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Does the Labour Party Exist Anymore…?

Keir Starmer, Jeremy Corbyn

It is painfully clear by now, if it wasn’t long ago, that Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is not much of a safe space for debate, diversity or plurality. 

Nor for free expression.
 
A purge of the party is still ongoing, long after Jeremy Corbyn – who held a Labour majority in Islington for decades – was unceremoniously expelled based on the wishes of the Israel lobby and its longstanding weaponisation of antisemitism.

We won’t go over the whole Corbyn/antisemitism saga again here.
 
So this whole pointless drama with Diane Abbott and her suspension over antisemitic comments hadn’t happened in isolation.
 
At the same time as media commentators were pontificating on Abbott’s situation and whether she would be ‘allowed’ to stand for parliament again, Labour MP for Chingford, Faiza Shaheen, was also suspended from the party.
 
What for? For ‘liking’ a tweet of a Jon Stewart video.
 
It wasn’t even her tweet – she merely liked someone else’s post featuring the American late night host’s sketch that was deemed to be ‘antisemitic’.
 
 

 
 
To be clear, Stewart’s sketch wasn’t remotely antisemitic: it was simply parodying how criticism of Israel gets shouted down in the US media.
 
Also, in case it slipped the Labour Party’s notice, Jon Stewart is Jewish. And the clip wasn’t new, but from years earlier.
 
It must’ve also slipped their notice that their suspending of Shaheen proved Jon Stewart’s satirical sketch completely right: given that his point was to show how people aren’t allowed to be critical of Israel!
 
It’s as if these people have an irony blind-spot.
 
Yet this is the same Keir Starmer who, at the same time as his party has been purging leftists, is embracing right-wing Tory defectors like Natalie Elphicke into the fold.
 
Starmer has also just maneuvered Israel lobbyist Luke Akehurst into a Labour safe seat in North Durham: at the same time as Faiza Shaheen was being suspended for liking a Jon Stewart clip.
 
A visibly shocked and bemused Shaheen appeared on the BBC later, where she was coaxed into apologising by a cringeworthy Victoria Derbyshire. But she clearly comes across as a well meaning MP who doesn’t think she did anything wrong.
 
 

 
 
But that’s where the Labour Party is now.
 
In his ruthless quest to continue purging the party of leftists, Socialists and – most of all – critics of Israel, Keir Starmer has essentially killed the Labour Party in all but name.
 
But Starmer is presumably what the Israeli lobby wanted: his accession in the party was the end product of the years of Israel-led attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the whole cynically manipulated ‘antisemitism’ business, which we covered here for years.
 
Faiza Shaheen has declared she is standing as an independent, like Corbyn is doing in Islington.
 
Diane Abbott should’ve done the same thing – instead of waiting for ‘permission’ to stand again in her long held constituency.
 
Corbyn is going to take Islington as an independent – Labour will lose there. Diane Abbott could easily win as an independent in Hackney, if she did the bold thing and broke from the party that has mistreated her.
 
And Faiza Shaheen could conceivably win in Chingford as an independent.
 

The irony is that, even at the height of Momentum’s domination of the party during Corbyn’s leadership, Corbyn was never purging Labour of centrists or Blairites. Those who left did so of their own accord.


 
In fact, it was left-leaning figures that ended up being acted against. Corbyn was pressured into taking action, for example, against the late Ken Livingstone – for saying an ‘antisemitic’ thing that in fact, as I pointed out at the time, had also already been said by Benjamin Netanyahu himself.
 
Some argued back then that he should’ve been ridding the party of Blairite elements. But clearly Corbyn was trying to maintain a broad church, with different viewpoints and ideologies able to coexist within a pluralistic political party.
 
This might or might not have been naive. But the contrast with Starmer’s Labour Party is obvious: this current Labour Party is intolerant of its own MPs having opinions.
 
Starmer seems so fixated on eliminating the left and setting up camp firmly in the establishment centre-ground that ‘Tory Lite’ is seeming less a dig and more an aspiration.
 
