Labour right look to kick out SHA over criticism of Streeting and crushing defeat in exec elections

Original article republished from the Skwawkbox for non-commercial use

Right-wingers hammered in Socialist Health Association elections said to be aiming to disaffiliate SHA on pretext after organisation condemned Starmer and sidekick Streeting for appalling health policy

The Labour right is angling to kick the Socialist Health Association (SHA) out of the party after the faction was crushed in the SHA’s internal elections – and in revenge for the SHA’s resounding condemnation of Labour’s privatisation-friendly health policy.

The right-wing slate had tried to boycott the elections claiming, presumably after seeing how poor their chances were, that the election was set up against them – but left it too late and the vote went ahead, with the right losing by a ratio of roughly six to one. As one wag put it, it must have been quite some fix to achieve that kind of ratio.

The previous SHA exec last month issued a scathing condemnation of Keir Starmer and his health spokesman Wes Streeting’s plan to extend the use of private healthcare in the NHS, the contempt the pair have shown for the health policy unanimously voted for by Labour members at last year’s party conference and the pair’s readiness to accept large donations from donors with private health interests – a position now resoundingly re-endorsed by SHA members:

At the 2022 Labour Party Conference, the Health Composite Motion moved by the Socialist Health Association (“SHA”) stated that Labour would adopt “a position of outright opposition to and commit to vote against any and all forms of privatisation of the NHS” and “commit to returning all privatised portions of the NHS to public control upon forming a Government”. It also banned Labour MPs from accepting donations from private companies interested in outsourcing NHS functions. See Conference Arrangements Committee Report 4, page 12.

The SHA’s motion was endorsed by a compositing process involving rank and file members, local constituency parties, trade unions, and the shadow frontbench. The Labour Conference passed it unanimously.

The NHS is at breaking point after 12 years of Tory privatisation and outsourcing. It is therefore beyond disappointing that Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has come out in favour of using private providers to bring down NHS waiting lists.

That is not the position democratically agreed at Labour Conference. And it is simply wrong, for the following reasons.

  1. It is simply wrong to say that the private sector has greater capacity to clear NHS backlogs. The people working in the private healthcare sector are, by and large, the same doctors and nurses who work in the NHS, and with the exception of the overseas health workers, the vast majority of them were trained in the NHS. Every hour of staff time devoted to private healthcare is an hour of staff time taken away from public healthcare for those who need it most.
  2. It is simply wrong to say that the private sector is more “efficient”. One example of this is that the Institute for Public Policy Research has found that Tony Blair’s Private Finance Initiatives cost the NHS almost £80 billion for only £13 billion of investment. The only party which benefits ‘efficiently’ from private finance is big finance – not patients.
  3. It is shameful that the Shadow Cabinet has failed to stand shoulder to shoulder with health unions in demanding fair pay and conditions for their members. The BMA has calculated that junior doctors have suffered a real pay cut of 26.1% since 2008 – meaning an exodus of qualified doctors driven out of the public sector just when patients need them most. Staff working conditions are patient treatment conditions.

The impetus for Labour’s ban on accepting donations from private companies interested in outsourcing NHS functions was a report that, in  2022, Wes Streeting accepted a £15,000 donation from hedge fund manager John Armitage. Mr Armitage’s fund owns shares worth more than half a billion dollars in UnitedHealth. UnitedHealth is America’s largest health insurer. It has spent millions of dollars lobbying US politicians against healthcare reform through seven different lobbying forms. This includes lobbying against the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would guarantee supplies to insulin to diabetics who depend on it to survive. It is one of the largest profiteers from NHS outsourcing and one of the biggest potential beneficiaries of future privatisation.

It is therefore also beyond disappointing to see that Wes Streeting has accepted a further £60,000 from MPM Connect. Wes Streeting and the other recipients funds from MPM Connect (including Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and Mayor Dan Jarvis) should urgently confirm just what MPM Connect does; the terms under which they accepted a total of £340,000 from MPM Connect; just what MPM Connect expects in return; and whether its “investments in the employment sector” include further NHS outsourcing.

Accepting donations from private companies interested in NHS outsourcing creates an apparent conflict of interest, and undermines public confidence in Labour’s commitment to rebuilding a publicly owned and provided NHS.

We call on Keir Starmer and Wes Streeting to commit to the policy democratically agreed by the Labour Party – preventing further privatisation and immediately returning all privatised parts of the NHS to public ownership and control.

