Analysis comment

Guest article: two years ago I wrote I wasn’t buying Starmer’s ‘radical’ makeover. How right I was

Two years ago, left author Calvin Tucker analysed attempts by Starmer’s campaign to portray him as a radical during the 2020 leadership contest

Calvin Tucker is a left activist and writer based in London. The article below is adapted, with permission, from a post on his Facebook account yesterday.

Two years ago, as the Labour leadership contest got into gear, I wrote that I wasn’t buying his campaign’s attempt to repaint him as a radical. That analysis has stood the test of time. Here’s what I wrote then:

Keir Starmer’s relatively short parliamentary career (he was elected in 2015) is notable for two things: his participation in the failed ‘chicken coup’ against Corbyn in 2016, and then later, as the architect of Labour’s 2019 Brexit policy that lost the party its Leave-voting seats. On their own, these should rule out Starmer as a credible Labour leader who can unite the party and win back the heartlands in the North and Midlands. But we live in strange times.

Before becoming an MP, Keir Starmer was a high-flying lawyer. In November 2008, just six weeks after the collapse of Lehman precipitated the financial crisis, he was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). This was Starmer’s opportunity to call out the bankers who caused the crash and put the vast resources of the CPS behind prosecutions.

But he didn’t.

Instead, the mood in the country slowly changed, with a little help from the media of course. The Tories were able to successfully shift the debate from bankers to “‘the non-productive public sector’ vs ‘the productive private sector’” and “‘shirkers’ Vs ‘strivers’”. Divide and rule was now the name of the game.

Before too long, it wasn’t crony capitalism and bent bankers who were the problem, it was the parasitic public sector and the undeserving poor. As the poorest and most vulnerable were systematically targeted, the language used to demonise them became almost Victorian in its callousness. What, the media demanded, was Labour going to do about these spongers?

That was the context in which Keir Starmer announced in 2013 his “tough stance” on benefit cheats. He went far above and beyond the call of duty with his enthusiasm for the new Conservative / Lib Dem law, announcing:

It is vital that we take a tough stance on this type of fraud and I am determined to see a clampdown on those who flout the system.

“Benefits cheats,” the Guardian told us, “will face increased jail terms of up to 10 years in a crackdown.” The Sun newspaper surely missed a trick by not dubbing him: ‘Stormin’ Starmer’.

Starmer was, unmistakably, blowing a dog whistle – and as DPP, he must have known exactly how it would play out: scaring many poor people from even applying for benefits in case they made a mistake and got prosecuted. According to the Guardian: “The head of Citizens Advice warned prosecutors of not excessively punishing those who had made innocent mistakes or been caught unawares by ongoing and “fiendishly complicated” changes to the benefit system.“

Labour, meanwhile, called for “even stronger penalties”. Yet in the months and years before and after the benefits clampdown, no billionaires were sent to prison for costing us trillions by evading tax – and almost all MPs who defrauded their expenses were let off with a slap on the wrist and were allowed to stay in their jobs.

Very occasionally, socialists find themselves in a position of power and influence. It is then that their true character and politics are revealed. Keir Starmer could have been the champion of the little guy against the system. He could have made a difference. Instead, the half dozen MPs who were punished, were given sentences typically between 6 and 18 months, and mostly served their time in open prisons before being released after a few weeks. No 10-year jail terms for them. Not on Keir Starmer’s watch.

One of those half dozen jailbirds, Denis MacShane, has since made a mini career for himself as an anti-Corbyn pundit. Rehabilitation is wonderful thing. In an article in yesterday’s Times, he was refreshingly candid. In the changed environment of the Labour Party, he wrote, “every candidate must play to the hard left”. Members, in other words the ‘hard left’, would be wise to bear that in mind when they cast their votes for the next leader.

To put it in starker terms: You are being played. So when I peruse Keir Starmer’s campaign videos and articles, replete with grainy footage from the Miners Strike, Wapping, and the Poll Tax riots, I smell bullshit. A big fat steaming pile of bullshit. And before I cast my vote, I will apply that reliable old maxim: watch what they do, not what they say.

