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How Starmer can beat the Tories Labour must ruthlessly target the Government's blindspots

It's war. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

It's war. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images


March 31, 2021   6 mins

When Jeremy Corbyn resigned as Labour leader, six candidates stood to succeed him. A year ago this Sunday, the party chose the white guy. Not because he was white or a guy, but because Sir Keir Starmer was obviously the most electable.

Is that so obvious today? After 11 years of Tory rule, Labour is still behind in the polls. And Starmer’s personal ratings are on the slide. We’re all scratching our heads wondering what Labour is for exactly. Ominously, that’s a question we used to ask about the Liberal Democrats (before we stopped caring).

So where does Sir Keir turn in his quest for relevance?

He could turn Left. This means promising to spend more than the Tories — a lot more. But there’s a problem with that. When you’ve got a government that’s already borrowing and printing money to the maximum extent it can get away with, outbidding it isn’t credible. It didn’t work for Labour in 2019 and it’s not going to work now.

What does Starmer do instead? Well, he could use values and not money to make his case. It’s an approach that worked for Joe Biden against Donald Trump and for Emmanuel Macron against Marine Le Pen. But who and what would Starmer be defining himself against? The lazy equivalence between Brexit and the blowhard populism of Trump and Le Pen does not bear scrutiny — and especially not now that Brexit is done.

So, what can Labour do? The answer is to ruthlessly, relentlessly target the ruling party’s self-inflicted impediments. Every government has its blindspots. Over time, bad habits become ingrained and the same mistakes made over-and-over again because change is riskier than the status quo.

After 11 years in power, the Conservative government is riddled with political arthritis.

Labour’s mission, therefore, is not to overthrow the post-Brexit settlement, but to make it clear that the Tories lack the strength and agility to carry it forward. And instead of complaining about what the government can’t do because there’s not enough money, it must condemn what the Conservatives could and should do, but won’t.

Okay, that’s the theory, what about some specifics? What are the policies on which Labour can exploit the stubborn stupidities of the enemy.

Here are 10 to be getting on with:

1. Land for the people

How do you provide beautiful homes for Generation Rent at an affordable price? Easy: you stop paying top dollar for the land they’re built on. That means that when the undeveloped site gets planning permission, the uplift in value should be used for the common good not private gain.

Freeing the land is not Leftwing, it’s what Winston Churchill called for back in 1909. But after 11 years of trying to solve the housing crisis, the Tories still don’t get it. Instead, they’re wasting taxpayers money by subsidising a fundamentally broken system.

Starmer should go to war for aspiring homeowners and leave Boris to defend the landed interest.

2. Tax landlords

It’s not just new development that enriches lucky landowners — they also extract wealth from the existing stock of housing and commercial property. As we struggle to recover from the pandemic, we simply can’t afford to let this continue.

Amazingly, the Government would rather whack up taxes on job-creating companies than tax land values. This should be an open goal for Labour, but Starmer missed because though he attacked the planned hike in Corporation Tax he didn’t put forward a clear alternative.

3. Tax the money men

Governments around the world are busy printing money right now — through a process called quantitative easing or QE. Both directly and indirectly this generates fat profits for the financial sector.

Ministers and central bankers would rather that the public looked the other way while all of this was going on — but the Opposition should shine a spotlight on the whole murky business. An effective Shadow Chancellor would make the government squirm: demanding to know exactly how much money is going into whose pockets and insisting that these windfalls be properly taxed.

4. Crackdown on cronyism

A public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic would take years to agree let alone complete. So instead of boring-on about that, Labour should focus on cronyism instead. There’s no reason why the dodgiest procurement contracts of the crisis shouldn’t be investigated in the course of this parliament.

Furthermore, Labour should draw-up anti-profiteering legislation to enable the recovery of public funds from opportunistic and incompetent contractors. It could be introduced as as a backbench bill and the government dared to strike it down.

