Published On: Mon, May 23rd, 2022

Apparently, the Starmer Project is failing so badly it needs an electoral pact with the Lib Dems

At this stage, anyone is an unmitigated moron who believes that the parliamentary constituency seat of Tiverton and Honiton became vacant because the sitting MP, Neil Parish, looked at porn on his phone during a debate in the Commons: likewise, anyone who doesn’t understand that the resultant by-election caused by Parish’s subsequent resignation is one that has been engineered by a simple act of pressure on a pitifully weak individual who is quite happy to play along. It’s quite obvious by the absurdity of its genesis that the Tiverton and Honiton by-election will be the latest episode in an engineered series of such things to train the UK electorate to a desired behaviour at an eventual general election to deselect the current Tory executive branch, and one has to be wilfully or hopelessly stupid in order not to see it.

Moreover, one has to be soft in the head not see the truth of the matter in the details of each by-election: regarding the future Tiverton and Honiton one, we are hearing (via the Daily Mail) that the Lib Dems are going to benefit by Labour “soft-pedalling” (not trying very hard) in their campaigning (from Labour sources) and an outright Labour-Lib Dem electoral pact (according to Tory sources). In other words – and as is made quite blatantly evident to us (so there is no excuse for anyone t0 be retarded in their knowledge and understanding) –  the objective of people who have it in their power to organise this sort of thing (UK Government) is to have the Lib Dems overturn a Tory majority to give the impression of the latter party in continued decline (and at risk from its nearest competition, nationally; i.e. Labour) and it is to be done by connivance: by dog-whistling to Labour voters who want to vote that they should do it instead for the Lib Dems – in much the same way as the Tory defeat was wangled at North Shropshire† (before the outright cheating, that is).

So, it’s truer to say that, rather than there, at this time, being a brand new development of tacit Labour-Lib Dem cooperation purely as an anti-Tory convenience, there instead has been an ongoing sub-operation of the Starmer Project (please see other FBEL articles‡ for an explanation of this term) that is now, after UK Government think-tankers will have digested local election results too disappointing* for their purpose, being promoted in favour of a strategy that evidently has not worked. In other words, the attempt to have that Tory support who do vote do it for Kier Starmer’s Labour has been subordinated to an attempt to have Lib Dem support turn to Labour where the combination can secure a win for the latter. In return of course, the Lib Dems will count on Labour voters (or so the plan goes) where they could beat the Tories: in short, an electoral pact.

There’s no doubt about the fact that a deniable electoral arrangement is now being seen as the way to have Starmer overcome the debilitating collapse in Labour support that this site has for so long explained, and sometimes documented. Since the local elections, the idea has been explored out in the open, so it could be said that what we are seeing with the likes of The Telegraph’s May 15th article, entitled Electoral pact ‘could hand Keir Starmer the keys to Number 10’, and The Guardian’s May 22nd article, entitled A Lab-Lib pincer movement is the most effective way to strike fear into the Tories, is an acceleration in the necessary advertising and provision of rationale so that voters who are required to change their behaviour do so without much attention-attracting provocation: as the reader will see with the second of the two pieces cited above, there is reluctance to develop an official non-aggression treaty, although the reason for it as given in that piece (creating liability to Tory criticism) is not the real one, which is an electoral pact smacks of open announcement of what people already knew: conspiracy to foist an executive branch on the country.

Indeed, all the manipulation that UK Government wants to be done can be achieved by nudging and winking in corporate-media without being too candid about Labour-Lib Dem cooperation so as to be self-harming, and this includes motivating a Tory response adequate enough for good election turnout numbers (without spoiling the ultimate Labour victory), because at the heart of this connivance is an attempt to divide the electorate along the lines of support or opposition to membership of the EU. As such, it is a huge gamble, because one of the ramifications is the final commitment of Labour’s abandonment of that element of support that continues to believe in the Leave vote that it case at the referendum. This potentially hugely problematic aspect of UK Government’s desperate strategy twist is something that can be discussed in terms of a microcosmic real life example as happened recently during the selection of a Labour candidate for the (also) upcoming Wakefield by-election – which will be done by and by.

