UNITE and am not familiar with details of the candidates. I have picked up reports that cast Mr Coyne in a very unfavourable light. I have also seen the interview that Emma Barnett carried out with Mr Beckett, and it was clear that he was not her favoured candidate. I know little or nothing of the other two. Some on this site clearly support Mr Beckett. Others not.
        I seem to recall that SteveH was once a member of UNITE and get the impression that he doesn’t support Mr Beckett. Can someone clarify which of the other candidates he favours? I ask the forum because my impression is that SH would be unwilling to respond to the question.

      7. What’s Turner got going for him, that he’s so popular? The only thing I’ve heard about him is that Starmer approves of him. Is that it or is there more known only to insiders?

      8. He’s come up through the ranks. However, I recall alternate words to The Internationale which went: the working class can kiss my arse, I’ve got the foreman’s job at last.
        A salutary warning that being the salt of the earth doesn’t necessarily mean authentic.

      9. lundiel – Please feel free to desperately cling onto your straw of choice.

  11. If they all stay in then under FPTP Coyne wins as he is the only RW candidate, he will poll roughly 35%
    The other 3 are fighting over the remaining 65%
    Result another LW shitfest
    Why has no one mentioned GMB going down the pan again
    Result Labour conference well and truly stitched up

  12. The Israelis will not allow a two state solution, they have said the ‘land of Israel is the whole of Palestine from the river to the sea. They may allow several ‘Bantustans’ which may have Palestinian “Self Rule” with no sovereignty and definitely no West Bank/Gazan Palestinians voting in the Knesset. Similar to Kushner’s crackpot scheme in 2020 under Trump. Israel will only concede territory when Tel Aviv [approx 52 Sq Kilometres] is targeted and levelled by the ‘axis of resistance’ Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah, with their precision rockets, remember Metropolitan Tel Aviv is where most of the Israeli population live, and were most of its Industry is. Hezbollah alone have 130,000 Precision rockets which Nasrallah has promised can reach every part of Israel, including Dimona and all the gas rigs with their C802 missiles [the missile that took the Israeli Frigate out of action in the 2006 war with Lebanon. The next general war with Israel will be its last.

  13. All of these things are temporary and built on sand
    The Jewish State, Red Tories, Brexit/Tory party, SNP, EU, Republican/Democrat
    For the first time in history this latest generation will be worse off than their parents
    Time to roll back the last 40 years of the casino economy, fix our democracy and save the planet

  14. if I still had a vote I would be voting for Steve Turner.

    Is that ‘cos keith said so; or is turner merely ‘Te best of a bad bunch’ in your opinion?

  15. Just to add to my comment above, the Israelis and the US think the Iron Dome was a great success, here is what
    Professor Theodore A Postol Physicist Professor emeritus, science, Technology and National Security policy, ballistic missile defence etc at MIT said iron dome maybe 5% effective.
    During the November 2012 conflict, a detailed review of a large number of photographs of Iron Dome interceptor contrails revealed that the rocket-defense system’s success rate was very low—as low as 5 percent or, perhaps, even less The collection of data for Iron Dome’s performance in July 2014 is still in progress. The data we have collected so far, however, indicates the performance of Iron Dome has not markedly improved.
    Now that Iran can sell as much oil as it wants to China with that huge deal, that has created a large breathing space in which to add to its already formidable missile arsenal and also to the other members of the ‘arc of resistance’.

    1. Postol debunked one of the alleged Assad-used-chemical-weapons-on-his-own-people incidents, didn’t he? The levelling of Tel Aviv sounds cool, though. Bring it on!

  16. 4 years ago today, Jeremy Corbyn came within 2227 votes of winning the general election. Labour MPs, and staffers lost the election on purpose.

  17. Labour Campaign for Free speech- Norman Finklestein Ilan Pappe

    Palestine/Israel and academic freedom

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: