Sir Keir’s (Private) School Days and Old Boys’ Club Dinners

The descent of Labour leadership elections into the Four Yorkshiremen Sketch – with each candidate vying to show off their working-class credentials – is fun to watch. Keir Starmer has one of the toughest jobs, given his dad was a Surrey-living, Aga-owning, Buckingham Palace-attending businessman and he himself is constantly trying to remove references to his millionaire status from his Wikipedia profile.

The BBC recently wrote of the contenders’ class statuses:

“The “posh school” reference is harder to pin down – Jess Phillips and Sir Keir went to state grammar schools, but none of the contenders was privately educated.”

Other profiles of Keir also mention his passing of the 11+ before going to university. However, this overlooks a crucial fact: Keir Starmer’s Reigate Grammar School was a fee-paying independent school in his third year. When Keir joined in 1974, the school had been a state grammar for 30 years, however in 1976 it went private and according to their website of ‘notable Reigatians’ Starmer stayed on at the fee-paying school until 1981. Starmer is happy to leave journalists with the impression that he went to a state school. Today his old school charges £20,000 a year…

Whilst he might now like to downplay his posh upbringing – playing violin with Norman Quentin Cook (better known as Fat Boy Slim) and acting in school plays on the same stage that David Walliams first learnt his trade – Guido can also reveal Starmer is still very active in the Reigatian Old Boys’ Club. A co-conspirator passed Guido this picture of Starmer attending the ‘Chairman’s Amicable Dinner’ for former pupils, held at the gilded Reform Club in St James’s. Sir Keir held court after having someone get an emergency bow-tie for him because he had just “hot-footed it from Heathrow in a cab”.

He attends old boy reunions regularly. The picture below was taken at the 2017 dinner at the men’s-only East India Club – the St James’s private members’ club of which Nigel Farage is a member.

He also returned to his school in 2014 to talk to law students and, as of 2016, continues to be an “Ambassador for the [Reigate Grammar School] Foundation”. Clearly he’s very proud of his posh school…

He returned to the private school once again in 2016 for the funeral of his former headmaster, where Sir Keir led the final champagne-fuelled “fitting toast” of “silly sod!”. Rah, rah, rah!

Appropriately, five days ago Rebecca Long-Bailey called for an end to “gentlemen’s club” politics. Unfortunately for her, it seems Labour are about to elect their second posh, male, privately-educated leader in a row…

Guido has contacted Starmer’s office for comment…

mdi-timer 22nd January 2020 @ 1:23 pm 22nd Jan 2020 @ 1:23 pm mdi-comment Comments
One Third of Becky’s Supporters Willing to See Labour “Unelectable”

New YouGov polling has found that one third of Rebecca Long-Bailey’s supporters are “completely unwilling to compromise any Labour values, even if this means the party is unelectable.” Only 5% of Keir Starmer’s supporters refuse to compromise with the voters and just 4% of Lisa Nandy’s supporters prefer purity in opposition. Emily Thornberry did not have enough supporters to be polled…

Conversely, just 1% of RLB’s supporters are “willing to see large compromises on some Labour values if this makes the party more electable.” This compares to 16% of Starmer’s supporters and 19% of Nandy’s. See the full results here

mdi-timer 22nd January 2020 @ 11:43 am 22nd Jan 2020 @ 11:43 am mdi-comment Comments
Starmer’s Own Momentum Branch Sticks Knife In

Camden Momentum, which organises with Keir Starmer’s Holborn and St Pancras CLP, has launched a blistering attack against the Labour leadership frontrunner in the pages of the Camden New Journal. The article does not hold back…

“Basedon on our experience, we do not trust him to follow through on these [hard left] gestures and warm words…”

“He has built a team around him that has worked tirelessly to marginalise the left within the CLP, yet now he calls for an end to “factionalism”…”

“Starmer abstained on the welfare bill that forced poverty on the poorest, mostly women…”

“His history says what we need to know about his political instincts.”

The message goes on to talk about his record as Director of Public Prosecutions, focussing on his dismissing Camden-based group Women Against Rape. Guido notes no one has signed a ‘clean campaign pledge’ yet…

mdi-timer 16th January 2020 @ 3:30 pm 16th Jan 2020 @ 3:30 pm mdi-comment Comments
Nandy Reveals She’s Not Keen on Keir

After a disappointing last-place showing in Sky’s YouGov Labour Leadership poll, Lisa Nandy has taken to passively-aggressively dunking on her colleagues via Twitter. The Leadership hopeful (who only rarely likes tweets) clearly found agreement with a very pointed tweet criticising first place Keir Starmer’s abysmal numbers with the working class ‘C2DE’ demographic.

Not all’s fine and Nandy in Labour land…

mdi-timer 2nd January 2020 @ 3:49 pm 2nd Jan 2020 @ 3:49 pm mdi-comment Comments
Starmer Leads the Pack in First Labour Leadership Poll

Despite most potential candidates not yet having announced they are standing, YouGov‘s first poll of party members finds Brexit-frustrater-in-chief Sir Keir Starmer well out in front with an eleven point lead over McDonnell protégé Rebecca Long-Bailey. The polling firm found that under a hypothetical run off, Starmer is set to beat Long-Bailey by an even more commanding 61-39%…

A breakdown of the poll reveals that Starmer beats Rebecca Long-Bailey among Labour members in every age bracket, class, and gender, and only loses to her amongst one – the small number of members who voted Leave.

The poll only covered Labour Party members rather than members of affiliated unions or registered supporters – both of which are expected to be also eligible to vote in the contest, however both groups are thought to be a lot smaller than Labour’s large membership pool. Despite all the talk of electing a non-London based working class woman to the role, it seems that members currently prefer a male, Oxford educated, inner-London MP with a knighthood…

mdi-timer 2nd January 2020 @ 8:26 am 2nd Jan 2020 @ 8:26 am mdi-comment Comments
Labour Leadership Contest Heats Up

The smell of blood gushing from the open wound that was last night’s PLP meeting has seemingly attracted a number of Corbyn’s potential successors to advance their cases for leadership.

Sir Keir was first out of the gates, formally announcing and setting out his piece in an interview with The Guardian and saying the same on Today this morning, that the party needed to tackle Boris’s claim of ‘Get Brexit Done’ and deal with their antisemitism problem. Starmer also identifies the problem with Labour’s manifesto “policy overload”: “We had important things, housing and public sector pay rises, but you couldn’t see the wood for the trees”. Two billion trees to be precise…

Lisa Nandy has also spent the last 24 hours in any news studio that’ll have her, denying the fact she is yet running for leader, claiming disingenuously that she instead wants to conduct a ‘listening exercise’. Appearing alongside Ben Bradley on Newsnight last night, Nandy focused heavily on her favourite subject of towns; spoke eloquently of the need to build bridges between Lewisham and Leeds to restore trust if Labour has any hope of winning in 2024. What Lewisham has to do with Leeds is unclear.

Newly-made marginal MP, Yvette Cooper has also stuck her neck out on the Today Programme this morning, saying she will decide on whether to run over Christmas; saying the party has to be both “radical and credible”. Pick one, Yvette…

In the meantime, absolutely none of them will be delighted to see Tony Blair rearing his head at a speech in central London to tell Labour “To eject Boris Johnson from Downing Street, Jeremy Corbyn had to reverse Labour’s decline in its heartlands.” A revolutionary analysis…

mdi-timer 18th December 2019 @ 8:53 am 18th Dec 2019 @ 8:53 am mdi-comment Comments
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