• Louize Small

Sir Keir Starmer - Knight in Dirty Armour?

Is the Leader of the Opposition really as wholesome as he'd like us to believe?

As the nation grows more disenfranchised by the day, thoughts turn to the efficacy of our government and its ability to steer us to a safe and prosperous future. Naturally, all eyes are on the blustering blue rogue and his team, but is it time for us to shine a light on the leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer?

Starmer was born in Southwark and raised in Surrey. The child of staunch labour supporters, he was destined for a career in politics. As a young man he edited the radical magazine Socialist Alternatives and was the legal officer for human rights group Liberty until 1990. His career developed as he represented Helen Steel and David Morris in the lengthy McLibel case, which ran from 1986-1997 and involved a number of appeals.

In 1994 he represented a group of criminals who sued the prison service following a botched escape. One of the men, Liam McCotter, was a convicted IRA terrorist found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions. The legal battle cost the taxpayer £500,000 and the men were awarded £7,500 in damages. In 2006 he took on the case of Hilal Al-Jeddah, a jihadi suspect held in a British facility in Basra for recruiting terrorists outside of Iraq with a view to commission of atrocities.

From 2003-8 Starmer was the human rights adviser to the Northern Ireland policing board; during the same period he sat on the Foreign Office’s Death Penalty Advisory Panel. He said at the time, “I came to understand that you can (make) change by being inside and getting the trust of people.”

In July 2008 he was named as the new head of the Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions. Around the same time, victims of Jimmy Savile had started to come forward with their accusations of abuse and molestation. Starmer decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the disgraced TV star yet three years later, after Savile had died, he announced that there would be an investigation into why charges were dropped.

There do seem to be some good things of note to add – Starmer questioned the legality of the invasion of Iraq and called for an end to illegal wars. He also asked for a review of U.K. arms sales, suppported abolition of university fees, demanded a tax increase for the top 5% of earners and proposed an overhaul of the Universal Credit system and the introduction of national wellbeing indicators.

But his policies are inconsistent. In 2013, following publication of a study citing the devastating impact of false allegations, he announced changes to how sexual abuse cases were handled, which resulted in overly-cautious police behaviour and a decrease in the number of rape and domestic abuse cases reported. Starmer left the CPS the same year and the Labour Party announced that he would lead an enquiry into changing the law to protect victims in cases of rape and child abuse.

Starmer accepted a knighthood in 2014 and was elected as MP for Holborn & St. Pancras a year later. He served for a while as the Shadow Minister of State for Immigration but resigned shortly afterwards in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, along with several others. In 2016 he took up the position of Shadow Brexit Secretary and was instrumental in pushing for a second referendum, which ultimately led to the defeat of the party in the 2019 election.

Amidst allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party Starmer remained suspiciously quiet and even invited the controversial anti-Israel group CADFA to speak with him at the House of Commons. London Rabbi, the late Dr David Goldberg, told a friend he was, “very disappointed with Keir Starmer, particularly as his wife and children are members of my synagogue. It’s their community that is under threat and he has done so little. It’s pathetic.”

The Jewish Chronicle quotes Starmer as saying: “If the definition of Zionist is someone who believes in the State of Israel, in that sense, I am a Zionist.” The same publication also notes that Starmer failed to do enough to address issues of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and sought to hide his connections to Judaism.

As Jeremy Corbyn was ousted from the party, Starmer stood up to replace him as the charming and good-looking leader capable of winning press support. Former Labour MP Kate Hoey said of him: “Starmer likes to talk up his credentials as a human rights campaigner. However, there is quite a lot of airbrushing of his CV going on here and the truth about his career outside politics is a good deal more complicated than this… As a potential political leader, he must be much more transparent about his previous work.”

It is also important to note that Keir Starmer is a member of the Trilateral Commission. Founded by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1973, the commission unites global leaders and thinkers in a common goal. Their 1975 report, ‘The Crisis of Democracy,’ states the need to, ‘turn people back to passivity and obedience so they don’t put too many constraints on state power.’ The group were concerned that schools, universities, and churches were not sufficiently indoctrinating the young and that they were too free to pursue their own initiatives and concerns and needed to be controlled better. Brzezinski was heavily involved in steering the Carter administration in the U.S. in the late 1970s and was Barack Obama’s foreign policy adviser. Social philosopher and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky notes that the TLC is ‘undemocratic’ and ‘controlled by elites.’

There is no doubt that the Trilateral Commission is a rich man’s club, which seeks to keep wages low and voters apathetic, obedient and polarised. Annual reports and task force papers are available for the public to read.

While many viewed Jeremy Corbyn as a man of the people, we must ask whose interests does Keir Starmer serve?

(c) Louize Small, November 2020.

This article appears in the November edition of The Light (Issue 3).


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