Embrace Blair’s Legacy? Screw that Keith.

As sure as night follows day, Keir Starmer’s lack of self-awareness rumbles on as we’re now looking at yet another relaunch of his leadership. Corbyn just getting his feet under the table was enough to give the out of touch majority of the Labour PLP a collective brain aneurysm, but Starmer can fail and fail and fail again to make any progress, any inroads with the public, can stand around awkwardly with ice cream and continue to be a pale, male and stale mire of nothingness and still not a peep from them.

This time he’s gone full Blairite, he wants to embrace Blair’s legacy going forwards. How utterly, mind-screamingly stupid a move this is. Blair’s legacy is toxic, but having surrounded himself with the same right-wingers Blair surrounded himself with, we’ve seen them in recent appointments, Peter Mandelson to start with of course, Mr I work every day to undermine Jeremy Corbyn brought in to try and make Labour electable when the majority of members were inspired to join the very party then led by Corbyn, that Mandy despised so much, members who would never join a party led by a Blair clone, so little wonder the party is losing on average 250 members a day, having lost 120,000 of them overall since Starmer took over as leader. There have sadly been others from Blairs team join since.

Starmer is a man so bereft of ideas, that he has surrounded himself by the worst right wingers perverting the Labour Party, that he’s now gone full Tory. Tony Blair was regarded of course by Margaret Thatcher as her greatest achievement – a tame opposition party that would never rock the establishment boat, a safe pair of hands for vested interests should her own party ever fall out of control. Mandelson of course famously said the Labour voter would have nowhere else to go, that this was the perfect scam, the wealthy would never have anything to fear and a servile public would just have to lump it. Labour’s landslide in 1997 was massive, but it came off the back of an incredibly corrupt, far too long tenure of Tory rule – they’d been in power for 18 years. Just as Starmer lied about being a socialist to get elected Labour leader – if only trading standards could be applied to him, he’d have gone months ago – Blair did likewise, it soon became apparent what a weasel he was, because he was essentially a bastard Tory and did bastard Tory things. No council house building, despite knowing it was a crisis then and continued with right to buy, losing even more of our housing stock, tuition fees were introduced, bank deregulation began, did nothing to reverse anti-trade union legislation that Thatcher had brought in, in fact boasted about how tough it was, benefit cuts to single mothers and refugees seeking asylum, disability assessments were introduced, kids as young as 10 with ASBO’s being named and shamed, racially profiling Muslims for stop and search and told them if they didn’t like it to take off their veils, saddling the NHS with PFI’s condemning them to massive debts and paving the way for private firms to come into the NHS, built on since savagely by the Tories, there were outsourcing disasters under Blair as well, he introduced it in the late 90’s and the Tories copied his example after, so many of the problems we see today were happening then too and actually started there. Oh and there was of course the matter of an illegal war that killed a million people. Labour’s polling in subsequent elections suffered as a result – they kept power, such was the dire state of the Tories at that time, Blair of course had Murdoch shielding the public from much of his mess at the time too, but their polling suffered and the party finances did as well. Blair left Labour £25m in debt and utterly reliant on donors for survival. It’s an uncomfortable truth for Blair’s defenders that actually the closest we’ve come to power since ‘97 and the only election where Labour actually gained seats instead of losing them was in 2017 under Jeremy Corbyn. In fact Corbyn got more votes in 2017 than Blair did in 2001 or 2005, it is our crap electoral system that means that that achievement did not translate into more seats than it did. Blair oversaw a haemorrhage in support, a decline in voter turnout as well – turnout used to be over 70% in a general election, it hasn’t managed that since 1997, again, the closest it got was 2017 when a candidate for change, a candidate that inspired people stood for election and offered genuine choice, not two shades of Tory. So much for Mandelson saying we had nowhere else to go, we just stopped voting.

Instead of embracing these facts, instead of accepting Blair and his ilk are yesterday’s men and learning the lessons of recent history, Starmer is now promoting himself as the natural successor to Blair. Blair could at the very least think for himself Keith, you have to focus group everything. Yours so far is a legacy of pint holding and pointing, of standing awkwardly on the beach in a suit as people look away from you, of standing on a platform of socialism and then tearing up every pledge you made. Of losing by-election after by-election, only winning the last one in all likelihood, because the Green Party didn’t stand. Of sacking every socialist from your front bench as soon as you could find an excuse to do so whilst letting off right-wingers bringing shame on the party, of cheering on sporting events whilst failing to show solidarity for your own MP’s who have been vilified or attacked, for shamelessly capitalising on brave stances such as that of Dawn Butler by begging for cash whilst again offering her no solidarity, paying off ex-staff despite legal advice saying the party had a case against them, constantly attacking the left so that members are driven away in disgust. Between lost membership revenue and paying off people you had no right to, the party is now apparently on the brink of bankruptcy, you’re sacking staff as a result, yet hiring more on poorer terms and conditions turning the party of the working class into a bad fire and rehire employer. You’ve overseen left unions withdraw funding and consider disaffiliation, you’ve consistently blocked the release of the Forde Report which no doubt would expose the wrongdoing of many of those you’d paid off, you called Black Lives Matter a moment and with recent proscriptions and the lack of action taken after attacks on left wing Jewish members, not to mention those showing solidarity with Palestine, you’ve overseen a party that has consistently attacked its own left wing more than the government and led the party to become more racist. You’ve utterly failed to act as a leader of the opposition by consistently agreeing with the government on everything, from demanding schools reopen, no ifs, no buts, no equivocation, to demanding they lift restrictions even faster, based on no scientific evidence, but for crass, blatant political gain. You failed to demand male politicians resign, but are quick to demand female ones do – the difference in your responses to Matt Hancock and Nicola Sturgeon. The failure to hold the worst Tory government in modern history to account at the most crucial of times, during this pandemic has failed a nation and cost lives and throughout all of that, you’ve offered no alternatives and no policies.

