It was sad to read Len McCluskey’s account (I trusted Keir Starmer – until I saw how he handled Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension on September 13), but I can understand why this episode broke his personal relationship with Keir Starmer. Likewise, I understand why McCluskey felt that Starmer “was not a man of his word.”
Since you issued a statement on the approach to Labor from one of its leaders that “it’s about bringing a level of brutality” (“No strategy, program or project”: Labor divided before the August 7 conference), I sought in vain for this to be disowned by the chief’s office. Promoting mistrust, division, and brutality can apparently bring victory in short-term internal party battles, but it is not a strategy for gaining long-term popular support from voters.
I was hoping Labor would have a clear run at this year’s conference, where it could clarify and establish its policies on the environment, social equality, public services and the ongoing pandemic. But Len McCluskey decided now was the perfect time to pull out a dead horse and start whipping it. Mr McCluskey uses his revelations from confidential meetings he attended to launch an open attack on Keir Starmer: his response to “his party’s bad position was as flawed as it was dishonorable … the mind of the public as anyone. ‘one who cannot be trusted’, and so on.
This is not simply unwarranted criticism of an individual, but an apparent attempt to ignite the fuse and further divide the party. If he does, our hopes will suffer a profoundly damaging blow.
Bytham Castle, Lincolnshire
If the mess we are in right now can be kicked out of anyone, I would say it is Len McCluskey’s. In September 2010, when Labor had to elect a new leader, instead of placing his Unite bloc vote behind David Miliband, who had the best chance of winning for Labor as a candidate from the moderate center, his union took chose his brother, Ed, who had more left-wing credentials. Ed gave his absolute best shot, but was too easy a target for the right-wing press. Then, when David Cameron was re-elected with an overall majority, McCluskey’s union doubled in backing Jeremy Corbyn.
This narrow-minded and narrow-minded thought will always place far-left purism above eligibility. Now retired, he should stay away from the internal affairs of the Labor Party. He’s done enough damage.
I urge all readers to take Len McCluskey’s take on the Corbyn pendant light with a pinch of salt.
When it comes to his record in the Labor Party, he and his cronies wielded great control over the party for over four years, which led to our biggest defeat in over 70 years. But according to him, it was someone else’s fault.
I urge all Labor members and supporters to 100% support Keir Starmer. If the opportunity arises, it will bring us back to power.
Surely it is time for Keir Starmer to tell Len McCluskey what Clement Attlee said to then Labor Party Chairman Harold Laski in 1946: “A period of silence on your part would be welcome.
Dr David Mervin
Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester