Video: Labour front-bencher dismisses strike solidarity as ‘performative’ gesture politics

After Starmer’s picket ban and Lammy’s betrayal, right-wing regime again makes clear what it thinks of working people fighting for their jobs, pay and conditions

Labour front-bencher Kerry McCarthy has joined the ranks of right-wing front-benchers pouring contempt on ordinary people fighting for their jobs, pay and working conditions – and on those who support them.

Speaking to Sky News, McCarthy dismissed solidarity with people on strike as ‘performative’, essentially mere gesture politics:

Video clipped by Saul Staniforth

Starmer has banned MPs from attending picket lines, while his foreign affairs spokesman David Lammy made false claims to the media about striking workers and said he would not support them, then went unpunished – and now McCarthy.

Starmer and his cronies wouldn’t understand working-class solidarity if it bit them on the backside – as it certainly needs to, politically.

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  1. Quite right, those MPs rushing out to show “solidarity” with the strikers are doing so in a performative bid to save their own arses in the upcomming GE.
    The only performative about the Strikes, are the Fake, Pastic Neo-Labour Party TORIES!

  2. Perhaps Keir judges that being in a position to make Labour’s Employment Rights Bill law will turn out to be a more constructive contribution to improving worker’s rights

      1. nellyskelly – ….and yet the Labour’s new Green Paper on Employment Rights has been welcomed by the TUC. Surely this considerable improvement in workers rights is something that you would also welcome.

      2. Promises in one hand,
        FartBubbles in the other,
        Which hand has the most?
        Blah, Blah, Blah, empty hollow nothingness.
        Only place your lying pretentious Neo-Labour Party TORIES are going, is down the pan!

      3. And yet the Labour’s new Green Paper on Employment Rights has been welcomed by the TUC


        🎶Ten keef pledges…They didn’t last six months🎶

        green paper??? Pffft! Wouldn’t wipe me arris wi’ it.

        Keef will, though.😒

      4. Toffee – Labour have promised to introduce this legislation within 100 days of gaining power. I hear that the Tories are planning their own |Bill on employment rights (that does the opposite), is that what you’d prefer?

      5. At least the rags are up front about it.

        Or do you want keef to yet again prove you every bit the toady that you are?

      6. I love that reply, it is hilarious, coming from you. When have I ever been stuck for an answer, MrDuch&Dive!? I am certain you have never once answered a direct question, like the one Iasked you just now, with a direct and/or relating question!
        Anyway it’s not my problem if you’re too stupid to understand a couple of lines of plain English!

      7. nellyskelly – I really have no idea what you are on about, could you quote the question that you are referring to.

      8. nellyskelly – Oh dear, have you got yourself all confused again. Why don’t you have a rest for a while

      9. nellyskelly – …and you are the one perpetuating this nonsense. The solution lies in your hands.

    1. …and showing solidarity with striking workers – on a picket line – would be detrimental to Labour’s Employment Rights’ Bill – how?

      1. The Tories do have a long history of running considerably less than honest election campaigns.Why would you want to provide the Tories with the ammunition to twist and contort on the front pages of the majority of the newspapers.

      2. “The Tories do have a long history of running considerably less than honest election campaigns.”
        THAN WHO!?
        Than The UK Labour Party?
        Well SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!!
        The UK Labour Party is fucking DEAD!
        RIP UK Labour Party (resurrected: 12 September 2015 Died: 13 December 2019) The THATCHERITE Neo-Labour Party TORIES killed it!

      3. As does this Labour Party.

        ‘Why would you want to provide the Tories with the ammunition to twist and contort on the front pages of the majority of the newspapers.’

        It seems ‘the Tories’ and – PLP MP’s – are interchangeable in that sentence. Perhaps, they’re in for a taste of the nasty medicine they’ve handed JC, for seven years – and counting.

        I, sincerely, hope so.

    2. He’ll NEVER be in a position to change ANY laws the way he’s carrying on.

      And you’re seriously suggesting he gives a flying wank about workers (and their) rights?