Skwawkbox view:

Skwawkbox, a handful of left sites and activists like Calvin Tucker warned the movement that Starmer was an impending disaster – and many begged the left hierarchy at the time to put forward a candidate who could beat him because Rebecca Long-Bailey wouldn’t. It is an enduring tragedy for this nation that the Starmer campaign con succeeded.

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  1. Well said my friend, so glad some of us actually saw what these filthy right wingers were plotting the next Red Tory Party and party of betrayal.

    I will sit back now and wait for the Scabs to attempt to undermine your excellent article, the truth of it all.

    1. He’s probably asleep at the moment. Give him time, he’ll make some snide comment at some stage.

      1. Or drop a dead cat on the table as a means of distracting from the point.

    2. Nothing but truth Starmer is a Tory by ideology a true believer for the 1% ers just look at his past and you can spot the real man the same slimy scumbag that hid his donors when everyone else come clean. His 10 pledges weren’t written in stone but BS as everyone was broken some within days.

      His conversion to socialism was just another lie the same as nothing would change. Let’s not even talk about Brexit and his role in it! He may have convinced many he was the right choice. I was NOT convinced and never voted for him.

      As soon as I spotted his true colours, I quit the party my parents steeped me in how hard-won victories and grand institutions come from Labour and I believed as did my parents thankfully they died before they ever saw this intimate betrayal of trust.

      I left broken-hearted there is no home in politics for this old socialist until there is I will wait as will my vote! When a socialist only Labour emerges I will welcome it. Until then this Tory-lite scum infesting the once great Labour party will only get the contempt they deserve!

  2. Nice piece Mr Tucker 👏👏👏

    It is indeed actions and not words that define us.

    As the old folks used to say when I was a kid
    “Kind words doth butter no parsnip”

  3. As Shadow Brexit secretary(Trilateral Poodle), it was I believe his “Red Lines” which blocked any hope of Maybots Brexit concessions, which ultimately led to the Proroguing of Parliament, which facilitated the current state of affairs.
    Master technician for self- interest and ambition. Interestingly talked about reforming the House of Lords to preserve his seat-which if I read correctly means that Proportional Representation is now on the very back burner.
    I always thought strange that Dodgy Dave allowed him to continue in the role- all becomes time.

  4. I’m reminded of the fact members of Keith’s own CLP wrote an open Letter detailing that Keith was an arch factionalist and someone not to be trusted – they poured cold water on the notion he was in anyway Left – just a shame 270K members were unable to see through his lies or heed multiple warnings from more nuanced observers and members of the Left.

    1. That doesn’t explain the apathy and collective shrugging of shoulders, including union shoulders, since his bad faith intentions have become clear.

      Speak to any broadly apolitical person about Starmer’s treatment of members, and they are shocked and genuinely baffled as to why there is so little pushback.

      Where is it written members have to be walked all over by some bad faith imposter, who lied his way to the leadership?

  5. Calvin Tucker’s article is absolutely spot-on.
    It was obvious to me that Starm-trooper was never going to be anything other than a back-stabbing, right-wing tool of the British Establishment.
    You don’t get to be a Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Batch (KCB) by being “one of us” – Do you ?
    The Order of the Bath is the fourth-most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry,
    What a cruel joke for a Labour Party Leader !!
    Starmer was obvious put there by the hard-right of the Establishment for one purpose only – That was to cripple the Labour Party and to ensure that it could never become a party … FOR THE MANY – NOT THE FEW

  6. Anyone with a grain of common sense realised that the Labour party were being steamrollerd by con men on a mission.Unfortunately that didn’t apply to the majority of Labour party members that voted for the knight from true blue Surrey with at the time less than five years experience of being a Labour mp.ITs not rocket science to see the bloody obvious and that made me realise that I had been flogging a dead horse when the results came in….And it is water under the bridge for the hundreds of thousands who left the Labour party never to return .

