Posts Tagged ‘Keir Starmer’

Starmer Announces Some Great Policies – But Can We Trust Him?

September 28, 2022

I got this email from the Labour leader yesterday, along with the inevitable request for a donation. There are some great policies in there, such as a publicly owned energy company. The problem is that Starmer’s got plenty of previous on making promises he has no intention of keeping, and of watering down his proposals when he starts thinking he’s getting near power.

‘David James, if this year’s Conference has proved one thing, it is this: 

Labour will deliver a fairer, greener future for working people. 

Here’s how we’ll do it:

In my first year as Prime Minister, Britain will start its journey to becoming a clean energy superpower by setting up a new, publicly owned company: Great British Energy. 

Publicly owned British power. 

Creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, growing our economy and protecting our country from being held to ransom by dictators like Putin.

British power to the British people.

Clean hydrogen energy in South Yorkshire, in the East of England, across the river in the Wirral. Offshore wind in Scotland, Teesside, East and North Yorkshire. Solar power, growing rural communities, in the South East, South West and Midlands.

David James, to achieve this, Labour must win. 

Will you chip into the General Election fund today, for a fairer, greener future tomorrow?

I’ll donate

While the Tories lurch from crisis to crisis, Labour’s green prosperity plan will deliver an economy that works for everyone.

Labour will:  

  • Freeze energy bills now with a windfall tax on oil and gas producers 
  • Keep bills down long term by insulating 19 million homes 
  • Secure energy independence with GB Energy 
  • Create one million new jobs by investing in new green industries 
  • Safeguard nature and our children’s future with a Clean Air Act 

Britain deserves better than Liz Truss’ trickle-down fantasy.

Britain deserves a fairer, greener future. 

Labour is ready.

Thank you, 

Keir Starmer 
Leader of the Labour Party’ 

Labour Left Proposed Motions for the Labour Party Conference

September 4, 2022

The Labour party conference is looming and Arise, the Labour festival of left-wing ideas, has sent these suggested motions out to their supporters so they can propose them to their local constituency parties, in the hope that they’ll accept them and propose them at conference. The email I had and the proposed motions run:

Model Motions Recommended for Labour Party Conference 2022

Hello David

Please find below and online here suggested model motions for Labour Party Conference. The deadline for submissions is Thursday 15 September 2022 at 5pm and the word limit is 250 words. They are on supporting public ownership, defending asylum seekers, supporting a pay rise for workers plus those unions taking industrial action to this end. and speaking up for Palestine.

Best wishes,
The Arise – a Festival of Left Ideas Volunteer Team.

1) Public ownership Motion from the Labour Assembly Against Austerity

Public Ownership is Necessary and Popular
 
Conference notes:
That public ownership is popular with voters, with polling indicating these levels of support:

  • Energy – 66% (Survation, 2022)
  • Water – 69% (Survation, 2022)
  • Royal Mail – 68% (Survation, 2022)
  • Railways – 67% (Survation, 2022)
  • Buses – 65% (Survation, 2022)
  • Social Care – 64% (Survation, 2020)
  • NHS – 84% (YouGov, 2017)

Additionally, 61% of the public think local and central government should try to run services in-house first, before outsourcing (Survation, 2015,) 82% want schools to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation, 2020;) and 63% want utilities to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation, 2020.)

Conference believes:

  • The crisis caused by soaring energy bills and the scandal of raw sewage being dumped into rivers this Summer have highlighted the failures of privatisation in Britain.
  • Private companies are making mega-profits from public services – these vast sums should instead be invested to improve services, to give their workers a pay increase and to lower costs for consumers.
  • That the Tory corruption and outsourcing crises during the pandemic have further illustrated the need for public ownership and democratic control.
  • A clear commitment to extending public ownership of key utilities and public services can be a big vote winner for Labour.

Conference resolves:

  • To oppose further Tory privatisation and outsourcing, including of the NHS, education and council services.
  • To support public ownership of key services and utilities including energy, water, railways, buses, social care, the royal mail and the NHS.