      1. Certainly a lot more than you do, you want to subject the vulnerable and the ‘post war charter’ to wickedness of another Tory government because of your empty political dogma. You have SFA to offer as an alternative.

      2. Oh, here we go again! It pretends that it cares! Corner BlueSteveH and you get the vulnerable Shpiel! You don’t give a fuck anout us, we don’t want either of you bastard TORY Parties, so we’ll just opt with the softer blow, while getting rid of the Nastiest TORY bastards!

      3. nellyskelly – You might have a point if you ware able to offer a credible alternative, but you don’t and you can’t.

      4. How can I, you and your Neo-Labour Party TORIES killed it! So for now we will just have to vote for our granny or the Looney Party, if there are no Socialists standing. I am not alone in standing by my word if there were only the two TORIES on the ballot, it sure as hell won’t be the fuckers who killed The UK Labour Party!

      5. nellyskelly – At last, you’ve finally managed to get something right.

  3. Yes, of course. World champions in performative virtue signalling (Labour Moderates) don’t like it when their empty posturing is exposed by genuine people with integrity and purpose standing their ground in public in pursuit of an obviously just cause. They hate it even more when the vast majority of the public side with them!

  4. If McCarthy (whoever she may be) wants to know about gesture politics she should come and do a gig around here.
    The gestures she would see would be somewhat different.

  5. The only people appreciating Starmer et al’s hostile stance towards strikers and the unions, are Tories. Though they’re not willing to actually vote for them.

    It’s a case of, thanks Starmer/Reeves, for shaping another party for the rich, but no thanks. We’ll stick with the real Tories rather than a tribute act.

    1. Andy – Yet another pretend ‘Leftie’ who prefers the comfort blanket of permanent opposition to government exposes himself. Another one who willingly sacrifices the vulnerable on the alter of their political dogma whilst offering no alternative. Do you have a point to your existence.

  6. There was a Guardian article by Polly Toynbee
    sneering at Tarry and Mick Lynch.

    She even opposes Rail Nationalisation – a policy
    popular with the British Public quoting Reeves
    “Its pretty much nationalised already”! Well it
    might be – but its a mess and needs sorting

    And she is against joining the Single Market etc –
    disregarding the fact that Northern Ireland are in
    it – with Johnson reneging on his promise not to
    have a border down the middle of the Irish Sea.
    This is laughable because she was one of the
    people who helped Labour lose GE19 so
    disastrously on account of “The peoples vote”
    and I am one who was totally against it .. I
    do not think there is any other solution to
    the Irish Border problem ..

    1. Polly Toynbee is the living definition of liberal virtue-signalling hypocrisy.

      Baseball bats are too good for them!

  7. Now, who made a “performative gesture” in 2021?
    “In December 2021, Xxxxxxx and Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx were the only states to vote against a UN Resolution against the glorification of Nazism.”
    Can we guess which were those two fine upstanding nations?

    1. goldbach – The USA have consistently opposed this year after year it because it would violate the 1st Amendment of their Constitution and the Ukrainians because they believed that Russia would attempt to use this as a false pretext for invading them. Surprise, surprise they were proved right.

      It is worth noting that 51 other countries including all members of the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Canada also failed to support this resolution.

      1. goldbach – Do you regard the greyzone a reliable news source.

      2. The U.S. Constitution has never been in force in Ukraine or any other part of the world- And Zelensky has also violated the terms of the U.S. Constitution by banning opposition political parties, btw- and in any case, the U.S. never objected-and in fact seems to have insisted on- language in the post-1945 German constitution banning expressions of support for Naziism there.