  7. Great article. Which reminds me, when’s that By-election in Dromey’s constituency again? Need to order more pop-corn!

  8. The ‘concentrate on the Tories’ Twitter morons are the worst. It’s claimed most have Lib Dem voting histories,

    They care little that Labour and the PLP, as currently constituted, may, in all seriousness, be worse than Johnson’s Tories. For the Tories and Johnson are limited in what they can do by a skeptical electorate, an electorate on alert to NHS privatisation moves and US involvement. The Tories’ reputation and Johnson’s unpopularity limit their freedom to act despite the big, undeserved, ‘Get Brexit Done!’ derived majority.

    Starmer is Blair circ. 2003-onwards, without the charisma and without the left-pleasing first term manifesto in which legacy policies were carried over – policies inherited from his predecessor John Smith, including Smith’s ‘unfinished business’ that was Scottish Devolution.

    Streeting yesterday pledged to increase private sector involvement in the NHS. Were Labour in power just who would be raising red flags and opposing greater private sector involvement besides token resistance from the SCG? And even that assumes they aren’t purged prior to a GE using spurious justifications from Southside and underhand CLP meddling.

    Meanwhile, the important Forde Inquiry report – paid for by members and rightfully the property of members – sits on a shelf apparently “delayed indefinitely”. In limbo, withheld without justification, at the discretion of Starmer and Evans. Imagine had Corbyn demanded some important report not be release – the BBC, guardian and a large section of the PLP would be shouting their outrage from the f’ckin rooftops.

    1. Apparently the Forde report is to be ‘shared’ (whatever that means) with the NEC in January.

      1. Yes – they did promise this – it will be interesting to see
        what excuse they use to defer it ..

        They are also promising to discuss the interpretation of “support” of
        proscribed groups.

        Hmm .

        🐷 (in flight)

      2. After all the lethal omissions that will be imposed, reducing the finds to next to nothing, we should probably call the Theon Greyjoy’d version that will eventually be released, when its release is too late to make any difference, “The Gored Report”.

    2. Your list of outrage is incomplete. In such an event you would certainly have this site’s dishonest bad faith tribute act to David Copperfield’s Uriah Heep foaming at the mouth.

  9. I thought this video by the CWU about their new initiative to select working class candidates might be of interest to some of you.
    ‘CWU Candidates’ launched to drive “new era of working-class politicians”

      1. Andrew – ….and yet you are the one that has decided to indulge in typical troll behaviour instead of addressing and embracing this excellent move by the CWU.

    1. Thanks Steven H Hall,for your desperate move to recruit working-class people for the Labour party,.now its all too too late sunshine You obviously realise that you’ve no foot soldiers anymore to do the dirty work and hard graft on the doorstep….I noticed in the caption jeremy Corbyn,but they didn’t have the cajones to actually mention his name alongside the other Mps of the so called Opposition left.Almost a repeat of the Chris Williamson show were he was too toxic to have on stage.Sorry steve I repeat because “why you know listen mr fawlty” ITs too bloody late to resurrect the Zombie Labour party mr H Hall centrist Dad…Lets make sure that dummys seat doesn’t go to Labour under any circumstances in the Midlands.

  10. If you want to know as some suggest how grotesque Mr S is (?) see Oliver Eagleton, Novara Media (2/3/21) on him.
    I left 10 seconds after the Neo-Liberal puppet (?) was elected Leader, I knew what was coming.
    Can understand why Skwawky doesn’t invite comments on Palestine, but just read G.D. Smith ‘A 3,000 Year History of Palestine’, Bernard Regan ‘The Balfour Declaration’ and Paul Keleman, ‘The Brititish Left and Zionism: A History of Divorce’.
    Justice for Palestinians, The Right of Palestinian Refugees to Return, One Democratic State recognising all religions, and Peace to All in the Region.
    Need a new left wing democratic socialist party & unions should talk to Breakthrough & Resist to explore also funding one & why should Right Wing Labour have a monopoly of union funds for crumbs?
    Why put all your eggs in one Neo-Liberal basket?
    Otherwise at the next GE it’s which Neo-Liberal capitalist colour wall paper do you prefer?
    Blue, Pink, Yellow or Green?

