Speaking as is his habit now in front of union flags, Sir Keir Starmer tells his audience that he leads what is a ‘deeply patriotic party’ and says that ‘2022 is a big year for the country’. But ‘big’ for whom and why?
He cites the following things which for him characterise this upcoming ‘big year’:
– the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
– Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games
– both England’s men’s and women’s football teams competing for international honours – well that’s what the BBC is reporting so it must be correct!
– the need to tackle some “big challenges” including “making Brexit work”.
On the scale of things that could make for a ‘big year’ for the many not the few given all the serious ‘issues’ facing the UK, how do the Starmer factors stack up ?
– a monarch’s birthday, even a ‘big number’ birthday, will come and go with little or more likely, no beneficial, tangible impact on the well-being of the vast majority of the UK population. Is this being seen by party strategists as an opportunity for Labour to out-compete the Tories over who can display most ‘patriotism’?
– hosting the Commonwealth Games happens somewhere every four years. What lasting, significant impact on the well-being of the majority of the UK population have previous Games in the UK had – unless of course we are to be sustained by the vicarious pleasure of gold medal winning and the patriotic glow that comes from the playing of a national (England’s?) anthem time and again in the space of a few weeks!
– England’s football teams competing during the year – one nation, one country against the world and that one is …. ‘England’? (By the way are NI, Wales and Scotland’s sporting teams having a year off from international competition in 2022?)
– ‘making Brexit work’ – is Labour now going to campaign to re-establish the custom’s union with the EU; re-join the EU single market; reinstate freedom of movement? And if not, what will it do? Is this just about a more competent pursuit than the Johnson government’s of otherwise similar ‘global Britain’ exceptionalism?
9 thoughts on “The Deeply Patriotic Labour Party of England”
Sir Keir Starmer is yet another member of the UK Establishment who doesn’t see any difference between Britain and England. In his speech he referred to the time he stood in front of the Union Flag as the Director of Public Prosecutions … for England.
I’m surprised he didn’t refer to England’s world beating cricket team!
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“And if not, what will it do?”
Well, whatever the LP does, it won’t be form a pact with the SNP. Sir K has spoken…
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“New” New Labour.:—
“My party is the most patriotic.
My parties Union flags are bigger than Tory Union flags.
Englands teams will do better than under the Tories.
I will bring electricity from Scotland to the Humber and create thousands of hydrogen jobs.
Scottish jobs? Eh, ur, duh……………………………….?
Labour is not nationalist. We are a national party (England).
Scotland and Wales—we will ignore you better than the dastardly Tories did.
Northern Ireland—Labour will NOT oppose a UNITED Ireland.
Tony Blair DESERVES all we can give him.
As do I, your One People, One Nation, One Leader…. Sir Keir eh, um………….Sturma……….Strumme…Scraam………”!
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Land of dopes and Tories.
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What any Labour Party Member says
Is a complete and utter irrelevance to Scotland
Because The Labour Party are officially
HM.opposition parliamentary opposition
And as such are part and parcel of the colonial sovereign power of Scotland
Whilst failing to recognise that We the People are the one and only Sovereign Power in Scotland
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I posted on this topic earlier based on a BBC News article. I should have waited and based it on reading the transcript of Kier Starmer’s speech today (4 January). It’s even ‘better’, more revealing. Here are some notable extracts with comments. Apologies for the length but there is IMHO so much in this speech that needs to be amplified.
1) Referring to past UK Labour governments: “It was a patriotic government which understood the importance of national defence, which created NATO, the alliance that has preserved the peace in Europe ever since and gave this country its independent nuclear deterrent.”
So Labour today is claiming that obtaining weapons of mass destruction was an exemplary act of patriotism! A manifestation of international solidarity perhaps?
2) He goes on: “And a Labour Britain must be A PROSPEROUS NATION …” (with my emphasis)
Is this Labour’s endorsement of a ‘one nation’ UK just like the Tories’?
3) “The UK is a unique construct of four distinct NATIONAL IDENTITIES. It is complex and it can easily be exploited for political gain, as we have seen in Northern Ireland the government is playing fast and loose with the peace agreement as the price of getting Brexit done.”