        You do realise it’s perfectly consistent to be totally opposed to what Putin is doing to Ukraine- Corbyn has spoken out against Putin and against allowing Russian investment in the UK economy while Putin was in power, and repeatedly called on Putin not to invade Ukraine when such demands were actually the only thing anybody in the UK or anyone outside Russia could have done on that, given that any Western military intervention there would inevitably lead to WW3 and the extinction of life on the planet-AND to be totally opposed to the inherent stupidity and recklessness of “pro-Western”governments in Ukraine in allowing Nazi militias like the Azov Battalion to become part of the regular military, with their arguments and hate speech being normalised as legitimate political discourse when there was no sane reason to do so. It’s hardly as if Ukraine couldn’t defeat Russia without neo-Nazis being given a place in their armed forces, for god’s sakes- nobody would have argued, in 1939, that Oswald Mosley should be allowed to turn the Black Shirts into HM Royal Stormtroopers, or in 1941 that the U.S. Army should have let the German-American Bund for its own battalion for the European Theatre.

        Two things can be true at the same time- and in this case both of these things are true:
        1) Ukraine has the right to defend itself against the Russian(as everyone in UK politics INCLUDING Corbyn agrees) ;
        2) There was never any excuse for the Ukrainian government to allow Nazis and fascists to be part of that fight, since they have no legitimate place in it and since there is nothing positive Ukrainian Nazis could bring to that fight that no other forces could.

      3. Ken – Are you taking something that is affecting your cognitive functions.

      4. Grayzone employs a number of excellent journalists. Because of the things they report on, they are scrupulous in checking details of what their contributors write and have a legal team that goes through any articles they write toi make sure that everything can be substantiated.
        This is in stark contrast to The Grauniad, the BBC, the NYT etc.
        They are an award-winning organisation, and Aaron Mate has been invited to testify to UN committees.
        Now what’s your journalistic background?

      5. Dave Hansell – Indeed.
        And the US has now acknowledged that the debris at the Donetsk prison attack came from one of the HIMARS rockets. The Ukrainian government has, belatedly, acknowledged it too but is blaming equipment malfunction. I’m sure that US won’t be happy about such a characterisation.
        Despite any amount of evidence, one contributor is insistent that they are white as the driven snow. There are none so ………………

      6. goldbach – Mistakes happen in war. There is one thing for sure it wouldn’t have happened if Ukraine hadn’t been invaded by Putin a corrupt imperialist dictator. Remind me, what is it that you admire about Putin and the Russian state.

      7. “SteveH02/08/2022 AT 7:51 PM
        goldbach – I don’t have one, do you?”
        I did some press stuff for an organisation I worked for some years ago, so came into contact with journalists, and also have a good friend who was in journalism all his working life. Through social contacts, I am also in regular contact with two young (at least from my perspective) journalists.

      8. goldbach – So you’ve got a couple of mates who’ve been journalists.

      9. “Remind me, what is it that you admire about Putin and the Russian state.”
        If you can show me where I said that will happily retract.
        However, you can’t because I didn’t..
        If you can’t show me where I said that I suggest you print out your comment and secrete it in a dark place.

      10. That such a ‘mistake’ as conveniently targeting a facility containing Neo-nazi Azov personnel being interviewed/de-briefed – and providing testimony of orders which come under the category of war crimes – would certainly not have occurred if the RF had continued its eight year sitting on its hands policy of letting the war criminals steveH cheerlead’s for follow through its eight year slaughter of Russian speaking Ukrainians by invading the Donbass Republics.

        And no doubt virtue signalling performative artist liberals for The Official Narrative (TON) like steveH would not even bother wringing their hands at the planned invasion and slaughter of Russian speaking Ukrainians. After all, such people have completely blanked the war crime shelling, shooting by snipers, and the mining of civilian areas which has seen over 14,000 Russian speaking Ukrainian civilians (including many children) die at the hands of these Western backed war criminals.

        Not to mention the two million or so refugees from the Donbass which Russia has had to cope with. A figure which corporate media organs like the Daily Heil would scream blue murder over if the UK were taking that many refugees.

