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The last days of Jeremy Corbyn The hard Left came to Liverpool for a final fling

A debilitating fantasy. Credit: Isabel Infantes/Getty

A debilitating fantasy. Credit: Isabel Infantes/Getty


September 28, 2022   6 mins

As recently as a year ago, the hard Left had a pulse. They heckled Keir Starmer on the floor of the last conference, and they troubled his attempts to change Labour party rules. This year they didn’t even bother to boo the national anthem when it was sung on Saturday morning. None of Momentum’s topics made the priorities ballot.

Leading Corbynites write books that question whether socialism can ever even exist in a country like Britain. Or they vaguely tell the Guardian that they will change what “common sense is in the country”, before they attempt to change the Labour Party again. Momentum, joked Blairite poster boy Wes Streeting on Saturday, should change its name to Inertia. Momentum was supposed to be the spearhead of a millennial revolution, one that would permanently alter British politics. Yesterday’s winners are today’s punch lines.

But they are still here, just. They incubate in a discoloured ex-church building that looks like an ossuary, 15 minutes’ walk from the official conference. This is the World Transformed, the hard Left’s political festival and refuge, taking place for the seventh time, wobbling on its last legs. “There was a real energy before,” says a man selling Stuart Hall essay collections, “and now
”

I’m told it used to be different. I’m told there was an energy at this festival in the ancient days when Corbyn was Labour leader. Soft Left MPs like Ed Miliband used to be drawn to The World Transformed. Moths flapping to the light. “This was the cool place to be,” a council worker tells me wistfully one night. “But Miliband and the rest were pretending to be more Left-wing than they actually were.” That energy peaked in 2018, he reckoned. Then came 2019, and the Left was shredded. Their failure was historical. Overnight, Corbyn became the new Michael Foot, the new George Lansbury.

So, those who remain are not pretend Left-wingers. They are the diehards, and they come to the festival to fantasise. Penny Grennan is not pretending. She stood as a Parliamentary candidate for Hexham in 2019 and lost by 10,000 votes to the Tories.

This afternoon she is selling raffle tickets (first prize: Jeremy Corbyn allotment jam) and t-shirts that call Keir Starmer a wet wipe in a room that smells like vegetable soup. She teaches protest songs to the next generation. There are several decades of fruitless canvassing written all over her face. “We are a family here,” she says. Up the road, “the Labour party machine is voracious. It is about control and obedience.” I feel like I am talking to a particularly sweet old nun. It’s an ignoble feeling: pity. Penny has wasted years on something that doesn’t exist.

Fantasy blots out everything. I read a pamphlet that says Corbyn failed because he was not
 Left-wing enough. I go down to a studio where the “youth are rising for a green new deal” — a ropey American policy idea that is older than most of the youth. Rather than rising, the youth are sitting on metal fold-out chairs in circles, drawing lines on A3 paper with felt tip pens. I am back in school.

On a panel to discuss abolishing the monarchy, Mish Rahman, a member of Momentum’s National Coordinating Group, says: “Five white people, wearing black, with a Union Jack behind them — it’s intimidating, like a far-Right rally.” This is the only room in the country where that is an applause line. We are in a parallel reality.

They discuss the myth of nationality, and the myth of social peace in Britain. “For a thousand years the English have been ruled by families that aren’t English,” one says. One headed by “a clan of parasites”. Well, it’s not Huw Edwards in a black tie. “The Queen was in the thick of imperialist violence,” says the Momentum guy.

The only revelation is that they don’t understand the country they live in at all. Like every event at this festival, they speak, cleverly, to themselves. This is utterly irrelevant to what they are supposed to be doing, which is making people vote for them.

Other countries, ones the British Left will never have to win votes in, are preferred. For a political tribe so diminished in Britain, all that remains is a fantasy of over there. An afternoon panel about South America. The auditorium is full, because Jeremy Corbyn has shown up. He is accompanied by a Bolivian Trade Unionist, a Brazilian journalist, a Colombian senator, and a documentary filmmaker from Chile.

“What can we learn from Colombia?” Bone-rattling stories are told. Unlike in Macclesfield, there is scope in Bogotá for heroic revolutionary action. The struggle there is so beautiful. The struggle here is so banal.

Corbyn listens. He looks happy, and cocoon-safe in his happiness. He is introduced as a “revolutionary leader who shows solidarity with Latin America every single day”.