5. Abolish the House of Lords

A Labour war against cronyism could be fought on multiple fronts. The House of Lords, for instance, is crawling with well-paid lobbyists. Lords reform is supposedly an impossible conundrum, but only if you take the ermined buggers seriously. Obviously, the Tories do — they won’t even get rid of the remaining hereditary peers — but Labour doesn’t have to.

If Starmer wants to throw the Left of his party some red meat, then why not start with the red benches? Yes, the Westminster village would erupt with cries of constitutional vandalism — but in the constituencies that Labour needs to win back the message would be “Look, fewer politicians!”(800 fewer, in fact).

6. Abolish (some) universities 

Abolishing a few universities would also go down well in the right places. A system of student finance that works at the top end of the higher education system is an expensive waste at the bottom. Reform is long overdue, but I don’t see the current government touching it — parties normally need a spell in opposition before undoing their own work. So, another opportunity for Starmer.

Instead of a cap on student numbers, he should announce a cap on the underwriting of student loans — and redirect the savings into state-of-the-art training centres aimed squarely at the needs of the non-graduate workforce. The Labour Party: the clue’s in the name.

7. Nationalise the trains, localise the buses

The Tories are pumping investment into infrastructure, but what they won’t do is change who owns and operates it.

While privatisation is a success in some industries, it’s been a failure for public transport. With the Covid crisis having forced an effective nationalisation of the train operating companies, this an ideal moment to reboot the entire system.

The same goes for the buses. Quite clearly the London model of public control works — with bus use going up while it has gone down everywhere else. Right now, Andy Burnham — the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester — is fighting to do the same.

This is municipal socialism as it should be — efficient, achievable and capable of making a positive difference to everyday life.

8. Share power around

The irony is that there wouldn’t be Mayor of Greater Manchester of it weren’t for the decentralising reforms of David Cameron and George Osborne. The whole ‘Northern Powerhouse’ push was one thing they got unambiguously right.

But, then, in a fit of absence of mind, the Tories gave up on decentralisation. It’s painfully clear that today’s levelling-up agenda is under central not local control. The Treasury has even gone so far as to establish its own colonial outpost in the North. What arrogance!

Still the Conservatives’ backward move is a chance for Labour to become the party of localism. If you want support for a bigger and more powerful state then share it around!

9. Reclaim the streets

Nothing feels closer to home then the safety of our streets.

However, with Priti Patel in the Home Office, can Labour compete on a ‘tough on crime’ agenda? Well, there may be one crimefighting approach where Tories fear to tread: CCTV.

As a former Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer ought to know that what really deters crime is not the fear of punishment, but the certainty of getting caught. With the tech getting cheaper and powerful all the time, electronic surveillance holds out the prospect of a future in which nothing goes unseen on our streets.

If it were smart, the Labour Party would become the champion of comprehensive CCTV coverage. Libertarian Tories would cry ‘Big Brother!’, but Red Wall voters would rejoice.

10. Defend our borders

Border control might seem to be another Tory issue. But in respect to the Covid virus, this government left us wide open to attack. Our ports and airports should have been our first line of defence, but we were much quicker to shutdown our schools than to secure our borders.

For once, Captain Hindsight has an opportunity to address a key failure of governance with something approaching foresight. What is at stake is defending the effectiveness of our vaccination programme against new variants of the disease. The return to normality at home is too precious to sacrifice for the sake of a foreign holiday — or a supply of cheap foreign workers.

Again, Labour can lay a trap for the Tories here: take a tough line on keeping out Covid — and let Tory libertarians scream blue murder.

There’s no doubt whose side the Red Wall would take.


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

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William Gladstone
William Gladstone
3 years ago

I won’t even look at Labour until they expel the likes of Naz Shah from the party, Someone who takes the time to like a tweet that effectively says abused children should shut up for the sake of multiculturalism is morally bankrupt and in fact well on the way to downright evil.
What did Starmer do? he promoted her to the front bench, thats all I need to know.