  11. The very fact that the MSM were endorsing him was the big give-away. And needless to say, THEY knew that he was lying through his teeth during the leadership election so as to dupe members in to voting for him. That said, I’m sure the majority of members who voted for him were right-wingers and, as such, former Blair supporters.

    Talking of which, I did a search earlier, and the petition has been receiving quite a bit of coverage by the MSM the last few days. Anyway, I just this minute checked and it’s a couple of hundred short of one million and fifty-five thousand. I didn’t actually read any of the MSM articles, but I doubt any of them mentioned that it’s on’s website and, as such, a LOT of people who would like to sign it have no idea how to find it. Otherwise I’m sure it would be in the millions by now!

    1. Allan – Presuming to know stuff can be a mistake. Perhaps you should have taken the time to check first.
      I’ve checked several of the MSM reports and they have all either provide a direct link to the petition or clearly state that it can be found at Plus anyone who Googled a simple search term like “sign Tony Blair petition” would have absolutely no difficulty in finding the petition.

      1. People like you SteveH who haunt left wing forums such as this sicken me and a fair few others to my core, you are a bully and a right wing bully at that!.
        You suck the oxygen from the room as per normal for a fake labour obvious Tory.

        I’ve just been listening to a speech by Jeremy Corbyn a leader who actually gave a shit about you and all of us. I no longer want to hear or see your vile twisted contributions. I ask very nicely for Swkarkbox to please add a block button my life would be so much improved with out to read his right wing poison.

        cheers brothers

      2. Andrew – Are you really so feeble minded that you lack the intellectual strength to simply ignore me.

      3. Oh I see the resident shill is STILL pa-trolling! ALWAYS jumping at the chance to do a superiority number on someone. I think that just like me, the vast majority of readers would have assumed the same as I did. But thanks for correcting me in your superior manner, and SO quickly!


        Anyway, just came across the following petition on

        Justice for Chunky – stop people who abuse animals from owning ever again

        This petition is for Chunky the Chihuahua who was attacked for hours in what the RSPCA called one of the most disturbing cases of animal abuse they had ever seen. Chunky was, over a period of hours, beaten and drugged, his neck was broken, he was set on fire and finally he was dumped and left for dead. Despite serious injury, and against all odds, Chunky lived.

        Please sign if you haven’t done so already. And share far and wide. Thanks

      4. Allan – “But thanks for correcting me in your superior manner,”

        …..and there was I thinking that I had simply pointed out in a straightforward way that you were wrong.
        How would you have liked me to phrase it so that I didn’t offend your delicate nature?

      5. MY email adress is pianotuner.andrew@gmail mail me and I will send you a train ticket to Bristol so you can find out how feeble I am, otherwise go away!

      6. Andrew – You’ll need to pay for an 8hr flight + train fares.

      7. Andrew – Revealing personal details like this is a silly thing to do.
        I suggest you email Steve Walker directly at and ask him to take your post down. Would you like a picture of your front door

        Andrew Br****, Piano Tuner BS1*9** 0788** ***929.

      8. @SteveH You! have my details cutless coward! Now sort it and shut up.

      9. Andrew – I have no idea who you are trying to impress but for goodness sake grow up, you are making yourself look silly and childish.

      10. Steve H..Andrew…was flattering you unintentionally,but I actually enjoy your comments somtimes and quite frankly anyone who follows Squawkbox will be appalled at your arrogant and ignorant propaganda on behalf of the new owners of the Labour party LTD.Paying customers don’t like what you’re selling and quickly abandon the wreck of the Labour party.You couldn’t possibly do a better job to ensure the bankruptcy of the wreck of the Labour party…..regards comrade and thanks for the help.!

