Analysis comment

Starmer’s strategy director advised Labour to ignore ‘undeserving’ poor

Deborah Mattinson rehashed Victorian dismissal

Keir Starmer’s new strategy director advised then-interim Labour leader Harriet Harman to ignore the ‘undeserving poor’ in 2015 – rehashing a Victorian smear used to justify neglect of large numbers of those in poverty, one that has been a Tory standard for years.

Left-wing writer Solomon Hughes spotted the old strategy document provided to Harman by Mattinson’s think-tank ‘Britain Thinks’:

The rest of the list looks like the drab, watery approach Keir Starmer has already adopted – with the exception of any significant opposition, respectful or otherwise, so it’s hard to see what additional Starmer might get from his new director. But the responses to the revelation of Mattinson’s advice show it is no more popular than her widely-disliked new boss. Here are a few examples:

There are millions of poor people in this country, including more than four million children. Which of those people, exactly, do Starmer and Mattinson think are ‘undeserving’?

A majority of voters now think Keir Starmer should resign, according to the latest polling. How can anyone disagree with such throwbacks to the worst of old Blairism running through it like (tasteless) veins in (old dry) cheese?

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  1. SKWAWKBOX.ORG – “How can anyone disagree with such throwbacks to the worst of old Blairism”❔❔❔

    THAT is the question.

    1. – “like (tasteless) veins in (old dry) cheese?”

      or like as i imagine bliar’s lot, stinking sewage in old sewers.

      harman, straw, blunkett, cooper hodge evans campbell, blair the FIRST and perhaps the ONLY UK prime minister to be interviewed under caution while in office and the rest of their lot ⚠️🔺⚠️🔺⚠️🔺are NOT types with whom i would even consider uniting🔴🔴🔴

      1. Lynton Blair – FIRST uk prime minister to be INTERVIEWED by the POLICE under caution WHILE IN OFFICE 🔴🔴🔴

      2. Sadly, there’s quite a few 2017 and 2019 new MPs to add to our list of shameless neoliberals in Labour.

        Let’s hope not a single one of them becomes a ‘name’ in the Labour party – or lasts even a tenth as long as the Hodges, the Starmers, the Mendelsons, the Bryants and Byrnes and the Coopers.

    2. how can anyone AGREE with such throwbacks to the worst of old Blair when Blair’s bad is already utterly despicable enough❓❓❓

  2. 🙃 I know what I’m talking about. I’ve watched JudgeJudy. Nobody can be poor without first being undeserving, a bit thick and completely without virtue. DOH! 🙃

    STARMER FOR PRIME MINISTER (for and on behalf of the Trilateral Billionaires)

  3. Harman served as interim leader in both 2010 and 2015.
    On both occasions she distinguished herself by telling Labour Maps to vote for Coalition, then 5 years later, Tory policies that went completely against decent Labour instincts (when the party still had them), to punish the poorest in society.
    Her reasons were that “the electorate had voted for them”.
    No principles and no brains.
    A potent losing combination that was just waiting to be rediscovered.

    1. I forgot to add….
      In 2010, as interim leader, she did absolutely nothing to confront the Tory/LibDem lies that the financial crisis had been caused by Gordon Brown “overspending”. That Milliband and Balls decided to deliberately ignore such charges during their years of office was equally shameful, and such false belief s still have a hold in some places. still

  4. Always known what stammerism is about so it comes as ZERO surprise. No different to conservatism.

    As if the careerists in their exceedingly-well-renumerated taxpayer-paid positions give a flying wank about those without the proverbial pot to piss in.

    Be in no doubt that starmerists would, like the rags, love to see a return to feudalism.

    1. Being poor is not usually a lifestyle choice. However I read in the Manchester Evening News (on a fact finding mission to discover how grim it is up north) a report of a family complaining bitterly that the council was a bit slow in housing a couple and their 8 children in a house in an area that they approved of (current council property not big enough). Both parents not working and happy to keep pumping out bairns apparently and let ordinary working class taxpayers foot the bill. Are they (not the children) deserving poor? It seems to go against the traditional working class ethos gloried by the Party and every other socialist party across the world of hard work and contributing to society not ‘undeservedly’ sponging off it. Thoughts?

      1. Why would anybody want to share their thoughts with you since you haven’t the intelligence, intellectual or emotional to make anything of them. You really are a disgusting specimen.