Mark Ladbrooke
SHA Chair

Harry Stratton

SHA Secretary

Esther Giles
SHA Treasurer

In apparent revenge, Skwawkbox understands that the Labour right – which now dominates the party’s national executive, is planning to table a move to expel or disaffiliate the SHA from the party, on the pretext that the result was somehow rigged despite the massive majority for the left slate, along with the membership status of one or more of the SHA’s elected officers.

The gross hypocrisy of this excuse cannot be overstated. The right-wing ‘Jewish Labour movement’ – of which many of the SHA right-wingers are strong supporters – was not disaffiliated by the party even though it retained members and officers who were actively, openly and officially campaigning against Labour and for the CUK ‘funny tinge’ party in UK elections, an act that is supposed to result in automatic expulsion and lengthy ineligibility to rejoin.

But it seems the right is so desperate to eradicate any left strongholds in the party – and to cover up the betrayal of the NHS by what passes for Labour’s ‘leadership’ – that it will resort to even the most grotesque and shameless lengths to achieve it.

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Original article republished from the Skwawkbox for non-commercial use

Continue ReadingLabour right look to kick out SHA over criticism of Streeting and crushing defeat in exec elections

Starmer betrays vulnerable and low-paid by abandoning promise to scrap Universal Credit

Original article republished for non-commercial use from the Skwawkbox

bySKWAWKBOX (SW)09/01/2023 3 Comments on Starmer betrays vulnerable and low-paid by abandoning promise to scrap Universal Credit

Yet another promise shredded as Starmer maintains 100% weasel record

Starmer and a starving child

Keir Starmer has broken yet another promise – maintaining his perfect betrayal record – by abandoning his pledge to scrap the hateful and cruel Universal Credit system through which the Tories have inflicted years of misery and poverty on the UK’s lowest earning and most vulnerable.

Starmer’s Work and Pensions spokesman Jon Ashworth, challenged directly whether Starmer – who has already been mocked this week for claiming he will ‘renew’ the UK after thirteen years of Tory cuts without spending more – would honour his promise to scrap the system that has pushed huge numbers into abject poverty, responded that:

We’re going to reform universal credit … it’s a computer system. We’re not going to go back to the six different benefits that I think it brought together but we are going to reform it.

The lumping together of benefits that were previously tailored to the needs and circumstances of different types of claimant is one of the fundamentally damaging aspects of Universal Credit – and Labour had unequivocally promised to get rid of the whole system and ‘replace’ it with something fit for purpose, to show that ‘Labour is on the side of working people’, millions of whom rely on benefits to top up low pay they are forced to accept while employers fatten profits:

Starmer has already shredded every one of the promises he made to Labour members, including his promise to renationalise the NHS and utilities, a plan that is hugely popular with voters across the political spectrum. Now – after he and his health spokesman accepted large donations from private health interests – he has said that he intends to use more private providers behind the NHS badge and refuses to commit to increasing public sector pay or the services they provide.

Starmer was asked this week by an interviewer what the point is of voting Labour when he will be no different to the Tories. If there is any difference, it’s an even lower level of trustworthiness. A Starmer promise is not fit to wipe your backside with.

Original article republished for non-commercial use from the Skwawkbox

Skwawkbox’s top 12 exclusives of 2022

Continue ReadingStarmer betrays vulnerable and low-paid by abandoning promise to scrap Universal Credit

Working people deserve better than Austerity 2.0 from Labour

UNITE leader Sharon Graham is absolutely right to demand assurances from Keir Starmer that a Labour government will not mean a continuation of austerity.

On this issue she speaks not just for her union but for the working class as a whole.

Austerity has beggared Britain over the last 13 years, impoverishing the public realm, cutting real wages for millions, and it is at the root of the cost-of-living crisis engulfing the country.

It is the expression of the drive by the capitalist class to make workers pay for the crisis which has unfolded, with pauses but without ending, since the bankers’ crash in 2008.

An end to austerity should therefore be the first and unbreakable commitment of any Labour government, as it was under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Continue ReadingWorking people deserve better than Austerity 2.0 from Labour

Keith Starmer’s alternative Labour Party speech

[Responding to applause] Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Here we are at the Labour Party conference 2022 - and thanks to the Tory party appointing simple maths misunderstanding incompetents - on the cusp of being elected the UK's government. 

I'll let you into a secret conference. I am the Establishement's man (more on that later). What I want to tell you right now is that I will govern, WE will have a Labour govenment looking after the Capitalists' interests through the hard times ahead until the Conservatives can take over again, after the hard times ahead, with an almost sane leader. 

