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Labour Leader: Keir Starmer II

Discussion in 'off topic' started by droodzilla, Aug 2, 2020.

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  1. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    Kinnock slagged Corbyn off from day one. I wouldn't describe that as keeping quiet. Kinnock was hardly going to attack Blair for completing the project he started.

    Corbyn has been smeared as an anti-Semite, likened to Hitler and described as an existential threat to Jews in the UK. He has every right to defend himself against the torrent of shit he's had to endure. I hope these claims are heard in court one way or another.
    Iain, Metlor and Del monaco like this.
  2. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    But of course, it's not just those nasty moderates trying to do down poor old Jeremy. There's lots of left-on-left stuff going on too:

    'Momentum founder Jon Lansman has been attacked for “Jewish exceptionalism” by the partner of a senior figure in the Jewish Voice For Labour group.

    Jackie Walker – previously expelled by Labour for “grossly detrimental conduct” – wrote on Facebook of the “brilliant insight” into Mr Lansman provided to her by her long-term partner Graham Bash, who is still a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s party in South Thanet, Kent.

    In an analysis of Mr Lansman’s 30 year long political career, Mr Bash is quoted by Ms Walker as having said: “Until Jeremy became leader the issue of Israel and Zionism did not come up in my presence. But within the last few years his ‘Jewish exceptionalism’ has become apparent to me.”

    Later Mr Bash, who is an outspoken Jewish anti-Zionist and a friend of Mr Corbyn’s, suggests that Mr Lansman’s “absence of any Marxist perspective also meant that he was unable to resist nationalist/exceptionalist pressures (ideas that see Jews as exceptional).”'

    And it's not just Corbyn who's sharpening his writs:

    'The pro-Jeremy Corbyn Jewish Voice for Labour group and two of its officers are being sued for libel by the journalist John Ware.

    Court papers filed earlier this month confirm that Mr Ware is pursuing action against JVL Ltd, the group’s founder member Naomi Wimbourne-Idrissi and web officer Richard Kuper over comments made in relation to last year’s BBC Panorama programme Is Labour Antisemitic?

    The action centres on alleged defamatory comments made by Ms Wimbourne-Idrissi in a radio interview. During the discussion she claimed Mr Ware had a “terrible record of Islamophobia, far-right politics” and that he had been disciplined by the BBC, which had had to “apologise” for the veteran reporter’s journalism.

    Mr Ware denies all of these claims, which were repeated in an article published on the JVL website.'

    All jolly good fun, of course, and far more important than COVID, the impending financial crisis, or, well, anything.
  3. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    Not really bothered about Jackie Walker and John Lansman's diagreement, to be honest. I have no quarrel with Lansman myself.

    But, to be clear, Corbyn is not "sharpening his writs" as you put it. He had the temerity to suggest that Starmer's decision to settle out of court with the Panorama witnesses was more of a political decision than a legal one (for what it's worth, I believe he's right). John Ware, the maker of the doc, promptly threatened to sue Corbyn.

    In addition, the people named in the leaked Labour report are threatening to sue the Labour Party (this is separate to Panorama doc related action which Starmer settled) but have said they will withdraw the threat if Corbyn is expelled from the party. It stinks.

    The threat to JVL is the latest in a series of intimidatory legal actions. They're clearly the "wrong kind of Jew" and must be crushed by any means necessary. Disgusting behaviour from a journalist.

    Stepping back the attempt to stifle legitimate political discussion with mutiple libel threats is a dark turn of events and anyone who gives a damn about democracy ought to be resisting it with every fibre of their being.
  4. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    Although, from the second JC article I cited:

    'Last week it was suggested the seven Panorama antisemitism whistleblowers may join Mr Ware in suing Mr Corbyn for defamation after the former Labour leader criticised the party’s decision to settle the libel case brought against the Labour by them.

    But the JC understands that the whistleblowers do not wish to engage in another lengthy legal battle having experienced considerable stress during the fight to preserve their reputations after the Panorama programme was aired last July.

    A source close to the whistleblowers rejected reports that they had offered to withdraw the threat of legal action if Labour expelled Mr Corbyn as “untrue” and as “not helpful”.'

    So, who knows what's actually going on? (Not me, obviously).
  5. kendo

    kendo Prussian bot

    Sometimes how a person chooses who to vote for in Scotland is made so much easier...
    TheDecameron likes this.
  6. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    Fair enough. I can't remember where the claim was reported (possibly The Times) and I did mean to hedge my bets about it because I remembered it being a bit sketchy.

    I have mixed feelings about the whistleblowers decision not to pursue legal action. In some ways it's great to draw a line under the episode, which has been catastrophic on multiple levels. On the other hand, I'd love to see some of these issues aired in court (I'm fairly confident Corbyn would be vindicated but it looks like we will never know).
    ks.234 likes this.
  7. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Classic both-sidesism here. On the one hand senior bureaucrats waging a secret internal campaign against their own party. On the other hand a couple of cranks on Facebook.

    The beauty of social media for both-sidesers, and for those who insist on the purity/pragmatism myth, is that it will always be possible to dredge up some head-the-ball on Twitter saying something fanatically left wing or unpleasant. It’s not like these people don’t exist. It’s just that they tend not to have any power. This kind of distinction is completely invisible to those who insist on seeing symmetry everywhere.
  8. FireMoon

    FireMoon pfm Member

    In the last week, Riley and co have dropped a court case and agreed to pay towards the defendants costs. One of the biggest online trolls, who is followed by Riley and all the usual suspects from the Labour Party, has been outed as a far right supporter and closed their twitter account.I don't believe Ware has the slightest intention of ever going to court, his past record of "bad faith journalism", means he's looking at being absolutely mullered in court. Starmer has backed all the wrong horses at the wrong time, this could become really rather messy for Labour's right wing. JVL presented their own submission to the ECHR and it was incredibly detailed and damning of figures allowed free rein within the Labour party by Starmer and crew.
  9. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Yes, you summarise my own thoughts quite nicely. On the first point, I seem to remember it was McNicol and Michael Foster who spent members money on the court case to subvert some very clear wording in the party rules and try to prevent a democratically elected leader from standing and, with Tom Watson, then went on to attack ordinary Party members. To paraphrase Paul Mason in that interview, I was made to feel so bad to be a member, that I didn’t want to be in it. It was a very odd feeling to join a party and then be called names by significant parts of the leadership.

    We now know that those parts of the Labour Party were also actively campaigning against a Labour victory in 2017 and 2019.

    Yet despite all that, the Labour Party is the only vehicle we have for creating a left government

    Which leads us to your second point; does Starmer actually want to create a left government?

    Like you I can see the logic of a low key approach, and it would be an obvious tactical mistake to make specific policy promises right now, but by the same measure, we should have a strategic vision of what Labour will stand for by now. We should see some indication of the effects we want to achieve?

    A little while ago I asked a tongue in cheek question about the Tories being more left wing than Labour. I’ve asked the same question a few times since and still haven’t had an answer, so the question is becoming a little more serious. I presume that Labour will be to the left of the Tories, I still hope that Labour will be to the left of the Tories, but actual evidence is thin on the ground.

    Even without making specific policy promises, it really should be possible for Starmer to make it clear and obvious that Labour is to the left of Sunak, that the effect of a Labour government will be to benefit public services, the environment, and working conditions in a way that will be radically more effective than the Tories.

    It really shouldn’t be a question at all
  10. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    The Tories have very obviously driven out most of their culturally and economicially centre or left of centre ministers and senior officials just to replace them with half witted right wing extremists and all manner of lightweight Brexit lobby fodder. The sort of tools that at best don't understand the importance of EU trade (Raab's Dover comments) to the UK economy, or at worse will actively profit from the resulting chaos through their financial interests, like Mogg.

