Analysis

Labour loses TWO by-election seats to Tories with 25+ point vote fall in each

Falls and losses define night for Starmer’s drab party as lack of substance and opposition bite, with Labour gains limited to retaking from independents

Catastrophic falls for Labour in two West Midlands seats defined an evening of by-elections for Keir Starmer’s party as the lack of leadership, policies and opposition came home to roost.

In both Bar Pool and Knutton, Labour lost seats to the rampantly incompetent and frankly murderous Tories with falls of more than 25 points – 25.8 in Knutton and 26.7 in Bar Pool – that they had previously held with a wide margin

In Bar Pool, Labour lost almost the same number of votes to the Tories and Greens

But results elsewhere were peppered with grim news for Labour. Even where the party held onto seats – or failed to gain seats it didn’t hold – it was often with a dramatic loss of support:

  • 10.7 points in Oxton on the Wirral, while the LibDem incumbents gained 8.4
  • 9.8 points in Bedford, holding off a Tory gain by only a single vote in a seat where Labour had enjoyed fully half of votes last time round
  • 4 points in Spedhurst, where the Tunbridge Wells Alliance won 49.8% to unseat the Tories
  • 12.8 points in Lee Chapel North (Basildon), holding off the Tories by only five points

The small bright spots for Starmer were:

  • a win in Bryn (Wigan) by just 17 votes – but with two independent candidates splitting a 55.7 vote share to Labour’s 31.2%
  • a gain in Maryport South where the previous independent candidate was removed by the Allerdale Independent Group for a string of offences including homophobia
  • a 6.7-point gain in Horringer (W Suffolk) but still losing to the Tories by ten points
  • a hold with a vote gain in Carnforth and Millhead that almost exactly matched the previous vote share of an independent candidate who did not stand this time

For a party facing a mid-term government whose policies have led to the deaths of approaching two hundred thousand citizens and put our children in the firing line of the pandemic – and which is facing ongoing supply crises and rocketing energy prices – last night’s results were a disastrous showing.

Starmer and his drab front bench offer no hope or opposition and are not even trying to win arguments on the major issues facing the country. Instead, they have colluded with the Tory mishandling of the pandemic and abandoned all of the policies that much of the country supports and that Keir Starmer promised to keep in order to get elected as party leader.

Those realities are now biting. If people want Tories, they’ll vote for the full-fat version not the Tory-lite – and if they want genuine change for the better, Starmer offers nothing.

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70 comments

    1. also Restless42 Starmer has ensured that Labour is no longer a socialist/workers party by expelling socialists. He has also abandoned our brothers and sisters in Palestine , is happy to ignore the human rights abuses heaped on them by Israel and is a fervent supporter of that Apartheid state.
      When he stands down from the leadership not only is his place in the House of Lords guaranteed but will be able to tell his backers that he has rid the party of Socialists and antiZionists ( code name for both is antisemite) and numerous groups- BAME, Irish Kashmiri etc have been alienated so that the party is unelectable .
      In other words JOB DONE. He will then follow in Tony Blair’s footsteps and reap the rewards for destroying Labour- lucrative employment opportunities, the after dinner speech circuit, investment opportunities directorships consultancies etc -. multi millions await him .

  1. ” If people want Tories, they’ll vote for the full-fat version not the Tory-lite – and if they want genuine change for the better, Starmer offers nothing.”

    Apart from the dozens of policies that were either announced and/or confirmed at this years party conference.

    1. Pepper pig may go down in history as the reason for the removal of a cartoon character Boris piffal johnson.The media have turned on the conservative party and alarmingly casting their eye on the Labour leader.Can we really allow a dangerous “plant” with the only thing going for him is
      ” He isnt boris Johnson “…I hope that anyone being a member of the Labour party will not canvass or in any way support this apalling cruel and disgusting individual into Drowning street and let this foreign funded knight loose on Britain and the world.

    2. SteveH, after nearly 30 years as a Party member I cancelled my DD straight after Conference because Labour under Starmer and Evans is behaving in a manner that reminds me of fascism.
      Hence, no matter how many policies your boy Starmer announces while he still witch hunting socialist comrades, given a straight choice between Tory and Labour, most likely I would vote for neither and remain home, unless I trust the Labour candidate as an individual and will vote for him/her but not for Labour.
      It is good news for people like Jo Bird and Pamela Fiztpatrick, time for them to stand as independent Labour candidates retain their seats at the next local election and brown nose Starmer.