Corbyn tells the room about Allende. The room shivers. Corbyn tells the room about the torture chambers he visited in Villa Grimaldi, Santiago. The room brrrrs. There is some glee in his description of these places. There, we can see, says Corbyn “that wonderful golden thread
 the survival of the human spirit against all the odds.”

What kind of intellectual life is this? To look to Bolivia for patterns to mimic. To simplify the whole world into classes and struggles. To offer people, in a democracy, not straightforward, easily explained improvements to their lives, only the deus ex machina of a “more egalitarian socialist future”. It is the intellectual world of the fantasist.

This festival doesn’t care. It is either these fantasies, or the Westminster cynicism and business-as-usual politics being offered on the Albert Docks by Starmer. They choose the debilitating fantasy, and they choose Jeremy.

The future of Corbynism is supposed to be Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South. Sultana has more TikTok followers than anyone else in Westminster. On Monday night she hosts a pub quiz in the auditorium. She is late.

When Sultana arrives, she is deadpan and mock-surly with the audience, who treat her like she’s Jeremy Corbyn, or Taylor Swift. She announces that she is here to “chat shit and build socialism”. One is much easier than the other. I try to see what this audience sees in her. Sultana has a majority of just 401 in Coventry. The future of the Left is already endangered.

They still sing for the past, as he walks up the stairs. Oh, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn touched them so closely. In his otherworldliness, any one of them, any Penny Grennan, so otherworldly themselves, might have been him.

It was not Brexit, or anti-Semitism that destroyed this movement. It was Corbyn, and the people who still flock to him this week, and their consuming fantasy of politics as a struggle, that the public rejected. In his very person — and he represented his followers so well — he exposed this movement’s flaws and showed them to be without remedy.

The image he created in the minds of the country was so different to the image in the minds of his supporters. The pictures never matched. “There is no such thing as Corbynism,” he said on the day he blew it in 2019. Corbyn was wrong then — of course there was — but he is right now.

I approach the “absolute boy”, who is sitting on a sofa. I ask him if he felt like he had been released from a burden he was never up to shouldering.

“No. No. Not at all,” says Corbyn. He seems sad. “I wanted to make changes in the Labour party, and the Labour movement. I wanted to see changes in this country. Economic policy that put food in children’s stomachs, that put them in schools, that gave them nurseries, that ended food banks
”

Corbyn talks in the past tense, and trails off. He knows he failed. All he and his movement have now is the past. The present belongs entirely to Starmer.

Marxism taught the people at this festival that this moment ought to be seized by revolutionaries. Instead, they are marooned on the far side of power, eating vegetable soup and singing songs to a faded messiah. When they call Keir Starmer a wet wipe, or say that they hate him, they are only expressing their own impotence.

At the official conference Labour thinks it is back. There is not a soul anywhere in the ACC who thinks the party will lose the next election. Starmer finds himself with a 17-point lead over Truss, and he’s barely had to campaign. The confidence is expressed in sterile ways engineered to disgust the hard Left.

Blue chip lobbyists who avoided party gatherings when Corbyn was in charge are back. Big ticket donors are back. The canapĂ©s are better than they have been in years — and the better the canapĂ©s, the more electable the party is. Blathering on about Palestine is out, Rachel Reeves’ fiscal prudence is in. Goodbye John McDonnell, hello Peter Mandelson. The revenge of the centrist Dads is complete. Let’s party like it’s 1997.

“But,” a woman clutching a champagne flute asks me one night, “what about the Left? What are they even doing now?”

What are the Left doing? Nothing that relevant any more.


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AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

The article confirms in my mind that politics is no longer about the classic Left or the classic Right. Sure there are some people still pining for class warfare but the political battles nowadays seem to be pitched around Identity Grievances vs Common Sense – neither of which maps neatly onto the old Left or Right.

Kevin L
Kevin L
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

In this framing, is the group in favour of Identity Grievances the same hard left of the Labour Party that the article says is no longer relevant?

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin L

I read the article as the described group being class warriors, but left behind by the modern social justice warriors (concerned with identity grievances).

Kevin L
Kevin L
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

But those people are no longer relevant, right?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Will common sense win? I hope so.