Yes, I promise to you conference that you can depend on me to look after the rich and powerful just as the Tories do while they take a break and duck out of the total chaos that they've caused. And I say clearly to you conference, that I am proud to do this work for the rich and powerful, to be their servant, to keep them safe while I perform my caretaking role for Capitalism. 

It has been a long road for me to achieve power and I want to thank those that have helped me. I particularly want to thank the Labour officials who were so hostile to and totally undermined the previous leader. And I particularly want to thank the Zionists. 

I know that all of you in this hall, in this party can't say that word Zionist - that ist forbidden - but I can because I'm leader. So thanks to all the Zionists that hounded out the previous Labour leader and his supporters so that I was able to expell them for being opposed to Zionist apartheid, for being Socialists and anti-racist.(2) We can't have any of them in this party, this is a new era, we are at the centre of UK politics, we are New Labour, the New Red Tories.   

We are in a new era conference. You will be aware that I thanked the Zionists by installing a former Israeli spy into the centre of Labour Party activities, actually a member of 8200 Unit, to spy on you members and pursue the interests of Israel.(1)

I am in thrall to Israel - but don't you dare call me a Zionist - dat is forbidden. As I said I am an Establishment man but unfortunately, what I have yet to realise is that the Establishment moves very slowly but ever so occasionally has seismic shifts. I still have yet to realise that the UK establishment may not be too pleased with me being so in thrall to a foreign state and installing a former Israeli spy in my office. 

As I finish this sermon, I ask you all to join me in singing the National Anthem ... 

(1) Also responsible for rapid rebuttal according to the job description. 
(2) This is all well documented by al Jazeera in their 2 investigative reports 'The Lobby' and 'The Labour Files'.

Continue ReadingKeith Starmer’s alternative Labour Party speech

What nationalising energy companies would cost – and how to do it

UK could bring National Grid and retailers in-house and build public renewable energy, says ex-Labour policy chief

Andrew Fisher

17 August 2022, 12.01am

Image of banknotes and a prepayment meter key by Lydia,

Republished from OpenDemocracy under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

When 62% of Conservative voters want energy run in the public sector, it’s fair to say the left has won the argument (75% of Labour voters agree, 68% of Lib Dems).

Yet public ownership is opposed passionately by the Conservative government, while the leader of the opposition has said he is “not in favour” of it – despite his election on a platform that committed to “bring rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership to end the great privatisation rip-off and save you money on your fares and bills”.

Public ownership is on the media’s radar, too. When Labour leader Keir Starmer announced his policy to freeze bills this week, he was asked why he wouldn’t also nationalise energy, replying that: “In a national emergency where people are struggling to pay their bills … the right choice is for every single penny to go to reducing those bills.”

But so long as energy remains privatised, every single penny won’t. Billions of pennies will keep going to shareholders instead.

The energy market was fractured under the mass privatisations of the Thatcher governments in the 1980s. It contains three sectors: producers or suppliers (those that produce energy), retailers (those that sell you energy), and distribution or transmission (the infrastructure that transports energy to your home).

It is important to bear this in mind when we’re talking about taking energy into public ownership. We need to be clear about what we want in public ownership and why.

By 2019, Labour had a detailed plan on how to do this – worked up by the teams around then shadow business and energy secretary Rebecca Long Bailey and then shadow chancellor John McDonnell. The plan is not the only way, but it illustrates what exists and how one could go about re-establishing a public energy ecosystem, run for people not profit.

The recent TUC report shows the cost of nationalising the ‘Big 5’ energy retailers – British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Ovo – to be £2.8bn, which would go on buying all the companies’ shares. That’s a lot of money, equivalent to more than the annual budget of the Sure Start programme in 2009/10 (its peak year). But it’s a one-off cost, not an annual one.

And it’s not like the current privatised system doesn’t have its costs: since June 2021, the UK government has spent £2.7bn bailing out 28 energy companies that collapsed because they put short-term profits ahead of long-term stability – companies like Bulb Energy. We have spent billions of pounds already to get nothing in return. So £2.8bn is not a large amount of money to pay to gain these assets, rather than just bailing them out.

The big energy retail companies made £23bn in dividends between 2010 and 2020 according to Common Wealth, and £43bn if you include share buy-backs. What you choose to do with that surplus in public ownership is another matter: you could use it to invest in new clean energy or to lower bills or fund staff pay rises, rather than subject your workers to fire-and-rehire practices as British Gas did last year.

Labour’s previous plan also involved taking the distribution networks – the National Grid – into public ownership. This would end the profiteering at this level, too – with £13bn paid out in dividends over the five years prior to 2019. As Long Bailey said at the time, we need “public driven and coordinated action, without which we simply will not be able to tackle climate change”. Like previous nationalisations, the purchase of the grid and distribution networks could be achieved by swapping shares for government bonds. By international accounting standards, the cost is fiscally neutral as the state gains a revenue-generating asset, which more than pays for the bond yield.