      1. Maria – How many ‘socialists’ were expelled from the party when Jeremy Corbyn was party leader? I remember Formby showing off in a speech at the beginning of 2019 that she’d made the process of expelling members more efficient.
        As for standing as an ‘independent’, that worked out well for CW didn’t it.

      2. A major part of Labour’s history consists of Conference passing policies for social progress, only for the leader and/or the PLP refusing to implement or entertain the idea of them.
        In all honesty, that is why there needs to be a complete and thorough reconstruction of Labour as a political entity.
        I dream on…….

      3. Ludus57 – I agree that policies that came from the floor of the conference haven’t always made it into the manifesto (sometimes for good reasons) BUT the dozens of policies that I am talking about were all announced by shadow ministers during their speeches to conference.

      4. Formby expelled every actual antisemite Labour had- and essentially no one else,

        Starmer and Evans’ expulsions have invariably been of people who did NOTHING to deserve it;

        -he has expelled left-wing Jews on bogus and always unsubstantiated claims of antisemitism- you would concede, I assume, that it is impossible for anyone who is Jewish to BE an antisemite, since no one can ever be bigoted against their own identity. He has done this to these people simply because they refused to take part in the now-totally discredited AS Smear against Corbyn and his supporters, or sometimes simply because they aren’t Zionists,

        -he has expelled good, decent people who were guilty of nothing other than being non-Zionists- something even you would have to concede has nothing in common with AS- simply because he accepts the delusional lie that a person can only be considered free of AS if that person is an unquestioning Likudnik.

        he has expelled good, decent democratic socialists simply for not renouncing and denouncing groups which had done nothing to deserve denunciation, renunciation or proscription- proscription never having has any positive effects on Labour or even leading to improved Labour showings at elections- and sometimes for simply having had contact with those groups BEFORE they were proscribed.

        Nothing Formby did is remotely comparable.

        And nothing Keir has done as failed opposition leader or ever could do as pm has anything in common with the values of the Labour Party, Labour exists to fight for socialism- it has no reason to exist at all if it is antisocialist “pro-business”(anti-worker), pro-austerity (a pledge to balance the budget within two years is a pledge to commit Labour to permanent austerity) willing to further privatise the NHS, pledged to be tougher than the Tories towards people on benefits, unwilling to fight any form of prejudice other than AS- which has been extinct within the party for decades- and unwilling even to guarantee it won’t take the right-wing and purely imperialist steps of bombing Iran & Syria.

        Even you, SteveH, would have to concede that, if Labour is right-wing on all of the above, there is nothing at all that Labour could still be even minutely to the left of the Tories on- what I listed there is every major issue; there are literally no other public policy issues at all after those items,

      5. kenburch – Try telling that to Jackie Walker or Chris Williamson. It’s a while since I’ve read such a load of disingenuous bollocks.

    3. Rest assured Steveh you will be reminded (constantly) of that statement when, not if, those policies are dumped, ignored, or watered down beyond recognition by Blair Minor in the future.

      1. Dave – That’s OK with me, you are more than welcome to come back and tell me all about it when Labour publishes their next GE manifesto.

      2. SteveH, we already know Keir’s manifesto will have no radical or socialist policies at all, that he will offer nothing to the poor, a return to Blair’s discredited militarism, no ideals, no dreams, no hope, Why even pretend his policies won’t be totally indistinguishable from the Tories? Why even pretend there would be any point in even trying to vote Labour? Centrism and Toryism are just two words for the same thing. And if this doesn’t have Keir in a twenty point lead now, we can assume he’ll be fifteen points down by ’23.

      3. kenburch – You don’t know anything of the kind, you’ve just made that up. Which of the dozens of policies that were announced by shadow ministers during their conference speeches are RW.
        I can give you a full list of these policy announcements/confirmations if you need some help.

    4. dozens of pre-announced policies; each one of which will only endure it they meet with the trilateral commission stamp of approval. And we all know what that means (think of his ’10 Pledges’), after all there is problem with democracy

    5. All of which were essentially identical to the Tories and a betrayal to anyone who needs an actual Labour government- such as his pointless and essentially Thatcherite insistence on only offering a pathetic and useless 10 quid minimum wage-i.e., essentially keeping the minimum where it is now.