2) Motion on asylum seekers & Rwanda from the Arise Volunteer Team:

Labour should oppose the sending of asylum seekers to Rwanda

Conference notes:

  • the commitment of both candidates in the recent Tory leadership to the unethical, inhumane and racist Tory policy of forcibly sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, and the widely-condemned Nationality and Borders Act (NABA,) with its two tier system of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ refugees that would prevent some 99 percent of refugees from seeking asylum and its threat to the citizenship of 6 million people in Britain. UNHCR said the Nationality and Borders Bill would “penalise most refugees seeking asylum”.
  • the scale of opposition to the Government’s inhumane treatment of refugees who just want to rebuild their lives here in safety.
  • the decision of the European Court of Human Rights which forced the cancellation of the first scheduled flight on 14 June 2022.
  • Public polling shows increasing support for asylum seekers’ rights, including their right to work.
  • Other disastrous aspects of the ‘hostile environment’ policy over recent years including the Windrush Scandal and the notorious ‘Go Home’ vans.

Conference resolves:

  • For the Labour party to clearly oppose this obscene Tory policy in its entirety as part of campaigning for an end to the ‘hostile environment’ and against racist anti-immigrant narratives, including through a commitment that the next Labour Government will immediately cancel the Rwanda Asylum Scheme.
  • To oppose “no recourse to public funds”, NHS access restrictions and other ‘Hostile Environment’ policies.

3) Pay and backing trade union action motion from the Labour Assembly Against Austerity:

Britain Needs A Pay rise

Conference notes:

Twelve years of the Conservative Government’s low-pay agenda has significantly diminished the real value of people’s incomes with average real wages still below 2008 levels;

The situation is getting worse. Real pay dropped by 4.1% in June compared to the same period last year, with record falls of 3.4% in the private sector and 6.7% in the public sector;

The imposition of significantly below-inflation pay awards which amount to real terms pay cuts;

An increase in trade union campaigning for improved pay awards, from protests to strike ballots and industrial action;

That 76% of people support the view that pay should rise in line with the cost of living (Survation August 2022)

Conference believes:

Below-inflation pay offers will increase poverty and hardship;

That the Government should not impose real terms pay cuts on public sector workers;

It is wrong that many private firms are imposing real terms pay cuts while making big profits, awarding bonuses and large dividend payments;

Recent trade union campaigns, including strike action, have led to numerous enhanced pay awards.

Conference resolves:

To oppose the Conservative Government’s imposition of real terms pay cuts;

To support inflation-proofed increases in pay in both public and private sectors and urgent measures to restore the real value of pay lost under successive Conservative Governments since 2010;

To support a National Minimum Wage of at least £15 an hour.

To support trade union campaigning, including through backing workers taking industrial action, to achieve these aims.

4) Palestine motion from Labour & Palestine / Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Justice for Palestine

Conference strongly condemns:

  • Israel’s renewed bombing of Gaza in August 2022 killing 44 Palestinians, including 15 children, and notes the UN Special rapporteur description of it as an  act contrary to International law. 
  • the Israeli army’s killing of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and beating of her coffin bearers by Israeli police.
  • the outlawing of 7 NGOs including Addameer; the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and Defence for Children International – Palestine.

Conference recognises that these events are illustrative of the conclusions of leading human rights organisations including B’tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people, and further erode any possibility of a just solution.

Conference notes policy passed at Labour Party Annual Conferences 2018 ,2019 and 2021 in solidarity with the Palestinian people and against Israel’s ongoing violations of their rights and of international law.

Conference Resolves:

  • To support the application made in April to the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling for an investigation into the Israeli government’s systematic targeting of journalists.
  • To stand in solidarity with all human rights defenders and fully oppose the Israeli government’s attempts to silence them
  • To adhere to an ethical policy on all UK trade with Israel in line with policy passed at previous Conferences, including banning trade with illegal settlements and ending the ongoing arms trade.
  • To oppose fully any UK legislation aimed at preventing legitimate and democratic solidarity actions in support of the Palestinian people.’

These policies are popular and necessary. Among the polls showing public support for renationalising the utilities, I’m massively impressed that 82 per cent want schools to be in public hands. As for the motion on Palestine, it really amazes me how anyone in a genuinely left-wing party could support the closure of quangos devoted to protecting women and children. If ‘100 per cent Zionist’ Starmer supports this, then he’s a depraved monster, utterly unfit to govern any country devoted to humanity and the rule of law. This shows that hardly anybody wants academies or a return to grammar schools, despite the Tories constantly pushing them. I’m going to check with my local constituency party to see if these or similar are among the motions they are going to discuss this Thursday prior to conference. If they aren’t, I will propose them.

This will undoubtedly annoy the Blairites, especially the motion on Palestine. I’ll let you know if they start throwing around any fake accusations of anti-Semitism again.