      2. Of course there are ‘undeserving’ people if you look for them. Though I’d argue that their status isn’t desirable even to themselves. The question here is, would we stigmatise a whole class of people because of the sins of a minority? The answer is no. Therefore we don’t cut benefits because some abuse the system and we don’t make benefits harder to come by for those unfortunate enough to need them. We aren’t the daily mail, middle class bigots bemoaning people who waste our hard earned taxes. In cases where people cheat and steal from their peers, it doesn’t go unnoticed in the community and someone always informs the authorities. The answer is, we don’t have enough people whose job it is to discourage theft from the people.

      3. PC
        Who are you to judge anyone
        In a Land fit for hero’s we will provide a safety net below which no one falls
        Under cheap and nasties the cost in pound notes and human misery is a lot more and for why
        Snouts in troughs, judge the people who profit from it
        Then look at the Royal Family and tell me about spongers and the undeserving
        What say you

      4. “Both parents not working and happy to keep pumping out bairns apparently and let ordinary working class taxpayers foot the bill.”
        You didn’t say why the parents are not working. In cases like this, the parents are usually suffering from a chronic illness or disability. It may be one or both of them. If it’s one, the other is the carer.
        If we as a society cared about this we would have a better education system, more social workers, more community nursing and local council provision to help people in this position get out of their predicaments. As it is, we prefer the cheaper option, moan about them, call them skivers, keep them trapped in poverty and put their children in the same predicament as their parents.

      5. This looks like “One Swallow makes a summer” logic using a few outliers to demonise everybody else in the same position.
        Anecdotally – I’ve seen a couple of large younger families on benefits.
        One struggling because their main wage earner became unemployed – not through choice.
        The other because they were retarded( IQ < 80 ?) and frankly unemployable .
        They both needed help not condemnation.

      6. We aren’t the daily mail, middle class bigots bemoaning people who waste our hard earned taxes.

        Politicians – especially toerag ones – do plenty of that.

        Workfare/Work programme cost billions but was proven to be LESS effective than if people were left to their own devices to look for work

        UC – an ongoing money pit. Hundred of millions written off at the stroke of a pen on IT that was as useful as tits on a crocodile.

        Both toerag measures designed to punish the unfortunate – both backed to the hilt by bliarite/stammerite labour.

        But it made the middle & upper classes think they were superior; that the poor were only there to be kicked.

        Not a dicky-bird about dummkopf-shmitt’s psychotic hatred of welfare recipients, despite him being paid by the taxpayer throughout his ‘working’ life

        And that was before they raped the finances to enrich themselves with covid contracts – that barely registers a dicky-bird…

        And the irony is, most of these fuckers aggressively evade paying their taxes.

    2. Plain Citizen – “couple and their 8 children in a house in an area that they approved of”

      Hmmm… you state “8 children” with surprising confidence. Safer to say, Boris Johnson sired his way to AT LEAST EIGHT children with various women … i’m unsure if the pole dancer had any.

      Yet Johnson is unsatisfied with EIGHT children. Fussing about the environmental strain and demands on the state of all those NUMEROUS children, “is for the little people”.

      Plain Citizen – “happy to keep pumping out bairns apparently and let ordinary working class taxpayers foot the bill.”
Lecture Betty rather than the poor‼️‼️‼️ Mrs Elizabeth Mountbatten scrounging off the taxpayer BIG TIME in palatial council houses Buckingham, Windsor, Holyrood House, burdened the state with “bairns” like there’s was no tomorrow! She expected taxpayers to fund all of them STILL. They all bleed the country dry!!! Even the loyal friend of Jeffrey Epstein and his child procurer for abuse, G Maxwell – Air-miles Andrew is still raping the public purse without a “sweat”.
Mrs Mountbatten’s several scroungers, continue to burden the taxpayer with yet MORE scroungers. They, her grandchildren, are like rampant rats. Every month, we seem to hear of them dropping YET another future multi- holidaying globetrotting jet setting fleecing vulture on the taxpayer‼️‼️‼️

      STOP criticising the poor!!!

      Look at the real scroungers, parasites and bandits. Start with them, THEN work your way downwards.


  5. Yes, those undeserving poor – with their big fuckoff TV sets (You can cop for one for as little as £30 if you know where to look) their sky dishes (they might have a dish on their rental property but it doesn’t mean they actually have subscription TV) and their smartphones (see big TV except make the price a tenner) …

    Feckless and irresponsible they are. Bring back Victorian values….

    1. You have a link already mr Hall,its called Starmaroids and it makes difficulty in normal functions such as kindness,honesty and integrity and a belief in Society.I know for a fact that you must regret everyday putting your trust in him.Even a novice in the Labour party realises that the party are in trouble and the membership are bailing out in the thousands every month.Chinnn up mr Hall centrist Dad Steve H maybe a checks on its way from Trevor ?

