Watching and listening to Sir Keir Starmer at the despatch box in Parliament the other day during the final Prime Minister Questions before their summer recess filled me with the dry boke.
It has taken this excuse of a Labour leader only three months to expose himself as a useless toady of the British Establishment, despised by the genuine socialists left within his party and feted and promoted by the mainstream media who see one of their own at the summit of the party which is supposed to be about the working class and radical change. Tony Blair turned Labour into the red Tories. Starmer clearly intends to reassert that label.
The unprecedented tsunami of lies, distortions and scare stories promoted by the mainstream media against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was directly related to the very real fear among the rich and powerful who control the media that Corbyn actually stood for change. God forbid if he ever won power, the rich billionaires would have even been made to pay their bloody taxes. They have no such worries about Sir Keir and their lack of concern for him as a threat to their grotesque accumulations of wealth and power was underlined yet again by his performance in Parliament on Wednesday.
Johnson’s Year of Lies, Failures and Betrayals
Boris Johnson has now been Tory leader for a year. In that time, he has managed to perfect the art of blunder, bluster and bombastic performances that promote falsehoods by the dozen. His lies on new hospitals, extra nurses, police numbers, Personal Protective Equipment provision for frontline workers, Covid19 testing numbers, a viable test, track and trace system, protection of care home residents from the virus and the early adoption of a disastrous ‘herd immunity’ strategy for dealing with Covid19 are a matter of record.
One of the government’s own scientific advisors recently gave damning evidence to the House of Commons science committee which literally made Johnson culpable for at least 20,000 deaths from Covid19 across the UK:
“Had we introduced lockdown a week earlier we’d have reduced the final death toll by at least half” was the startling claim of Professor Neil Ferguson. “The measures, given what we knew about the virus then, were warranted. Certainly, had we introduced them earlier we’d have seen many fewer deaths”.
Given the official death toll at the time he gave his evidence stood at 41,128, with many credible sources estimating a more accurate figure approaching 60,000, it means a chief scientific advisor to the government is pointing the finger at Boris Johnson for unnecessary Covid19 deaths in excess of 20,000. That alone is a resignation issue.
Tories Voted Down Legal Protection for the NHS
One day before PM questions the Tories in Parliament voted down a cross-party amendment which was designed to protect the existence and integrity of the publicly owned NHS from potential privateers and shysters across the Atlantic who hope the Trade Agreement currently being discussed between the US and UK will open up opportunities for them to get their profit obsessed feet in the NHS door.
The amendment to the Trade Bill was designed to ensure the Tory assurances about the NHS not being on the table in trade talks was not empty words. Clause 17 would have protected the NHS from foreign control in any post-Brexit trade deal.
It would have protected NHS staff from having their wages and employment conditions slashed by any future trade deal. It would protect the quality and safety of health care services and prevent the selling of patient data to private companies.
It would also regulate the pricing of medicines to ensure the cost of a trade deal was not massively inflated drug costs which could potentially bankrupt the NHS.
Yet the Tories voted down all those protections. They refused to attach these conditions to trade deal negotiations which is the clearest indication possible that they will allow the NHS to be asset stripped get a trade deal with the US. A trade deal that will be favourable to the rich business owners but fail to protect the integrity of the NHS.
Instead of pithy words from a party with a track record of privatising everything in public hands from gas, electricity, trains, telecommunications, water and buses the Clause 17 amendment would have provided legal protection for the NHS. But by 340 votes to 251 the Tories under Johnson rejected any such legal protection for an institution which is envied across the world but viewed as a source of potential financial gain to American businesses. Remember Trump’s candid admission last year that ‘everything was on the table’ including the NHS in future trade deal negotiations.
So obsessed with hiding the truth from the public the Tories even forced the House of Commons information service to delete a factual Tweet about the shameful vote.
Public Sector Pay Increase Plan Full of Holes
Also, less than twenty-four hours before Starmer faced Johnson in the Commons the Tory chancellor announced a public sector wage increase with more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. The slightly above inflation rise for approximately 900,000 workers is unfunded by central government so must be financed within existing NHS, education, and local authority budgets. It is therefore a shoddy ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ proposal. It can only be paid for through cuts to the levels of service provided and/or job losses as the eminent Professor of Accountancy Prem Sikka has highlighted.
It also disgracefully excludes the very nurses and carers the Tories clapped so enthusiastically for in front of any available camera for nine weeks. Those in the third year of Agenda for Change wage deals have been slapped in the face and ignored in the government announcement despite real wage levels of NHS nurses being at least 8% lower than ten years ago according to the Royal College of Nursing and many carers struggling to survive on wages less than a living wage.