      Nothing Keir offered is radical and none of it is distinguishable from the Tories.
      And there simply isn’t any large bloc of voters who’d have voted Labour- but ONLY if its leader made it clear- as Keir did with his “pro-business” speech the other day- that nothing Labour-i.e., nothing socialist- would happen on his watch.

      He offers no transformation, no hope, he has no ideals, indeed he seems to hate the very concepts of passion and enthusiasm.

      And THAT is why Labour is not in the solid, double-digit plus lead it would have with ANY leader who offered hope and who actually opposed what a government that pours fresh shit in the rivers would do.

      SteveH, what could you possibly say to anyone who thinks politics is supposed to mean something, is supposed to be about working for actual change, as an argument for supporting the party that used to have the right to call itself “Labour before Keir took it over?

      What possible reason is there for anyone who is poor, who is a worker, who has any wish for a better world, to think that a Labour victory would matter to THEM?

      You’re the sort who sees politics as nothing but getting “our side” in power as an end in itself. You’d vote Labour it it were running to the right of Boris on everything- as it may be after the next party conference.

      But what would you say to those who look at Keir’s party and see no reason to think electing it will make any real difference?

      BTW, in responding to this, would you please not do the useless, absurd “but Corbyn lost” thing? It doesn’t matter what Corbyn’s ’19 showing was, since it’s been repeatedly proven that Keir caused that by enabling the now-totally discredited AS Smear and by pushing for the party to try and get a 2nd ref before that election when everyone knew that couldn’t ever happen. Corbyn’s policies weren’t wrong or unpopular- and unlike Keir’s- which we now know will all be antisocialist- they’d have actually helped people. And nothing about Corbyn justifies Keir’s blurring of the differences down to nothing or making it impossible to ever elect another socialist as leader or the repudiating of all socialist and radical policies.

      1. kenburch – Yet more meaningless drivel that you’ve made up
        Which of the policies that were announced at this year conference are essentially identical to the Tories
        You claim that it has been proved that Keir enabled the anti-Semitism smears, could you please provide that proof.
        Since stepping down Jeremy has on at least two occasions said to camera that he had no choice but to go for a CV because the overwhelming majority of Labour members and supporters wanted a confirmation vote and to stay in the EU.
        Apart from for the first time ever more of the working class (C2DE) voted Tory instead of Labour which gifted Boris a massive majority what did Jeremy actually achieve in nearly 5yrs?

  2. I’m torn as to whether to delight or be annoyed.

    As that party isn’t socialist, and because I despise keef and all who think similar I think I’ll delight.

  3. Meanwhile, Blair urges Starmer to fight socialism tooth and nail, saying there should be no accommodation with the left whatsoever.

    Totally ignoring the fact Starmer only became leader because he pledged ‘continuity Corbynism’ and famously signed 10 Pledges committing him to exactly that.

    Revealing how Blair’s not even bothering with the pretense of being on the left these days.

  4. Meanwhile in BBC’s ‘Political Thinking’ podcast (no I didn’t listen, depressed enough without inflicting that on myself, extracts from elsewhere) –

    “Corbyn may not be allowed to stand again as a Labour MP…….. The Labour leader said he had not spoken to Corbyn in more than a year and repeated his insistence that the ball was in his predecessor’s court when it came to having the whip restored…………….It’s up to him. He knows what he must do in order to move this forward. He’s not chosen to do so – that’s his choice.”

    extract ending with :

    “Starmer, who repeatedly promised during his leadership campaign to tackle antisemitism, also told Political Thinking he hoped Luciana Berger, a Jewish MP who left the party over its handling of antisemitism cases during Corbyn’s tenure, would want to rejoin.”

      1. SteveH –

        And can you imagine the can of worms that would have been opened up by the media had RLB said she wouldn’t welcome them back?

        Berger left for the Independent Group / Change UK, later switching to the Lib Dems when she realised that project was going nowhere – jumping ship like that hardly screams political integrity, does it?

        The anti-Corbyn media, incl. BBC, provided TIG/Change UK with unprecedented promotional coverage too.Their speeches – which were basically rants against the Labour leadership were carried live, and the story led all main news programmes that day. Just proving how rigged the London-based media is.

        As for Berger, the idea that someone who quit the party and launched a tirade against the then leadership, should be welcomed back is outrageous. Look at how intolerant the current Labour leadership are towards people who’ve supported other left-wing movements and parties in the past. Zero consistency.

