Starmer and the victory of dark politics

28 Feb

Even the mildly socialist policies put forward on Jeremy Corbyn’s watch were too much for Britain’s rulers. Aided by the most vicious campaign ever waged against a party leader, in which every wing – liberal as much as conservative, ‘quality’ as much as tabloid – of corporate media played its part with gusto, Corbyn was ousted and Labour returned to safer hands, as befits its role as Her/His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Which is to say, a party to which Britain’s ruling class may turn without fear when its A-team has so royally fucked up as to need a spell on the benches.
steel city scribblings: Labour won’t save Britain’s public sector

Jonathan Cook, writing yesterday on his blogsite

Starmer is paving the way for the triumph of dark politics

By waging an all-out war on the left and its ideas, the Labour leader is strangling hope of change in a time of crisis – and risks driving voters towards right-wing authoritarians

There is a reason – and not the one given – why Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has announced that he is banning his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, from standing as a candidate for the party at the next general election.

Corbyn has been sitting as an independent since Starmer exiled him from the Labour benches in late 2020 – after Corbyn observed that it was for “political reasons” he faced years of evidence-free accusations the Labour Party was beset by antisemitism on his watch. He called the accusation “dramatically overstated”.

The official grounds for Corbyn being permanently barred from returning to the parliamentary party are that he has refused to apologise for his comment.

Announcing Corbyn’s exclusion as a candidate, Starmer said Labour would “never again be brought to its knees by racism or bigotry. If you don’t like that, if you don’t like the changes we have made, I say the door is open and you can leave”.

The establishment media – from right to supposed left – are trying to bolster Starmer’s claims about Corbyn and his supporters by continuing to weave a web of misrepresentations about the former leader being depraved and unhinged.

Antisemitism in Labour is apparently being kept at bay only because of Starmer’s vigilance, in contrast to Corbyn’s supposed indulgence. And, were Corbyn to be serving as prime minister today, we are warned, he would be taking “cranky” foreign policy decisions, like encouraging a diplomatic process to end the bloodshed in Ukraine.

No other political leader, not even Tony Blair, has haunted the thoughts of his successor – or the airwaves and pages of the billionaire-owned media – in quite the way Corbyn continues to do so.

Even a disastrous, if brief, prime minister like Liz Truss quickly faded from memory. Boris Johnson stays in the British public’s imagination only because the scandals and dramas he presided over are still playing out, and because in the crisis-plagued Conservative Party, he might yet manage to claw his way back into Downing Street.

So why the perennial concern about Corbyn, even as he languishes on the backbenches, outside the two-party chokehold on British politics, with no evident path back to power? Why does his shadow loom so large?

Read Jonathan’s answer to those two questions …

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5 Replies to “Starmer and the victory of dark politics

  1. Jonathan Cook:

    Over the past three years, Starmer has been busy setting out his conditions for remaining in the Labour Party tent – parameters that just so happen to mirror precisely the British establishment’s requirements for legitimacy in public life.

    Not simply legitimacy in public life but legitimacy in society per se. An approach by a self selecting credentialed class whose raison detre is to force everyone to live and think in their limiting and reductionist image in the sense that broad citizen conformity to its cultural norms and ‘emergencies’ is not enough. But rather, it is its’ thought-processes that have to be fully reflected in modes of thinking such that every citizen’s acts and thoughts reflect what this credentialed elite consider to be ‘right thinking’.

    What Cook identifies here in the Labour Party is not only another example of Cancel Culture in its many forms it is also a mirror to a future under the latest iteration of that credentialed elite’s intentions in ensuring its continuity regardless of changes in administration.

    Labour under Starmer has the blessing of that credentialed elite because it has one of its own at the helm. What is being carried out in the Labour Party today will be the norm for British society and the subjects of its self-appointed credentialed elites should this Continuity second eleven take the helm. Disagreeing with, and acting on that disagreement, with the incompetent mardy arses running this shit show will result in the same outcomes as presently taking place in the Labour Party.

    Give a donation to the “wrong” crowdfunder, as occurred in Canada last year, or express support for the ‘wrong’ idea (be it Gender Critical; anti-Zionist – even if you are Jewish; the rights of Russian speaking people in Ukraine not to be bombed or subject to genocidal Nazis and so on) will see you effectively outlawed from being able to earn, pay, shop and basically live in what passes for society.

    The cultural revolution taking place is operating on multiple levels. With the indoctrination of children even at primary level into a denial of basic biology; whilst at the same time, at international level, so called leaders call to ‘rewrite the mentality; of those who will not bow down to them and cry uncle.

    • Labour under Starmer has the blessing of that credentialed elite because it has one of its own at the helm.

      Precisely. As I said at start of this post:

      Corbyn was ousted and Labour returned to safer hands, as befits its role as Her/His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Which is to say, a party to which Britain’s ruling class may turn without fear when its A-team has so royally fucked up as to need a spell on the benches.

      For his part, and in the context of the meltdown under Liz Truss last autumn, another reader, bevin, put it more strongly:

      The natural political division in the UK right now is between Blairism and Socialism. Truss is not the first Tory PM to dissolve on contact, she is the fourth in less than a decade. The Tory ‘brand’ is no longer fit for purpose – Blairism serves the ruling class far better. And when it is opposed by Toryism it is unbeatable because the only alternative is a clumsier version of itself.

  2. Jonathan’s prediction of Starmer driving some to the Right would appear to be supported by exactly that happening to a significant number of Bernie Saunders’ supporters once he was eliminated from the Democratic contest to run for president.

    • It’s a well known trajectory. Oswald Mosley had once been seen as a future Labour prime minister, but left in disgust to form his British Union of Fascists after his boldly Keynesian plans – e.g. setting people to work on ambitious road and house building projects – was rejected as too daring by the party leadership. Further east, the Night of the Long Knives took place because even as Hitler was wooing big business, the Ernst Röhm wing of the Nazi Party appeared to be taking the “socialist” part of National Socialism too seriously.

      (In the 20s and 30s both fascist Italy and the USSR were making laissez-faire capitalism look cruelly complacent – much as the dangerous mix of precarity, casino capitalism and soaring inequality makes today’s Western rulers look cruelly complacent.)

      Voiced in liberal media such as Guardian, WashPo etc, what Tariq Ali called “The Extreme Centre” is fearful of the rise of a populist Right, even as its greater fear of a populist Left fuels that rise.

  3. Meanwhile the predicted mission creeps gathers pace……..


    ……reports that an influential part of the Labour Party establishment has written to the Green Party demanding they explain why they have welcomed left-wing Jews like Jo Bird as members.

    They are not yet even in Government yet a section of this Uniparty cabal have no problem in extending their conditions for being allowed to participate in civil society beyond the Labour Party to effectively warning with menaces other Party’s from accepting into membership those this cabal have designated as being permanently cancelled, outlawed and outcast for the crimes of wrongthink against The official Narrative.

    Does anyone seriously doubt that this kind of mission creep will be extended once the anointed ‘safe pair of hands’ for the ruling British Oligarchy is elevated to power? That just whipped its Peers in the house of Lords to abstain on a Green Party attempt to protect journalists in the National Security Bill legislation?

    Whose leader, in an interview with Emily Maitlis only a few weeks ago, responded without hesitation to the question “Westiminster or Davos” with the reply “Davos.”

    It does not bode well for any subject of these isles who incurs the displeasure of this section of the self-selecting credentialed elite if they ever achieve Government office and power. Regardless of whatever colour rosette they have pinned to their chest.

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