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I feel this article is trying to convince me that the traditional hard left is a mere irrelevant rump. Elsewhere Starmer bestrides the party like a colossus. Look at the poll ratings, look at Jon Sopel’s fanboy tweets!
The hard left has abandoned Magic Grandpa because Climate Communism and Public Services Protest Street Theatre is where it’s at these days. If you’re lucky you can even get paid for it.
Elsewhere Rupa Huq represents a significant and growing element of ‘New Labour’ and their influence in media and local politics. So Labour are roughly 4 parties for the price of 1, and all of them a million miles from the party’s initial purpose with real animosity existing between elements.
Sir Keir Starmer is the perfect leader for these times. Like AC says, neither left nor right. A Blair/Brown “designated survivor” to help Corbyn through the tedium of Brexit. An empty suit, trained to argue black is white or down is up for anyone with the cash or influence.

Rebirth Radio
Rebirth Radio
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Well said

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

Do we have to draw a distinction between the left and progressives? I’m not sure they are the same thing anymore.

The old left believed government should act both as a policeman of raw capitalism and as a redistribution mechanism. Arguably, Starmer is trying to return to that set of priorities, which have understandable electoral appeal.

Progressives are now entirely about identity politics. Yes, that undoubtedly started as a Marxist attempt to subvert and bring down the existing order, but the long march through the institutions has been so staggeringly successful it has become an uncontrollable social phenomenon. Those brainwashed in the noughties are now in positions of influence and have an ingrained belief system that is different to ours.

I argued with some young people recently, asking why an insult, or assault, is worse if racially motivated. Surely a broken nose hurts the same whether sustained because one is the wrong colour, or wearing the wrong football shirt. They absolutely couldn’t get it. It’s just worse if it’s racist, coz it just is.

According to reports here, students in Virginia are walking out en masse because of Youngkins moves. They’re already brainwashed.

This new religion is, as religions always have been, being used by the powerful for their own aggrandisement. As Paul Kingsnorth pointed out recently, oligarchical capitalism and progressives are now in lockstep. This is a social phenomenon more than a political movement and, seemingly, is unstoppable.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I tried that argument on an 18-year-old in my family. His answer was that the pain in the nose might be the same, but the emotional damage would. be worse from the racist assault; the personal hate would hurt more than a random bar brawl would.

One has to admit that he has a point, at least.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Save that it can only be a racist assault if the perpetrator is white

Ian May
Ian May
1 year ago

Which of course, isn’t true. Anyone of any race assaulting anyone of another race, simply because of the racial differences, is surely a racist.

Bill Tomlinson
Bill Tomlinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian May

In theory, Yes.
In practice, NO.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian May

That is true if the reason for the assault was racism but assaults on whites from another race doesn’t count.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

Yeah Islam v Hindu doesn’t count.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

We’ll yes and no. If the defining characteristic of your personality is your skin colour (the basic position of identity politics) then maybe, but is it?

I suspect a middle class white boy, assaulted by a real skinhead, may well be more traumatised than an inner city black kid, for whom it might just be another fight.

If we broaden it to just insults, why would somebody who is very self conscious about their weight, or height, or ginger hair, be less traumatised than a poc.

What has changed here is that we have moved the concept of harm from the objective to the subjective. When a punch on the nose is more harmful to one person, based on their subjective experience of it, than to another, how do we operate a fair legal system?

We can’t, which is probably the objective.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

One law for all should rule but in practice prejudice comes in in all sorts of ways. Everyone knows that if they read enough.

Judy Weleminsky
Judy Weleminsky
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Additionally, a racist attack means that some groups are more frequently targetted than others. Groups whose symbolism make them vulnerable have to reconsider how they are seen – eg Jews wary of wearing a head covering, Men wary of wearing glam clothing or particular hairstyle; Women wary of wearing what may be viewed as ‘sexy’ clothing; Muslim clothing etc. Fear will grow in the communities that are targetted unless the state ensures that such targetting and the attitudes and motivation behind it is effectively dealt with.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

No doubt true but, as ever, without context. How many people are assaulted in Britain pa purely on racist, homophobic or misogynistic grounds as a percentage of the total number?

I don’t know but my guess is it’s small. City play United on Sunday. There will be more people assaulted in Manchester for wearing a blue or red shirt than for any other reason. Many more across the country will be mugged for money, or assaulted in the home, or stabbed in gang violence.

