by Martin Odoni

Tuesday’s vote in Parliament on the new Covid-19 restrictions would in a sane world surely put an end to the tiresome, arrogant, bullying refrain from the Labour Right and their liberal allies, “If you don’t support Starmer, you’re enabling the Tories.” The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has not only enabled the Tories by backing their policy of ‘Covid passes.’ He and the Parliamentary Labour Party have defeated a massive backbench rebellion on Boris Johnson’s behalf, a rebellion of nearly a hundred Conservative MPs. Insodoing, Starmer may very well have kept Johnson in 10 Downing Street.

It is clear from recent shifts in the atmosphere that the Conservative Party’s patience with Johnson’s authoritarianism and general bumbling incompetence, and Cabinet Ministers are moving to replace him. Priti Patel, the thoroughly evil Home Secretary, looks poised to stake a claim for power, and a massive defeat for Johnson in the House of Commons would have opened the way for her to make her bid. But Johnson has had his way, thanks to Starmer, and Patel’s probably hopes of overthrowing the Prime Minister are on hold.

So this was the myth; oppose Starmer and you support Johnson.

This is the reality; support Starmer, and you support Johnson.

That is not just an ideological argument, it is now an outright physical fact.

Covid passes’ are a terrible idea in themselves. Crude, Draconian, and with nothing to indicate that they will work particularly, they are unlikely to be either effective or attractive. But Starmer has once again shown a complete dearth of principle, and that there really is no point in the public voting for him, as he would not govern the country any differently. He would be just as right wing, as overbearing, as contemptuous of the poor, and as averse to accountability as Johnson.

This horrendous man betrayed his predecessor over Brexit, and has sold out to the right wing of his party, and of the British political spectrum, every time the opportunity to do so has presented itself. He is an enemy of all progressives.

Remember in the days after Starmer became Labour leader, and the desperately anti-socialist mainstream media were sycophantically trying to persuade us that “The Opposition is back!” (in putative contrast to Jeremy Corbyn)? How did they not notice that just a couple of weeks earlier, Starmer had offered a coalition to Johnson? How does that constitute ‘opposition’? Now Starmer has probably saved Johnson’s job and kept the ineffable blimp in charge until at least the spring. How does that constitute ‘opposition’?

You might argue that the situation with the Coronavirus makes for ‘extraordinary circumstances.’ You might try to convince yourself that Starmer is playing a ‘clever strategy’. But whatever you think about that, everyone needs to start facing reality; whatever Starmer is doing, it is not Opposition. Not so long as it involves the enablement of the party he should be trying to dislodge.