        Clearly, as was and is the case with civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Palestine (among other examples) the murder of these civilians does not count and is a price worth paying for the sycophantic racist wanker cheeleaders who push this selective narrative which requires systematic, consistent and convenient unthinking support for Narratives which:

        – excuses any war crime committed by those who self select as do as we say not as we do exceptionalists.

        – denies any victims- in this case Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Crimea and Donbass – the right to defend themselves and call for assistance in defending themselves from fascist and their cheerleaders who project their own warped criminal actions onto the actual victims to excuse their sorry excuse for a moral and ethical compass.

        The one inescapable butt-hurting fact for such sycophantic cognitively challenged cheerleaders from all this is that the majority of the planets population and their Government’s are recognising this Narrative for the moral free bullshit that it is.

        This sites Poundshop Lord Haw Haw makes a big song and dance about the number of Countries not supporting a standard motion condemning Nazi/Fascist ideology (only 51 which is still a significant minority of the UN). Like a dog celebrating its vomit.

        So tell us steveH, if you have the bottle to answer a straight question, how many of the Countries represented at the UN did not vote with the US motion on the Russian Federation Special Military Operation to which after eight years of war crimes against Russian speaking Ukrainians finally came to the defence of those peoples from the fascists you cheerlead for?

        {I’m off down to Ladbrookes to put money on a dead cert that you will once again prevaricate, deflect, project and refuse to answer].

      11. Dave – I have absolutely no idea, why are you asking me to waste my time looking up figures that you already know.
        If you want to publicise this figure then please feel free to publish it along with another cut and paste essay of Putin propaganda.

      12. One can see, yet again, from Lord Haw Haw’s latest response that the process described here is operating:

        To accept the premise put by steveH – that anything contradicting The Official Script Subscribing Everything Right-thought (TOSSER) is “Putin Propaganda” –
        requires mental gymnastics which exceed those described in Orwell’s novel ‘1984.’

        The facts that:

        – more than 14,000 Russian speaking Ukrainians, including children, have been slaughtered by the fascist’s steveH is cheerleading for;

        – those in the Donbass Republics faced eight years of war crimes against the Russian speaking civilian population – whose language has been outlawed by those whose narrative steveH pushes;

        – there were more well trained troops massed on the borders of the Donbass Republic in preparation for an invasion rather than on the Belarus or Russian borders…..

        originate from data supplied by and available online for the Organisation for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Information and data not from russia, or “Putin.”


        – the evidence of neo-nazi thugs who steveH makes excuses for, along with the evidence of their murders of civilians – eg the massacre of Russian speaking civilians in the Odessa Trade Union building in 2014 – comes from Western sources

        Such information has already been posted and supplied for the benefit of steveH. Who rejects it outright not with any argument to refute the facts presented but with outright rejection of anything which does not fit the warped narrative in his own head.

        He has no answers. He provides no arguments other than simplistic child like playground level responses simply because he cannot answer. He cannot refute facts originating from Western sources – from Amnesty to Human Rights Watch; from Israeli newspapers to the OSCE.

        He has nothing. Zilch. He is reduced to parroting the sheep like mantra to anything not fitting the Official Script of “Putinbot! Putinbot.” Like a demented Dalek with a short circuit.

        The most obvious conclusion to this reality is that has to be a paid shill. Attempting the equivalent of the process described in the Fair Play for Women article link posted above. Gaslighting everyone to follow the Official Narrative.

        Selling that Official Narrative like a heroin pusher vaingloriously (in his own head) and desperately operating to Karl Rove’s “we are a Empire now and we make our own reality” narrative.

        However, what is becoming more obvious by the day – and which is really, really sad – is that the reason he comes on here pushing this post modernist opposite of objective reality shite is he needs this site to constantly convince himself – not anyone else – of the bullshit he is coming out with.

        Its his crutch. Its the only way and means he can keep reality at bay. Everyone on this site is effectively acting as an unpaid therapist for an individual with acute cognitive and mental issues.

        It would most certainly be a kindness for someone to alert the local medical authorities who will be more effective in providing the treatment this poor individual is clearly in desperate need of.