Frankly we’re at the point where even if you brought in policies and you’ve talked about a Green New Deal in recent days, who would trust you? Who would believe you? You haven’t the conviction to stand by your own pledges, you keep trying to remake yourself every other week with another relaunch, yet the problem remains you are a singularly dislikeable, wooden, political vacuum, an empty suit, an advert for brylcreem but nothing else. You have no original ideas, you cannot think for yourself, you’ve been dishonest in your pronouncements, you’ve all but sent our party broke and now you’re wining and dining donors to fill the void but they aren’t biting much are they Keith! Even Blair couldn’t pull the party out of debt, it was Corbyn that did that, by increasing membership, increasing revenue by embracing the people. Many small donations made a big difference. It wasn’t Corbyn leaving us £25m in the hole, he left us £13m in the black and you and David Evans your unelected, unratified General Secretary have left him suspended from the party for far too long, despite an NEC panel clearing him, have given no indicator when this will be lifted and this has pissed off members possibly more than any other single action you’ve taken and for all that cash he injected into party coffers you seem to have blown it all and have fuck all to show for it.

Tony Blair is reviled in this day and age, people went off him fast, particularly members quickly enough at the time he was still leader. You really think that in this era of social media, of wokeness, of people being better informed than ever before as newspapers fall into decline and independent media offers alternative views and news that won’t be covered elsewhere that you can pull off a con like this when it seems you need someone to tell you what colour underwear to put on each day, let alone come up with a policy? Then you really are as daft as you look. You want us to embrace Blair’s legacy? Forget it. Much of the rot the Tories have wrought in recent years has built off what he started. To embrace Blairs legacy is to inspire the Tories, not oppose them. Your predecessor showed you the way, you pretended to be like him, yet now you say you’re like Tony fucking Blair. No politician as blatantly dishonest and lacking in principles as Starmer will ever succeed. It’s way past time the Party got rid. Clearly it isn’t true that anyone but Corbyn would be 20 points ahead. Its time we demanded he go, no ifs, no buts, no equivocation.

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Where’s the money gone Keir & Dave?

Fire and Rehire, the pernicious practice of firing your employees unless they accept new contracts with poorer conditions. Made illegal in many countries, the Tories won’t do it here, so its up to the Trade Unions to defend their members from being mistreated in this way. You wouldn’t expect the political arm of their movement, the Labour Party to indulge in this practice however, but sadly, such is the decline of the Party under the regime of Keir Starmer & David Evans, Fire and Rehire is exactly what they’re doing. Labour is in a financial mess entirely of the making of the two aforementioned idiots. When they took over the party, they enjoyed being debt free and had reserves of £13.5m in the bank. 18 months later, we’re told that the party is one payroll away from bankruptcy. Where’s the money Keir & Dave? What have you blown it on? Settling stupid legal fees and driving away members, losing their dues to the tune of an estimated £6m, a figure quoted this morning by Howard Beckett on The Not the Andrew Marr Show.

What has been reported by Skwawkbox and later by The Independent is that a third of Labour Party staff have been made redundant, yet the party is still taking people on, employing them on temporary contracts on much poorer conditions. Starmer made a big speech not long back condemning Fire and Rehire, but given he’s lied about pretty much everything since he got elected leader, not least of which the 10 pledges he stood for election on, it’s no surprise he’s actually gone back on this as well, made even worse by many of the staff in question finding out from the Guardian newspaper instead of the party.

You can imagine the Trade Unions are up in arms with this. Unite and the GMB, both affiliated unions, both considerable donors to Labour, but not typically from the same wing of the party are singing from the same hymn sheet now. They’ve slammed this action, done without consultation, they’re particularly scathing that they’ve gone for redundancies straight away instead of trying to cut costs in other ways first, such as reducing upper management pay – none of them are getting the axe – and have demanded a response from Labour. So far I’ve not heard that this has happened.

Beckett this morning has also said Labour would be treated like any other bad employer. The party of the workers facing strike action from the very trade unions who fund them and rightfully so as that party seeks to turn away from representing the working class, turning away from socialism and turning into the same Blue Labour, Blairite, tory-lite party that turned so many of us off before. With so many of Starmer’s recent LOTO staff appointments being essentially a Blairite reunion – I bet they got a good employment package – that’s where we are. A party both financially and morally bankrupt at the top, becoming ever more distanced from its own founding principles.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.