In fact since the much publicised ‘clapping for carers’ brass neck display by Tory Ministers the Johnson government have cancelled student nurses permanent work contracts early, blamed care workers for Covid19 deaths in care homes, said it was ‘not the time’ to talk about a pay rise for nurses and cancelled free staff parking at hospitals.
Their actions have exposed the contrived and empty nature of their carefully coordinated publicised applause each Thursday evening. But we should not be surprised. These are the very same political beasts who whooped and cheered when they won a vote to cut nurses and other public sector workers pay in 2017.
Johnson Was Ripe for Attack – Surely Starmer Couldn’t Miss
So, with an abundance of issues available to attack the ten-year record of the Tories in power and the twelve-month anniversary of Johnson’s leadership of the Tories, we should have witnessed a metaphorical mauling in Parliament on Wednesday. Johnson should have been left flailing on the ropes faced with evidence of his catalogue of failures, betrayals, and incompetence in office. His responsibility for at least 20,000 unnecessary Covid19 deaths alone would surely leave him begging for the Speaker to intervene and save him.
Instead we had gutless and gormless Starmer raise the hollow ‘Russia Report’ to display his own Russia phobia credentials and attack Jeremy Corbyn with his ‘under new management’ quip.
The real ‘Russian’ scandal is not phantom state interference in elections or referendums for which there is no credible evidence but the donations from Russian billionaires hypocritically accepted by the Tories. A distasteful practice which was highlighted by many last year and has continued unabated this year.
To listen to a parade of Tories attack non-existent Russian state interference in our apparent ‘democracy’ you could easily forget at least fourteen senior Tories are actually funded by Russian billionaires.
Outside Interference in Scottish Referendum
The Russian state is not funding Tory politicians, but Russian billionaires are. Political funding rules in the UK require to be urgently tightened so every pound of donations and every single political advert must be transparent. The talk of Russian ‘interference’ in the Scottish Referendum of 2014 is a joke.
The views of Russian as well as US Presidents, Chinese Premier, and other foreign leaders on the issue of Scottish independence were solicited by the then British Prime Minister and UK media, and they replied as diplomatic protocol required.
The fact US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in the UK this week precisely at the time when the mainstream media and political punditry puppets were waxing lyrical about ‘Russian interference’ in British politics is irony on steroids.
This is the guy who is actively trying to overthrow the elected government in Venezuela, succeeded in overthrowing the elected President of Bolivia, is engaged in covert actions to replace the elected government in Nicaragua and whose government was recently found guilty of an illegal war crime when they assassinated Iranian Major General Soleimani. A United Nations investigation has concluded that the fatal strike ordered by the US and defended by Pompeo was an “arbitrary killing” and therefore illegal under international law.
US are Masters of Interference in Sovereign Nation Affairs
We have actual evidence of US interference in the sovereign domestic affairs of scores of countries across the globe and multiple United Nations Reports which testify that their use of economic sanctions and blockades against other nations are both illegal and deadly but the UK government rolls out the red carpet for him while attacking Russia and China. Hypocrisy writ large but Sir Keir Starmer dutifully ignores all of that to stay on message and confirm he is indeed a safe Establishment poodle who can be trusted to never challenge the grotesque wealth or obscene power of the rich.
Starmer the Establishment Poodle Attacks Freedom of Expression
His yes-man character was further exposed when he called for restrictions on broadcast freedom for outlets like Russia TV which actually host some guests and stories critical of Tory policies and hypocrisy. He has even called on Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to condemn Alex Salmond for broadcasting his chat show on RT. What a ridiculous and outrageously undemocratic suggestion. Salmond’s show is produced by his own production company. It was offered to several broadcasters. They rejected it. RT agreed to buy it. What is the problem? Its called freedom of expression.
The day Starmer condemns and disciplines his shadow cabinet members for writing articles in racist, anti-trade union and misogynist rags like the Sun and Daily Mail is the day he will have any authority to dictate which media outlets are credible. No wonder this man is a full ten percentage points behind in the latest opinion poll of Westminster voting intentions.
Sir Keir Starmer is not a genuine Labour leader. He is a friend of the British Establishment who will never inspire the working class of England to follow him. He was the chief devious plotter in Corbyn’s cabinet and the architect of the disastrous and anti-democratic 2nd EU referendum strategy. His credibility in Scotland is zilch and his chances of leading Labour to success in England are akin to Boris Johnson telling the truth about NHS privatisation. The prolific Scottish musicians the Proclaimers wrote a song, In Recognition, which describes the likes of Starmer to a tee:
In Recognition of your service to the working class
In Recognition of your party loyalty
You get an ermine robe and you declare when you are probed
You only took it so the missus would be pleased
In spite of all your claims
It looks like you’re just the same
As every other clown, who likes put the crown
Before or after their names.