Firstly, though, there needs to be a short discussion about the appearance of division on the issue of Brexit between the Lib Dems and Labour on one side, and the Tories on the other.

Primarily, it must be understood that an unofficial electoral pact between the Lib Dems and Labour, enacted in actual fact by voters who have their behaviour suggested to them rather than any open declaration, is not a contingency so that two political  parties can overcome a third so that their shared ideals can be realised over the oppositional one of the third party. Yes, as we will see, it can probably be made to seem to be the case that the Tories stand for Brexit while the Lib Dems and Labour do not, but this is not the case: the Tories are merely a front for UK Government as it has had to wriggle to maintain the same sort of relationship with the EU has was had while the UK had membership, having to do this in order to keep the appearance of being representative (and acting according to the result of the referendum). If any pact between the Lib Dems and Labour represents a united front for return to a state of EU membership, it needs to be realised that this aspiration politically untenable and is not what UK Government can realistically achieve at this time, but the policy can be used as motivator to inspire election turnout for that desired Labour win – and this is exactly what evidently happening.

Something to note as this manipulation is being executed is that the UK Government planners evidently don’t expect Tory votes to be bolstered by people who would have voted Labour before the Brexit sell-out that began under Corbyn (and was the initial cause of Labour collapse). We can understand this because of the actual fact that, in England – where all of this is going to count – there is no scope in terms of potential “Remain” support that could give a victory to any party who wanted to campaign for EU membership – as realised very early at FBEL, and articulated in two articles in particular: Wanting To Remain In The EU Is Extremist Minority Viewpoint – And Other Things Not To Be Learnt From The Election (link) and At Brecon And Radnorshire By-Election, Least Voter Participation Since 1922; Remain Extremists Gaslight A Nation (link).

In simple terms, if the superficialities were believed, and if all those people who voted for Brexit then voted Tory in a general election, Labour would be soundly thrashed. This means, if UK Government is pushing a pro-EU united front to motivate Labour support from the Lib Dems, it explicitly understands that ex-Labour voters wouldn’t vote Tory. And this just shows how the whole explanation of the 2019 general election result (involving voters switching to the Tories in “Red Wall” seats ) was a fantasy to disguise that very collapse in Labour support that, apparently, only the author of this site can see to write about, and that is so very disastrous that even now it seriously imperils UK Government plans to force Keir Starmer into the office of Prime Minister.

Indeed, the risk that UK Government is running in this scheme is that Labour may actually lose more of its traditional support than the Lib Dems can make up for, which will then put it at a disadvantage if the Tories are buoyed more than anticipated beyond what is only supposed to participate for turnout ballast, be people (who otherwise represent the Tories’ own support-collapse problem) motivated by the sense of a fight against an anti-Brexit united front.

As mentioned above, the risk that now threatens UK Government’s plans can probably be illustrated by news of an incident in Wakefield. Prior to embarking on this tale, however, the reader must be informed that in the referendum for EU membership, 66% of Wakefield district (in a turnout of 71%) voted to Leave.

It was Sunday 15th May, and Wakefield’s Labour party was having a final selection meeting to choose their candidate for the by-election. There was a great deal of unhappiness because none of the local hopefuls had made this final phase of the process. In the end, members staged a mass walk out in protest, and the entire executive committee “bar one externally appointed individual” tendered its resignation, and issued a statement, from which the following extract is taken:

Today’s meeting should have had a good range of candidates to choose from, including quality Wakefield-based aspirants. Instead they had just two, with all the Wakefield options already stripped out.

We had a longstanding objective of an early selection – not least to avoid all the problems of a last-minute rush – and a local Wakefield candidate to meet the well-known aspirations of our communities.

Of the two candidates, the party membership who remained at the meeting – 120 of them (representing about a quarter of the local party) – chose a Simon Lightwood, a former staffer for a former Labour Wakefield MP, and a man accused of being “‘parachuted in’ by Sir Kier’s office”. So, with the Labour National Executive Committee (the central party) also accused of leaving the selection late (so there is no time for objection, this observer must assume), and then forcing a choice between two externals, the Wakefield Labour party apparently got nothing in terms of what it expected of a selection process. Moreover, the much desired local candidate for localised needs was denied.

