Following a damning report on the Labour Party – which made claims of neglected anti-Semitism under Corbyn – the former party leader has been suspended after dubbing claims “exaggerated”.
On Thursday, the EHRC published its report which suggested that several laws had been broken within the Labour Party in relation to Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to address underlying tones of anti-Semitism. In response, the former Labour leader made a statement in which he said these claims were “exaggerated” and “dramatically overstated”. This appeared to have given the impression that Corbyn was brushing the issue off. By implication, it seems that he feels the presence of any such discrimination is insignificant.
Sir Keir Starmer, who has rebranded the party with its straightforward slogan ‘A New Leadership’, has demonstrated just that. As he vowed when he won the leadership contest, Starmer seems to be looking to start fresh for the party, which must be done by eradicating all remnants of the party’s recent past. Such action was also shown after sacking leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey from the Shadow Cabinet, after she shared what some had deemed anti-Semitic material on Twitter.
It seems with the current political climate in the UK, Johnson is losing support every day as a result of his handling of the pandemic, Brexit and votes on vital decisions such as whether children in poverty are going to eat during the Christmas period. Therefore, Starmer seems to be a popular alternative.
If Starmer wants to walk through the door of Number 10 in 2024, he must demonstrate to the British public that he will do his utmost to eradicate all discrimination and racism within the party. In addition, he must publicly assassinate Corbyn and all other aspects of Corbynism; some believe that his suspension was the right way to go.
In spite of this, Corbyn’s devout followers have stuck by him – this includes Guardian writer Owen Jones (but that isn’t surprising from the man who insists on everything being ‘fascist’ if it isn’t hard-left). His stance was clear as he shared a screenshot on Instagram of a tweet by Corbyn’s Rudolph Hess, John McDonnell, reading: “…the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn is profoundly wrong. In the interests of party unity, let’s find a way of undoing and resolving this.”
If the likes of the former Shadow Chancellor really do want to resolve party unity and have a chance of winning the next election, Starmer’s best move is to send Jeremy Corbyn’s head rolling. It will gain the respect of the right, who may come to see him as an effective Leader of the Opposition and a strong rival to Johnson. It will also appease the moderates and the left-leaning, who will not be sad to see the almost-Dickensian Marxist go. In fact, this will only upset the hard-left minority and will certainly curry favour with the media, who were ruthless towards Corbyn. That being said, it may invoke funding complications if unions such as Unite decide to turn away from the opportunistic champagne socialist.
Bringing to mind the poison rooted within the party under Corbyn’s leadership – arguably the most significant factor in his catastrophic and embarrassing defeat – it seems hard to find a genuine, justifiable reason to keep the old dog around any longer. He’s lost two elections and been consigned to the backbenches for good. Any dignified and self-respecting politician would have resigned immediately from his party and seat; but then again, the arrogant egotist lacks such dignity, as proven just this week. The best thing Starmer could do now is remove his potentially fatal tumour.