      1. Joseph – A nice attempt at distraction, why this apparent reluctance to provide a link to the original source material. It makes one wonder if somebody istrying to hide something. What other explanation could there be?

  6. Could we have a link to the full document, it may be even more enlightening to be able to place the above quote in context.



      1. George – Where, perhaps you could be kind enough to post the link for me.

    2. Give over, Steve- you KNOW there is nothing in any longer document that could possibly make terms like “(undeserving) poor” acceptable within Labour. There is nothing that could contextualize that as “socialist”.

      1. kenburch – But the point is that until we have access to the original document then neither of us knows.
        Is there something to hide.

      2. Steve H :

        Have you managed to copy and paste Starmer’s effusive support of Dawn Butler.

        I asked for it a couple of days ago, but as yet- nothing. You assured me it was there – in that email.

      3. George – If you refer back to the article you will find I have given you the info that you requested. You will also see my reference to Dawn Butler quoting and linking on Twitter to Keir Starmer’s support for her.

      4. Perhaps Starmer DOES have more to hide…but why can’t you accept that what HASN’T been hidden is already unacceptable and indefensible? Why not just admit that, even from what we’ve seen, nothing could make shaming and ditching the poor an acceptable position? And why ally at all with “the middle class” when the vast majority of people who identify with it are reactionaries who would never even have voted Labour when Blair led it? Why not ally with the people the Tories leave out in the cold, rather than those they privilege? There simply can’t be a progressive “middle class” based politics at all.

      5. kenburch – There is usually a nefarious reason why people choose not to link to the source material that they are quoting. Unless there is something they are trying to hide their is absolutely no reason for them not to link to it.

  7. How much longer will the right wing put up with this entitled looser the knight?…Not many of them in the PLP will have a job much sooner than they thimk.Then hopefully this useless deranged right wing will get a first hand insight into being the insulting Term “Undeserving poor” .You feckless barstewards!

    1. The PLP is so riven with left vs right factionalism (overwhelming anti-Left), Keir Starmer is getting a free pass from the RW PLP to be as crap and uninspiring as he wants to be. A ‘total dud’ as Dominic Cummings rightly described him.

      The shit will hit the fan if next year if they’re still tanking. Factionalism will then take a back seat to political survival, for if it becomes a choice between keeping Starmer and losing their seats; or dumping him and surviving, he’ll be kicked out like a dog in the night.

      1. I’m hoping it’ll hit the fan at this year’s conference. By the bucketload!

  8. Never mind the undeserving poor – what about the undeserving rich?
    Also funny how nobody ever thinks that THEY are undeserving – it’s always someone else.

  9. Revealing isn’t it.

    The PLP has been hijacked by these middle-class careerists; people who after uni, went straight into policy research institutes or were SpAds, before finally being gifted and parachuted into, safe seats. These people wouldn’t last a week working in a warehouse or on a building site, yet they’re quick to judge others and join the right in calling the unemployed feckless or lazy. They are basically just Tories; reckon many of them only ended up in the Labour party because they found the behaviour of their wealthier Tory peers at university insufferable. Labour needs more Howard Becketts and less Yvette Coopers and Keir Starmers.

    1. Precisely! The parasitic middle-class, middle-management, middle-of-the-fuckin-road scum deserve the Tory party and NOTHING else! I would hope even the Tories wouldn’t have them.

      1. Labour MPs used to be far more representative of the communities they serve.

        But its always been prone to the influx of a kind of liberal bourgeoisie. The SDP types screwed the left in the 1980s by splitting the vote. Their only obsession is with compromise, triangulation, making the difference between Labour and the Tories cigarette paper thin.

    2. Andy – Perhaps it would be even more revealing if we could see the above quote in the context of the original document. Do you have a link to the original source material for these quotes..

  10. What next? Will they go full-on ‘lord fraud’ and refer to the unemployed and disabled as ‘stock??

    That’s all we are to these entitled, ennobled & privileged vermin.

  11. Which minority marginalised groups are going to be discriminated against next?
    Put this alongside ‘Labour will be tougher than Tories on benefits, promises new welfare chief’ now shadow chancellor of the Exchequer.
    We have a clear policy statement of intent.

  12. lundiel your answers were good and true, as a society we have to accept that we cannot be perfect in designing social welfare solutions. In your plea for more social care, nursing, social worker funding etc, the only problem is that electorates have shied away from voting for solutions to social issues that involve hefty tax hikes to fund them.

