Keir Starmer, leader of the UK Labour Party, is an untrustworthy politician. As a member of the Corbyn Shadow Cabinet and, from 2020, Labour leader, Starmer has repeatedly advocated contradictory positions. He has adopted zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, yet campaigned to make Corbyn prime minister. He has accepted Brexit, but was the main barrier to a softer Brexit. He opposes transgender self-identification, yet recently supported this.
The link is MSNBC and it loaded for me, so I am smock raffled. Always enjoy reading your posts.
This piece caught my eye and was very interesting to read. You mention the 'decline in partisan identification'. Strangely it is quite the opposite across the pond. https://link.theplatform.com/s/rksNhC/JchKHUl6urOA?formats=M3U&format=redirect&manifest=m3u&format=redirect&Tracking=true&Embedded=true&formats=MPEG4
As far as I am concerned though, you are right. I will give my vote to whoever has a shred of integrity. It is a bit easier for me because my MP is David Davis.
Is Starmer still a Pabloist? Is he ever asked about it?
There’s a theory, almost exclusively articulated by Peter Hitchens, which runs like this. Old Labour, represented by Clause Four, and by figures such as Michael Foot, Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner and even Arthur Scargill, was the “What About the Workers” Party (There’s a 1958 comedy sketch by Peter Sellers in which a posh Conservative speaker is interrupted by a Fred Kite-type trade union figure exclaiming exactly that phrase). Old Labour ideology was a mix of Chartism, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, Methodism and a kind of vulgar pro-worker Marxism (in other words, Marxism for people who have speed-read the Communist Manifesto, but who probably haven’t read Hegel’s “The Phenomenology of Spirit”).
The New Labour modernisers - Blair, Mandelson etc - are perceived by Old Labour types virtually as Tories in disguise, because they’re clearly no longer shouting “What About the Workers”. A book like E.P. Thompson’s “The Making of the English Working Class” would have no interest to Blair at all. But Hitchens insists New Labour are actually far MORE ideologically leftist than Old Labour ever was. Old Labour was partly, in Maurice Glasman’s phrase, “Blue Labour”. But Blair and Mandelson are post-Gramscian leftists, enacting a version of Rudy Dutschke’s plan for a slow-motion cultural left revolution.
Maybe Hitchens’ explanation is too neat and tidy, and even conspiratorial. But he’s on to something. It seems to me that, in 2023, one of the clearest ways someone signals that they’re left wing is by mercilessly attacking the legacy working class. Think of the word “gammon”, and who uses it.
He seems very much a man of the times. By which I'm thinking about the growing rift between social conservatives and liberals along with the tendency for many ordinary people to want things that the leader class thinks they shouldn't.
Johnson's pro-Brexit rhetoric, then relaxing of immigration rules, is a good example of how those who seek power lack the principles that Thatcher (and even younger Blair) brought to arguments about Britain's future.
There's never been a better time to care less about politics, is how I see it now. But I'm in France anyway, so not much skin in the game.
He also - and I'm sure you'll appreciate this high-calibre comment on your thoughtful essay - has a face that makes me want to bully him. Why does he always look so pained? Perhaps the reverse-ferreting takes it out of a person.
all libshit politicians are untrustworthy
i can't think of one that i would trust