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Starmer and Labour

More of the same in Britain and Ireland

D. Pollack

14 March 2024


Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Keir Starmer recently made a speech about the goals of a future Labour government saying he aims to make Britain the highest growing economy in Europe. He has dropped all mention of reform or of improvement in the lives of workers. That means that his platform is the Brexit Tory one of driving down living standards in the interests of capital.

Voters who want to kick the Tories out should be in no doubt that Starmer will do nothing to upset business and the neo liberal status quo. He will have no qualms in using the same tactics as the Tories and Blair before them of dividing and attacking the workers to shore up the rotten system.

The Left in Britain is in a sorry state in terms of tackling this. The Left of the Labour Party have been attacked constantly since Starmer took control. That control has been aided by the old Blairite right of Labour.  Jeremy Corbyn has chosen to stay in the Labour Party. His criticisms are not publicised widely and are weak in their criticism.

Corbyn appeared as the crusader who was not afraid to stand up for what he had always believed in. No doubt he still believes in those things but he also seems to be in semi-retirement. However, he never fought the Right and will not organize against them

Social media has allowed for a strong online left presence and movement. But there is a long way to go between moving from online to the streets if power is to be changed.

Starmerís Labour experienced a debacle in the recent Rochdale by-election when they disowned their own candidate, who obviously under pressure, bowed to the anger around the Gaza genocide.  Not only was George Galloway elected but all the major parties were rejected and a significant step has been taken away from the Parliamentary system and from Labour.

The episode shows that Starmer and Labour are willing to sacrifice themselves to defend genocide, defend imperialism and defend capitalism.

This move to the right to assure the ruling class that Labour can manage the post Brexit basket case of an economy comes at a time when public opinion is moving to the left. Widespread support for the highest level of strikes for decades, a majority of public opinion against Israelís ongoing destruction of Gaza are two of the clearest examples.

But the gap between what people want and what the Tories and the opposition party will offer is bigger than ever with the political class becoming more and more separate from the population.

There will be growing anger and outrage at Starmerís Labour if they come to power this year. It seems quite clear Starmer will be waging war on the working class and he will get away with it if workers do not reform the Trade Unions and begin to build a new party to represent workers interests.

The north of Ireland meanwhile can only expect more of the same. Starmer is a Unionist and imperialist.  He will reinforce the policy of sustaining the Union and the starvation economy Sinn Féin and the DUP will administer. The fact that transport workers have rejected a poverty wage deal shows that class politics are coming to the fore again.


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