      13. Dave – Your claims are disingenuous and misleading

        14,000 is the number of the total victims of the war in Donbass, killed by both parties between 2014 and 2021. 10,900 of them were soldiers

  8. In other news today:

    – a prominent Levite and a Rabbi defend themselvesf from criticism by accusing a Samaritan of virtue signalling performative art for helping a man left for dead at the side of the road after being mugged which the Levite and the Rabbi had ignored.

    – Labour Party members attempting to raise funds to prevent the closure of a animal rescue center are dismissed as naive do gooders hindering the ability of the Party to win other greedy selfish bastards.

    – Labour voters donating to foodbanks were accused of undermining the Labour Party. A middle class tosser who has not done a days real work in their entire life spokesperson for the office of the ‘Leader of the Opposition’ said;

    “We do not want such people as voters. They give the party a bad name
    with the voter demographic we are chasing.

    And that, in a nutshell, is the accurate description of what is going on here. Normal human values of helping your neighbous and acting in solidarity with each other is being portrayed as an undesirable behaviour acting as an albatross around the neck of grifters, wankers and pips on shoulder merchants wanting to get on the gravy train.

    Complete waste of space cheerleaders for nihilist values like steveH are coming on here arguing, in essence, that:

    1. The majority of people in the country are little more than sociopaths who do not see others as friends or neighbours but only opportunities.

    2. These are the only people and voters who count. Anyone not adhering to The Official selfish Behavioural Values and Narrative should just go away and die because they are shaming the grifters, wankers, pips on shoulder merchants and their waste of space cheerleaders and making them look bad with the sociopathic voter base – which is the only one they are interested in serving.

    Which is, as usual, complete bollocks. Something we have become used to from those such as steveH who wouldn’t know a basic human value if it bit him on the arse.

    You cannot make any progress by embracing such philistine values. Simply because, whether you like it or not or accept it not, the reality is that this particular stance is going to put off more people from voting Labour than the Tory vote it is chasing.

    As a tactic, strategy and approach it is a dead end. Any Party, including the Labour Party, which dismisses such basic values in this manner will be indistinguishable from those pushing the same unworkable philistine bollocks currently in Government.

    We see you all for what you are.

      1. Tediously predictable non-response desperately hoping that no one will notice you are standing there stark bollock naked with no answers other than this same old, same old, deflection.

        What a sad specimen of the species you are. Reduced to using Parolles as your role model.

        We still see and recognise you for what you are. And it is very clearly butt-hurting for you to know there is nothing you can do about it.

      2. Dave – You mean I don’t happen to agree with your nonsense.

      3. Whether you agree with it or otherwise is not the relevant issue.

        What is at issue is you are unable to provide a coherent evidence based argument to substantiate your claim to disagree with this or any other point you attempt to denigrate – from anyone.

        Like the character Parolles in All’s Well that Ends Well you have nothing of substance to back up your pathetic bluster. All mouth and trousers/fur coat, no knickers.

        All you’ve got is hiding behind one liners. Unable to refute a single challenge on any point anyone presents to you. You couldn’t argue your way out of a wet paper bag.

        Until you have grown up sufficiently to demonstrate you know your arse from a hole in the ground by actually providing to substance to your ramblings people here will continue to call you out for the charlatan you have demonstrated yourself to be.

        Put up or shut up. Your choice. But please, spare us the constant mardy arsed whining. You sound like a pound shop Jim Breaks.

      4. No its your version of a rout. Where you run away with your tail between your legs for the umpteenth time.

        Come on steveH. What have you got, on anything, that is substantive?

        The floors your’s. Get off you idle backside and refute with solid evidence instead of sitting there in the dark handling yourself.

      5. Dave – If you want to make up fairy tales to delude yourself then that’s your issue and FA to do with me. Have fun.

    1. We will take that as another example of you having no argument or objective evidence to support your untenable position then.

      Qulle suprise!