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
3 years ago

She’s not alone. This filth pervades the Labour Party from top to bottom, from the likes of Long Bailey to your local councillor – especially in London, where this kind of thing appeals to a population inclined by numbers alone, to approve it. Likewise the travesty of truth that is BLM (in Britain??).

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

What did she actually say?

Jon LM
Jon LM
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Not sure I can post links here, but there was an article about it in Metro. Probably need to use DuckDuckGo or Bing to find it, though.

Anyway, she liked and retweeted a tweet that read:

‘Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity!’

Jon LM
Jon LM
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon LM

Btw, if that sounds like satire, my understanding is that the original tweet was sarcastic, from a fake ‘Owen Jones’ account, but given her rhetoric and public stances on the matter (and the fact that she sheepishly deleted it later) she apparently genuinely endorses that sentiment.

I have no words tbh.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon LM
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon LM

She ‘sheepishly’ deleted it within minutes.
Also, in October 2020, pro-Brexit group Leave.EU apologised and paid damages for libel to Shah after they made a social media post which accused her of being a “grooming gangs apologist”. In a statement, Leave.EU said that their post was “ill-judged and untrue” and described Shah as a “vociferous campaigner for victims of grooming gangs”.
The above stuff is on wiki with sources so not hard to find.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Thanks Jon and Mark – I think I understand better now.

SUSAN GRAHAM
SUSAN GRAHAM
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon LM

That was why Starmer when he was DPP didn’t pursue the grooming gangs. Begs the question as to who are the victims of ‘racism’

Ian Manning
Ian Manning
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

Absolutely untrue. Check the facts and you will see this was not true at all. It was a lie spread by vile Tories such as Nadine Dorries, Lucy Alan and Maria Caulfield. You are factually entirely wrong and it is easy to prove with a few simple checks on line. Can’t you be bothered? Or is checking the accuracy of what you write simply beyond your capabilities?

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Manning
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Manning

Indeed, I believe at least one of those MPs has withdrawn the claim and apologised.
But of course, those who are determined to believe in lies will spread them via social media even when their originators have withdrawn them.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon LM

How Clem Attlee would weep!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

At what? – lies spread on social media? See above.

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Hoist on own petard perhaps?
Who in their right mind uses “social media”

Last edited 3 years ago by polidoris ghost
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

Yebbut 30% of the voters, presumably moral incompetents every one, supported this horrible, horrible party in December 2019. What if another 10% are nearly as morally bankrupt but able to be bribed?

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I really don’t think the ordinary working people who voted labour really understand their racist, sexist and hate based ideology. It has nothing to do with Bevan, Hardie or Wilson. I think the posh who vote labour know well what they are up to. Now we no longer have a security service they are a bigger risk than ever. In the 50s thru 80s such characters were on MI5 etc radar. Longer term Labour’s only hope lies in the gun or major vote fraud like the USA: UK voters have rejected hate based far left (or right) ideologies at every turn since universal suffrage was attained.

Robbie PPC
Robbie PPC
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

A large part of Labour’s hopes of power rely on sucking up to the voters of the Religion Of Peace (and its ever-growing mountains of dead bodies and raped live ones) in marginals across our country.

Nevermind Labour’s history of incompetence, just Labour’s MPs and councillors having their short and curlies firmly in the grasp of the Ulema in our northern and midland towns and cities is enough reason for me never to vote Labour again.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Robbie PPC

I don’t think your “ever-growing mountain of dead bodies” has that many votes.

Ian Manning
Ian Manning
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Why on earth are such ‘fact deniers’ even allowed on these platforms? (Yes, alright, I know we have to allow even the idiots free speech!.) Listen: there was NO ‘major vote fraud’ in the USA. Fact. You expose yourself as a ‘rational thinking denier’ who has believed all the Trumpian lies. People like you ar so depressing.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Manning
polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Manning

We have no idea whether or not there was voter fraud in the US election. The problem is that US elections are susceptible to fraud. I don’t care as I am not an American.
I am amused that Americans care either, given the choice was between Orange Man and Senile Old Man.