So on top of an aspiration for Britain as ONE prosperous nation there is here (at least) the concession that there are four distinct NATIONAL IDENTITIES! Do we have a constitutional ‘union’ or just a complex of identities?
4) “But I believe in our union of nations. I believe we are better together than any of us would be apart. I believe that each nation can speak with a progressive voice.”
Are you keeping up with this? We now at least have a ‘union of nations’ not just ‘national identities’ as implied above. But we have morphed into a union of (multiple) nations from what was described as just ONE nation above. Confused?
And candidly, ‘speaking’ with a progressive voice is of limited value if NI, Scotland and Wales – unlike England – lack the agency to be as progressive as their electorates may wish!
Did you note the ‘better together’ resurrection! He has the gall to claim this whilst giving this scathing assessment of UK governance:
5) ‘And let’s be clear – it’s the (Tory) party that is the problem. This is not just about the flaws of one individual. It’s about the flaws of a whole style of government, the flaws of an ideology, of a political party that has been in power too long.”
An ideology that we in Scotland have by a majority rejected since the mid 1950s. So with his ‘better together’ claim, Starmer presumably is trying to convince us that not only would a Labour government in Westminster be better for Scotland than the Tories (hardly a high bar) but also that England’s electorate will ensure that a ‘better’ Labour government is in power in Westminster for at least the next 70 years!
6) Then this: “But we need a new and durable constitutional settlement. Which is why I am delighted that Gordon Brown’s Commission on the Future of the UK will chart a new course for our union of nations.”
What happened to the Vow of 2014: after voting ‘no’ did Scotland not get – does it not already have – the closest thing to federalism possible within this United Kingdom? Did the same Gordon Brown not assure us this would be so?
And having gone from the ‘Britain as one prosperous nation’ statement through to ‘four distinct national identities’ and then to “our union of nations’ , we learn this:
7) “This is A REMARKABLE NATION with an extraordinary cultural heritage. BRITISH music, BRITISH fashion, BRITISH advertising, BRITISH acting. The diplomatic soft power wielded by the BBC, the world’s greatest broadcaster, which enjoys its centenary this year.”
The speech refers to sport, presumably because it’s a convenient vehicle to convey ‘patriotism’:
8) “WE will host the women’s Euros and OUR men’s teams will compete in the World Cup’.
Will we indeed? According to the FA’s website: ‘England will host the UEFA Women’s EURO finals in July 2022. England’s Lionesses qualify automatically as hosts and will be joined by 15 other nations.’
And as to the importance of these sporting matters?
9) “Which GIVES US an opportunity, as there was in the European Championships last year to glimpse the open, generous, tolerant NATION that we are at our best. The England team is a living EMBODIMENT OF A SUCCESSFUL NATION – young men of many backgrounds united by their talent and their PATRIOTIC PRIDE.”
Is this the ‘patriotic pride’ for Britain – for this Union of one, or is it multiple nations – that comes from wearing an England shirt on a football pitch? Now who’s confused?
Given the eminent lawyer that Kier Starmer is, he will be acutely aware that words and phrases have ‘meaning’: his speech will have been carefully crafted.
So for what purpose were the words and phrases pointed out above intended? To insult the intelligence of – or at least disregard – all those across the UK not wedded to this Union, or at least all those not willing to accept that the UK just equates to England?
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An interesting expansion, yet truly awful.
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Couldn’t agree more, Stewart and Bob. What can you say really, the identity crisis of England is a recipe for instability. The people of England are being stirred around in a big BREXIT pot. Did Starmer say anything about ensuring the (English) NHS is not sold off lock, stock and barrel. It almost seems as if he’s been to the same how to make a speech class, as Johnson. Neither sound genuine, because they are not.
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Starmer supports the mass murderer.
Starmer self isolating with covid twice.
Supports less rules and regulations being put in to keep people alive and healthy.
Starmer has no idea for what Labour stands. Neither does anyone else. A sound bite mouthpiece. Supports Tory policy. Enables Tories. No opposition.