      2. Reply to Steve H
        I disagree with Starmer and to some extent with RLB on this one.
        I don’t think anyone should be welcomed into the party because of their race or religion. If a person upholds Labour values and is willing to abide by the party’s rules then they should be welcomed irrespective of their ethnic origin or religious belief or no belief. Otherwise they should find themselves a party which suits their views and values better
        I think neither Louise Ellman nor Luciana Berger share our traditional values and have broken our rules. Therefore neither should not be party members.
        Luciana was parachuted into a safe seat because of her friendship with the Blair family not because of her politics or her ability. She resigned from the party, campaigned against it and run against a Labour candidate in the General Election . Under the rules this means she is banned from the party (for life). Starmer however is prepared to cast aside the rules in her
        case. There can be no justification for this .
        Louise’ Ellman is an unscrupulous Zionist who branded Jeremy Corbyn’s totally legitimate but contrary opinion “antisemetic”. She set out to do him as much damage as she could and her vicious attacks on a fellow member should have rendered her ineligible for re-entry into the Labour party
        Of course Starmer re-admitted her because he shares her Zionist views and as he has also behaved appallingly to Jeremy he thinks her despicable behaviour was OK.
        Regarding RLB’s comment that what Louise and Luciana have been through is shocking I agree that it was shocking that Luciana had to contend with death threats etc These came from the Extreme Right and 2 fascists were jailed as a result.
        I am not aware of any shocking behaviour directed at Louise. As I indicated above in my opinion the shocking behaviour came from her and nobody
        else.
        The whole thing is disgusting especially when you think of the way others have been hounded and expelled from the party with their reputations in tatters for liking a tweet or supporting a “proscribed” group years before it was “proscribed”. Two different sets of rules clearly apply in Starmers Labour

    1. The point is that Corbyn is still a member of the Labour Party and I
      think there will be an almighty fuss if he is disallowed as he has a
      tremendous following in his Constituency ..

      Can you imagine CLP members leaflet posting or door knocking for another
      candidate?

      1. Yes I can, but I doubt that Jeremy will stand at the next GE. Why would he take the risk.

      2. A decent person would concede that anyone Keir would impose as Labour candidate against Corbyn would be a reactionary disgrace. SteveH would insist that Keir is entitled to make the PLP a socialist-free zone, so he’ll cheer when a Blair clone is parachuted in against the will of the clp.

        Steve probably also thinks it’s perfectly legitimate for Keir to keep hounding Corbyn even though Corbyn never did a thing to deserve it.

      3. kenburch – Come the next election we’ll see who is proved to be right.

  5. Minus 26% is an improvement.

    Back in September the Party retained a Council seat in Sheffield (Firth Park) by 41 votes. Gaining 1091 votes to the Lib-Dems 1050 in a seat they had won four months earlier with a vote of 1896 in which the Lib Dems had come fifth in a five horse race with only 153 votes.

    Back in May the Independent candidate received 157 votes and the Greens 327.

    Whilst the turn out in September was almost 4% down from May the percentage drop in the Labour vote was almost 42.5%. The Tory vote went down from 810 to 258. A reduction of around 68%.

    A reduction from a 42% loss of vote to only a 26% loss in the space of two months will no doubt be celebrated in certain locale’s across the globe as a stunning improvement. The difference between preparing for being a minor party of Opposition and preparing for oblivion.

    Break out the Special Brew and the Barley Wine!

  6. Berger’s leaving wasn’t over anti-Semitism. You only have to read her Wikipedia entry, especially the parliamentary career bit to see she was/is a liberal remainer with no party ideology.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luciana_Berger
    Proven by her going from Labour to the independent group to change UK to an independent to the LibDems and a cushy number in London which she lost to the Tories. Berger, Umunna and Blair’s son made the perfect threesome of careerist narcissists.

    1. lundiel

      Precisely. The idea she was somehow ‘hounded out of the party’, was largely a media invention of the anti-Corbyn tabloids. She was an unpopular MP, esp. among her PLP, but that was because she was parachuted in, and her centrist /hawkish, openly anti-Corbyn views, were unrepresentative of her constituency.

      She did receive online abuse, but those convicted of online abuse were on the far-right iirc, Yet many fanned the public’s impression that the abuse was all from Labour members. A false perception the anti-Corbyn parts of the PLP did little to correct.

      Why many still hold the majority of the PLP with total contempt. Despicable allowing members to be unjustly smeared like that.

