Wednesday 22 May 2024

Feinstein’s Challenge: A New Hope

Paul Knaggs writes:

In an era where political integrity often takes a backseat to opportunism, Andrew Feinstein’s announcement that he will stand against Keir Starmer in the Holborn and St Pancras constituency is a breath of fresh air. As a former African National Congress MP who resigned on principle over a corrupt arms deal, Feinstein brings a track record of unwavering commitment to ethics rarely seen in British politics today.

While Starmer’s Labour lurches further rightward, abandoning progressive pledges and embracing austerity, Feinstein represents the antithesis – a proud Jewish activist advocating for a new left movement guided by honesty, equality and human rights. “Our democracy is in crisis,” he laments, with “The two main parties…virtually indistinguishable in their offers of permanent austerity, forever wars and environmental degradation.”

His vocal opposition to the genocide unfolding in Gaza and steadfast support for Julian Assange’s release from prison damningly highlight Starmer’s moral compromises. Feinstein rightly accuses Starmer of “supporting genocide in Gaza” and having “backed the Conservative government’s indefensible position on the crisis, rather than demanding an end to the carnage.”

In Feinstein’s own stirring words, the crisis of democracy demands “a people-centred politics focused on the many not the super wealthy; a politics driven by integrity and honesty, rather than opportunism and mendacity.” His campaign will champion revitalised local engagement, fighting homelessness, privatisation and the soaring costs that have made daily life a struggle for so many of his prospective constituents.

Crucially, he promises to be the accessible, accountable representative that Starmer has failed to be – holding weekly public surgeries, monthly report-backs and consulting residents before every major vote. A palpable departure from Starmer’s growing factionalism and authoritarianism in the area.

Some may dismiss Feinstein’s candidacy as quixotic, running against one of Labour’s preeminent MPs. But his credibility and clarity of purpose provide a tantalising alternative to those repulsed by the soulless managerialism of Starmer’s “electability” doctrine. He offers a timely reminder that politics can still be a catalysing force for justice, rather than an amoral pursuit of power at any cost.

Whether Feinstein pulls off an upset or simply bloodies Starmer’s nose remains to be seen. But win or lose, his campaign has already enriched our public discourse by reintroducing the idea that integrity in leadership should be non-negotiable.

An uplifting concept in an era where such virtue often seems antiquated.


  1. How long can the media ignore Feinstein?

    1. As long as they like. But his entry into British politics ought to be news for its own sake.