      11. Joseph – Propaganda? Was my post inaccurate?

        Unfortunately given the number of members who left the party in the run up to the 19GE and the numbers who subsequently voted Tory a substantial proportion didn’t support what Jeremy was selling.

    1. No need to apologise Andrew. They’re rare, and they do not distract from your opinion.

      Luke isn’t 8 hours away, he’s in the same city as you. @boxcartrend

      1. Andrew…you can rely on the info Never voting Labour again gives.I have been entertained by the sheer arrogance of Steve H Hall for some time on ,@boxcartrend…bot sentinel for over a year now where he speaks to the converted and spouts even nastier propaganda that if repeated would block the site here with obscenities from shocked posters.Still at least he keeps us fully informed of the slide into obscurity of the once proud working-class movement the Labour party…..only once though and that was the Welfare state unequalled across the world after the War.Just look how these parasites have dragged the party I served into the Sewer.

  12. Just came across the following snippet in an article about the petition on the BBC News website, which I’d not heard about before:

    In 2009, US President George W Bush presented Sir Tony with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest US civilian honour – for “efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad”.

    Yes, the fascists just lurve to amuse themselves and their minions by turning reality on its head:

    PS It just occurred to me that the reason the knighthood was ‘bestowed’ by the queen is because the PTB anticipated a hell of a lot of opposition to Blair being knighted……

    1. Allan – Or maybe this is just the way it has been done in the past for former Prime Ministers.

      1. Anyway, I see that you didn’t disagree with Bush and Blair being fascists! How could you, when it’s blatantly obvious that they ARE! And mass murdering fascists at THAT!!

        PS Don’t you ever get bored monitoring this site fifteen/sixteen hours a day, seven days a week? How long is it now….. five years, isn’t it? Yes, I know, it’s just a hobby. Doh!!

        So when are you due to retire from trolling? And where were you trolling before you started trolling on here just out of curiosity?

      2. Allan – But you’re the one that indulges in troll like behaviour by monitoring others activity and accusing anyone who disagrees with you of being a troll or similar.
        It isn’t my fault that you are either too lazy or too stupid to check your facts before posting..

        ps: Fascist is a word you like to bandy around a lot, do you actually know what a fascist is, or do you just think it makes you look cool?

    2. God, you really are like an irritating bluebottle buzzing around annoying everybody that one just can”t get rid of!

      Anyway, so what’s the money like…..

      1. Allan – You really should check your facts before posting crap.

  13. That sub-headline’s far too self-congratulatory, and the rest of the post doesn’t add anything new to something that many others already knew and were warning against.

    It doesn’t take Sherlock to deduce what keef’s about or what his next reinvention move will be.

    More of the same…

  14. So once again the Turd Polishing Troll dominates the comments narrative in a Skwawky post by winding everybody up…..Ignore the idiot folks.

  15. Don’t think there were many who didn’t realize how a Starmer leadership would turn out.
    He pretended he would maintain most of Corbyn’s radical agenda and members pretended to believe him.

    1. Arwyn – I’m guessing they were hoping that Labour would be more electable, the polls seem to indicate that they were right.

      1. So if Corbyn had championed financial deregulation reforms and corporate excess; praised Blair and Netanyahu non-stop; supported Assange’s continued detention and extradition and urged sanctions with the threat of violence on every country the US State Dept has a problem with. If he’d done all that, the press and Blairite PLP would’ve left him alone. He’d probably be PM now…

        Jeez, it was that simple eh. Why do you think Corbyn didn’t simply sell out on his ideals like that for power, SteveH?

        Who needs principles when instead you can easily have power. Just play by the SQUID GAME rules set out by the establishment?

      2. Andy – Or maybe if Jeremy hadn’t been Jeremy.
        Unfortunately we went into the 19GE with two thirds of the electorate consistently expressing a dislike for Corbyn.