  7. Starmer needs to be removed soon. It’s likely Johnson won’t see 2022, or very little of, it as PM and whoever will replace him will only have a short window to credibly offer change, so will call for an election before reality catches up. Labour at the moment would be incapable to fight an election, let alone win it.

    1. BL- Political commentators, some highly paid, can’t believe Johnson looks so chipper and relaxed, given all the problems crashing around him and his govt. But I’d imagine it’s no mystery to most of us posting here.

      For Johnson knows Starmer is only interested in trying to win over Tory voters – something that’s unlikely to happen. And besides, even if he succeeds his programme for govt would be no different from Johnson’s.

      While Starmer remains leader it’s a case of ‘heads we win, rails you lose’ for Johnson and the Tories. With Starmer and Reeves, there’s literally nothing for Tories or the wider establishment to be fearful of.

  8. The non-electability of Labour under Starmer is becoming monotonously predictable – and will worsen

    A new radical Labour party, of course, might not.

    1. qwertboi

      Seems obvious, doesn’t it. Alas, can you imagine the media effort that would be put into discrediting such a new party should it start to gain serious electoral traction.

      Endless antisemitism allegations; sting operations, surveillance; undercover officers and all manner bad faith actors and clandestine recordings; Panorama special investigations. Condemnation among the corrupt hypocrites in parliament.

      The party would be presented by the MSM as a front for the devil himself. We don’t live in a ‘normal’ democratic country. We live in a tightly controlled Kingdom with a highly managed democracy. It’d be destroyed.

      1. I don’t think people would swallow that old nonsense again Andy.

      2. Reply to Steve Wilson – they might or they mightn’t swallow the smears from the MSM but we would also have the so called Labour Grandees, the PLP and Southside ,the Security Services, The Board of Deputies and Uncle Tom Cobley and all weighing in to condemn any new Socialist party.
        However what worries me more is the unwavering Loyalty so many have to the Labour name. Labour still got the votes in Liverpool ( albeit less than usual) despite Starmer’s atrocious behaviour especially his cosying up to the S*n, thereby showing total contempt for the feelings of the people who were maligned by the filthy rag for decades.
        Given this I am concerned about how they and other loyal Labour supporters would vote in a General Election. We need to tread very carefully if we form a new party as we will only get one chance at this. If we fail we will end up in oblivion like Change, Ukip, Respect, SDP etc

      3. Steve Wilson

        It depends on the quality of rebuttal.

        Look at the alleged ‘antisemitism’ cases of Pete Wilsman and Chris Williamson, under Corbyn. Both stories led the BBC , ITV, Ch 4 and Sky main news – neither Williamson or Wilsman were given any right of proper reply and the reports were framed as if some grave wrong had occurred. All they did was question the veracity of the antisemitism allegations facing the party asking for evidential proof, neither said anything remotely anti-Semitic themselves.

        Both stories amounted to absolutely nothing, zilch, nada. Yet the BBC ran them as lead stories as if they were major political events – Williamson was clandestinely filmed and recorded Wilsman was covertly recorded. Up against that kind of abusive gaslighting possibly with state help, how would any new party cope?

        Has a public broadcaster privileged position (BBC) ever been so misused to undermine a party and leader, between 2017 -2019? The BBC is trash as far as most on the left are concerned.

        But it shows what a new party would face.

  9. Convinced Starmer’s just an establishment placeman.

    It’s a sad situation how we aren’t allowed to have an unsullied, functioning democracy in this country. And a wealthy, privileged elite are determined to micromanage both major parties.

    Starmer’s whole recent career has been about shielding the establishment from accountability. The idea he’ll do anything remotely radical or even progressive is completely forlorn. The sooner members and Labour voters wake up to this fact, the better.

  10. As I’ve suspected for a while now, Sunak is behind Johnson’s assassination. As for the GE, it was anyone but Corbyn. They ABC and now are tired of it. Am surprised it’s lasted this long if I’m honest.

    Tories will continue to win. Partly due to gerrymandering, but mostly due to Starmer having nothing to play for, or with.

    Still, there is some light. The focus needs to be turned onto the fact that most of us are wage earners and in debt. This is solidarity that transcends left and right and highlights the top down reality.

    Just need the right torchbearer.

  11. I for one welcome Warmonger Blair’s intervention once again in Labour’s fight with the Democratic Socialists still stupidly remaining in the Party.