The problems in this country are legion and many lead to violence linked to social deprivation. Why don’t we focus the police and other state organs on addressing that rather than constantly prioritising second order problems to fit a political agenda.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I agree about the police. Nowhere to be seen when you need them. Are they hiding behind computers in non identity buildings somewhere?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

They still want to come here though regardless.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Why should anyone go through life expecting to be liked?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Will rightly skewers the Corbyista Saddos. But Martin points the finger to something way more important – and live – the state cult of identitarianism and its twin, the obsession with equality. Both are Alien spew; an acid which corrodes and burns belief in reason and justice and weakens communal bonds. But hang on – lets look back to Great Patriot Kier again. Underneath his shiny new Union Jack, isnt the progressive credo his and his partys??? Indeed it is! He is the Kneeler, the Confused About Willy One. This will hurt him come election day. And note too – every single idea, policy and utterance from him saw the UK State take the lead role. The Party of the Blob and Hard Lock still does not even recognise the enterprise sector!!! It stil loathes wealth creation. Wake up all. Labour – and the Blairite Orthodoxy – now act and think in ways more familiar to Honnecker and an 1980s East German Politburo than a Gaitskell or Bevan or Attlee Cabinet. The UK is close to a proto GDR now with a City stuck on the side. Big Brother Keir will turn British air to Gold and protect us all (wait for the mortgage relief act) from any threat to to our human right/entitlement to prosperity, whatever it takes I think the phrase is…Look at this Will!!!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I know he doesn’t know what a woman is but what is willy one? You are right about them never recognising the wealth creators in the country. They are there to be taxed by the poor common workers not recognising that if the country cannot create wealth there would be nothing to tax.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

The worst subtle damage is being inflicted by the over sucessful capitalists through dictatorial globalism using global warming myths and the lies of Covid and Identity politics. Biden is a big instrument in this but one of many. Think WEF, George Soros, Klaus Schab, Gates etc and many others like them. These people override national politics making them almost irrelevant.

Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
1 year ago

The left is comprehensively defeated only politically. Look at the culture generally, from the Police, the armed forces, the NHS, all branches of local government, the BBC, sections of the media, showbiz, the Labour Party, the SNP, the Lib Dems and so on and you will see their cultural victory. At least the funeral of HMQ Elizabeth showed what the silent majority looks like when it’s on the march, so perhaps there is hope.

Eryl Balazs
Eryl Balazs
1 year ago
Reply to  Edward Seymour

Was it a ‘silent majority’ – 300,000 thousand visited London I believe? Lots of tributes for end of an era of duty and sacrifice, wall to wall coverage for a week.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

A mere 3000,000, pathetic really.
They should have expanded on the Eleanor of Castile example and used perhaps 12-13 Cathedrals across the country for the ‘laying in state’ to allow the maximum number of people to participate.

Kevin L
Kevin L
1 year ago
Reply to  Edward Seymour

Are you suggesting that the BBC, the armed forces, and the NHS are all controlled by the left?

john boulter
john boulter
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin L

Yes .The BBC and the NHS are completely controlled by the left . And some leaders of the armed forces have somehow [goodness knows how ],become obsessed with the woke agenda

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  john boulter

God help us if we have to go to war with the rainbow people.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin L

If you look under your bed you’ll see they’re all there and they’re all Red! Didn’t you see their red uniforms and bearskin hats? Russian bearskins! What does that tell ye, eh, eh?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Actually Canadian Bearskins in the case of HM Footguards.
And they are worn in commemoration of what?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Edward Seymour

..do you mean the march to the graveyard?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Edward Seymour

Where is their cultural victory over the majority? The media, BBC etc is there to try and brainwash us and it is our own fault if we allow them to succeed. the country is finished if they really converted everyone.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

So what does this article say about the hard Left agenda? Corbyn appears to be yesterday’s man. I read in Unherd this week that Starmer is now adopting much more middle-of-the-road policies. Is the hard Left really dead in the UK?
The hard Left agenda surely is alive and well in all UK cultural institutions. If anything, it appears to be gaining strength–we read about the latest outrages every week here in Unherd.
Is it possible Starmer recognizes that the hard Left agenda can safely be left in the hands of bureaucrats, teachers and the media? He can now campaign on more moderate policies attractive to key swing voters, although whether he advances those policies if he’s elected is another story.
Was Aaron Bastani right, earlier this week in Unherd, when he said Starmer is better at politics than he appears to be?

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I hope this is true, however, I’m still yet to hear any policies from Starmer. I’m also yet to hear anyone in the Labour Party, including him, explain what a woman is in a way that maps on to reality. Those boxes at least need ticking for me before I’d consider voting for him. Despite this weeks sh*tshow from the new chancellor.

Kevin L
Kevin L
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu B

What did you think of the policies announced at the Labour Party conference?

