Starmer? Really?

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Labour leadership contests are obviously vital as a guide to the future direction of the party which is why it’s vital we make the right decision. At the moment Keir Starmer seems to be favorite and he is definitely picking up a head of steam. I understand that to a degree, we have just had a catastrophic defeat in the General Election and to some Starmer seems to be the safe option. Some of the talk I’ve seen in his favour is he looks the part apparently and he can talk well.  That’s he’s clever and is the only credible option. The one that’s really has confused me is that he is media friendly .

So let’s just go through these.

Safe? Well who to is my question to that. I suppose this is connected to the media friendly one as well After the mauling that Jeremy Corbyn has had the last 4 and half years I can understand why it’s appealing to have a leader that would get a better press. But we are deluding ourselves if we think any Labour Leader is going to get one. Tony Blair is the only leader who has had a good press and that was only because he did a dodgy deal with Rupert Murdoch and that only lasted temporarily. Normal order was restored after a few years. So yes Corbyn had a particular time at the hands of the press because the establishment recognised he was a threat to them.

This brings something else up to me.  At the moment Starmer is talking quite left at times trying to attract Corbyn supporters to vote for him. But if he wins and he carries on doing that the press will really put the boot in and I really don’t trust him not to capitulate and backtrack to appear yes more safe. What I’m saying is any Labour Leader worth their salt will want to be a threat to the establishment and you have to set your stall out from the start. Does anyone really think if he capitulates on one thing he wouldn’t on another? The press would love that and would carry on putting the pressure on for more backtracking more watering down because at the end of the day it’s not Jeremy Corbyn the media actually hated but what he stood for and our policies.

You see we have been here before. Back in the 80’s when Neil Kinnock became leader he believed in Public Ownership, he believed in unilateral disarmament he had principles or so we thought but by the time his 2nd General Election came in 1992 he had long jettisoned them and we all know what happened we still lost. Personally at this stage I have less faith in Starmer than I did when Kinnock became leader in 1983. You see it all comes down to who appears more electable.

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Yes electable is the magic word and funnily enough we were told that about Kinnock when he was elected leader in 1983. But of course who appears electable is very subjective. In my view Starmer doesn’t seem electable at all because with his anti brexit views I don’t think he has a hope in hell of winning back our heartlands. It was Starmer who was at the heart of our Brexit volte-face between 17 and 19 which I believe was the biggest reason we lost 2 and half million votes. That’s one big reason I believe he isn’t the answer and would be a disaster. He’s done nothing to own this calamity of the highest order and doesn’t seem to be able to accept his huge role in it. If he can’t see the problem how on earth can he try to put it right?

While Starmer himself is probably more from the centre of the party than being an out and out Blairite just look who he appointed in his campaign team Matt Pound from Labour First a right wing faction. He’s trying to tack left to gain votes but there’s nothing in his history to prove he’s on the left of the party. In the 2015 Leadership election he supported Andy Burnham and more importantly in 2016 he endorsed Owen Smith.  Which brings me to another reason I couldn’t vote for him as leader. Some people say he’s been loyal to Corbyn but that’s not true he was part of the Chicken Coup in 2016.

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Another thing that’s important to me and that was the position Starmer took on the Tory Welfare Bill in 2015. He abstained and didn’t vote against it like Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler and Rebecca Long-Bailey for example. This was an important litmus test and he failed it.

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There’s something else about Keir that isn’t a very nice thing to say but I think it’s a very important point as well. A leader should be someone who inspires and excites people. They should be charismatic in some way especially now in the modern age. Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Blair both were in their own ways and agree or disagree with them they excited and inspired people to vote Labour.  I’m afraid I can’t see Keir doing that at all, to me he comes across as a very old fashioned type of politician which is me being kind for saying he is very boring. I really don’t like being personal like that but ignoring this won’t help us. I suppose this goes back to him being safe. Some might find that comforting but politics isn’t about being safe. At this critical time in not only the parties history but the world’s where we are staring Climate Change in the face I really don’t think safe is what we need.

Now I’m sure Keir Starmer is a nice enough guy but I really don’t see him as the person to take the Labour Party forward my view is it would be a massive backward step. The bottom line is I just don’t believe he would be a keeper of the torch that Corbyn has lit. I really don’t see him as an answer to our electoral problems but rather just a desperate reaction to them. I’m convinced over time he would begin watering down our policies.  So to anyone who voted for Corbyn in previous leadership elections I’m asking please think carefully about who to vote for. As I said at the beginning it’s so vital we don’t make the wrong choice.

 

 

 

 

 

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