The news that Labour will probably abstain again on the ‘Spycops’ bill—which would legalise illegal undercover activity by the state—is a sign of how far the party has sunk into a managerial abyss since Starmer took over. We shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose, that such an establishment-approved leader is willing to knuckle under. But what is legal and what is not is something the opposition ought to get a handle on. It seems it’s wrong to agree with the government when it says it will pass laws breaking international treaties (such as its withdrawal agreement with the EU), it’s maybe right and maybe wrong to give immunity to the MoD against legal action from ‘lefty lawyers’ (and British servicemen and women) and now of course it’s maybe OK to let undercover state operatives commit crimes. Apparently, that’s partly because such activities could be scrutinised by the Intelligence and Security Committee (the same committee that covered itself in glory reporting on alleged Russian meddling with our precious bodily democracy). That all this is happening now can’t be a coincidence. The expanding totalitarianism of the Johnson/Cummings state includes delegitimising discussion of anti-capitalism in schools and the threat of defunding universities if they don’t sign up to the discredited IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. It’s what you might call a good Covid to bury bad news. And Starmer and his crew are more obsessed with poll ratings and distance-from-Corbyn than they are in opposing this calamitous government.