Oct 02, 2021
5 mins read
Politicians frequently make claims which are stronger than the evidence supporting them. Their supporting evidence is often weak and any stronger evidence which undermines their claim is hidden. The claim is then amplified by the media, giving the impression that the evidence is stronger than it is and that the claim being made must be true, even when it is not.
In plain English, these type of claims are called propaganda.
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 Keir Starmer 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.
Starmer’s first pledge was to “increase income tax for the top 5% of earners and reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax.” On 27th September Rachel Reeves, Keir Starmer’s shadow chancellor, stated “Keir and I have both been very clear that we have no plans whatsoever to raise income tax”, and in this year’s budget in February 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 the Labour Party 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. This is a lie which is also told by the Tories.
Starmer and the Tories have different reasons for spreading the big lie. I will explain first why the Tories tell the lie and then why Keir Starmer repeats that Tory propaganda.
The Tories tell the lie because they are afraid of Labour’s left-wing policies. They are afraid of them because in 2017 Labour won 40% of the vote with very similar policies and Jeremy Corbyn came within 2,227 votes of being invited by the Queen to form a government. They are so afraid of those policies that they have incorporated several of them into their own government programme. Their fear of the policies makes them traduce the policies in an attempt to diminish voters’ support for them.
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, Starmer’s insistence that Labour support an action which was 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 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 and support him 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 which they occupy spectacularly collapsed, with left wing and right-wing parties sharing 82% of the vote. Blairism 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 his conscience, but the problem for Labour is that it means the party’s electoral strategy is based upon a falsehood. It follows that all analysis and actions driven by the strategy will be flawed and will fail when faced with reality at the ballot box.
Having considered the reasons why Keir Starmer lies, I will finally turn to the question of why 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 who are still willing to believe them.
This is completely understandable. While Labour members had the best of intentions, wishing 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 terrible 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.
Refusing to accept that the second referendum lost Labour the election, Labour members then voted for Starmer to become Labour leader. Many are clearly still in a state of denial. Again, this is understandable, but the truth of the matter is that if Labour does not replace Keir Starmer with a leader who does not lie and who didn’t try to stop Brexit then the Tories will be able to leverage the leave vote again at the next election.
Labour members must ask themselves a simple question: will they continue to believe Keir Starmer’s lies? If they do, the Tories will take Starmer apart piece by piece at the next election, exposing him for the liar he is, and they will win.
Labour members must either replace the liar with an honest leader whose word is their bond and who the public can trust, or the UK will face another decade of Tory rule.