Last edited 3 years ago by polidoris ghost
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Plenty of hate-based right wing ideology on Unherd. Look at some of the postings above and below.

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Perhaps you would do better to restrict your contributions to your Twitter Account, then you wouldn’t be confronted with hate-bias. Remember Chris, Twitter was designed with people like you in mind.

SUSAN GRAHAM
SUSAN GRAHAM
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

There will always be a percentage of voters who are blissfully ignorant of any issues – many ethnic minorities, immigrants who speak little English and – for example as here in Wales many are still in the ‘my grandad always voted Labour’ mindset – where if you stuck a red rosette on a donkey it would get the vote.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

I think red rosette wearing donkeys have been elected more than once.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

Other coloured elected donkeys are available, sadly. Many of them.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

I’ve heard there are actually people who aren’t City of London millionaires but will vote for the party which at election time receives more than 50% of its funding from bankers and hedge fund managers. That party, once elected, cuts public services (after all, THEY don’t send their children to state schools, and THEY only use the NHS for unplanned treatment – for any planned medicine, they go private) and increases taxes for the low- and middle- paid while cutting taxes for the bankers and hedge fund managers. “Dim” doesn’t begin to describe those Conservative voters who aren’t members of the top 1%.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It has been said that politicians take money from the rich and votes from the poor, to protect each from the other. It’s looking as though that compact is breaking down (in favour of the rich).

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

This champion of the working classes tried to overturn the biggest democratic vote in our country’s history.
He will never win back the leave voting working classes.
You think we will ever trust him?
Pull the other one it’s got bells on!
P.s. reclaim the streets? Labour is on the side of criminals just look at the fuss when they stopped a plane of foreign criminals being deported and the betrayal of white girls raped by Asian men in the north, silence by labour councils and the director of public prosecutions!
They betray us at every turn, vote labour get betrayed

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Best
Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Can’t disagree with that, but the Tories won the last election with an allegedly “libertarian” leader and look what we got: national House arrest, fines for sitting on a park bench, ruinous public spending that well be paying off for decades, and a massive increase in SJW nonsense across the board. Whoever you vote for you get betrayed.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

‘Whoever you vote for you get betrayed.’
Exactly. That’s why I stopped voting a long time ago.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You believe there is no lesser of evils here?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“They” say , voting only encourages them, so sadly, you policy is correct.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

There are over 300 choices at 2019 General Election So your answer is A ”Cop out” vote Independent may 6,2021 for starters ..SDP or Reform helps annoy Mainstream media..

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Therefore Vote Independent on May 6, or Reform, SDP in future.anything but Corrupt sheeple of Lib-Lab-Cons-Greens-Plaid-SNp-green .Writer is naive if he thinks ANY Voter believes the lies,incompetence of Said Sclerotic parties…I think Every labour Leader since Attlee has promised to abolish,the lords &then sent more Labour donors there! especially Tony Bliar

Lydia R
Lydia R
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

A teacher in hiding for showing a cartoon. Under a Tory Government. Unbelievable!

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

“Labour is on the side of criminals just look at the fuss when they stopped a plane of foreign criminals being deported”

That’s absurd. Deportation of people who have (perfectly legally) established a family life in this country – for comparatively minor offences – is massively disproportionate. The fuss (in spite of what the Home Secretary pretended) was not about murderers and rapists, but about people who had served sentences for as little as 12 months, for vastly less serious offences. The “fuss” was not being on the side of criminals, but on the side of the families (and modern slavery victims) being affected by a Home Secretary’s cynical attempt to appear “tough on crime” regardless of the suffering she causes.

“and the betrayal of white girls raped by Asian men in the north, silence by labour councils and the director of public prosecutions!”

