Tony Greenstein | 01 October 2021 | Post Views:

Is it any surprise that Starmer, whose authoritarian instincts owe more to fascism than socialism, should approvingly quote the Beauty of Work (Schönheit der Arbeit) a Nazi propaganda organisation?

 There was no mention of human rights, Palestine, Julian Assange, racism, BLM or NATO’s wars – instead we had jingoism, cheap nationalism and praise for the police and army

Sir Stürmer reminds me of Iain Duncan Smith. Staged ovations, supporters bussed in, coupled with his very own impersonation of a robot. And now he repeats Nazi slogans! The Beauty of Labour, (Schönheit der Arbeit) which he quoted at length, was a Nazi propaganda organisation from the period 1934 to its eventual disbandment in 1945. Are there any depths that Sir Stürmerwon’t plumb?

Spot the difference

You may recall that IDS was elected Tory leader in September 2001. Two years later he was removed as leader by fellow MPs after proving a disaster. This was after a speech described as ‘delighting his party conference in Blackpool with a fighting speech for survival.’

The Tory press and the Guardian (is there any difference?) have also given Stürmer’sspeech rave reviews. However it won’t take long to unravel. It’s doubtful it will last until the Tory Party conference next week. You can be sure that the opinion polls will barely register a murmur.

The Guardian led the Campaign Against Corbyn

Like IDS’s speech Stürmer’s speech was billed as make or break. Keith may not face a no-confidence vote from the detritus of the Parliamentary Labour Party but the slow and inexorable grind of the opinion polls, the failure to enthuse any section of the electorate coupled with his inability to appeal to Labour’s working class base, will doom him to defeat. The only question is whether he lasts till the next election. My guess is that he will not.

Jeremy Corbyn was no orator.  His speeches never attracted the approval of the Westminster bubble where political pundits bounce their opinions off each other in an incestuous circle. But unlike Sir Keith he was seen as authentic, having principles. He believed in something. Stürmer is a reactionary lawyer, a member of the Trilateral Commission of elite warmongers and other members of the ruling class whose purpose is to the maintenance of capitalism and the status quo.

Despite the rigged delegate elections, Starmer couldn’t eliminate dissent on the conference floor

Stürmer believes in nothing so much as the continuation of capitalism, red in tooth and claw. Never was Samuel Johnson’s phrase that ‘patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel’ truer than with Stürmer’s reactionary appeal to John Bull jingoism. He wrapped himself in the butcher’s apron and praised the army’s role in Afghanistan where their war crimes were only matched by their military failures. In Helmland American troops had to rescue them.

The Nazis’ Beauty of Work that Sir Sturmer so admires

If Corbyn failed to fight back against the Right and in the end turned on the Left, at least he came from the Left.  Starmer is nothing but a wooden, dishonest representative of Britain’s ruling class. He can’t even offer a basic minimum wage of £15 an hour to workers, so much for his rhetoric about ‘levelling up’. He opposes public ownership in favour of the accumulation of wealth amongst those already rich. He has nothing to say about how he will fund care for the elderly.

Instead he welcomed back that old ghoul and supporter of the Israeli military’s abuse and torture of Palestinian children, Louise Ellman, a ‘victim’ of the fictitious ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign.

In a week when Labour’s conference passed a motion describing Israel as a Apartheid state, the word ‘Palestine’ did not cross the lips of this ‘Zionist without qualification’ nor did international solidarity with oppressed people get a mention. Starmer’s solidarity is with the NATO alliance for war, which is now seeking a confrontation with China after having scuttled from Afghanistan.

Lacking anything substantive to say in an overlong boring harangue Stürmer turned repeatedly to his father and mother for inspiration. His father was a toolmaker but he forgot to say that he owned the factory!

The Socialism Campaign Group has been complicit in the witchhunt and barely raised its voice since Starmer was elected

Starmer’s 10 Pledges

The speech oozed insincerity from a man who won the Labour leadership on 10 pledges all of which he has abandoned. Starmer made pledges on Economic Justice (‘reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax and clamp down on tax avoidance’), Social Justice (‘end the Tories’ cruel sanctions regime’), Promote peace and human rights (‘No more illegal wars. Introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act and put human rights at the heart of foreign policy. Review all UK arms sales and make us a force for international peace and justice’), Common ownership (‘Public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system’), Defend migrants’ rights, Strengthen workers’ rights and trade unions, Radical devolution of power, wealth and opportunity, Equality and Effective opposition to the Tories.

Having successfully hidden the millionaires and Zionists who funded his leadership campaign Stürmer has ratted out on every single one of his pledges, having failed to keep the debate on the Green New Deal off the conference floor.

The last radical reforming Labour government was that of Harold Wilson (1964-70). Although socialists had plenty of criticisms of this government it did introduce the legalisation of homosexuality, abortion and the abolition of the death penalty, as well as sex, race and equal pay legislation and an expansion to legal aid.

Stürmer promises nothing except a continuation of Boris Johnson by other means. He even promised to ‘make Brexit work’ when it is clear that it cannot work other than by creating massive labour shortages and supply problems whilst bolstering British nationalism and furthering an economic decline at the expense of workers’ rights.

Ken Loach Interview

No one does a better job of summing up Starmer’s inadequacies than Ken Loach, a man who has more talent in his little finger than Starmer’s stuffed dummy.

