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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Has "Sir" Starmer's Labour left purge gone a bridge too far?

Starmer at Davos

Could Keir Starmer finally be going a bridge too far in his disgraceful attempts to purge the Labour Party of its left, repudiate the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and pander to the business classes and right-wing media? There are signs that may be the case.

On July 18 the party blocked leftist Mish Rahman, a vice-chairman of Momentum, from seeking to run for the party despite the fact that he is a member of Labour’s national executive committee, has the backing of several unions and is a prominent Muslim anti-racist activist.

This comes on the heels of the announcement by North Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll that he was not only quitting the party but would run for re-election as an independent socialist.

And that decision is, in fact, possibly the start of something new on the UK left.

In the post Reinforcing reaction: Quislings Starmer and Singh the progressive label on the capitalist boot we looked at how Starmer after lying his way into the leadership of the Labour Party worked to destroy the Left legacy of Corbyn to such a degree that "Starmer's actions in service of the capitalist class and its political needs could not possibly have been more direct. He has ended and completely defeated the only serious electoral challenge to neo-liberal austerity ideological hegemony in the UK in a generation and he did so entirely from within."

A large part of this has included purging the Labour left for totally spurious reasons.

And for the most part, Corbyn included, they have done pathetically little about it.

Until Driscoll.

Driscoll by doing what he has done is rocking the whole Starmer attack on party democracy and the Left by threatening it electorally which is what his trash bag Blairite revanchism is based on. If leftists can deny Labour victory by running against Labour candidates the whole house of cards could come tumbling down.

According to the UK communist paper the Morning Star: "Labour-affiliated unions are refusing to donate to the election costs of the party’s North East mayoral candidate.

Mr Driscoll’s crowdfunding election appeal is meanwhile expected to smash its original £25,000 target and reach £55,000, with RMT and bakers’ union BFAWU said to be among the unions supporting him."

If this proves to be the case it is actually a very big deal.

Ruth Styles, Chair of the Communist Party of Britain pointed out that "'Jamie Driscoll's resignation from the Labour Party is an understandable reaction to Keir Starmer's betrayal of all the pledges he made to get elected as party leader after Jeremy Corbyn. Starmer has dumped most of his policy pledges and launched a purge of the left after promising to promote party unity on a left-of-centre programme."

"Starmer and his minions are determined to make a future Labour government safe for big business and the City of London by preventing voters from electing socialists like Jamie Driscoll and Jeremy Corbyn as official Labour Party candidates" Ms Styles accused.

The CP chair also cited the Labour leader's backtracking on issues such as renationalisation, green energy investment, student tuition fees, free school meals and NHS privatisation.

"He is dividing the Labour Party when he should be giving people hope and belief that a Labour government will be on their side, taking the steps necessary to raise people's living standards, invest in infrastructure and public services, devolve power and resources to the regions and local communities, and provide jobs and homes to all who need them", she insisted, "because not being the Tories may not be enough to win the next General Election".

Ms Styles warned that "Keir Starmer should not be surprised when working-class voters turn out to elect hard-working and principled independent socialists rather than nodding dogs who tamely do their master's bidding".

All leftists in the UK and elsewhere should hope this is the case. It is long overdue for the Labour left to abandon and repudiate the Blairite leadership of lying, reactionary stooge of capital "Sir" Keir Starmer.


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