      3. SteveH- If we had a UK press of any worth, Starmer would be in a deeper personal hole than Johnson.

        An imagined conversation at Southside, one that seems perfectly plausible:

        Starmer : I’m sick of all these Corbynista morons on social media openly calling me a liar.

        Adviser : Oh, let me guess,..the 10 pledges?

        Starmer : I was such a bloody fool for committing my name to those damned pledges, such a stupid thing to do.

        Adviser : But you wouldn’t have won the leadership without them ?!?

        Starmer : Hmm…so does that mean those people on social media are right in calling me a liar?

        Adviser : Err.. yup, pretty much

      4. Andy – ….and yet I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have asked, on these pages, for credible evidence of precisely how Keir has broken each of his ten pledges and to date not one person has stepped up with the evidence

      5. I’d be very surprised if he even wrote them. It’s almost impossible to imagine him thinking or saying any of that stuff in the pledges.

        Starmer blushes and looks really uncomfortable when interviewers raise them, as Andrew Marr did twice. He’s said many things that directly contradict or fundamentally change the meaning of many of them and, whipped votes in parliament contradict the spirit of them he’s not restated any of them in nearly two years.

        Starmer was pictured, prior to becoming leader, dining with Paul Mason, another suspect ‘leftist’. Pure conjecture here, and I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out that Mason penned them and urged Starmer to adopt them to carry the leftist membership. Mason would know which buttons to press to get the intended result.

      6. Andy – That’s a rather long winded admission that your little fairy tale above is in reality implausible and that you can’t provide any evidence to support your repeated assertions either.

      7. Andy – As I said above, you can’t provide any evidence to support your ‘assertions’.
        Although at this point in the election cycle there is obviously more to come I’m quite happy with the 80+ policy items that have been announced to date.

      8. I’d say that was a fair call, Andy. Mason’s a slimy bastard!

      9. SteveH –

        Question : If, come an election, most or all those pledges are missing from a Labour manifesto, would you still urge a vote for Starmer and Labour? My guess is, you’ll urge a vote for them anyway.

        Of course it’s difficult to prove he has abandoned all 10 right now, but we see the direction of travel and he and his shadow cabinet have said enough to know members are victims of a fraudster.

      10. Andy – My reply ended up in the wrong place – see above @1:18pm

      11. Your comments always seem to end up on the wrong fucking site, mate!

      12. SteveH-

        I’ll give two examples: He is no longer committed to ‘abolishing the House of Lords’ merely reforming it. Even if you want to be generous and say by ‘reform’ he means an ‘elected chamber’, abolishing the current HoL is a necessary prerequisite first step for those elections.

        Second example. When the final three candidates for the leadership were asked in the campaign hustings to raise their hands if they wished to renationalise energy companies, up popped Starmer’s hand.

        He committed to “common ownership” in his pledges. His pamphlet said: “Public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders”. Not much wiggle room in that.

        There are plenty of other examples… but can’t be arsed to go through every pledge in detail.

        The whole measly offer from Starmer and ‘tough love’ Reeves is just depressingly crap. Her proposed energy VAT cut is dwarfed by likely upcoming rises (VAT is only 5% on domestic energy). Since people are already struggling it’s the sort of incrementalist solution you expect from these establishment backed players.

  16. I have just before going to bed read a suprising opinion article on the front page of the independent.ITs a very critical veiw of the treatment of the knights Labour party and especially to the young voters and young members who supported Jeremy Corbyns vision
    Starmer according to the Labour party members trashed and is in open warfare with members especially young members and young people generally
    .Worth a read just on the fact that its on the front page again criticism of mr “isolation the knight from Surrey.

    1. Joseph – Could you please post a link
      I’ve looked for the article you’ve highlighted. Unfortunately I can’t find it using the information you’ve given.
      Could you at the very least quote the headline to give us all a fighting chance of finding it.