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin L

They sound either piecemeal or completely unachievable posturing to appeal to the idealistic. I’ll pick one to illustrate a point. Carbon Neutral by 2030. This is not possible. We cannot survive without hydrocarbons until we have another source that can provide energy 24/7/365. If we don’t have this in place people will die and starve by the thousands or even millions. Given that Hinckley Point C has been under construction since 2017 and still isn’t finished how does labour propose to build enough other Nuclear plants to meet the 24/7/365 requirements of the whole country by 2030? The answer is, they cannot. Renewables are an excellent future option but will not be able to meet the 24/7/365 needs until battery technology advances enough to store substantial reserves.

Here is another point close to my area of expertise as a plumber, heating engineer and electrician. If we are to remove gas as domestic heat source, who will fund the change at the domestic and commercial level? Is it even possible for commerce and heavy industry to do what they do without it? I admit I stand to benefit here whichever way it goes given my career but I can say this for certain, that changing an average house over to heat pumps and underfloor heating could be around ÂŁ20k per property. Not everyone has that so what happens to them?

Also, this will require many more skilled workers to execute. Where is the pledge to move large sums of money away from higher education and the university system and into skills based training and apprenticeships? I can tell you for a fact that the apprenticeship funding in this country across the board is shit and has been for decades.

I doubt anyone in Labour (or the conservatives for that matter) has spent a minute on this, too busy making up sound bites and slogans and worrying about being praised on Twitter. We’re living in a political fantasy land at the moment. There are no thinkers and no leaders.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu B

Don’t get discouraged. He might work out one day what a woman is but at the moment he wants to stay popular with the T’s.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Starmer campaigned for Corbyn. He was prepared to serve under him.
Starmer conspired to overthrow the biggest vote in UK electoral history. Knelt for a dead man thousands of miles away. But is still absolutely silent about systematic grooming and rapes of thousands of school girls in 14 Labour Council areas.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Sponge

Are those 14 Labour Councils within the Red Wall, may I ask?

Richard Bolton
Richard Bolton
1 year ago

I suspect some are still Labour or were Labour before been booted out in 2019. Starmer was head of the CPS and DPP from 2008 – 2013 as he was “considered to be bringing a focus on human rights into the legal system” but seemed to forget about vulnerable girls from poor broken backgrounds.
Never mind him and his ilk made millions out of the human rights scam and got a knighthood into the bargain.
A true man of the people as he is now been sold

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Bolton

A champion of the downtrodden but the mass rape, by another race, of hundreds if not thousands of white girls from broken backgrounds in many cities was counted as nothing. At the very least one has to say this was absolutely disgraceful. Even the local police in this matter stayed silent while it was happening and they did know about it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Conrad
Eryl Balazs
Eryl Balazs
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Sponge

There are lots of things that lots of people are ‘silent on’ – you just plucked a made up headline and numbers out of the air like so much of what passes for debate in these comments as it suits your anti Starmer/ Labour/ ‘hard left’ (whatever that is) narrative.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

I find that most people are wanting the truth on this forum so have to disagree with your comment.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Sponge

They still haven’t mentioned that in the Labour party. Maybe they thought it would be racism to bring them to justice but the white girls counted for nothing.

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The repulsive racist comments by Rupa Huq about Kwarteng strongly implies that identity politics still has a firm footing in the Labour Party, which as the saying goes is problematic.

Kevin L
Kevin L
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu B

I think the Labour Party should suspend her to demonstrate that her comments have no place. What do you think?

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin L

Sacked. Simple as that. It’s a fine example of what John McWorter labelled Woke Racism and must not be tolerated.

Perhaps Huq can save her job by sharing with us her view on how black people speak, think, vote and behave when they’re doing it correctly
..

Last edited 1 year ago by Stu B
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The tories have weakened themselves by partaking of this woke culture and they do. My own tory MP is a good example of this but they put her forward for every election. This identity politics thing has invaded the left and the right.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

Surely the Hard Left should not countenance the selling of raffle tickets, even for such rare jam? A raffle takes money from the poor and awards the prize to a person thus enriched far above their fellows. The proper course of life would be to divide the jam equally amongst all who wanted some.