    Every time he opens his blood stained lips Labour sink further than Johnson’s waistline. Labour is almost dead Mr Blair, please finish it off.

    1. Blair is anti-woke. I kinda am too, but only in the sense that culture wars mask wider issues of poverty and injustice faced by all. Pretending it just happening to one group in society is needlessly divisive nonsense imho.

      On which. It was amusing how Starmer was all in on Black Lives Matter and taking the knee, until someone informed him BLM was a vaguely Marxist organisation intent on defunding the police and the overthrow of capitalism ….At which point he recoiled in horror distancing himself.

  12. Perhaps it’s time for a New Left Wing Democratic Socialist Party Cavalry to emerge and I will be with them as will hundreds of thousands of Corbyn supporters.
    Lenin (before he and his mates took the power for themselves) did make a good point: We shouldn’t be afraid of starting as a small party.
    Then let’s see the political lightweights and Neo-Liberal capitalist grovellers like Johnson, Starmer and the Lib Dem bloke and their political lightweight MPs, General Custers, circle their wagons for the rich and powerful.
    I believe we can win democratic power for diverse working people.
    Perhaps as a poem I wrote says:
    ‘The old order Neo-Liberalism is dying.
    But the new cannot yet be born.
    Perhaps we are all being tested.
    And only the stars will ride the storm.’
    Solidarity to the stars!

    1. “We shouldn’t be afraid of starting as a small party.”

      Given your current level of support you don’t really have a choice?

      1. Bazza – When is this new ‘socialist party going to get past the talking stage and will anyone outside your small clique notice when it does.

  13. Re: “starting as a small party.” Stevieh asked “Given your current level of support you don’t really have a choice?”

    Necessity is the mother of invention – and an enabler of all sorts of things, good and bad, but what are you saying SteveH – We haven’t got the means?

    1. I was in my youth part of “peoples democracy” put together by desperate Catholics in N.Ireland sick and tired of being forcibly pushed to the bottom of a evil system of apparthied and denied even the basics of representation by successive establishment British government.We manged to bring down the Stormont government in less than a year after hitting the streets in protest against the evils of colonialism.Labour members and former members could learn a lot from the leader of that party Bernadette Devlin whos still despite being a old lady now still suffers from the thirteen bullets fired into her body whilst protecting her baby in a bedroom from British Crown forces collussion
      in murder…and still works for the vunerable and oppressed immigrants in Ireland.What at first seems impossible can be overcome,but never by colluding with the fascist Labour party of Sir Keir Rodney Starmer..Stop funding fascists comrades and fight back if you want to be a force for good
      .P.S.mr Steve H theres always a choice between good and evil.

      1. Support as in votes? I suppose no new party does at inception (unless funded by one of the obscenely wealthy people who need Starmer to pasokify Labour), but yes, wouldn’t it be exciting..

      2. qwertboi – What about grass-root funding, if there are hundreds of thousands of you then quite modest donations should be enough to get things off the ground and what about Union support.

      3. SteveH

        The two-party system is rigged against the formation of a new party. The SDP came closest to breaking the Labour party’s hold in the 1980s (then controlled by the left). Any new party would need to be polling around 25% just to be in contention on a national level. The Lib Dems won 62 seats with 22% in 2005 , but that was mainly because of concentrated support in certain areas of the UK: SW England, Wales and Scotland.

        For leftists. It’d probably be like walking into the RW PLP’s trap quitting to form a new party under FPTP – possibly an expensive one too, with lost deposits. The thing is. Leftists shouldn’t have to quit their own party!

        Be honest, the Labour party is currently hijacked by a man without a mandate. Starmer pulled a classic ‘bait & switch’ trick on members. Had Starmner come out as a Blairite and stated a clear intent to veer the party off to the right, the membership would have said, thanks, but no thanks and RLB would now be leader.

        Why should Starmer’s lies result in the left looking for a new home? Surely it’s Starmer who’s on borrowed time. He’s been leader nearly 20 months and nobody even knows what he wants to do.

        The best hope is that the unions pull the plug and Starmer’s real backers will be revealed.

      4. Andy – Yet more empty rhetoric
        Which of the scores of policies that were announced and/or confirmed by shadow ministers in their conference speeches are RW. I can provide you with a list if you need some help.