This has been made easier by the fact that the Conservatives have gone so far to the right that they’ve essentially vacated the centre-right, inviting the Starmer Labour Party to fill that space.
 
Leaving no viable party on the left that could meaningfully contest this election.
 
I guess that’s by design.
 
But it does leave the question of what the Labour Party stands for anymore: or if it even stands for anything, other than just opposing the Conservatives.
 
 
 
 
 
 

S. Awan

Independent journalist. Pariah. Believer in human rights, human dignity and liberty. Musician. Substandard Jedi. All-round failure. And future ghost.

5 Comments

  1. Of course, as I’m sure you remember, Starmer also sacked RLB over a retweet and that one had involved a story published by The Independent. But it said nasty things about Israel and linked the IDF (perfectly justifiably if indirectly) to the racist murder of George Floyd. And in any case, Starmer was obviously looking for an excuse to oust RLB. Anyway excuse would do, but an “antisemitic” tweet – well, that ticked all the boxes!

    Regarding Labour, I’m sorry to say it’s a dead parrot. In truth it died long ago under Blair and was briefly resuscitated under Ed Miliband and then more fully under Corbyn, but it was just another blip. When Starmer coerced Corbyn into accepting the “people’s vote” it flatlined once and for all. That was a genius move in fact by the Blairites, who could have totally their cake and eat it.

    Who do I blame? The liberal media first and foremost for endlessly smearing Corbyn with the “antisemitism” slander. That was disgusting and remains disgusting. I can never forgive the BBC, C4 and the Guardian for their central role in Corbyn’s downfall. Next I blame Corbyn’s base and the treacherous part played by Momentum under the leadership of Jon Lansman. So many on the left allowed their hopes to be dashed for the sake of the dubious aim of defeating Brexit. They just couldn’t see how they were being played by Starmer and the rest and sold out the project.

    And lastly, I totally agree with everything you’ve said above. Diane Abbott should have ditched the party too and gone it alone. All decent left MPs should do the same – Richard Burgeon is one who springs to mind. As someone who joined the party under Corbyn and canvassed on the doorsteps, I cannot support or vote for anyone who stands by Starmer.

    I will never vote pro-genocide. Instead I’ll cast my vote for the Workers Party candidate here – she won’t win but it’s a matter of principle. Doing what is right and encourage everyone else to follow their conscience to fight for the greater good rather than settling for a lesser evil. Evil is evil and I shall not be deceived by Starmer as I confess I was by Blair (the first time around).

    What does the Labour Party stand for? Well you have answered your own question. Nothing at all.

  2. Ken Livingstone is still alive. I had to check. Otherwise, spot on. There is no “left” left in the west. It has been purged. What pretends to be left wing, isn’t. It is merely a simulation. The last 5-8 years have taught us much. One can practically SEE the Overton Window now. The range of acceptable (mainstream) opinion is shockingly narrow in bandwidth, and the calibre of debate within the window is shockingly unsophisticated and unintelligent. The so-called left lost all credibility in 2020/21 when it supported the establishment’s Class War / psyop against everyone else (but most of all against the working class and lower middle class). The only genuinely democratic, genuinely leftist movement or party in the last decade (50 years?) was the Gilets Jaunes, and the covid psyop / lockdowns came at a very opportune time to crush that movement, didn’t it? We have no democracy in the UK, nor indeed the west. We have a simulation, a pale mockery, of democracy. Red Tories or Blue Tories, the Corporatocracy’s favoured branch of the uniparty will win, and will do their bidding. The UK will continue to support genocide and the Ukrainian money laundering special operation.

    Now, I’ve got to go do my 2 minute hate against Putin. Ta ta.

    • Shit, Ken Livingstone is still alive? I could’ve sworn he died a year or two back. My bad. Maybe i’m having a Mandela Effect moment.

      But, as incredibly bleak as you’re analysis is, I can’t really argue with it.

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