  17. SteveH
    Is that YOUR evidence that Temporary Embarrassment is keeping his pledge on nationalisation
    Looks like Red Tory triangulation to me, they stand for nothing and the electorate made it clear what they think of him in the 2019 GE and every vote since

    1. Doug – This document was published and promoted by Corbyn’s team as their pathway to public ownership.

      1. SteveH
        Are you saying there are NO proposals from Red Tories for energy, water and rail
        So that just leaves the broken campaign pledges
        TE is a fraud

      2. Doug -You’re getting desperate, we both know that isn’t what I said.

  18. SteveH
    Test for you
    State Owned Enterprises are suitable for Natural Monopolies, No Shit Sherlock
    Now why does Temporary refuse to nationalise Energy, Water and Railways

    1. Doug – We’ll probably have to wait until nearer the election for the answers to your question. One of the major problems highlighted by ex-Labour voters is that they felt that Labour’s 2019 platform was undeliverable so there is nothing to be gained by making mega spending commitments at this stage of the electoral cycle..
      Why would Labour give the Tories a baseball bat to beat them with at this stage of the game.
      The energy market in particular s broken so waiting to see how the land lies nearer the next GE is a very sensible thing to do.
      Why would we want to distract the Tories when they are so busy destroying themselves.

      1. PLUS – Michael Gove will be publishing his paper on the Tories ‘Levelling Up Agenda’ at the en of this month.

  19. SteveH-

    “80+ policy items that have been announced to date.”

    80 Crumbs from the Master’s table does not maketh a Corbyn feast.

    Well, it is Sunday.

    1. Andy – But the voters rejected the ‘Corbyn Feast’ because the thought it was undeliverable.

      1. I bet you wouldn’t wager money on Starmer outperforming Corbyn’s 40% and 12.9 million votes, in his first GE in 2017.

        2017 shows such policy timidity isn’t needed. The whole idea Labour can only win as Tory-lite was shot to pieces in 2017. Even Blairites were in a state of shock.

        2019’s GE was ALL about ‘getting Brexit Done. Corbyn’s ratings were low , but so were Theresa May’s before she was forced out. Johnson came in as the new boy who could do no wrong and said he was going to perform miracles.

        The three leaders Theresa May, Corbyn and Jo Swinson were all unpopular, because Brexiters were getting increasingly angry after three years of parliamentary excuses and extensions.

        If you were pro-Brexit Labour’s 2nd referendum plan was toxic to you. Hence, why Labour lost the ‘red wall’ heavily – Leave voting areas rejected Labour. Trying to pin the 2019 result on Corbyn is disingenuous bollocks, from the pro-EU London press.

        If you think it was Corbyn why did the pro-EU Change UK the Lib Dems all do so badly too? Other than the Tories only the SNP and Sinn Féin did well, but remember Scotland and Northern Ireland voted remain in the referendum. Big difference.

        Starmer’s hope now, if that’s the right word, is that people figure it’s simply their turn, ‘Time for a change’. he won’t offer any transformational change and his govt will be ‘allowed power’ until the Tories get back in. Depressing stuff, no?

        Starmer has had all the luxuries Corbyn could only dream of ; no viciously hostile press and gentle TV/radio coverage; a cooperative, supportive PLP and yet,… despite all that, he still may not even make it to a first general election as leader.

        You’ve previously cited very recent poll leads for the party as proof of progress. I’d say that’s more a result of recent press attacks on Johnson rather than an opposition making an impact. But in terms of actual votes in UK elections and by-elections, Labour are struggling like hell to get folks to show any interest in their Tory-lite offer.

        Final point, if the Tories stage any sort of minor recovery by May’s big elections and Labour start to drop behind again in polling. Starmer could well be forced out …and not a moment too soon.

      2. Abdy – …..and yet since Corbyn stood down he has clearly stated that he didn’t have any choice because the vast majority of Labour’s supporters wanted a CV and to stay in the EU.

