The Erosion of Democratic Representation: Keir Starmer’s Personal Vendetta Against Jeremy Corbyn
The principles of democracy are built upon fair representation, with citizens having a say in who represents them within their constituencies. However, it appears these values have been ignored by Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to block former leader Jeremy Corbyn from running as a candidate.
This block comes after Starmer’s long-running attacks against the people’s representative and choice of MP for Islington North Jeremy Corbyn. It has now culminated into a diktat to the NEC telling them not to allow Jeremy Corbyn to stand as the Labour candidate for Islington North bypassing the local members and constituency party.
There is no doubt Corbyn, who led the Labour Party from 2015 to 2020, has been a controversial figure within the party, with his leadership marred by accusations of anti-Semitism and criticism over the party’s electoral losses.
But this is personal and for a party that once prided itself on collective responsibility Starmer does a good job at shirking his responsibility while a frontbencher during the Corbyn years.
Ongoing Betrayal Of Corbyn And Democracy.
In 2020 The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) stated that it identified “serious failings” in how Labour dealt with anti-Semitism in the party during Corbyn’s time as leader.
At the time Corbyn responded to the report by saying that while he condemned anti-Semites, the scale of the problem under his leadership had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons.”
Those comments drew a swift and dramatic response from the party. “In light of (Corbyn’s) comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party,” a party spokesperson said. Without a doubt that order came directly from Starmer.
The decision rocked the British political world: Less than a year earlier, at the December 2019 general election, Corbyn was bidding to be Prime Minister when Labour suffered a catastrophic loss.
The losses were ironically linked to the second referendum policy, forcefully advocated by Sir Keir Starmer, the then Shadow Brexit Secretary at the time. This stance significantly contributed to the crushing 2019 defeat, in which Labour relinquished 60 seats – six in Scotland and a staggering 54 in England, of which 52 voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU.
In 2020 Jeremy Corbyn was reinstated by the National Executive Committee (NEC) after a brief and arguably unwarranted suspension. However, the current Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has chosen not to allow Corbyn to sit in Parliament as a Labour MP.
However, Corbyn remained a member of the Labour Party, meaning he has continued to attend local party meetings in Islington North. His grassroots support remains strong, and many Labour members continue to view him as a champion of progressive policies.
Now in a move that has raised eyebrows and sparked heated debates, again the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has made a clear personal decision confirming that former party leader Jeremy Corbyn will be blocked from standing as a Labour MP at the next election.
Starmer has proposed a motion to his party’s ruling body that would prevent it from selecting Corbyn as a Labour candidate in the next general election.
The party’s ruling body will vote tomorrow on a motion proposed by Keir Starmer that claims Labour’s interests are “not well served” by Corbyn’s candidacy.
Tuesday’s motion — which has no evidence to support its vague assertions argues, Labour’s “standing with the electorate in the country” will be “significantly diminished” if Corbyn is endorsed — will effectively block his selection from this week onward.
It goes on to claim: “The Labour Party’s standing with the electorate in the country, and its electoral prospects in seats it is required to win in order to secure a Parliamentary majority and/or win the next general election, are both significantly diminished should Mr Corbyn be endorsed by the Labour Party as one of its candidates for the next general election.”
The National Executive Committee is expected to pass the motion, officially confirming Corbyn’s exile from the party he once led.
Corbyn will not be allowed to stand as a Labour candidate in his London seat, which he has represented since 1983.
The ongoing betrayal of Jeremy Corbyn by the Labour Party and particularly Sir Keir Starmer has not only shown Starmer’s vindictiveness and authoritarian style of rule. It has also reignited concerns about the democratic representation of constituents and the right of party members to choose their own representatives for their own constituencies.
In a statement released today, Corbyn said: “Today, Keir Starmer has broken his commitment to respect the rights of Labour members and denigrated the democratic foundations of our Party.
A statement on the latest attempt to block my candidacy for Islington North. pic.twitter.com/ytZSK4oEKI— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 27, 2023
“I have been elected as the Labour MP for Islington North on 10 consecutive occasions since 1983. I am proud to represent a community that supports vulnerable people, joins workers on the picket line and fights for transformative change.
“This latest move represents a leadership increasingly unwilling to offer solutions that meet the scale of the crises facing us all. As the government plunges millions into poverty and demonises refugees, Keir Starmer has focused his opposition on those demanding a more progressive and humane alternative.
“I joined the Labour Party when I was 16 years old because, like millions of others, I believed in a redistribution of wealth and power. Our message is clear: we are not going anywhere. Neither is our determination to stand up for a better world.”
Democratic representation is a crucial aspect of any progressive society, and it’s detrimental when leaders ignore such principles in favour of personal animus. It remains to be seen how this decision will play out come the next general election and whether Labour’s supporters accept their new leader Sir Keir Starmer’s parachuted-in candidate or not, the fact Corbyn has been the favourite son of Islington North for near on 50 years will no doubt cause some issues with the Labour Party