      5. Yes, SteveH “modest donations should be enough to get things off the ground and what about Union support.”

        I suspect the even Unions that are most likely to support a ‘break-off’ party will only do so once the break happens – and Sir silly Keir is facilitating exactly the right type of break in denying his wonderful predecessor the Labour whip.

        Most civilian lefties sort of assume a union endorsement (and money) will give their new party gravity in the minds of voters. (I’m not sure it would matter all that much in the first few elections or first GE, afterall the billionaires free press will have to shopw the electorate how scared they are of the embryonic radicalism the new party threatened).

        Look at it from a Union’s pov. Rather than their funding or endorsement being the spark that lights the new party (which then might do a ChangeUK) and weaken the Labour Movement, how much more reponsible would it be for them to hedge their bets until they know we can win a few seats but cut their funding to Thatcher’s legacy PLP). Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the “Labour” brand shouldnt be tarnished by its key stakeholders. (PLP is, after all, just a function)

  14. Ps…..After a meeting in Downing street with the PM Harold Wilson…the leader of the UDI Rhodesia government said “I have told the leader of the Labour government. regarding the push for one man one vote in my country by the Labour leader.” You give your Catholics in Ireland one man one vote and I will think about one man one vote for my black people “.?

    1. Quite Joe. . And when the Catholics and supporters marched for their Civil rights they
      were attacked by the B-Specials …

      WE know how that ended

  15. Someone should tell XR that we all want to save the planet but their actions are alienating citizens when we need to take the masses with us in fighting climate change.
    Middle class liberal politically pure self-actualising, feeling good about themselves but poor politics!

    1. @bazza

      XR are suspect. The current leader has form for insertion. Previous (joint) starting leader has been iced. They belong in the same box as Thunberg. Backed by big money and media exposure. The revolution will _not_ be televised, so why is it? We don’t see yellow vest or anti covid protests…

      Saw a sticker for them the other day, along the lines of won’t someone think of the children? Like you and I have anything to do with how the world is. The money folks are steering this, just like they did creating the problem (why do we need electric vehicles when you consider the resources used to create it? Couldn’t possibly tie into the 4th industrial revolution being pushed about?)

      Lastly, does blowing a pipeline sound environmentally conscious? That’s what one recommended via the guardian recently…

  16. You could argue, Joseph, that the appetite for “people’s democracy” that grew out of N Ireland’s sectarianism and the anger this produced in Catholics, always remained strongest (and purest?) when it attached itself to Sinn Fein rather than Labour. Credit for this is in small part down to fine socialist leadership (Cathal Goulding, Seán Garland, etc) in the movement, but mostly, that it wasn’t top-down Fabian and didn’t have a Labour Right, which from Callaghan forwards thought the social conservatism of parts of the working class was better off being edged and nudged ever-more right, until today, their incumbent (and his shadow chancellor) are only superficially different than Margaret T herself.

    Sinn Fein was always a ‘movement’. The Corbyn project, and any new ventures that might flourish in the ashes of the Starmer/BlairMendelson inept incompetence that kills Labour will, I hope, remember this. It would stop them being taken over by CIA-backed neoliberals like Blair and now Sir Keir Cameron

  17. Regarding Northern Ireland – I was interested in reading a
    comment about Bernadette Devlin upthread so I looked
    up the history to remind myself of her**. On the political front –
    she was “Left Wing” – of various party names. In the end –
    and now I think – she became “Independent Socialist”.
    The Labour Party used not to be allowed to stand in NI by
    their Political masters!

    She and her husband were shot by paramilitaries and just left
    by the UK soldiers in situ. It was a different group of British
    soldiers who made a determined effort to get her medical
    treatment and she thanked them by name. Her daughter
    Roisin** was nine yers old (born 1971) when her parents were
    shot leaving her traumatised – and she received even worse
    treatment when grown up.

    She was aged 26 and pregnant when arrested after being
    accused of a mortar attack on troops in Germany with a demand
    for extradition to Germany and no opportunity to defend herself.
    She was in goal in the UK, had to give birth in gaol and
    only released and the extradition demand turned down
    on medical grounds because of post natal problems. After
    evidence was examined in the UK it was found
    that there was no case to answer. Nevertheless
    the extradition demand was renewed 10 years later and
    again turned down!

    It seems that if you are a woman it is much more difficult
    to get justice here – particularly if you are not Anglo Saxon.
    I am sure contributors to this site can name names ..

    ** There are wikis one both Bernadette and Roisin

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