  13. To John Thatcher: I’m thinking in my minds eye you are probably a teenage keyboard warrior, unencumbered by experience or knowledge. You like to spout abuse at proponents of points of view that you cannot comfortably debate with logic and reason and like all frustrated kids settle for abuse and dogma. Lets hear more from you for entertainment purposes and get you back off to the SWP or the latest iteration of the closed mind poklitics. You ought to try and study history. Even you may learn something.

    1. Plain Citizen PC – “couple and their 8 children in a house in an area that they approved of”; Great to see you describing Alexander full of piffle Boris Johnson so exactly‼️‼️‼️

      – [ ] PC – “happy to keep pumping out bairns apparently and let ordinary working class taxpayers foot the bill.”
      – [ ] You’re on a roll PC! You got Betty in one!!! Mrs Elizabeth Mountbatten of the many palatial council houses Buckingham, Windsor, Holyrood House, spewed out “bairns” like there’s was tomorrow! Shew expected taxpayers to fund them.
      – [ ] Mrs Mountbatten’s children plugged their leaks a bit… it seemed… but her grandchildren resumed dropping more parasites like greedy fecund flies!! Think one of them is even thinking of pumping out yet ANOTHER sponger on the public purse!!!
      Have a word with them Plain Citizen, since you care about spongers. Start at the TOP

    2. PC
      Which part of it costs more to punish the poor for cheap votes do you not get
      Under Red and Blue Tories race to the bottom, prison population doubled from 40,000 to 80,000, average cost per prisoner per annum £50,000
      If this was about taxation a lot more families would have 8 kids, we don’t make enough people in this country to support the auld farts in the style they have become to accustomed to

  14. You clearly are on dangerous ground Citizen and make broad judgments on real people who have real problems and that is not a good look for anyone who claims to be a ordinary person.from a former large Milltown in Lancashire.You must see poverty everyday in a town like Bolton and I am surprised that you can be so judgmental of your fellow Boltonians..The town has been left behind by Labour for many years and ignored by the conservatives who see coronation street in every backstreet and the undeserved in every window….Think again and dont be so uncaring when the real enemy are proping up the subsidised bar in no1 parliament street Westminster….You can do better ..!

  15. people like us party, studied and worked hard, thanks to albeit well off but striving parents. if some hopeless people choose to waste their money buying lottery tickets, drinking to get drunk, bad diets, feed their children on sugar, avoiding self improvement by watching the telly, a health burden on the nhs then we should ensure that they have as little cash in pocket as possible. our people make the best of our choices and investments, unlike the wasters, It is we who create wealth and pay taxes and still find a way to buy a flat for the kids to help them through uni building for the next generation and having a second home for the hols. It is all a struggle and it’s so helpful that our properties actually increase in value. vote labour!

    1. NVLA – It may well be ‘cracking journalism’ but I’ll reserve judgement until (I can see the above quotes in the context of the original source material. Why is there no link to the original document.

      1. Andy – An interesting article that is of limited value unless you read it all, I vaguely remember reading it at the time but that was nigh on 8 years ago. A lot has changed since then.

      2. SteveH- The problem is it speaks to a certain mindset among these people. They share the Tories’ view that the poor just lack the right work ethic or motivation i.e., it’s reveals their antipathy for the people they serve. Like when Starmer happily nodded along when a voter made similar points in that recent Laura Kuenssberg special. Corbyn would have challenged his views.

        As for things changing since then(2013). Starmer’s team if anything are to the right of Ed Miliband’s.

  16. Well putting aside that it is the Labour of diverse working people that creates the wealth and makes societies work whilst the rich & powerful legally nick the surplus, there are actually two welfare states.
    The working class one which is deliberately meagre (accept cheap wages and poor conditions or this is what you will get) and is often associated with shame and stigma (oh and 40% of people on UC work) then there is the upper class welfare state where the rich and better off are subsidised to the hilt with tax reliefs and concessions and for example big business gets £97b a year which is the equivalent of £3,500 per household, and the upper class welfare state is associated with luxury.
    And some of the poor working class kids will end up as doctors, nurses, teachers, professors etc.
    In my working class family after my dad buggered off my poor mum struggled to bring 5 of us up and I got a degree & MA and worked for a university for over 30 years, but I have not forgotten my roots.
    These are the Right Wing Labour political imbeciles we are up against and who some suggest make a fat living out of the diverse working class?
    Need a genuine left wing democratic socialist party.