That was a huge injustice, and those responsible should be held to account. But I find it hard to believe that if the police wanted to do something, a few Labour councillors could have prevented them. There seems to have been a more widespread reluctance to act, that is difficult to blame entirely on the local Labour Party. I’m not excusing anyone involved in the coverup – they should be held to account – but it was hardly party policy.
And if there is any evidence that the head of the DPP intervened to prevent charges from being brought (which could only have happened if all those councillors you mention hadn’t already suppressed the cases, and if the police hadn’t failed to do their job) then he too should be held to account.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

If you are not a citizen of this country no matter how long you have lived here, do not expect any symphony from law abiding citizens who play by the rules and struggle when you break the law as it easier.
As to the betrayal by the left, the police, social workers, councils all hand wringing liberals and labour who moan about injustice for every one else turned their backs on us due to racial concerns, you will never be forgiven as you don’t deserve to be.
We now know what labour thinks of us as they have been shouting it from the roof tops for 5 + years.
Labour never again you betrayers of the English working classes

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Best
Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

I think “transportation” (or exile) as a penalty for, say, minor theft or drug offences has a whiff of the 18th century penal code, and has no place in today’s society. If 12 months is an appropriate sentence for a “native” criminal, how is exile proportionate just because an offender has a different passport?
On the authorities’ failure to act against grooming gangs – it’s an outrage – I do not have the words.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Citizens have different rights than non citizens.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Yes. Rupert Murdoch is an American and we should be ruthless in dealing with the crimes committed by his media mouthpieces in the UK.
…. but instead, Margaret Thatcher allowed him to break UK rules on media diversity by allowing him to take over a second daily and a second Sunday newspaper. Forty years later, it has emerged that those breaches were allowed because Murdoch gave Thatcher commitments that the previously-Labour-supporting Sun would be switched to supporting the Tories.
We really need to crack down on these foreigners who break our laws, don’t we?

James Rowlands
James Rowlands
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Theft is not a victimless crime and mugging can leave people traumatised for life. Drug misuse has caused countless deaths, often secondary via motor accidents etc.
If you come here you are fed for free, housed for free, given free medical care all from my taxes. Am I then expected to tolerate e.g. stealing from me in the street or selling drugs to my teenage daughter….?
No don’t answer. I bet you will say yes I should. “ it’s only fair” or similar

Last edited 3 years ago by James Rowlands
Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

We are talking about people whose offences were not tolerated, and who served their sentence.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

served their sentence.

Are you aware at all how much does it cost to keep a person in prison per day? Prisons are paid for by the taxpayer. They are part of the social contract (like policing, the NHS, etc. etc.) the citizenship entrusted the state with, in return for their taxes.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

I think “transportation” (or exile) as a penalty for, say, minor theft or drug offences has a whiff of the 18th century penal code, and has no place in today’s society. 

It’s not just a penal measure, but most importantly a practical measure of unloading the burden (on healthcare, prison / judicial system, education, infrastructure, welfare system, housing, you name it) the deportee puts on society. Labour laments a lot about poverty. Yet they are hellbent on entrenching it indefinitely by thirdworld immigration.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

You idiot We are an Overcrowded island,,70Million+ Why should Taxpayers fund, Scumbags who Pay People traffickers to get here illegally. If UK is So racists as Woke idiots profess,they wont miss going back to East..Why should Taxpayers pay for facilities for people who have not paid into Exchequer/….

Ian Manning
Ian Manning
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

There is NO evidence of any wrong doing by Keir Starmer whilst DPP in child sex abuse cases. Do some fact checking. In the 2013 Channel 5 interview, his words were selectively edited to say exactly the opposite of what was claimed. And 3 vacuous Tory MPs – Nadine Dorries, Lucy Alan and Maria Caulfield – retweeted the lies and had to retract almost immediately. Yet, like all the Trumpian ‘fake news’ lies spread in the US, there are still lazy and/or vacuous people (e.g.Susan Graham above) willing to repeat them ad nauseum. Just get your facts right, please.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Manning
Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Manning

I did say that it seemed unlikely that there could simultaneously be a failure to investigate by the police and social services, and at the same time, a failure by the DPP to prosecute the case the police had so carefully assembled.
As Mark Twain (again) said, “How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Manning

There IS Evidence Starmer the EU rejoiner, has tried several times to get Begum,the jihadi bride back into UK..That is not fake news,your idiocy promotes..