Mark Chadwick
Mark Chadwick
1 year ago

Jeremy Corbyn represented the same threat to the Globalists here as Donald Trump did in the USA, and that’s why he had to be taken out at any cost, just like Bernie Sanders, George Galloway, Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond. In some cases those people were on opposite ends of the traditional political spectrum but they all had that one thing in common.
Meanwhile, one of the first things Keir Starmer did when he became Labour leader was to carry out a witch-hunt to purge the party of all pro-Palestinian activists, under the guise of rooting out anti-semitism. He’s also indicated that Alistair Campbell, who was chief architect of the invasion of Iraq, would be welcomed back into the party.
Before he became an MP, Starmer was Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales. During that time he:
-failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile
-turned a blind eye to the rape gangs in Rotherham and Rochdale among other places
-stitched up Julian Assange
-threatened to throw people on low incomes in prison if they were found to be committing benefit fraud
-refused to prosecute a single banker for causing the big financial crash in 2008.
And let’s not forget that he tried to overturn the biggest democratic vote in the country’s history and got down on one knee for an organisation which deified a career criminal.
The Tories under Liz Truss might look like they’ve lost the plot now, but I wouldn’t even vote for Keir Starmer if I had a gun pointed in my face!

Eryl Balazs
Eryl Balazs
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Chadwick

Some of what you are attributing to Starmer is just plain lies – oh if only the world was so simple as what you make it our to be

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 year ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

Which of those is a lie? Starmer certainly did do all of those things.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

This is interesting: please list the ones that are “plain lies”.. it really isnt enough to rubbish a contributor as you’ve fone without positing a few facts as evidence. I’m not saying you’re wrong: not in the slightest: I’m merely asking you to justify your remarks. That’s fair isn’t it?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

It is simple to you. Starmer Starmer Starmer. Easy.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Chadwick

Hillary Clinton faked Russiagate, and Hunter Biden’s laptop has turned out to have been real, so when are they going to be raided, and when is any client of Jeffrey Epstein’s going to be raided? The judge who authorised the raid on Donald Trump, Bruce Reinhart, was a federal prosecutor until 1st January 2008. One day later, he became a defence attorney representing Epstein’s employees.

The British Deep State defenestrated Jeremy Corbyn. It is subjecting Boris Johnson to a kangaroo court. It incited violence against Nigel Farage, and the attempted murder of George Galloway. It tried to imprison Alex Salmond for the rest of his life. Each of those will always be much bigger than any of his enemies, but the point still stands.

And it persecutes the world-historical figure of Julian Assange, who has been charged under the United States Espionage Act on the â€œtestimony” of Siggi Thordarson, a convicted fraudster and paedophile whom the FBI paid $10,000, and who has since admitted that he had invented the whole thing. So much for the assertion that, in order for a warrant to have been issued against Trump under that Act, then the judge must have been shown probable cause.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

What could be more socialist that a whip around to support one of their own. It’s not as if any tickets were bought by yop banksters now is it? The poor have always been the most generous to their own.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

We know the Dems are corrupt. It is nothing new.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Chadwick

What’s a banker? I worked in a bank for many years. Did I cause the crash? I don’t even understand the crash and most don’t. I think it was political not a banker’s thing.

Michael F
Michael F
1 year ago

Very good writing. Amongst many great lines, I did like: “I feel like I am talking to a particularly sweet old nun. It’s an ignoble feeling: pity. Penny has wasted years on something that doesn’t exist.”
But, even though it is a very watered-down version of what these people fight for, the Labour Party is still more concerned with the distrubution of wealth, rather than how wealth is generated. And without the grand ideas of the hard-left, it has no real ideas at all.

Martin Rowan
Martin Rowan
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael F

And what have the current parade of 4 Tory governments done in the past 12 years to generate wealth in any tangible way for the country? Unless you are a property developer or a banker – and more recently have shares in energy wholesalers – they have shattered investment confidence in the UK to pieces. I don’t even need to mention to B word, but my company has seen costs increase by 30% in the last year alone!
At least with Starmer is cautious and has the intelligence to surround himself with expertise and not fools – like the current crop of Tories and Corbyn did.
Also his commitment to energy independence for the UK is essential as recent events have shown and will generate real wealth for the country that will be shared by default through the creation of jobs and industries.
All we are seeing at present is a government ransacking the credit card of the country in its final years, to the benefit of a tiny minority of backers and once again leaving it in pieces for some grown ups to fix – which will be no small order.
When the IMF is saying “hold up there, are you crazy?” and that well known communist lefty Ken Clarke, a man who served Thatcher to the end, is calling the government insane, frankly I will take my chances under Starmer’s Labour than risk one moment longer being ruled without ethics or conscience by this disaster of a government.
I have a business to run, employees to pay, customers to serve and profits to make. The Conservative party I once knew no longer exists, just like the Republican party in the USA. All I ask for is boring, sensible governance from anyone in the next government. I neither wanted Corbyn or the current mob – is Truss still PM or have they started another leadership election? I want the UK I remember growing up in, where business could flourish and fairness and decency were at the core of our country. Is that too much to ask?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Rowan