Mahyar Tousi: Allin Khan Wants Starmer Out

August 23, 2022

Well, good on Dr. Khan, says I. Mahyar Tousi is another true-blue, Brexiteer Tory YouTuber. I didn’t watch the video because he tends to irritate me too much. But he posted one up this morning stating that senior Labour member Allin Khan wanted Starmer out. I have zero problem with this, though I’ve no doubt that the right are even now going to spin this as the Labour ‘moderates’ – who are anything but – are under terrible threat from those evil Corbynistas. Khan was one of the candidates for the Labour deputy leadership two years or so ago, and I saw her with the others at the Bristol hustings held at Bristol City’s football ground. There were some great left-wing hopefuls standing, and Khan was one of them. If I remember correctly, she’s Dr. Rosina Allin Khan, of mixed Pakistani-Polish heritage. I think she may also be from a working class home. And as a doctor she was particularly concerned about the NHS. It’s too bad that she or any of the other real left-wingers didn’t get.

And I’d far, far rather have her as leader than Starmer. I believe very strongly that Dr. Khan would fight for the NHS, while sleazy Starmer seems to me all too ready to sell it off if it’s politically convenient.

Petition from Mish Rahman against Starmer’s ban on Labour MPs Joining Striking Workers

August 11, 2022

I’ve just got this email through from Mish Rahman, a left-wing Labour MP, opposing Starmer’s diktat against Labour MPs joining picket lines and the sacking of Sam Tarry for doing so.

Tell Keir Starmer – Back Workers Taking Action!


Get involved: sign here / share here / retweet me here.

Hello David
 
The recent sacking of Sam Tarry for joining an RMT picket line was a low point for Keir Starmer’s time as Labour Leader, but it’s clear that the majority of Labour members, affiliates & supporters stand with those workers taking action during the deepening cost-of-living crisis.

I’m writing to ask you to join me and over 5000 others in clearly saying that all Labour MPs must back our unions and that Sam Tarry’s sacking should be reversed. Please take 30 seconds to:

  1. Sign and tell us why here.
  2. Share here on Facebook
  3. Retweet my message here.

Yours in solidarity, 
Mish Rahman, Labour NEC member on behalf of the Labour Assembly Against Austerity.

PS: Thank you to everyone who has backed my campaign to be re-elected to Labour’s NEC. You can read my launch article here.’

Well, I’ve done so, giving as my reason the fact that the Labour party was partly founded by the unions to defend trade unions and strikes, and that the first working people elected to parliament were the Lib-Labs. They were members of the Liberal party representing the trade unions. Banning MPs from joining picket lines betrays this working class activism.

If you feel the same way, perhaps you’d also like to sign the petition.

Guardian Letter Blames Privatisation for the Water Crisis

August 11, 2022

More ammunition for those of us demanding renationalisation of the water companies. The Guardian letters page has published a piece ”England’s water crisis should be blamed on privatisation’. It begins

‘The crisis facing the nation’s water supply because of the drought (Ban bonuses for water firm bosses until they fix leaky pipes, say Lib Dems, 8 August) reminds me of the words of Dr Jack Cunningham MP, who was Labour’s shadow environment secretary at the time of water privatisation in 1989.

As the bill to privatise the water industry in England and Wales was going through parliament, I interviewed Dr Cunningham for a political programme called Agenda transmitted by Television South. Dr Cunningham (now Baron Cunningham of Felling) said it was appalling that a natural resource like water should be put in the hands of people with a profit motive. It was unbelievable, he said, that the provision of such a resource should be subjected to commercial criteria like any other commodity. He thought the ultimate losers would be the public.

Twenty-eight years later, in 2017, opinion polling indicated that 83% of the British public would like to see renationalisation of all water services. In the same year, research by the University of Greenwich suggested that consumers in England were paying £2.3bn more every year for their water and sewerage than they would be if the water companies had remained under state ownership. As the disaster of water privatisation becomes ever clearer, I think Lord Cunningham has every reason to say: “I told you so.”’

See: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/england-s-water-crisis-should-be-blamed-on-privatisation/ar-AA10wq0q?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=d98dd26244804a839d74f30a7c1ba074

83 per cent of the great British public want the water companies renationalised, and we’re paying £2.3 billion more than if they had remained in the state sector.

More evidence that Thatcherism is an utter failure, Jeremy Corbyn was right, and Starmer is a sell-out who has bugger-all to offer the British working class, if you’ll pardon the obscenity, than more reheated Blairism. And as that’s Thatcherism by any other name, just rebranded so it looks a little more left, that’s a colossal failure too.