The final part of the plan – and the most complicated – is production and supply. It would be impossible to nationalise the oilfields of Saudi Arabia or Qatar – and for good reasons we should want to leave fossil fuels in the ground, anyway, rather than contest their ownership.

And so what Labour proposed in 2019 was a mass investment in new renewable energy generation projects, with the public sector taking a stake and returning profits to the public. For example, under the ‘People’s Power Plan’, we proposed 37 new offshore wind farms with a 51% public stake, delivering 52GW alone by 2030, equivalent to 38 coal power stations. There were additional proposals for onshore wind, solar, and tidal schemes, as part of a 10-year £250bn Green Transformation Fund, which included other schemes like the Warm Homes insulation initiative.

Labour’s new shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has promised a similar level of investment – a £28bn a year climate investment pledge.

Any surplus energy would then be sold on international markets, with a People’s Power Fund – a sort of sovereign wealth fund – to deliver public investment in local communities’ social infrastructure: a genuine levelling-up fund, perhaps.

Many people will say this can’t be done, but of course it has been before. The 1945 Attlee government nationalised energy and successive Conservative governments – including those of Churchill, MacMillan and Heath – were happy to have a nationalised asset. Harold MacMillan famously accused Margaret Thatcher of “selling off the family silver” when she privatised state industries.

When I was born in 1979, the National Coal Board, British Gas and British Petroleum were all publicly-owned or majority publicly-owned companies. Between them, they were the major suppliers of our energy. Our gas bills came from British Gas and our electricity bills from our regional electricity board (in my case Seeboard, the South Eastern Electricity Board), and coal and oil fuelled our power stations.

The regional electricity boards had been brought into being by the Attlee government’s Electricity Act 1947, when electricity companies were forcibly merged into regional area boards and nationalised. The Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 and the Gas Act 1948 had together brought energy into public ownership.

Seeboard was privatised in 1990, and later became part of EDF Energy – ironically, the nationalised French energy company, whose profits from the UK’s stupidity are used to subsidise French consumers.

The French government has now fully nationalised EDF (previously it was 84% publicly owned), and household energy bills rose by just 4% this year – compared to over 50% in the UK and a forecast 200% by January 2023.

If Starmer doesn’t want to listen to me (or his own commitments from 2020), perhaps emulating the centrist Emmanuel Macron in this instance would be palatable?

From the depletion of fish stocks to the burning of the Amazon, profit has proved a failed regulator for use of our natural resources

In his later years, Robin Cook argued: “The market is incapable of respecting a common resource such as the environment, which provides no price signal to express the cost of its erosion nor to warn of the long-term dangers of its destruction.”

From the depletion of fish stocks to the burning of the Amazon, profit has proved a failed regulator for use of our natural resources. The market has also failed to decarbonise at pace, or to end the scourge of fuel poverty.

On the media this week, shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband said Labour is “continuing to look at what the right long-term solution is for our energy system”. It is up to all of us to campaign for that solution to be public ownership – whether that’s from within the Labour Party (like me) or from the outside.

Republished from OpenDemocracy under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

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Continue ReadingWhat nationalising energy companies would cost – and how to do it

Climate protest news 12 April 2022 / 1

Extinction Rebellion targets energy industry insurers Lloyd’s of London

Activists from Extinction Rebellion blocked the entrances at Lloyd’s of London headquarters and prevented staff from entering the building, with the aim of closing down the insurance and reinsurance giant for the day.

The climate campaigners are is demanding that Lloyd’s of London stop insuring fossil fuels projects, and highlighted the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension in Canada, which they believe is being insured through the Lloyd’s marketplace.

The action is part of the April Rebellion and comes after 10 days of ongoing disruption across the UK from Extinction Rebellion and the Just Stop Oil coalition.

‘A Disgrace’: UK Labour Party Slammed for Seeking Injunction Against Climate Activists

The United Kingdom’s ostensibly leftist Labour Party came under fire Monday after calling for nationwide injunctions to block direct actions by climate campaigners that shut down oil terminals to demand an end to new fossil fuel investments.

“Those protesting against fossil fuel giants should be applauded, not arrested.”

“On the Conservatives’ watch, drivers are being hammered by rising petrol prices and now millions of motorists can’t access fuel,” tweeted Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer. “The government must stop standing idly by and immediately impose injunctions to put an end to this disruption.”

