Why Keir would not make a good leader
Dear Sir, — As the selection of the next leader of the Labour Party is of very considerable importance to the UK, and hence to the people of Cheshire East, might I say why I will not vote for Sir Keir Starmer — even though he seems to be the clear favourite?
It is not because he is a Londoner, born and bred, and an MP for a London constituency, even though the last two Labour leaders were London MPs. It is not because he is “metropolitan” through and through, with little familiarity with the North, the Midlands the South West and East Anglia.
It is not because he is male when in most members’ opinions it is about time, after over 100 years of existence, the party leader was a woman. Rather, it is because he was one of the two main reasons why Labour did so notoriously badly in last December’s general election.
To have as leader the individual who did more than anyone else to bring about the defeat of Labour, hand government over to the Tories and give us Boris Johnson as prime minister with a massive majority would be suicidal, and madness, for the party.
One reason why Labour lost the election last month was the immense success the Tory media had in its characterisation of Jeremy Corbyn. Nobody can deny that Corbyn did himself no good in how he reacted to their gross and foul representation of him. He just did not take them on; he let them get away with it. It was pathetic to witness. In media terms he was a pushover. He just didn’t fight back, and as a result the media representation of him successfully alienated millions of voters from Labour.
However, to state the obvious, another reason for Labour’s defeat was the totally undemocratic behaviour of the majority of its MPs over Brexit. It was the way since June 2016, when the country had voted for Brexit, that most of the Labour MPs — not all but most of them — betrayed that vote. Millions of Labour voters had voted for Brexit, only to find that they were being betrayed. And the Labour MP who led that betrayal was Sir Keir Starmer.
He was for Remain throughout the referendum and he voted for it, as he had every right to. However, he had no right, as Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, to lead and manipulate the great majority of Labour Party MPs to vote with those Tory MPs who were dead against Brexit and with the Scottish National Party MPs and the Lib Dem MPs, purely in order to frustrate and delay the implementation of the June 2016 democratic vote of the people. He and his anti-Brexit allies wanted to block it altogether.
He, and they, voted out Mrs May’s deal. They voted it out so triumphantly — three times they did it — that in the end she had to resign. If the Labour MPs had supported Mrs May’s deal with the EU, she would be prime minister now. But their refusal to support her deal left her no alternative but to resign, and that gave us Boris Johnson as PM.
My own Labour Party MPs can scream and shout their heads off against Boris Johnson, as I hope they will (though intelligently), but their opposition to her EU deal put him in No 10. That is the Sir Keir Starmer achievement.
What’s more, he was the brains, as Labour’s Brexit secretary, if one can call it brains, behind the totally absurd Labour Brexit policy that appeared in Labour’s general election manifesto. It both made Labour a laughing stock and it alienated Labour supporters even further. Nothing could possibly have been politically more silly and stupid.
Just recall what it was. It said to the country that Labour would pull off a deal with the EU within three months. Absurd.
It then said that Mr Corbyn, as Labour prime minister, would not engage in the negotiations with the EU that would be required. He would have no say in it at all, and be neutral in respect of it, but, weirdly as Labour prime minister, he would put it to the country for endorsement.
How any prime minister would be expected to ask the electorate to vote for a treaty about which he had no opinion or involvement simply defies even a trace of common sense.
But to cap it all, the policy was open to all party members, even shadow Cabinet members, even those who had negotiated it, to publicly oppose it and ask people to throw it out in another referendum.
To find words to describe this absurdity is beyond our English language but the thing to realise about it all is that the policy called for that second referendum. That was the subtlety. That was where and how Kier Starmer and his fellow Labour Remain MPs were scheming to block and stop Brexit altogether.
The alternative to this policy in this second referendum they were calling for was to remain in the EU and they were reasoning that the policy would be exposed as so crackpot that it would be rejected and Remain endorsed. How stupid could a bunch of MPs get?
It never got anywhere because the country saw through it for the nonsense it was, and Labour’s supporters who wanted Brexit saw it as making the betrayal even worse. Let no one forget this: Sir Kier Starmer MP was Labour’s Brexit secretary. He put Remain before Labour.
It might be thought that he and his Remain mates could not possibly then make matters worse. But they could and they did.
By opposing Mrs May’s deal so triumphantly, they collaborated with the far-right MPs in the Tory Party, the so-called European Research Group, and made her resign.
That led directly, and inescapably, to putting Boris Johnson into No 10 with a massive majority. They, with their antagonism against Brexit, and despite it being the democratic choice of the people, helped put him there, and he and his policies will prove to be disastrous for the working people of this country.
Led by Kier Starmer, showing a dismal misunderstanding of national politics and what they were about, Labour MPs helped give Mr Johnson the opportunity to become the prime minister; and he will most likely be in office for five years, and maybe even longer. What blind folly!
There are some really good candidates for the Labour leadership. I am really happy about them. But not Kier Starmer, for the reasons I have given. — Yours faithfully,