Renationalise water!

Down with the Tories!

Out with Starmer!

That Preston Journalist Calls for the Nationalisation of the Water Companies

August 11, 2022

Oh ho! Here’s another right-wing explicitly demanding a socialist policy. Thatcherite heads will explode! That Preston Journalist is another right-wing journalist, but with a particular hatred against Nicola Sturgeon, whom he calls ‘Jeanette McKrankie’, and the SNP. But yesterday evening I found a post of his where he bitterly criticised the water companies for profiteering while people suffer in the heat and worry about paying for their drinking water. He stated that he was surprised himself by saying, but the water companies should be nationalised. They were mostly foreign owned, they didn’t invest in properly repairing and maintaining the water infrastructure, so that millions of gallons of water were wasted in leaks. He specifically mentioned an old lady who had to wait an extremely long time before someone from the water company fixed her pipes. The profits from the companies were instead given to their foreign bosses and shareholders. In the meantime, not only had the infrastructure not been maintained, but they had even been selling off reservoirs, just as those in use were running dry.

This is exactly what left-wing critics like Mike have been telling everyone for years. This is exactly why Jeremy Corbyn put the nationalisation of the utilities in the Labour manifesto – and why the Tories attacked him as a Commie and Tory infiltrator Starmer broke the pledge as soon as he could.

Thatcherism is a failure!

Corbyn was right!

Nationalise the utilities now!

Forde Report Concludes that Labour’s Black Staff Were Victimised by a Racist Hierarchy

July 20, 2022

That’s one of the headlines from yesterday’s Independent. I didn’t look any further at the article, because – and I might be prejudging the issue just a little bit – I didn’t need to. As Bill Hicks used to say sarcastically, ‘Colour me surprised!’ Because I’m not, not at all. It’s something that we on the left have known since the story broke that right-wing Labour apparatchiks were bullying and insulting Black and ethnic minority Labour staff and even high profile MPs like Diane Abbott. But the bullies were Blairites and supporters of Starmer, and their victims were people of colour rather than good, solid, Israel-supporting Jews. And so there was zero outrage and action from the Blairites and the right-wing, lamestream media and press. Neither has there been any positive reporting of the ordinary Jews treated as badly and worse by the witch hunters, simply for the crime of not being enthusiastic supporters of Israel. What will happen now that the report’s been published? I have no idea. I can expect Starmer to bluster some kind of denial of its findings, making vague promises of reform, the party’s commitment to fighting racism and so on. But as the commenters on here have also pointed out, the Labour front bench and shadow cabinet still has fewer non-Whites than the Tories. Which makes Starmer look more than a little weak on tackling anti-Black and Asian racism. But I also wonder if the report and coverage of it won’t be buried under all the other news, like the Tory leadership contest, Ukraine and anything else that crops up until this is all safely forgotten.

Sajid Javid Now Scared of Labour

July 11, 2022

All the current candidates for Tory leader are, in the humble opinion of Yours Truly, absolutely terrifying. They’re all saying they’re going to cut taxation, with one – I can’t remember who – saying he intends to cut corporation tax down to its very lowest level, 15 per cent. As the news programme which interviewed this specimen pointed out, cutting tax means cutting expenditure. But obviously, this particularly Tory candidate didn’t say what he was going to cut expenditure on, and to my knowledge neither has the rest of them. However, I should think it’s fairly obvious: it’s going to be whatever remains of the welfare state, plus the privatisation of the NHS. And additionally, it doesn’t matter whether the new incumbent on No. 10 is Black or Asian, he or she will still seek to restrict immigration. And while they’re election may not mean that the Tory party as a whole isn’t racist, they’re still going to ignore the racism in the Tory base.

Mind you, as the great commenters on this blog have pointed out, Labour’s front bench really isn’t as diverse as the Tories. I can think of a number of reasons for this, from racism in the Labour leadership – Starmer and his coterie have significantly failed to punish those responsible for the racial harassment and bullying of Black and Asian MPs – to fear that some of the best qualified Labour MPs are particularly vulnerable to Tory attacks and smears. Diane Abbott, despite the personal attacks, really isn’t stupid, and having been elected in the 1980s she is now a veteran MP. But the Tories and their base particularly loathe her because of her tough stance on White racism and her left-wing politics. Which means she’s one of the Labour politicos who’s most subject to press vilification and online abuse. Someone said that she receives half of the misogynistic messages sent to women MPs. I can honestly believe it. And because of her close relationship to Corbyn and her left-wing views, she clearly isn’t going to get a cabinet post under Starmer. But I don’t doubt that there are other Black MPs, who could be given a cabinet post without the dangers of attack and smears Abbott would run.

