Starmer’s latest attempt to reinvent himself is an even more shameless regurgitation of the ‘my dad was a toolmaker’ misdirection
Keir Starmer has attempted to divert from his continued refusal to commit Labour to the most obvious and only truly workable solution to the cost-of-corporate-greed crisis – renationalising the energy sector (at least) – by pushing even harder the mythology of his working-class childhood.
Telling the BBC yet again that ‘My dad worked in a factory and my mum worked as a nurse’, he went even further, claiming poverty as a child – not ‘great poverty’, he says, but the kind that means the family went, supposedly for months, with power and phone lines cut off because of an inability to pay the bills:
I actually do know what it is like to sit around the kitchen table not being able to pay your bills.
I remember our utilities, our phone being cut off because we couldn’t pay the bill, so I know what is going through people’s minds.
But the myth is exploded by the reports from multiple sources, which Starmer has never challenged or corrected, that his father owned the factory in which he worked – and even if not, in those days a family with two earners would have been able to afford bills, even in Surrey.
And his dad went on to become the director of the ‘Donkey Breed Society’, perhaps not your typical humble toolmaker’s retirement activity.
Keir Starmer is a couple of years older than me. I grew up with a dad who was a toolmaker and who would never have even accepted promotion to foreman because it would have meant siding with management. My mother was a stay-at-home mam and we grew up with no central heating, with an outside toilet that used to be kept from freezing in winter by a small meths burner lit in the corner under the cistern pipe – and we didn’t have a phone, nor did any of my friends’ families. My parents only got one years after I left home.
So I know the smell of sh*t when I come across it.
And Starmer’s horse-version of it is even worse now, because he claims he gets what is ‘going through [the] minds’ of people who are being pushed further into desperate poverty by corporate greed and the refusal of government and opposition to offer meaningful change to solve the situation.
Yet Starmer has enjoyed double income for much of his time as an MP. On top of his substantial salary as an MP and as leader (I know) of the ‘opposition’, while an MP he earned at least a further £86,883 in non-parliamentary earnings for just 275 hours of work, a rate of around £315 per hour.
And as is now common knowledge but at the time he hid, during his campaign to become Labour leader, he accepted huge sums of money from extremely wealthy backers who were hostile to the very people Starmer was making his (now long-shredded) campaign promises.
Starmer is a grotesque parody bearing no resemblance to what an actual Labour leader should be – and he certainly has no business claiming to understand the plight of the millions of poor in this Tory/Tory-lite banana republic of a country while demonstrating his contempt for for them and refusing to offering any actual change to the causes of their suffering.
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