Now, although “a senior Labour official”, according to The Guardian piece that is being used here as source, characterised the incident as a reactionary tantrum thrown by “a small clique of Corbynites”, there’s no denying that this was a considerable rebellion, against the imposition of the will of central HQ. And given that Wakefield is a town where nigh on 50% of the population went out to vote to have Britain leave the EU (versus about 25% who voted to remain), and given that the will of the National Executive Party is now that Labour party candidates should appeal to Lib Dem ones too, according to the new united front strategy, it’s quite possible that UK Government has got it all wrong in its efforts to have those Red-Wall-lost-to-the-Tories seats realign with Labour.

Naturally, while the same Guardian piece has to admit that Wakefield saw “a rebellion by activists that could harm the party’s chances of taking the crucial West Yorkshire seat”, there’s no exploration of the fundamental ongoing tension that is very likely at the root cause, and instead room is allowed to an anonymous Labour party spokesman to lazily blame “Corbynites” – as we have seen – but more interestingly to deprecate the concerns of the Wakefield Labour party as “obsession with internal machinations and niche political issues”. With it understood that the gaslighting Islington-centric Labour politician might classify independence from the EU as being “niche”, in interpreting this there may well be scope to say that it indicates that one of reasons that Wakefield Labour is at loggerheads with the national party is that source of discontent since 2016: that betrayal of the referendum result that is already the never-acknowledged initial cause of major collapse in Labour support.

So, while said Guardian piece also breezily expects a Labour win in the Wakefield by-election, the final abandonment by Labour of what remains of its anti-EU support threatens to be a considerable spanner in the works. Furthermore, the local elections appears to hold no promise for good results for the pro-EU based united front, because it appears that it was already in effect, if only partially, for those elections – which of course, were not satisfactory. Consider the following, from the Telegraph piece cited above:

Ahead of the local elections on May 5, Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, and Sir Ed Davey, his Liberal Democrat counterpart, denied suggestions by Oliver Dowden, the Conservative chairman, that there was a “secret Labour/Lib Dems election pact” in place.

Mr Dowden noted that Labour stood candidates in 61 per cent of seats in the South West compared to 97 per cent in 2018, and 88 per cent in the south east compared to the previous figure of 99 per cent.

Sir Keir told Sky News: “There is no pact, everybody knows there is no pact,” while Sir Ed said: “There is no pact now, there is not going to be a pact in the future.”

Analysis by The Telegraph prior to the May 5 elections found that hundreds of Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates were running unopposed by the other party in dozens of Conservative target councils.

So, again, here appears to be confirmation of an ongoing sub-operation of the Starmer Project, which is by degree being telegraphed more openly – and even the Tory criticism works to do this – so that it remains deniable, for the reasons already stated, but so that a change in voter behaviour can be achieved. Further testing of this direction has evidently been lined up in the shape of the Tiverton and Honiton, and Wakefield by-elections, and it is no accident that of both of these with their Tory incumbent, one is a target for the Labour party, and one is a target of the Lib Dems. Watch out for increased chatter about cooperation between the two, served with a disclaimer that the party leaderships deny a pact. Both by-elections will probably need the united front in order for the Starmer Project to benefit from them: Wakefield Labour, of course, experienced the brush off inherent in the pact scheme up close and personal, and in Tiverton and Honiton, the Lib Dems are in third position (so, some cheating might also be needed). There will be reports at FBEL.



† “Cash-strapped Labour stood back to allow Lib Dems an open field for the North Shropshire by-election” (iNews).

‡ To follow.

* Diane Abbot, writing for Left Foot Forward:

One of the most damning yet accurate assessments of the Labour performance in last Thursday’s elections was made by Professor John Curtice who said that, “outside London it appears as if Labour has gone backwards compared to Jeremy Corbyn”.

That seems undeniable.

There is still a job of work  for the author to do to present at FBEL the scale of the failure of the Starmer Project as it was tested at the local elections of this past month. Please see Predictably, Crude Perception Management Portrays Labour Triumph At Local Elections, Yet Starmer Project Continues To Falter (link).

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