Friday 7 August 2020


The balloon heads of Momentum's Camden branch

The Camden branch of Momentum are calling on Labour's National Executive Committee to hold a vote of no confidence in Keir Starmer.  Camden is Starmer's local branch, but he won't be losing any sleep over such a pitiful gesture.  It's barely four months since he was elected on a huge mandate - having received more than twice the vote received by Momentum's preferred candidate Long-Bailey - and since then the hard left's influence at the top of the Labour Party has fallen away.  In resigning from her role as General Secretary, Jennie Formby effectively handed control of the NEC to Starmer's moderates.  What we are witnessing now are the death throes of the hard left - within the party anyway.

Their final hurrah will be upon release of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's report into Labour's anti-Semitism, a draft of which has already been seen by the party leadership.  The notion of removing the party whip from Corbyn has already been floated and it could yet come to fruition before the Commons resumes next month.  Such a move could see a small exodus of MPs and potentially lead to a new party, but this would do Starmer little harm.  The Parliamentary Labour Party is already marginalised thanks to a large Tory majority and Starmer can't necessarily rely on the support of these backbenchers anyway.  For them to leave by their own accord would save him a lot of grief come re-selection of candidates for 2024.

As for Camden Momentum's pathetic motion, it is largely based on grievances that wouldn't look out of place on the Black Lives Matter website.  The text of the motion lashes out at Starmer for having worked 'closely with the police', accuses him of racism and repeats as 'fact' the bizarre suggestion that Israel was somehow responsible for the death of George Floyd.  It's batshit crazy stuff and provides another example - if one was needed - that the hard left and Black Lives Matter are indistinguishable.

The full text of the Camden motion can be seen below, courtesy of their blog.

As the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer worked closely with the police in prosecuting and convicting people who were overwhelmingly working class and disproportionately people of colour. As he said recently, “Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police… I’ve worked with police forces across England and Wales bringing thousands of people to court, so my support for the police is very strong.” While failing to hold the police accountable for deaths in police custody, he did little against corporate corruption but encouraged longer and tougher sentences for “benefit fraud”, and ordered the fast-tracking of extradition of Julian Assange. Assange, who is an award-winning journalist and publisher, is being persecuted for revealing US war crimes overwhelmingly against people of colour.  
As leader of the Labour Party, Starmer: 
1. Took no immediate action against those former staff members whose racism, sexism, and ableism was exposed in the leaked report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
2. Reversed the overwhelming vote at Conference against the occupation of Kashmir, giving free reign to Prime Minister Modi’s imposition of martial law and spreading persecution of Muslims in India.
3. Downplayed the international Black Lives Matter movement as “a moment”, and labelled as “nonsense” the demand to defund the police in favour of greater community investment.
4. Kept in his Cabinet Rachel Reeves who joined Boris Johnson and other Tories in praising Lady Astor, a well-known Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite, while firing Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting a reference to Israeli training of US police – a fact which he described as an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”.
5. Said he “supports Zionism without qualification” and called attacks on Apartheid Israel “antisemitic”. In so doing he links all Jewish people with the crimes of a particular state – the very essence of antisemitism.
6. Refused to hold this Tory government accountable for its handling of the pandemic, making Labour complicit in a per capita death rate which is the second highest in the world and which has disproportionately affected people of colour.
Starmer’s statement that he needs “unconscious bias” training, is both an admission and misdirection: His racism has been conscious and consistent and has no place in an antiracist party. In the process he makes racism a personal psychological problem and not a systemic social disaster.  He has brought the Labour Party into disrepute with some of its most loyal supporters, BAME communities.
Therefore Momentum Camden calls on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party to pass a motion of “No Confidence” in Keir Starmer.
We also call on Momentum’s National Coordinating Group to support this demand and publicise its support to all local Momentum groups.