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Keir Starmer is setting a trend in wriggling out of his show of support for Black Lives Matter

大发体育网站 We can but laugh as the Labour leader insists, after taking the knee, that he merely wanted to support the 'moment' not the Marxist thugs

It is highly appropriate that a lawyer-turned-politician should have an innovative political defence named after him.

When Bill Clinton was bang to rights over smoking marijuana while at university he declared “I didn’t inhale” and, improbable as the claim seemed, in the realm of politics the Clinton Defence got him off the hook.

大发体育网站Now we have the Starmer Defence over taking a knee in support of the Marxist race-baiters of Black Lives Matter: essentially that he supported “the moment” and not “the organisation”.

大发体育网站Sir Keir Starmer certainly raised eyebrows when he was photographed kneeling in his Westminster office at the height of the BLM demos (yes, those “largely peaceful” events that saw national monuments defaced and scores of police officers injured).

It was de rigueur at the time, the virtue signal de nos jours – police officers were even joining in after what we might term “strong encouragement” from the large and ebullient groups of BLM supporters surrounding them in Whitehall. This was despite many of us pointing out the extremism of BLM’s demands as set out on its own Go Fund Me page. Indeed, I put up a link to that on Twitter on June 8 that was retweeted more than 600 times.

大发体育网站While I can only find evidence of one Tory MP – – having adopted this official BLM pose of protest, nonetheless other great sages such as footballers and pop stars were busy uploading photos of the gesture to their Instagram pages. So what was a Labour Party leader supposed to do?

大发体育网站In Sir Keir’s case, what he did was take a knee alongside his deputy Angela Rayner on June 9 – just a couple of days after the worst weekend of BLM violence and the pulling down of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol.

Three weeks on, with the extremism of BLM’s actual demands and its venomous views on issues from law and order to Israel finally being paid some attention by mainstream broadcasters, Starmer finds himself in a tricky spot. Or rather found himself in one, because he escaped it yesterday with all the slippery evasiveness of the proverbial bar of soap in a bath.

大发体育网站Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Starmer said he had “no truck” with “nonsense” BLM calls to defund the police. “The Black Lives Matter movement, or moment if you like, is about reflecting something completely different – what happened in America, dreadfully, just a few weeks ago,” he claimed. This was just a build up to his most breathtaking rhetorical leap.

Putting on his most grave and wounded expression, he added:

“It is a shame it is getting tangled up with these organisational issues, with the organisation Black Lives Matter, but I would never have any truck with what the organisation is saying about defunding the police or anything else. That’s just nonsense.”

So even though it was the organisation BLM that arranged the unlawful and sometimes violent demonstrations that have occurred and even though taking a knee is its trademark means of displaying support, Starmer is asking us to believe that he is staggered at the very thought that his action could be perceived as signalling his backing for it.

As a political defence, it shouldn’t work, but it probably will because it offers a host of other virtue-signalling celebrities and organisations alike an escape route for their own misplacing of the plot over BLM.

大发体育网站Piers Morgan has already gratefully used the Starmer Defence to distance himself from BLM’s militancy, tweeting:

“I agree with him. I support #BlackLivesMatter protest for racial equality & justice – but the Black Lives Matter political organisation stands for some things I don’t agree with incl defunding the police. They’re different things.”

In the coming days, as more and more people emerge from the hysteria of their own BLM “moment” expect everyone from the Premier League to Yorkshire Tea and L’Oreal to adopt the Starmer Defence.

大发体育网站If only Jeremy Corbyn could have deployed it with Sir Keir’s aplomb when being berated for his sympathy for Irish republican extremists it might have cost him fewer votes: “Yes, I may have attended a commemoration for IRA men, but that was about something completely different – bringing peace to Ireland. It is a shame it all got tangled up with these organisational issues, with the organisation the IRA.”

大发体育网站These days, British politics often puts one in mind of the nonsense world of Lewis Carroll. In this case Humpty Dumpty is our role model: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

The next time a Labour figure accuses Boris Johnson of wishing to have his cake and eat it, let us at least have the wherewithal to emit a hollow laugh.