Oct 02, 2021
4 mins read
The claim explicit within the title of this article is that Keir Starmer lies. It is a strong claim so needs strong supporting evidence, which I will provide throughout the article. As well as proving Keir Starmer lies I will address the more interesting question of why he lies.
You do not have to travel far before you begin tripping over Starmer’s lies. Indeed, two can be found in the very first sentence of the very first pledge he made to Labour members in his campaign to be elected Labour leader.
His first pledge was to “increase income tax for the top 5% of earners and reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax.” Rachel Reeves, his shadow chancellor, has since stated that “Keir and I have both been very clear that we have no plans whatsoever to raise income tax." At last year's budget Keir Starmer opposed an increase in corporation tax.
I could continue listing the other lies contained within Starmer’s leadership prospectus but that work has already been done by Evolve Politics and can be found here.
Starmer has told so many lies that I think the best approach would be to focus on the biggest one, the Big Lie. Keir Starmer’s leadership speech at Labour's 2021 Conference in Brighton hinged upon the Big Lie. The Big Lie is that the reason Labour lost the 2019 general election was because of its policies, a lie which is also told by the Tories.
Starmer and the Tories have different reasons for telling the big lie. I will explain the Tories' reason first and then the reason Starmer's repeats that Tory propaganda.
The Tories tell the lie because they are afraid of Labour’s highly popular left-wing policies. They are afraid of them because in 2017 Labour won 40% and Jeremy Corbyn came within 2,227 votes of being invited by the Queen to form a government. The Tories have introduced some watered down versions of Corbyn's policies into their government programme, a tacit admission that those policies are popular. Most recently, Michael Gove declared the Tories would invest in every region of the UK, a direct lift from Labour's 2017 manifesto. The Tories traduce left wing policies while also adopting similar policies. The Tories have it both ways.
Keir Starmer tells the lie for two reasons. Firstly, because he is the person who insisted Labour support a second referendum. As 70% of Tory constituencies and 62% of Labour constituencies voted to leave the EU, his insistence that Labour support an action opposed by a supermajority of voters guaranteed defeat for Labour at the 2019 election. Starmer tells the lie that Labour’s policies lost the election because he is responsible for the defeat and he needs a scapegoat to avoid being held to account for keeping the Tories in power.
The second reason Starmer tells the lie is because the Blairites who advise are ideologically opposed to the popular left-wing policies that won Labour 40% of the vote in 2017. Blairites largely accepted and built upon Thatcher’s neoliberal legacy, making left-wing policies like nationalisation an anathema to their political sensibilities.
Blairite orthodoxy is that Labour can only win from the centre, but that orthodoxy was found to be false by the 2017 election result. In 2017 the centre of British politics spectacularly collapsed. Left wing and right-wing parties shared 82% of the vote. The centrist Liberal Democrats won just 12 seats. Centrism became obsolete in 2017 but rather than admit defeat, Blairites decided to sabotage and recapture the Labour Party. I have written about the history and collapse of centrism in another article, which explains the motivations of centrists in the UK and US in more detail.
As Keir Starmer’s political career depends on the Big Lie, he must keep telling it. If he wishes to habitually tell a lie that is a matter for him and his conscience, but it causes an unsolvable problem for the Labour party. It means the party’s entire electoral strategy is based upon a falsehood. It follows that all analysis and actions driven by that flawed strategy will also be flawed and will fail when they face the reality of the ballot box.
Having considered the reasons why Keir Starmer lies, I will lastly turn to the question of why do people believe his lies?
To work successfully, lies need two parties; liars and people willing to believe their lies. Starmer and the Blairites are the liars and Labour members who supported remaining in the EU are the people still willing to believe them.
That is completely understandable. Labour members had the best of reasons for wanting to stay in the EU, they wanted to protect jobs and the economy. It must be incredibly painful for them to admit that the reason the Tories are in power today and that we have left the EU with such a damaging Tory deal is because they refused to accept the referendum result. To those people I say this: the fault is not yours, it is Keir Starmer’s fault, it is Keir Starmer’s lies which have brought us to this place.
Labour members must ask themselves a simple question: will they continue to believe Keir Starmer’s lies? If they allow him to remain leader and lead the party into the next general election the Tories will be able to prove he is a liar because there is so much evidence. And they will win.
To get rid of the Tories the Labour party first needs to get rid of Keir Starmer.