by Martin Odoni

This week was Keir Starmer’s chance, and he blew it. His fear of being told off by the Daily Mail remained greater than his wish to stand up for his party’s traditional support base. In doing so, Starmer has shown yet again that no one can trust him. The Rail Workers’ Strike has shown that what he demands from others he will never deliver in return.

The refrain for over two years since Starmer took over as Labour leader has been that every opponent of the Tories must get behind him, no matter what the Labour Right might have done to them during the Jeremy Corbyn leadership. I have already given plenty of reasons why that is cruel, manipulative emotional blackmail, but this week that ridiculous mantra surely died. “We have to get behind Starmer! We need to be united! We need solidarity!”

“Okay,” say the RMT Union, “well, rail companies are trying to force widescale redundancies on us, we need support to get them to back down.”

Starmer is there to make the Labour Party harmless to the powers-that-be, not to improve the lot of the powerless

Starmer’s response? “Don’t look at me.” In fact, he actually threatened his Shadow Cabinet members with the sack if they joined a picket line!

Starmer is not just a coward, he is a fool. The reality is that what he claims to be trying to prevent happening temporarily is almost certain to become permanent unless serious industrial resistance is applied. The redundancies that the rail firms want to push through would severely weaken the quality, and most particularly the safety of travelling on the railways. The loss of security staff in particular makes me shudder for women needing to travel on trains overnight. This nothing of a man, this void in the air that we call a Labour leader, is against short-term, three-day inconvenience, but at the same time offers no other strategy to fight the redundancies, thus paving the way to an all-days-everlasting inconvenience-and-worse.

But returning to my principle point, any time a Starmer apologist demands my co-operation for the sake of “Getting-the-Tories-out-by-letting-Tories-of-a-different-stripe-in,” I will simply remind them of this week. Starmer would not back the Trade Unions, the very movement on which his party was built. Why should anyone in that same movement feel compelled to back him after he has made his contempt for them this explicit?

In fact, is Starmer not even letting his apologists down by doing what he did this week? They have spent months and months trying to persuade the left to toe the line, and then he goes and ‘scabs’ on the RMT Union, making the job of persuasion even more difficult? Why do these centrist suckers bother on behalf of a cowardly fool like that?

A man who does not offer solidarity does not deserve to receive solidarity

The Establishment does not like the public to be political. They want activism by ordinary people to be heavily limited; chiefly to handing out leaflets promoting whichever approved candidate to play local oppressor at Elections. They must not be allowed to do anything effective, or to pursue ideas of their own. In that regard, Starmer is as Establishment as Boris Johnson, and just as averse to seeing the public fighting for better living standards or greater liberty. He wants the public to do nothing except vote for him. Heaven forbid they choose to try and take real action! If they did that, they might realise that they are not nearly as helpless as they are usually made to feel. And then how could Starmer control their expectations? No, much easier to keep them believing they are better off doing nothing.

Britain has been ill for decades, that is no secret. But Starmer is not the cure. He is the most dangerous strain of the disease, because he is the strain that can be mistaken for vaccine. There is at least one of those in every generation, but Starmer is the most dangerous of all, because he is the one occupying the cure’s space when a cure is more needed than ever.