Starmer’s vacuous platitudes

Keir Starmer published a piece in The Observer this sunday entitled “It’s time to end the UK’s divisions: Labour is for everyone.” The piece is an intelligence insulting and utterly vacuous content free word salad with a room temperature IQ. Absolutely nowhere in its 625 self regarding words does Starmer tell us exactly how he proposes to end these divisions. Presumably they’ll just disappear as if by magic once Starmer gets the keys to 10 Downing Street, because in his period of time as leader of the Labour party Starmer has been the opposite of conciliatory and magnanimous to his opponents, rather, he has displayed a ruthless authoritarianism worthy of the Borgias. Starmer’s notion of ending divisions is indistinguishable from crushing his enemies and marginalising them.

But that approach doesn’t end divisions, it merely temporarily side steps them while making them worse in the longer term. Starmer is interested in one thing only, getting himself into power, and he will say or do anything in order to get that power. If he was really serious about ending divisions he’d be making serious and significant concessions to the 62% of the UK population which thinks Brexit was a mistake or the half or more of the population of Scotland which is attracted to the idea of independence. But of course Starmer isn’t doing any of that, he’s just mouthing meaningless platitudes which are devoid of all content.

To take Scotland for starters, Starmer’s recipe for ‘healing the divisions’ between Scotland’s yes voters and no voters is for the yes voters to suck it up and shut up and learn to love the UK. Starmer doesn’t want reconciliation, he wants victory. There is absolutely nothing in the Labour prospectus which represents even a sliver of recognition that the Scottish electorate voted for a second independence referendum in the Holyrood elections of 2021, even less is there any sign that Starmer is even aware of – far less addressing – the very real anger and betrayal felt by Scotland’s yes voters about the utter failure of the Better Together parties to deliver on the promises and commitments that they made to the people of Scotland in order to secure a no vote in 2014.

If Starmer was at all serious about ending divisions in Scotland he’d start right there, but that’s not going to happen as it would entail the Labour party acknowledging and addressing its own failures and bad faith in the aftermath of the 2014 independence referendum. It’s far cosier and more comfortable for Starmer to rail about ‘divisive nationalism’ even as he wraps himself in the British flag, sings the praises of the monarchy, the armed forces, and refuses to countenance any changes to Westminster’s unfair electoral system or the affront to democracy that is the House of Lords.

He could usefully start by delivering what was promised to Scotland by his own party in 2014, the federalism promised by the Vow, the significant and meaningful extra powers that the Scottish Parliament was supposed to get, the legal and binding guarantee that no Westminster Government could ever alter or meddle with, or circumvent the powers of the Scottish Parliament without the express consent of Holyrood. And if that is impermissible due to the unwritten British constitution’s fetishisation of the absolute sovereignty of Westminster then Starmer must accept that that is his problem, not Scotland’s, and commit to doing something about it.

But that’s like wishing for the Tory party to start campaigning for a republic. Keir Starmer has ruthlessly and single mindedly pursued power for himself, in order to get it he has shamelessly lied, gaslighted, and cheated. The very last thing he’s going to do once he gets the power that he so craves is to give any of it away or to change the corrupt and sclerotic system that offers it to him

Starmer is equally dismissive of that large part of the population of the British state which sees Brexit as a massive and tragic error. Starmer is not any more disposed to make any concessions to remainers than he is to supporters of Scottish independence. For all his platitudes about ending divisions all he offers is the same put up and shut up politics of the winner takes it all which is so characteristic of the Westminster system. We know that the Labour party will not hold another referendum on EU membership but Starmer has refused to consider taking the UK back into the European Customs Union and Single Market and has ruled out any return of freedom of movement because that would set off the goblins of the right wing media and their barely disguised racist phobia about immigration. Starmer doesn’t challenge those alarming manifestations of intolerant and authoritarian right wing British nationalism, he panders to them and in so doing he validates and empowers them.

It’s not the SNP or ‘divisive nationalism’ that drives so many in Scotland to support Scottish independence and which has led a large majority of younger Scots to reject the idea of their country remaining forever under Westminster rule. It’s the chaos, corruption, and dysfunction of Westminster.

When Starmer says Labour is for everyone it’s clear that ‘everyone’ does not encompass remainers or supporters of Scottish independence, or indeed anyone who is dissatisied with centre-right corporatism.

Starmer will more than likely become the next British Prime Minister, and will certainly rapidly become deeply unpopular because once he gets into office he will have nowhere to hide and his constant refrain of ‘change’ will become revealed as merely the biggest of all the many lies that Starmer has told. Starmer doesn’t want real change, because the only way he can get the near absolute power he craves like a junkie in search of their next fix is for the Westminster system to remain essentially the same as it has always been. He hasn’t even got into office and he’s already distrusted and disliked. The only change that Starmer offers is the substitution of one deceitful right wing British nationalist Westminster machine politician for another. That’s the illusion of change but none of its substance, you don’t get much more quintessentially Westminster than that.


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