      3. SteveH

        People like Tom Watson and Starmer (close) knew exactly what they were doing in pushing for another EU vote. Watson’s resignation in the election campaign and Starmer’s complete silence on Brexit since, suggest their real aim was to hand Corbyn & Labour an impossible policy to sell on the doorstep to an electorate already sick and tired of Brexit and how their votes in 2016 being ignored.

        Pro-EU Remain support was concentrated in London and the South East, hence Labour didn’t do badly in London in 2019. But everywhere else the referendum policy was hugely damaging. Watson surely knew this representing a Brexit seat in the West Midlands.

        There were two problems with Labour’s referendum policy, a politics nerd like Watson will have been fully aware of:
        Remain support was concentrated in AB’s and C1s : Higher & intermediate managerial, administrative, professional occupations but these(outside London) are typically Tory supporters in the Shires. They weren’t going to switch to Labour simply to get another referendum.

        Brexit had lots of support among the C2s and DE’s : Skilled, Semi-skilled & unskilled manual occupations, Unemployed and lowest grade occupations – worried for their jobs due to immigration. Labour’s referendum policy went down very badly with these people.

        Corbyn’s unpopularity was partly a result of the impossible policy the PLP esp. Starmer and Watson, wanted him to sell to the country.

  20. Starmer is delivering alright….for his backers.

    Hedge Fund Manager, Martin Taylor, was Starmer’s largest funder for his leadership campaign. He has a £10m stake in United Health- a US private healthcare company currently seeking £1bn worth of contracts from the NHS.

    Taylor donated £95,000 to Starmer’s leadership campaign- something Starmer hid while the rest of the candidates revealed where their funding came from.

    Taylor also gave Labour £600,000 when Miliband was party leader. Following Jeremy Corbyn’s election to the leadership in September 2015, Taylor began funding anti-Corbyn groups like Labour Together, Saving Labour and Labour Tomorrow.

    Labour will sell off the NHS.

  21. The majority of members in my branch ( 200 members) maybe 90% believed Starmers leadership campaign and even now the majority are still running with him. ( mind you 70% of active members have left). The moment he wouldn’t declare who his backers were, that was it for me. Hes a lying odorous toad.

  22. The tragedy is a significant number of the mass of people, our fellow citizens, aren’t really politically aware and Right Wing Labour willingly accept this and do NOTHING about it as they are as the Right Wing media reinforce it.
    Right Wing Labour don’t want to politicise the masses, they just want enough votes so they can be in positions of top down power whilst accepting Neo-Liberal capitalist hegemony; but they only use their positions to achieve crumbs for diverse working people whilst managing the system beneficially for the rich and powerful!
    They believe the appeal should be to the sadly the politically ignorant and do nothing about the millions who do not vote, one popular common sense term is bang on – they are all the same!
    Whilst left wing democratic socialists want to politicise the masses so the stronger we are all are, and we want to transform society WITH diverse working people.
    As I say unless we have a new Left Wing Democratic Socialist Party (and some of us are on the case) the choice at the next GE is between different colours of Neo-Liberal capitalist wallpaper: Blue, Pink, Yellow or Green?

    1. Bazza – So you keep saying, when are you going to get past the dreaming stage.

      1. This may interest you

        The Mail online is reporting that Mary Creagh is on a shortlist of female Labour candidates set to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for his Islington North Parliamentary seat in the next general election.

        It is an indication that Labour leader Keir Starmer is determined to deny Mr Corbyn the opportunity to stand again as a Parliamentary candidate for that party.

        In response – according to the Telegraph – Mr Corbyn is said to be (at last) considering forming a political party of his own in order to defend his seat.

  23. Just a thought, guys – ignore SteveH. He gets an inordinate amount of attention on here, which is probably his intention. Give him the cold shoulder. If he wasn’t on here spouting his bile, the issues would get all the attention and not this disrupter and stirrer of sh*t.

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