With the continual in-fighting amongst the moderates and the Corbynites, Starmer is neither ready, nor fit to be Prime Minister.
The last month has been catastrophic for the Labour Party. The recent EHRC report highlighted the failures of Corbyn to combat anti-Semitism during his time as leader. To make matters worse for Labour’s new leader, Corbyn took a jerry can and emptied it carelessly onto the fire by dismissing the official report as “dramatically overstated”.
Only a fortnight later, ITV’s political correspondent, Shehab Khan, made light of another report by the Labour Muslim Network that found “44% don’t believe the party takes Islamophobia seriously” and “59% don’t feel well-represented by the party.”
Following Corbyn’s statement on the EHRC report, he was suspended from the party – a decision backed unreservedly by Starmer. However, the National Executive Committee (NEC) decided to reinstate the disgraced former leader. Despite this, Starmer refused to return the party whip, meaning Corbyn would have to sit as an Independent MP in the Commons. If Starmer wants any chance of winning the next election, he must never change his position on this.
Obviously, the Corbyn cabal (comprised of well-known ex-faces from the Shadow Cabinet) and union leaders are absolutely furious, and are doing everything in their power to damage Starmer and reverse his decision. Namely, these are divisive figures such as Diane Abbot, John McDonnell, Ian Lavery and Len McCluskey. With Corbyn gone (presumably for good), it is also unlikely that his ex-lover, Abbott, and best pal, McDonnell, will ever find themselves in the Shadow Cabinet again, let alone the Cabinet.
In addition, Ian Lavery has already threatened Starmer with a potential – and perhaps foreseeable – leadership challenge. Whether he genuinely has enough support to stage a successful coup is one thing; what is certain, however, is that he is a nutter and a threat to Starmer obtaining the keys to Number 10.
The attempt to reinstate this British traitor is wholly undemocratic. The hard-left Corbyn cabal refused to accept defeat – and they are angry that once again, Labour is being led by a moderate – hence ‘(New) New Labour’. However, the electorate made perfectly clear in December 2019 that they do not want Corbyn anywhere near the Government – his supporters are the purveyors of autocracy.
In 2019, the Labour Party had a civil war over Brexit, which was something that the weak former leader could not take a stance on publicly. In 2020, the party are completely divided over Corbyn, who, 500 years ago, would have been dealt with swiftly by a sharp blade. The lingering of an old leader and his loyalists will only invoke a 1917 Winter Palace-style coup.
If the pro-IRA traitor had resigned his leadership (and his seat) on 13 December, this division and calamity could have been saved. But Corbyn is not dignified – he doesn’t care for the party, he cares for himself. His egotism and arrogance are the traits that saw him removed from the race to Number 10 last December.
Starmer cannot possibly foresee an election victory while the hard-left are still present. He made sure of exerting his power early by consigning Rebecca Long-Bailey to the backbenches after sharing perceived anti-Semitic content on Twitter. His next step (to prove to the electorate that he is serious) should be to remove the whip from Abbott and McDonnell. Without Corbyn, they are futile for the party and are only likely to sustain division.
He must also show the unions that he will not be bullied into submitting to them – but then again, if he is too hard, he will lose union support and votes. This would be on top of the recent 57,000 people who have left the party already, since his leadership began. However, if Starmer is too weak and caves to the Marxist unions, he cannot possibly win.
Starmer really is in a position of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’.