There is widespread bafflement as to why some on the hard left have taken to renaming Labour’s leader Keir Starmer ‘Keith’. No less than the Financial Times’ Sebastian Payne called it the “most bizarre Labour meme I’ve seen today”, presumably in a competitive field.
“Any explanation?” he asked. Well, the insult surely explains itself. As the very public sociologist Phil BC answers, “it annoys some people.” More importantly, it expresses the dismay of Labour’s left in being led by a drab middle-aged man who is trying to win power in a conventional way.
Readers should know that Keith is an unfashionable name without resorting to statistics, as the Social Review does. Even the existence of the Rolling Stone Keith Richards and the lunatic Who drummer Keith Moon have failed to enliven it.
The Canary’s Kerry-Anne Mendoza slurs the name further in calling the Labour leader ‘flaccid Keith’ and a stooge for the capitalist class. The usual ad hominems aside, it is at least inconsistent for a leftwing writer to accuse a man of impotence given the justified efforts to stigmatise insults about female sexuality.
Of course, hypocrisy and invective are no strangers to politics, and often the latter are funny enough to be justified. While it’s tempting to trot out the cliche about insults being a sign of your own weakness, Corbynites have been pretty rude about the Labour right regardless of their own potency.
Unfortunately for the left, their own electoral prowess currently makes Starmer look like a thoroughbred stallion, whatever his polling problems.