Analysis Breaking comment

Backbenchers, Miliband, Burnham step up to fill Starmer’s void on cuts, benefits, emergency budget – and Israeli apartheid

Today has seen mostly back-bench MPs – and former Labour leader Ed Miliband – step forward to fill some of the gaping void left by Keir Starmer’s lack of opposition.

Former leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey raised the lack of substantial government response to the horrific crisis in living costs faced by millions in the UK and the imperative need to increase public sector pay, the minimum wage and welfare benefits:

Miliband added his voice and challenged blame-dodging Rishi Sunak on benefit cuts and his feeble excuses – and on Sunak’s ‘cryptocurrency’ foolishness:

And Andy McDonald stood up for Palestinians and named Israeli apartheid for what it is as he called for divestment and sanctions against that country’s regime for its appalling treatment of Palestinians and drew a feeble, even nonsensical response from the government who claimed that he shouldn’t use that word because it is a ‘legal term’ requiring international agreement – even though the UN long ago declared the Israeli system to be apartheid and Amnesty International and even Israeli human rights organisations agree:

Working-class backbencher Ian Byrne has not only worked in Parliament for a right to food to be enshrined in UK law, but co-founded the massively successful ‘Fans Supporting Foodbanks’ organisation of football supporters to help those in need. Now he is trying to push through that legal right in Westminster and he spoke passionately about why it matters:

And outside Parliament, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has taken action to show how intervention by the authorities can help ordinary people:

Starmer, by contrast, hasn’t even merited the term ‘damp squib’ on the massive issues facing the poor and vulnerable in this country – and he both ignored Labour’s sovereign conference when it called for sanctions against apartheid Israel and locked Labour’s young member section out of its social media accounts when it agreed with Amnesty that Israel is an apartheid state.

The emptiness of the void that he personifies is made all the clearer whenever anyone steps up and does the job all Labour MPs are supposed to be doing.

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  1. You’ve put burnham in the headline skwawky.

    Doubt he’d be making that much noise if he was still an MP.

    1. I’m sure Skwawkbox can survive that. Yours is one comment NO ONE will be liking or retweeting. Except maybe SteveH.

  2. Starmer will not say one word about Israeli Apartheid – he’s paid to keep a lid on it .Regarding the other issues such as benefit cuts etc he has no wish to speak about them – somebody might mistake him for a Labour leader

  3. We all know Starmer has been warming the seat for just another deceptive lying bastard Fake like Burnham.. None of us are sleeping today.

  4. Today, the Tories decided to create a full-blown constitutional crisis over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    Whatever else you might say about Alistair Campbell, no way would he have let Tony Blair be completely invisible while this was going on. Blair would have been all over the news, condemning their actions, pointing out that they were repeatedly told this was the inevitable consequence of the deal they chose to strike, and denouncing the merest suggestion of tearing up the protocol.

    But no, what we actually have had is absolute omerta from the so-called leader, and a ridiculous two-faced, petty half-defence of the Government’s position from a second-tier complete nonentity.

    It’s becoming ever more difficult for even his staunchest groupies to maintain the pretence that he isn’t utterly useless.

    1. Yep.

      Starmer seems so disinterested in everything, he can’t even be bothered to fake his concern. At least Blair was a good actor; even the Blairites must be becoming disillusioned with the gaping hole that sits where the opposition should be. Although it’s unsurprising really that Starmer has so little venom or energy to left to attack the the Tories, when he’s so busy attacking and deselecting the left on behalf of his wealthy Tory backers.

      Labour seems to want to sit on the fence over the Northern Ireland protocol. Scrapping it would not only be a democratic outrage(given the outcome of the recent Stormont election) it also could result in a costly UK-EU trade war. The best Labour can come up with is their general confusion, no opinion from Starmer, and wider a lack of clarity as to whether they support the Tories’ criticism of the protocol or not?

      I bet the Tories can’t believe their luck. Though, of course we know Starmer’s leadership wasn’t won by luck, it was carefully crafted lies that won it.

      1. Andy The Ulster chambers of commerce have overwhelmingly backed the international agreements of the protocol that was part of the conservative and DUP brexit .agreement.The economic black hole of Ulster has been given a deal that British business could only dream of “acess to europe with the abilityy to trade world wide .They have seen growth leaping ahead with the protocol ahead of Britain and the government now decides to tear up the protocol a international binding agreement because without a sectarian divide theres no longer any need for a DUP and so the real target is the other international agreements of the GFI alongside the protocol.and a six counties that needs to be subsidised along with the DUP and unionist parties in perputuiy by the British taxpayer….for what just because the flat earth society doesnt understand its geographical location
        on the islands of Ireland and the concept of democracy over secatarian bigotry.!

      2. What’s the point of being a shadow frontbencher if you can’t attack the poor, minorities and the working class worldwide. That’s the real joy, exes, two jobs, ignoring the law are just little extras.

    2. Ultraviolet thanks for putting the serious situation in N.Ireland were theres a concerted effort to stop Michelle O’Neill 1st minister elect from Sinn Fein having the democratic mandate by the electrote fulfilled as leader of the assembly which as of now is missing in action whilst the DUP pursue their agenda in parliament.with the conservative and unionist party in collaboration with the labour party.leader whos personal agenda of a partitioned Ireland takes precidence over the long standing neutralitythat has been dragged into the mud against the democratic socialist Sinn Fein party of Ireland.

    3. The Government will not tear up the Protocol in my opinion. Its just more of Johnson’s posturing. Also Truss is playing hard ball because she is eyeing the Tory leadership.
      The Tories won’t risk a trade war with the EU. Neither will they risk losing potential trade deals with the USA by installing a land border in Ireland. This would be in contravention of the Peace agreement which the USA was instrumental in securing and which Biden has said must be honoured.
      Therefore the Protocol ( maybe in a modified form) is there to stay. The only thing Johnson can do is to once again hang the DUP out to dry.
      With their massive majority the Tories don’t need the DUP any more. The DUP are about to find out ( if they haven’t already done so) that the Tories are completely self interested and unprincipled and will happily walk all over them(and everyone else) if it is suits them.

  5. Thanks Andy for drawing attention to a brewing cauldron in Ulster..that the knight wishes to inflame going against donkeys years of labour party neutrality on the position of a partitioned Ireland.without even a discussion…inside the labour party .

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