But there are some hopeful signs. I just caught a headline on a GB News video that appears to show that at least one of the Tory hopefuls is rattled. Sajid Javid has apparently said that ‘the danger is that too many people believe Labour is fit for government.’ And if he’s saying it, you can bet that there are others thinking it. I just wish Starmer could show his party that he’s fit to run it and govern the country.

Their Race Is Irrelevant: All the Tory Leadership Candidate Are Rich, Public School and Anti-Working Class

July 10, 2022

Following Johnson’s un-resignation, in which he resigned but decided to hang on as caretake prime minister until his fellow robber barons and profiteers elect a new leader, a number of leading Tories have thrown their hats into the ring in the hope of being his successor. Very many of them aren’t White – Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid, Priti Patel, Kemi Badenoch and so. The titles of various YouTube videos have proclaimed that this is the most diverse Tory leadership election every. Simon Webb of History Debunked has taken a more racially pessimistic view. He posted a video stating that inexorably power is moving away from the White British. Webb’s views of these events, and his general opposition to multiculturalism and non-White immigration, seems to come partly from the prediction that by the middle of this century, Whites will be a minority in Britain. Such demographic predictions of Whites becoming minorities in their own countries is an integral part of the Great Replacement conspiracy cooked up in 2012 by a French rightist. It has, however, a long prehistory before that in the conspiracy theory of the British and American Nazi fringe that the Jews are behind non-White immigration, which they’re using to destroy the White race. This is just bilge, but the demographic prediction of Blacks and non-Whites becoming the majority in Britain came not from any bug-eyed Nazi, but were, to my recollection, published in the Observer in 2002. Webb clearly sees the ethnic minority Tory candidates in this light, as the beginning of Black rule as the White British dwindle into minority status.

Except that, colour excepted, all of the Black and Asian Tory leadership candidates are bog-standard and typical of their elite class and party. They are all, or nearly all, public school boys and girls, who believe in free trade, privatisation, destroying the welfare state, privatising the NHS, smashing the unions and generally making life miserable for working people in the name of generating big profits for their class. And despite their colour, they are all anti-immigration. Priti Patel is notorious for the harshness of her immigration policies. He parents were Ugandan Asians, who were expelled by the country’s then brutal, racist dictator, Idi Amin. It’s been said that if this happened today, then Patel would have had them rounded up for deportation. Kemi Badenoch is a Black woman, who has sparred with Diane Abbott and other Black Labour politicos about how racist this country is or is not. But she has declared herself to be a supporter of small government. Which means more privatisation, including NHS privatisation, and more cuts to the welfare state. Rishi Sunak is being hailed by the right-wing press as the supporter of free trade which Britain needs. So, more deregulation and privatisation of the type that wrecked the economy in the first place. And it has struck me that if Sunak was White, he’d be typical of the general appearance of some of the ex-public schoolboys that now haunt the corridors of power. The Triggernometry vloggers said it all in a recent text message that asked if it would really be a win for diversity if all the Tory candidates were rich and public school, so long as they were people of colour.

I suspect that we may well have the first Black or Asian Prime Minister under the Tories, but this won’t do anything for the mass of Blacks and Asians in Britain, in the same way that Thatcher was our first female prime minister, who did precious little for ordinary women. Whatever their ethnicity, none of the Tory candidates have any interest in working exclusively or even partly for their racial group’s benefit, unlike Labour politicians like Abbott and Lammy. And this will probably mean that they’ll find it easier to be accepted. They have exactly the same worldview as the White Tory politicos and supporters. Abbott and Lammy, on the other hand, would put many White voters off because of their focus on working for the Black community. I don’t doubt that many White voters would fear that they really want to flood the country with non-White immigrants and harshly discriminate against Whites under the guise of combating racism.

However positively the number of Black and Asian Tory leadership candidates are viewed, I do wonder how this is going to affect right-wing groups like the New Culture Forum. This group shares the same racial views as Simon Webb, and indeed they even had him interviewed in one of their videos. But one of the Tories’ strategies to attack Labour has been to claim that the Labour party is deliberately ignoring and even discriminating against the White working class. In one video they interviewed Michael Collins, the author of the Demonization of the White Working Class and a more recent video from the Forum has stated this more broadly. It begins with a clip of one Labour politician at one conference stating that he’s upset that there are too many White people in the hall and speaking. But this strategy of playing on the feelings of some Whites that they’re being ignored and vilified by a Labour party determined to promote immigrants and ethnic minorities are their expense is going to be complicated if there’s a Black or Asian Tory prime minister doing precisely the same thing. One possible outcome of this is that politics moves even further to the right as the same White demographic that supported UKIP leaves the Tories to support the fringe populist parties Reclaim or Reform.

