PERHAPS removing the whip from Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t quite enough.
Maybe the Forde Report didn’t quite exonerate the former leader, nor did it fully prove party officials were working against him in 2017.
As for the 10 Pledges Sir Keir Starmer ran on and has since abandoned – that’s just pragmatic politics.
But sacking a shadow minister – and proud trade unionist – for attending a picket line is a step too far even for the most ardent pro-leadership members.
Sam Tarry – a Corbyn ally and one of the few leftists who remained on the Labour frontbench – was sacked this week.
The party officially said the shadow transport minister was removed for unauthorised media appearances and “making up policy on the hoof”.
But Starmer’s decision to deal with the situation like he did shows his disdain for the Labour Left.
As John McDonnell pointed out, his own Shadow Chancellor made up policy during an interview this month – which had to be corrected hours later by the shadow transport team, of all people – and has remained in position.
And the excuse of ‘unauthorised’ media appearances is a strange one. Starmer himself infamously went rogue on Brexit when he was a shadow minister.
There is an underlying message behind the sacking – Labour is no longer a party of the trade unions, and in turn, the working class of Britain.
Tarry went so far after as to say Starmer has a worse relationship with the unions than Tony Blair did – and that he simply didn’t understand the issues.
The union response was telling.
Mick Whelan of ASLEF said “maybe it’s time to recognise the link [between Labour and the unions] is gone”
Tarry could have been ticked off behind the scenes by Labour HQ, perhaps quietly rotated out at the next reshuffle.
Instead, Starmer gave leftists still in Labour another reason to leave.
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