    1. SteveH I don’t know if we have any policy, Ashworth said it was a secret

  17. Humanity has lost all it’s dignity and respect for one another as Equal Human beings, is it any wonder That for 5 years all we heard was the 0.00017% 1/550K CPS Prosecuted Bogus White Zionist Antisemitism, that even resulted in a Conservative Tory Zionist Heavy EHRC Report claiming a Crisis based on 0.00017% Guilty Verdict!
    All that Hysteria for 5 years over 0.00017% of 550K and The Black Woman MP who receives more Racist Abuse, Death Threats, Rape Threats, etc than all the Female MPs combined, gets swept under the UNDESERVING Carpet along with All other Black, Muslim, other minorities including Black and NON-Zionist Jews!
    Who are the Deserving ones then!? Well from whet I can see they are Wealthy White Zionist Jews and NON-Jews alike!
    Thatcher’s Neoliberal Neolabour Party TORIES are not just the Racist, Anti-Socialist, Anti-Leftist, etc, etc, etc TORY Party! Now they confirmed themselves as The WHITE SUPREMACIST RACIST FASCIST ZIONIST TORY PARTY!
    Harman has a very sketchy history and interesting how many Female Neolabour TORY MPs has some kind of Paedophilia history, Starmer and Jimmy Saville! The Neolabour WHITE SUPREMACIST RACIST FASCIST ZIONIST TORY Party is a Cesspit of extraordinarily Dangerous People!
    This is Superior White Privileged! The FILTH can KEEP IT!!

  18. Starmer urges Labour to embrace Blair’s legacy as he vows to win the next election – FT

    His latest wheeze.


    • Dismisses talk of ‘progressive alliance’ to oust Johnson.
    • Won’t work with SNP either before, or after an election “No deal going in, no deal coming out of the next election,” he said.
    • Claims he wants unity, “The best part of a decade has been defined by division. What I want to do and what the Labour party seeks to do is find the points of unity.”

    He makes time for the FT, he’d run a mile to avoid an interview with anyone remotely of the left.

  19. How much do you think is enough to live on for food, housekeeping, heating, council tax, water rates, TV licence, phone and travel
    Should we cap rents to the Local Housing Allownce or market rates
    When you sanction someone should they drop below subsistence amount
    Fines, how should they be paid if your on benefits
    How much did but face Osborne take out of Universal Credit
    How much has socialism for the 0.01% cost, nationalise losses, privatise profits, banks to big to fail, trickle down economics, QE, negative interest rates cost the taxpayer

    If you did not vote UK Labour Party GE19, you destroyed every opportunity of ending the ALREADY 42 YEARS of TORY HELL!
    You Voted AWAY CHOICE!
    You now have the NON-CHOICE Between:
    Thatcher’s Neoliberal Conservative Party TORIES!
    Thatcher’s Neoliberal Neolabour Party TORIES!
    At least your UNDESERVING Ass gets Everything it DESERVES, I guess!
    Unless someone knows Magicians and Alchemists, we will suffer either TORY for the next 42 years, plus and plus!
    The only weapon we have now is our VOTE and we can use it to VOTE The PROBLEM OUT and Start Again, under any Brand Name! VOTE THE NEOLABOUR PARTY TORIES OUT, OR Stay on the Eternal THIS TORY or THAT TORY Merry-Go-Round From HELL!
    Any living Body, human or otherwise, if it gets infested by a Parasite, a Cancer, a Foreign Body, we have to gut it out, kill it, destroy it! The SAME with an OPPOSITION FOR THE PEOPLE, if it is FULL of PARASITE TORIES, it is NOT working in the best interest of The PEOPLE!
    THE PEOPLE NEED AN OPPOSITION to BOTH TORY PARTIES, as we have None and also have NO CHOICE, so we might as well use our VOTE to vote The PARASITE TORIES OUT, until we do have an OPPOSITION PARTY FOR THE PEOPLE!

  21. Do not concentrate on the undeserving poor, as a member of labour who is neither poor or who finds paying my bills difficult I am disappointed to hear this type of talk, I was under the impression our priority was to alleviate poverty not ignore it. The party is really turning the public against them, they have it wrong about the middle class, New Labour was truly going backwards before Corbyn took over, they had lost 168 seats 5m votes and the whole of Scotland, Starmer has just ensured we will not be getting Scotland back and their strategy of trying to win the south will kill the party, I honestly have my head in my hands with the lunatics in charge of the party.

  22. Skwawky, great stuff you are on a roll. You are definitely producing the goods, well done, the flies are swarming now !

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