    There is nothing much wrong with Starmer's approach so far, progress has been made from a pretty disastrous starting position and Labour are the only realistic opposition. An array of published visions, strategic aims and beliefs at this time would add no value when the job is to hold the government to account and not interrupt them as they decide to self destruct.

    There is so much trouble for the Tories at the moment, a huge chunk of which they have created. As for "it really should be possible for Starmer to make it clear and obvious that Labour is to the left of Sunak". I doubt there are significant numbers of people who don't understand the difference between Sunak being forced to provide assistance never previously part of their agenda and a party with a history of support for greater social and economic equality.

    Those who wish to make mischief for Starmer will of course do all manner of speculating, but come election time, if there are still folk doubting the difference between these two options, that will be the time to worry.
    deanf and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  11. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Yes, this stuff about the Tories (Sunak) being to the left of Labour completely ignores the fact that they (he) really have little choice if they still want to have a viable country out the other side of this pandemic. The test would be whether he would have done any of that stuff, if Covid had not arrived. Clearly, that would not have happened.
  12. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Not so sure the shift in the Tory party is down to the unknown unknown that is Covid. The Tories indicated a change of tack to turn the red wall a permanent blue just after the election. It seems to me that the Tories know they will need to change their emphasis on spending to visibly advantage to red wall areas and make some nod to increased tax on the rich to pay for it and for the sheer optics.

    If so, I don’t see how, come the next election, Labour can make spending promises that challenge the Tories without very shouty headlines about Labour returning to Corbynism.

    On spending at least, the Tories have undoubtedly moved towards Keynesianism, so the question of where that leaves Labour is, it seems to me, a valid one.
  13. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    True, but it did, and he did and - at one point - Labour was extremely timid about asking for extensions to the furlough scheme and broadening its scope. Things have improved since then and Labour has recently campaigned not to end the furlough scheme (at least for certain sectors of the economy).

    Stepping back, ks' broader point is correct - the Tory platform is now hard-right nationalism + splash a bit of cash where necessary (they're even talking about setting up a national infrastructure bank, like the one described in Labour's manifesto). Of course, being the Tories, there will be a lot of smoke and mirrors but, with far-right press on board, and credulous liberal media failing to challenge, the narrative will easily become established.

    So there is a real question about how Labour reacts to the new hybrid Tory vision. The groundwork for an alternative vision needs to be laid early (well before the next election) and a crisis where everything is up for grabs is a good time to make a start. So far, Labour has failed dismally in this.

    James Meadway has written some good stuff about this recently. For example:
  14. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    I think the questions at the next election will be very different ones. We have the clusterfuck that is Covid, and still got Brexit to come. Let’s see where we are in 12 months time, I have a feeling that the good residents of northern towns like mine who voted for their Conservatives for the first time ever might be starting to have a little buyers remorse...
  15. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    Right wing media trying to smear Starmer or anyone else as the election appraoches is an absolute given, whatever their position.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  16. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Wait till January when they see the full consequences. Quite how any traditional Labour voter could vote for the party led by Boris Johnson is a mystery to me, never mind voting Tory under more more ‘normal’ leadership. Johnson is going to turn out to be “Britain Trump” and like his namesake, it’s going to blow up spectacularly.
  17. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    He already is Britain Trump.
    ks.234 likes this.
  18. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    You’ll get to see the full force of Johnson-Cummings’ lie machine with assist from The “Scottish” Sun, The “Scottish”Daily Mail in the lead up to the Scottish Parliamentary elections next May. They are desperate for distraction from their own failures and shrivelling voter base, so you can be sure it’s going to get very dirty ( even for the likes of Johnson). The “Union” is a component of Johnson’s narcissistic self-image and that’s why he’s desperate to cling on to it. The fake Churchill who expels Churchill’s grandson from the Conservative Party.
    ks.234 likes this.
  19. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Yes, but for some, that’s not a bad thing
    Del monaco likes this.
  20. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Sadly,yes. Just hoping he is booted out in the next election and it bring an end to this ludicrous, callous experiment!
    ks.234 likes this.
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