Starmer, the Machiavellian

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There will be those who will expect me to comment in the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey by Keir Starmer, so I will.

Was her action anti-Semitic? Others more expert than me can decide on that.

Was it unwise? Undoubtedly.

Will Keir Starmer be happy to be rid of an MP whose ability I could never identify (and I have met her a few times)? I suspect so.

Has Starmer played straight to the Machiavellian rule book? Yes.

Is that likely to work for him? Yes.

Will the public like this? Yes.

Will he regret this then? No.

Does that mean this increases the chance of a Labour government, even if in coalition? Yes.

Will it alienate the left? Of course.

Were they already alienated? Yes.

Does it change Starmer’s lower base on the left then? No, not at all.

Could he, therefore, afford this risk? Yes.

By already being so openly hostile to Starmer, so often, the left empowered him to do this in that case. He has thrown down the gauntlet. And he will survive any resulting challenge.

I’m not in Labour. Commenting on his political tactics alone, Starmer got this right. The left have themselves to blame for being so openly hostile. This gave him the chance he probably wanted.

That does not mean I support all Starmer will do. I suspect I will be deeply frustrated by much of it. But if the left wants to progress it has to play a much better political  game. It has not learned how to do that. They’ll have to live with Starmer or leave in that case.