Steve Reed, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, made similar remarks Monday, outraging supporters of the Just Stop Oil (JSO) demonstrations—which started at the beginning of April—along with other leftists within and beyond the U.K.

“The Labour Party has just called for nationwide injunctions against climate protesters who are peacefully demonstrating against fossil fuels for all of our futures,” said Joe Ryle, who campaigns for a four-day work week and serves as the media and communications lead for a think tank.

“This is a disgrace, flies in the face of all the climate science, and will be deeply unpopular with Labour members,” asserted Ryle, a former press officer for the political party.

Former party leader Jeremy Corbyn made clear he disagrees with the push by Labour to criminalize or further block legitimate climate activism directed at the fossil fuel industry.

“We need a Green New Deal and a sustainable planet for future generations,” said Corbyn. “Those protesting against fossil fuel giants should be applauded, not arrested.”

“Absolutely incredible,” declared British columnist Owen Jones. “In Keir Starmer’s game-changing video in the Labour leadership campaign, he was showcased as a crusading lawyer who defended activists from being prosecuted by the state. Now he’s calling for environmental protesters to get locked up!”

Just Stop Oil activists vow to continue disruption until UK agrees to fossil fuel demands

Just Stop Oil activists have vowed to continue their efforts to disrupt oil infrastructure across the country amid mounting criticism and concern of fuel shortages ahead of the Easter Weekend.

“Supporters of Just Stop Oil have no choice but to continue to take action whilst our government refuses to end new fossil fuel projects,” the campaign said in a statement to The Independent Tuesday.

“The government can end the disruption immediately by making a statement that they will end all new fossil fuel licences and consents in the UK.”

Breaking news is that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are fined over ‘Partygate’ lockdown parties …

Continue ReadingClimate protest news 12 April 2022 / 1


Looks like I should start campaigning against Keir Vissarionovich Starmer and his Stalinist Blue Labour party. Looks like the best election result I could hope for would be a hung parliament so that the smaller parties with green policies will have power.

6/3/22 Since the election of Keir Starmer as the leader of the Labour Party – and arguably before but definitely since – the Labour Party is not a democratic party having abandoned party rules, principles and policies to the benefit of the right-wing of the party.

If you vote Labour, then you are voting for dictatorship.

6/3/22 20.27

7/3/22 1.25am Went to a Wetherspoons pub tonight. No nuts, dark rum or brandy, that’s pretty crap Tim.

Your wi-fi was crap too. I had taken a new device but prompted and expected to login over http, not https. I recognised that it was crap and unwilling to take such a dangerous step because I know what it means. Being a pub, it’s probably worse not having any nuts, dark rum or brandy. It’s not really a pub then, is it?

[11/3/22: Was there again last night Tim. The forty-niner is off. It’s got that nasty sweet taste where fruit flies have got in or the lines have never been cleaned. It looks the wrong colour too, clear but like a strong orange tint. I shouldn’t need to tell you this really, you should make sure that it’s good. Shame I can’t afford a real pub.]

Back to Keith being crap

Oh, sorry been to the pub, forgot about making the postscripts blue. That’s magick that is ;) Shall I make it really skimple? “with love”. I can do that because I’m a magickian ;)

Back to Keith Stalin. The Skwawkbox is probably the best source that documents Keith’s Stalinism. As I said earlier, if you vote Labout you’re voting for dictatorship.

Cor, I had a wierd week. A local bully set his dog on me Tuesday in the park and we were fighting. I was ill with an upper respiratory tract infection (like a cold but actually a swollen neck causing cold symptoms) and NHS 111 were really crap, should be 5417 or 7175 or something instead. I’ve got it recorded thi scunt trying to rebuke me for not registering with a GP. The point is that I had registered and deregistered because GPs are cnuts. I am not registered with a GP practice because they are abusive shits.

Then on Friday a cabbie smacked mirrors with me and tried to claim that I had damaged his car so the mirrors didn’t tuck in any more. Did my mirror smack his mirror or his mirror smack my mirror? If his mirrors don’t tuck in any more, why does the left one not tuck in? Is his car just an old car like Blair’s one with the knackered gearbox?

Yes, I know Keith Stalin Fascist Shit. I haven’t smoked for five days.

2.37 Why you waiting for me? It’s all at skwawkbox.


03.45 Goodmorning

FBU demands ‘national recall conference’ over ‘escalating crisis’ of free speech and democracy in Starmer’s Labour

Starmer’s war on the left escalates still further as officers of at least SIX more CLPs suspend[ed]

Continue ReadingHmm