      1. Dave – No it’s just an indication that I can’t be bothered arguing with a numpty who is gullible enough to be deluded by Putin’s propaganda.

  9. “Last Friday, CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said of Labour MPs, “They should be a bit more vocal; they should be on the picket lines… The Labour Party needs to be seen to be supporting workers. Our worry is about getting Labour back into power. If Keir doesn’t understand that, that he needs to get out there and fight for the working class of this country, we are never going to get back in power… If there was ever a need for a strong Labour leadership it’s now.””

      1. He certainly did appear on a CWU picket line last Friday. However, given he has had the whip removed and is a de facto independent your implied observation that Corbyn’s presence somehow reflects, or should, reflect, well on Starmer and his junta does not even make it off the staring line never mind first base in terms of a logical argument or response.

        Are they running out of your medication out there in the “Caribbean’ ? I suppose that’s one positive from the present supply chain emergency at least.

      2. Dave – I was referring to when he was in office, cheering crowds failed to translate into votes.

      3. There is no possible way that a leader who gets no enthusiastic supporters can win votes Corbyn couldn’t though. Face facts, Steve- no “disenchanted Tory” is ever going to actually vote Labour at a GE, therefore none of Starmer’s relentless nastiness towards leftists, idealists and youth has worked. There really isn’t anybody out there who’d vote Labour, but ONLY if Starmer treats everyone and everything associated with his predecessor as a disgrace. It’s time to admit the punitive strategy was never going to work and move on to reconciliation and unity.

      4. Ken – Unfortunately lots and lots of disenchanted Labour voters voted Tory at the 19GE and the MRP polls consistently indicate that Labour will win back nearly all the Red Wall seats at the next General Election

      5. The 12.86 million votes in 2017 and the 10.27 million votes in 2019 – both within the context of the available evidence of deliberate internal sabotage – was more than the paltry 9.55 million votes Blair received in 2005; the pathetic 8.60 million votes Brown ‘achieved’ in 2010; and the 9.35 million Milliband managed in 2015.

        Indeed the 2019 vote was within 470,000 votes of the 2001 result for Blair. In 2019 the SNP achieved its second ever highest vote whilst the collapse of the UKIP vote from just under 600K in 2017 to under 23K two years later was offset by the very telling 644k votes for the Brexit Party (which, incidentally, came a close second in both Barnsley seats where the betrayal of the miners in 1984/85 remains a millstone around the LP’s neck as anyone who has canvassed in those areas will attest).

        Telling because as anyone with any degree of honesty (which we all know rules you out steveH) knows 2019 was all about Brexit. Which the present LP junta used to complete the task it failed to achieve in the blatant sabotage in engaged in during the 2017 election by saddling the Party with an unpopular policy in its own heartlands which they knew would give ‘oven ready Johnson’ an easy victory to enable them to continue their gravy train.

        The implied notion that going back to the same failed approaches of the one trick pony Blair and his partner in crime ‘I sold all our Gold Brown’ via Starmer (who makes John Major look colourful and interesting) which has already proved its un-sustainability by hemorrhaging votes by the millions is simply laughable.

        If that’s the best you’ve got son you’d best stick to sitting in the corner and playing with your abacus. You are making yourself look a complete dolls head with this bollocks of an argument.

  10. “Dubbing him “Foodbank Phil” after the foodbanks which have been opened at several BT sites to serve the workforce, so poor is their pay, the union tweeted Monday, “BT and Openreach members (and any supporters heading to the picket lines tomorrow)—don’t forget to bring donations for the local foodbank. We can expose the actions of Foodbank Phil Jansen and help local communities at the same time.””

  11. The whole ‘performative’ thing, framed as a put-down, is misplaced. Whether J.L.Austin’s notion of words as performatives (How to do things with Words, 1962) or Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (1990) in which she argues that gender is something that is performed, the notion that consequential and core values arise from our conscious and deliberate framing of them is something quite distinct from the association with insincerity implied by McCarthy’s jibe.

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