Is this really Sir Keir Starmer's 'Clause 4' moment? (read your history about Tony Blair). Is this the time, Sir Keir has finally broken with the past of his predecessor's leadership? Sir Keir, has uttered for much time now, that Labour is "under new management". Is Sir Keir, in suspending former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, making the Labour party his baby now?
Mr Corbyn by his own admission has been a life long Labour party supporter. So, it will have perhaps, come as a shock to him, that the new leader of Labour has suspended him. Or maybe not, perhaps he knew his response to the report into Labour management/mismanagement of alleged or real concerns/complaints about antisemitism would see him suspended. It is a noted fact, that Mr Corbyn has always spoken up and stuck up for the Palestinian cause. It is well known that he shared platforms with Israel's enemies Hamas and Hizbollah. Many Jewish life long Labour supporters left Labour in droves when Mr Corbyn became leader. Also, Jewish MPs left like Luciana Berger because of the real or alleged anti-Jewish atmosphere within the party. It seems being Jewish in the Labour party, either as an MP or a supporter, during the reign of Jeremy Corbyn, was not a comfortable experience. Some have said they were bullied or threatened. The report into Mr Corbyn's handling of the situation during his tenure at the top of Labour is damning. The report was undertaken by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It states that Mr Corbyn broke the law. It seems to be saying that Mr Corbyn ignored cries of antisemitism or allowed an atmosphere to fester, poisonous, to Jews.
Sir Keir Starmer, reacted against, Jeremy Corbyn's response . Sir Keir, speaking from a podium via social media said that suspending Mr Corbyn was the right thing to do, in light of his response to the report.
Perhaps, Sir Keir had to do this not only to retain Jewish faith in the Labour party but, to show his control over the Labour party. By making an example of Jeremy Corbyn is he playing to the gallery or is his suspension of Mr Corbyn real? Either way, this could turn into a fight for the very soul of Labour and its future political direction. Even, some might say, for the very survival of the party itself.
Already, those supporting both Mr Corbyn and Sir Keir, are lining up. Obviously, Unite Union boss, Mr Len McCluskey, will be supporting his friend, Mr Corbyn. The relationship between UNITE and the new Labour leader is already tenuous. How other Labour-supporting trades unions react remains, to be seen. The far-left group within and without of the Labour party, 'Momentum', set up during the tenure of Corbyn's reign, will no doubt support the former leader. Margaret Hodge, a prominent Jewish Labour MP (who is not the greatest friend to Mr Corbyn) has applauded Mr Corbyn's suspension. Lisa Nandy MP and member of Sir Keir's shadow cabinet has also, spoken of her support, for Mr Corbyn's suspension.
This action of Sir Keir Starmer in suspending Mr Corbyn, whether you support it or not, will create fault lines in Labour. Just when many thought, the rise of Keir Starmer, would unite both the right and the left in the party, the suspension of Mr Corbyn happens. Once more, the ugly head of antisemitism in Labour has raised itself.
Maybe, Sir Keir's reasoning is that in dealing with Mr Corbyn and antisemitism now, it will be out of the way and he can continue taking the Labour party forward. Unfortunately, these fault lines that are opening up again could cause a civil war.
The only party happy to see such a civil war are the Conservatives. In the past months of 2020 and now, the Tories have been reeling from the rise of Sir Keir Starmer. Labour and Sir Keir have shot ahead in the polls. The Tories may be hoping that this antisemitism suspension of Jeremy Corbyn, might buy them time. Obviously, they will want to put the proverbial 'boot' into Labour.
Allegations by the Conservatives of Sir Keir Starmer's hypocrisy (as they see it ) are already doing the rounds. A statement put out by the Tories accuses Sir Keir of rank hypocrisy knowing all the time that antisemitism was taking place and yet, he did nothing about it, when, he was part of Mr Corbyn's shadow cabinet.
Sir Keir, needs to handle this very carefully and prevent at all costs, destructive civil war between right and left.
The party must remain united if it is to remain a unified and viable party ready to become the next government in 2024. If not, we will have another reign of the Tories and the only thing I can say to that is "God help us".