We do bot hear enough from businessman and the pain is hard to read. But Labour is seething with hatred towards wealth creation and private enterprise. Keir had not one word of hope for you – just the promise of huge state spending and high taxation. Good luck with that lot! When the smoke clears on the Clusterfuck Week, we may see the causes more clearly. Brexit is not the primary cause of the crisis. It is the ending of a 20 Year Lalaland of reckless zero interest; the age of cheap money is over. Pain was inevitable and here is the start. Locking down an entire economy for two years is almost as cataclysmic. The reckoning was due on that too. Add in the absence of cheap power and – yes – its Armageddon. But the blame lies with our hapless leaders stretching back to Blair. These are 20 year chickens hatching – and sadly they look more like fire breathing dragons.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The country reaps what it sows even if the results take a few years. At the moment we are sowing corruption and expect to reap righteousness.

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Rowan

Geoff Norcott hit the nail on the head. When asked if he regretted voting for a Conservative government replied “no, but I regret not getting one”

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu B

That is it really.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Rowan

You really think you will get that from Starmer? My you have faith. I hope it is not misplaced.

Eryl Balazs
Eryl Balazs
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael F

I could literally go to a ‘hard right’ meeting and take the piss and write a semi satirical an article about it but think its already been done.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

Not been to a Tory conference then? Liz Truss and her gang are yo the right of Gengis Khan fgs!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

Georgia the potential prime minister of Italy is called hard right for her stand for the family and rejection of woke. Is that what you mean by hard right?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael F

..yes: the silly beggars think workers generate wealth! Silly isn’t it? Banksters who caused the crash of 2008 and drive Ferraris are the real generators of UK wealth: everyone knows that!!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Everyone?

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago

Labour will fill the front-benches with race-baiters like Rup Huq, David Lammy, Dawn Butler.
And, of course, Net Zero will try to match anything Germany has done to its people and more.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

..at least it won’t be as bad a Liz Truss’s theft from the 99% to enrich the obscenely rich!

David B
David B
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

How can tax cuts be theft? Humpty Dumpty lives.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
1 year ago

An attempt by Will Lloyd to have us believe that the hard left is no longer a threat, so that we can all vote for his acceptable friend “Kneeler” Starmer.

It isn’t true of course. The left is like a virus. It has entered its dormant state and can survive like this for as long as it needs to, until a new host body presents itself.

The ideal host for this parasitic virus would, of course, be a Labour party newly elected to power…

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

..maybe just a tiny, weeny bit toxic?

Vincent Egan
Vincent Egan
1 year ago

Parliamentary politics are irrelevant to a left that owns the institutions, media, and QUANGOs. Politics is not just elections.

George Venning
George Venning
1 year ago

For an outfit as avowedly contrarian as UnHerd thinks it is, this is an amazingly orthodox piece of writing. To say that the left of the Labour party has been given a kicking and is no longer in a position to set the agenda, is as obvious as any statement one could make in British politics today.
And yet the game is given away in the line about talking to Penny Grennan. “I feel like I am talking to a particularly sweet old nun. It’s an ignoble feeling: pity. Penny has wasted years on something that doesn’t exist”.
What is it that Penny has wasted years on that doesn’t exist? The author doesn’t say. Nor does he trouble to dwell on the tension between his disdain for “the hard left” and the reality of its composition – decent, kind people like Grennan.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  George Venning

..so much more eye-catching to ridicule isn’t it? Have a look at all the (potential) leaders who were ridiculed not least just before some tyrant took over or continued in power. Ridicule as you pint out is not enlightening nor does ot advance the argument one iota. A cheap, nasty piece playing to not very nice audience! Must do better!

andrew harman
andrew harman
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You must do better with your typing!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I know it is wrong to kick people while they are down but it is a relief that the country escaped the damage the hard left could have wrought upon this country if they had won. Alas we are now dealing with another left called identity politics which is infecting both parties.

George Venning
George Venning
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Is it? I’m always intrigued by what people mean when they say that, however bad the Tories are, Corbyn’s “hard left” would have been so much worse.
I voted for Corbyn as leader both times, I went out and campaigned for Labour in 2017 and 2019 and I genuinely come here to get out of my bubble.
So, I’d genuinely love to know, what it was that mades the “hard left” (including me but also Penny Grennan) so awful? What was it that we were trying to do that pissed you off?

Haza Picton
Haza Picton
1 year ago

Just saying loved the style and writing of this.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Haza Picton

I’m sorry to have to tell you but that is a poor reflection of you as well..

Sean McGrath
Sean McGrath
1 year ago

Am old enough to remember the days of Militant in 1970s and 1980s
 Corbynism was a continuation of that thread within Labour 
 the ‘if only we were more Left Wing we’d win next time, next election’ line of thinking. Labour has won big time only when it has appealed to the middle ground ie the majority of voters.. that was true in 45, 64, 97.
Labour may be ahead of Tories now following turmoil of the Johnson gov collapse, the internal Tory leadership campaign and now the Truss budget comms mess, but closer scrutiny of Labour’s woke agenda as we come closer to an election will see a narrowing of the opinion polls.. and if the Growth medicine does bear fruit over next two years 
. Who knows what could happen. Labour ignored Red Wall voters for years, embarrassed by their Brexit supporting voters 
 people have good memories. Commentators need to remember that.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

Everything’s beginning to look like satire. What can that mean?

Chris Diboll
Chris Diboll
1 year ago

‘I wanted to see […] [e]conomic policy that put food in children’s stomachs, […] that ended food banks
”

Umm, what is it that you think food banks do, mate?

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Diboll
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Diboll

..very funny: it’s not easy to make a joke about hungry children but somehow you managed it! Well done!

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 year ago

Perhaps it goes in cycles. Michael Foot 1983, Jeremy Corbyn 2019. Who will it be in 2055?

Martin Rowan
Martin Rowan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

I hope never again. I’m a boring centrist “dad” apparently according to my kids. Let’s keep student politics where it should be, in colleges and campuses. By the same reasoning, can we keep right wing lunatic economics in the same place? Stuck in the PPE classes at Oxbridge and in the members clubs of London? I think we’d all be happier and less stressed lol 🙂

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 year ago

Of course Mish Rahman was quite right. BNP rallies did used to look like that. I am not joking, they really did. If you had seen that image 10 years ago, then you would have assumed that that was what it was.

And of course Jeremy Corbyn was quite right that it is “very, very odd” to sing the National Anthem at the Labour or any other Party Conference, including those at which it might have happened in the past. As he said, “It’s never ever happened at the Labour Conference since the Conferences were first held at the time of the First World War. I find it peculiar and not really necessary. There’s never been any demand to do it. We don’t as a country routinely go around singing the National Anthem at every single event we go to. We don’t sing it in schools, we don’t have the raising of the flag in schools as they do in the USA and other places.”

Will the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail be endorsing the Labour Party because of this? What was the point or purpose of it? Who was it for? The National Anthem should be sung or played only when the King was present or properly might have been. The Conference of a political party is the textbook definition of an event at which the King’s presence would be improper. Unfortunately, it would probably also be so for him to tell them to stop doing it when they already did. But they should. And perhaps, so should he.

Ian May
Ian May
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

With regard to the singing of the National Anthem being out of place at a Party Conference, it surely was, but then monarchs don’t usually die very frequently either.

David Watkins
David Watkins
1 year ago

Very interesting!

Last edited 1 year ago by David Watkins
Mark Lilly
Mark Lilly
1 year ago

Yesterday’s winners are today’s punch lines.”  “In his otherworldliness, any one of them, any Penny Grennan, so otherworldly themselves, might have been him.”
It seems Mr Lloyd does not check his copy before issuing it; why should we bother to read his sloppy and repetitive piffle? It is reminiscent of the garbled incomprehensibility of the Guardian’s late and unlamented Peter Preston!

Rebirth Radio
Rebirth Radio
1 year ago

I don’t understand why anyone would prefer Starmer to Corbyn? Corbyn is proper left, proper Labour, the real deal. Starmer is nothing to do with the left, in many ways more fascist and authoritarian the Conservatives. Just do not see the point of a centre-left party. If you’re left, be left ffs! If you’re right, be right.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
1 year ago

As the left in general continues to try teaching kids and the inexperienced that wealth and success in the Western world is bad, they forget to mention that there can be no wealth redistribution without wealth. Starmer can say he understands this, but do the kids that would put Labour in power?
To stop this hard left nonsense, we should ensure that kids understand that when we start out in adult life we may be relatively poor – but that it’s only the start – and not where most of us end up.

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
1 year ago
Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
1 year ago

What a snide article, whatever merits you think the subject has. Unfit for Unherd.