This week saw the disaffiliation of one of Labour’s founding trade unions, the Baker’s Union. I welcome that and it may not be the last. The goal that we must set ourselves is the creation of a socialist movement. The Labour Party is a broken party led by wanabee Tories. There is nothing left that is even progressive, let alone socialist, in Stürmer’s Labour Party.

When he goes, whether sooner or later, his replacement (Lisa Nandy?) will be cut from the same cloth. Perhaps the most interesting comment this week was when friends and I went to the same restaurant as Jeremy Corbyn. Even though he froze when he saw me, no doubt wracked by guilt, one of my friends asked him when he was going to start his own party. His comment ‘wait and see’ would suggest that Corbyn too is weighing his options.

Stürmer represents nothing more than a tinkering with capitalism. Whereas even Blair pumped money into tax credits and introduced the minimum wage, Stürmer offers nothing. There will be no change to a society where power resides in the hands of a few billionaires, multi-national corporations and their political representatives.

The one constant feature of Stürmer’s reign has been his dishonesty. From his role in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, treacherously waiting for the time when, Brutus-like, he could plunge the knife into Corbyn to his destruction of Labour Party democracy with his auto expulsions and banning of free speech to his paying off of Labour’s racist and misogynist staff who had campaigned to undermine Labour’s election chances in 2017. The latter was a corrupt attempt to buy their silence in order that he could secure an adverse EHRC Report. Stürmer has perfected the art of lying and dissembling.

Armed police patrolling Labour’s conference – a symbol of the kind of society that Herr Sturmer wants to create

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Defend the Left organised the brilliant ‘red card’ demonstration outside Conference and the open display of defiance and heckling by delegates inside the conference. It say something about Stürmer that he had to bus in, Ceausescu style, day visitors and staff whilst roping off large sections of the auditorium. The visitor’s gallery was deserted as Police patrolled the hall in a display that could have been borrowed from Mussolini. The clear intent being to intimidate delegates from heckling Stürmer.

And in the week where Sarah Everard’s Police killer, Wayne Couzens, was gaoled for life, Stürmer decided that it would be a good time to set up a Labour Friends of the Police group. It is clear that other police covered for him over at least 3 incidents of indecent exposure. He was also a member of a homophobic and misogynist Whatsapp group.

Yet Stürmer believes in handing more powers to the Police so they can beat up more women demonstrators at Clapham Common. The Police are always the enemy of freedom and democracy yet in Stürmer’s Labour they are portrayed as our friend. Stürmer clearly isn’t bothered by the repeated police conspiracies against the right to demonstrate as epitomised by the actions of the Special Demonstration Squad which became notorious for its rape by deception of unsuspecting women.

Jackie Walker, Ken Loach and Graham Bash at the Not the Forde Inquiry

Huda Ammori from Palestine Action and Issa Amro from Hebron on Zoom

Sir Licky Lickspittle aka Paddy O’Keefe (left)

On the Conference Fringe, a combination of Labour activists, most of them expelled, organised the phenomenally successful Resist at the Rialto series of events. We had brilliant sessions on Palestine with Huda Ammori from Palestine Action, Asa Winstanley from Electronic Intifada, Natalie Strecker from Jersey PSC and Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist from the racist hell that is Hebron, on Zoom as well as The Not the Forde Inquiry featuring Dorothy Walker, the late mother of Jackie Walker with Ken Loach as an interrogator!  Peter Oborne joined us by Zoom for the session on Alternative Media and Bill Mitchell and Michael Roberts contributed to a fascinating session on Modern Monetary Theory. Greg Hadfield, the former deposed Secretary of Brighton Labour Party was expelled today for having organised the events in another display of the tolerance for dissenting views that we have come to expect from Stürmer.

Greg Hadfield – expelled for organising Resist at the Rialto

On the weekend of 16 and 17 October there are another series of events at a Festival of Resistance at which there will be a whole series of speakers including Ilan Pappe, John Dunn, Chris Williamson, Alexei Sayle, Abby Martin, Lowkey, Max Blumenthall, Jackie Walker and myself amongst others. The key task ahead is to build a new socialist movement given the decline, politically and numerically in the Labour Party.

Tony Greenstein


Starmer’s ‘beauty of work’ was a nazi propaganda slogan

Ken Loach Interview

SKWAWKBOX (SW) 29/09/2021

During his conference speech today – summarised by one wag as ‘spend 17 years getting ready for work and learning to follow the rules, then the rest of your life working and following the rules’ – Kei Starmer quoted ‘the beauty of work’ as a driving force for what passes for his ‘vision’s the UK.

Starmer attributed his idea to Auden – but in fact the ‘beauty of work’, ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’, was the slogan of a propaganda department of the nazi regime from 1934 to 1945.

Along with its sister organisation Strength through Joy, which promoted large families to secure ‘Aryan’ domination, SdA aimed to keep the population in what its rulers considered their place.

Not ideas you’d hope to find in the head of a Labour leader. But then Keir Starmer is neither Labour nor a leader, not in any meaningful sense of those words at least.

And with his speech today carefully stage-managed to hide the sparse attendance and the audience literally policed by the Met’s armed response unit to suppress dissent, the source of those ideas might well have approved.

Ms Whittome said the big crises facing society “cannot be tackled by tinkering around the edges of a system that is fundamentally rigged.”

It is socialism or bust for this planet so giving up for us is not an option because this is a fight for our very survival and we have no choice but to win it,” she said.

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Tony Greenstein

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