Whatever the intentions of the Tory party and the cultural homogeneity of its leaders as the typical rich children of privilege, we could see a rise in racism as some Whites see the cuts and privatisations not in class terms, but racial.

This can be fought by the Labour party going back to stressing its working class origins and policies, for all working people, whether White, Black, or Brown.

But it ain’t going to happen under Starmer.

Blairites Clearly Worried that Strikes May Be Popular

July 1, 2022

Bravo to the RMT’s Mike Lynch, who’s been humiliating various journos on the right-wing news programmes by ably answering some of their stupid and very leading questions. Momentum put up a three minute video the other day of him being interviewed by Kaye Burleigh on Sky News.
She asked him what he was doing picketing. He casually turned part way round to indicate the picket line behind her, telling her that they were there and would try to persuade workers not to cross it. But what if they tried? asked Burleigh. Then we’d try to persuade them not to, replied Lynch. At which point she got a bit huffy. The miners’ strike was mentioned, with Lynch wondering if she was old enough to remember it. She said huffily that she was, and she knew what picketing was. She was clearly desperate to get him to say something incriminating, like violence might happen, but Lynch would not be baited. And he’s been causing panic with his calm, reasoned answered right across the news programmes. I went to a left-Labour Zoom meeting on Wednesday. It was a conversation between the mighty Richard Burgon and Jess Barnard, the awesome head of Young Labour. During their conversation they said that public support for the train workers – not just the drivers, but also the signalmen and the people who work to maintain it all – had gone up. Several Labour MPs have even defied Starmer to express their support and solidarity with the union and its strike.

This has clearly put the wind not just up Starmer, but up the Blairites as a whole. And as Corporal Jones used to say in Dad’s Army, ‘they do not like it up ’em. They do not!’ For some reason I’ve had a short, 1 1/2 minute video from New Labour appear on my mobile this afternoon of Tony Blair telling anyone who’ll listen why we shouldn’t support public sector strikes.

Rubbish! As Burgon and Barnard said, Labour was founded by the unions to defend union rights. And that also means public sector unions. I see absolutely no reason why anyone, who wishes to remain true to the party and its great traditions, should listen to either Starmer or Blair. When Blair took over the Labour party, he threatened to cut its ties with the unions if he didn’t get his way on reducing their voting powers in the party. This would effectively have torn the heart out of the party as a genuinely working class organisation. The subtitle for this wretched video described Blair as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007. So he was, during which time the number of people voting Labour actually went down along with the party’s membership. The number of people voting for Blair was actually less than those voting for Jez Corbyn. Blair only won because the Tories were even worse.

Why did the Labour vote and membership decline? That’s not a difficult question! It might have something to do with Blair carrying on Thatcher’s programme of privatisation, including that of the NHS, the further destruction of the welfare state and lying about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction which he could launch within forty minutes to take us into an illegal war. A war which wrecked a country and destabilised the entire Middle East, leaving it vulnerable to the horrible predations of ISIS. Hussein was a monster, but by the time he invaded he was not a threat to the other countries and something of a joke in the Arab world. He was certainly no threat to Britain. We sent our brave lads and lasses into Iraq not to defend Blighty, not to give the Iraqis democracy, but simply so that the oil companies and multinationals could steal Iraq’s oil and its state industries.

Blair’s a war criminal who should have been put on trial at the Hague alongside other monsters like Slobodan Milosevic. But somehow New Labour, now looking very shabby and shop-soiled, expect us to hang on his words like an elder statesman, like some latter day Pericles or Solon, but from Islington rather than Athens.

Bilge! Blair should shut up and keep silent. He had his time and it was over 15 years ago. As for Starmer, he’s a disgrace. They’re probably arguing that supporting public sector strikes will make the party unpopular. But I think they’re really scared that the RMT strike is proving all too popular, and that other unions are joining in to demand better wages for their workers.

And hooray for them, and yay for Mike Lynch!

Here’s the video Momentum put up of Lynch very capably rebutting Kaye Burleigh’s questions.