Posted on behalf of Camden Momentum Steering Committee.
Motion passed at the Camden Momentum meeting – July 2020
As the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer worked closely with the police in prosecuting and convicting people who were overwhelmingly working class and disproportionately people of colour. As he said recently, “Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police… I’ve worked with police forces across England and Wales bringing thousands of people to court, so my support for the police is very strong.” While failing to hold the police accountable for deaths in police custody, he did little against corporate corruption but encouraged longer and tougher sentences for “benefit fraud”, and ordered the fast-tracking of extradition of Julian Assange. Assange, who is an award-winning journalist and publisher, is being persecuted for revealing US war crimes overwhelmingly against people of colour.
As leader of the Labour Party, Starmer:
- Took no immediate action against those former staff members whose racism, sexism, and ableism was exposed in the leaked report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
- Reversed the overwhelming vote at Conference against the occupation of Kashmir, giving free reign to Prime Minister Modi’s imposition of martial law and spreading persecution of Muslims in India.
- Downplayed the international Black Lives Matter movement as “a moment”, and labelled as “nonsense” the demand to defund the police in favour of greater community investment.
- Kept in his Cabinet Rachel Reeves who joined Boris Johnson and other Tories in praising Lady Astor, a well-known Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite, while firing Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting a reference to Israeli training of US police – a fact which he described as an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”.
- Said he “supports Zionism without qualification” and called attacks on Apartheid Israel “antisemitic”. In so doing he links all Jewish people with the crimes of a particular state – the very essence of antisemitism.
- Refused to hold this Tory government accountable for its handling of the pandemic, making Labour complicit in a per capita death rate which is the second highest in the world and which has disproportionately affected people of colour.
Starmer’s statement that he needs “unconscious bias” training, is both an admission and misdirection: His racism has been conscious and consistent and has no place in an antiracist party. In the process he makes racism a personal psychological problem and not a systemic social disaster. He has brought the Labour Party into disrepute with some of its most loyal supporters, BAME communities.
Therefore Momentum Camden calls on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party to pass a motion of “No Confidence” in Keir Starmer.
We also call on Momentum’s National Coordinating Group to support this demand and publicise its support to all local Momentum groups.