by Martin Odoni

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has an effrontery that one could almost admire were it not inseparable from his deceitfulness. During the Labour leadership contest, among all the catalogue of promises he broke wholesale, Starmer made a commitment to have no associations with the S*n newspaper. This was clearly a ploy to win trust in the Labour Party stronghold of Merseyside, which never has and surely never will forgive that ‘newspaper’ for its inflammatory coverage of the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989.

Typical for the type of sleazy politician he so clearly is, Starmer worded the promise in such a way as to make people believe he meant it was indefinite, but allowed him to backtrack afterwards and claim he meant only for the duration of the leadership contest (which if you think about it is an absolutely useless promise, as by the time he was elected to keep it, its timeframe automatically moves into the past).

Starmer exploits Hillsborough

It was as early as Autumn 2021 that Starmer broke even that pledge, in what was clearly a conscious and contemptuous two-fingered salute to the various Hillsborough campaigns that he would not be answerable to anyone, and he would not be bound by any principle; he wrote an article that was published in The S*n.

But Starmer is so arrogant that he thinks he can have it both ways. This weekend, the thirty-fourth anniversary weekend, he posted a tweet to ingratiate himself with Hillsborough survivors and families, and it was worded in such insensitive vote-grabbing tones that it was enough to make one wonder if Starmer has ever understood what happened in the Disaster.

YOUR Labour Government, Starmer? In a democracy, Government is supposed to belong to the people, is it not?

Now, it is bad enough that Starmer uses the Hillsborough anniversary to plug one of his policies, even if it happens to be Hillsborough-related. But look at the arrogance with which he declares that the Government will be his. Not a Government of the people, not a Labour Party of the workers. A Labour Party belonging to him, forming a Government belonging to him.

And they say Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters were a personality cult? Starmer seems to have a campaign strategy all about worshipping himself.

And a Hillsborough Law? From Starmer? No way am I buying that. Not from him. How can he favour a policy that is the brainchild of an MP he keeps trying to deselect i.e. Ian Byrne? And why should we believe Starmer if he claims he has had a rethink? He has already demonstrated time and again that his public word means nothing. A Hillsborough Law done right would require a duty of candour. Candour promised by the coward who just blanked Emma de Saram when she politely asked him for details of his climate policy? Candour promised by the ineffectual little creep who was powerless to speak when confronted by Audrey White? Candour promised by the bully-by-proxy who uses security staff at the Party Conference to intimidate the audience into not displaying dissent? Starmer is dependent on evading account, not making others offer account, whatever he might deliver will be watered down at best.

I am not the only one who was unimpressed to the point of disgust. Charlotte Hennessy, veteran campaigner and daughter of the Hillsborough victim James Hennessy, really gave Starmer what-for. She and other Hillsborough campaigners have learned personally, from past exchanges with him in his time as Director of Public Prosecutions, just what a backstabber Starmer can be, and how dangerous it is to put any faith in him.

Charlotte has had to endure the horrible discovery in recent years that her father was put in a body-bag in the immediate aftermath of the crush at Hillsborough, while he was actually still alive

And Charlotte was far from alone in rejecting Starmer’s hollow overtures. Please check out the rather splendid summary offered by the Skwawkbox.