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Since when is “establishing a family” an excuse? It is not. Shall i sneak into your garden shed with my other half to copulate and breed in there, then claim rights to your property?

Grant Evans
Grant Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

The referendum was not legally binding. It was an expression of preference at the time of voting.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Evans

Grow up for gods sake

Grant Evans
Grant Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

simon, check the facts, it was not legally binding on the government.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Evans

Unless the government wanted to say this is what the people voted for but we’re still not doing it, it was binding.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Evans

The UK does not hold legally legally binding referendums, so in that much you are correct. However, when the 2016 referendum was called, the undertaking was given that the result would be respected. Had that promise been broken we’d still be reading articles like that above, but asking if the Tories can ever regain public trust. Even Remainers would wonder, “If they can duck that commitment, why should I trust them any more than the Leavers could?”

Grant Evans
Grant Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

thank you

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Evans

Really so yOU are saying,Your own leaflet cost ÂŁ10million Posted into Each uK household(30million),was lies?..”We will abide by the result” numbskull &waste of space personage

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

If you have any interest in facts (maybe not), the claims about Starmer as DPP have been withdrawn with apologies by the Tory MPs who made them.

John Warren
John Warren
3 years ago

The most promising of these lines of attack is no. 6 re universities. Everyone can see that many jobs don’t require a degree. Most people know someone who went to university, wasted years of their life and truly sickening amounts of money, and is not even using the degree a few years later. Would Labour actually have the courage to put large numbers of academics out of work? Stand up for the dignity of working with your hands? Admit that the push to increase the number of graduates has gone too far? Someone needs to do these things, that’s for sure.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  John Warren

The whole student loan scheme seems like a giant scam. Maybe get rid of it altogether.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

It was obvious to some of us from the beginning that the whole student loan thing was a giant scam. You can say the same of pretty much everything that any British govt has done since Thatcher got one or two things right.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The sad thing is how few people, even now, realise just how big a scam student loans are. Once again it’s risk-free profits for cronies, and big bills for the taxpayer.

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  John Warren

I work at the bottom end of the higher education sector, but only part-time and not at all as a career. The standard of some of the tutors I see is appalling. Very few were educated in the UK and I have no idea what their qualifications are or where they obtained them. But many have very little idea what they are doing and are completely unfitted for teaching at degree level or above.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

I think one or two of the tutors you mention wrote articles for UnHerd last weekend.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

Same as my experience – 2nd year undergrads having to help lecturers and tutors with PhDs from MEA with basic maths, engineering and physics that we did at A level from 1960s to now. With the mickey mouse PPE or classics education prevalent in govt and the civil service i expect it will get worse. Many in govt and 1st divn civil service actually believe that Young’s Modulus or Bernoulli’s equations are “white supremacy”. Don’t let them near your bridges, railways, bus or car brakes etc etc…oh, wait a minute….

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

‘Many in govt and 1st divn civil service actually believe that Young’s Modulus or Bernoulli’s equations are “white supremacy”.’

Do you have any evidence for this remarkable claim? It’s possible that a very few students who have half-digested some postmodern writers may think that’s what their gurus believe. But in the civil senior service? Really?
I think it’s more likely that a senior civil servant has no clue what Young’s Modulus or Bernoulli’s equations are, than that they believe physics is white supremacy (or even a social construct). Neither the PPE nor the Classics syllabus includes a great deal of postmodern thinking or critical race theory – or physics.

Pat Fox-Leonard
Pat Fox-Leonard
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

I can attest to that, sadly.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  John Warren

Shutting down universities isn’t the answer. Shutting down certain types of course might work.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

Sadly its the old worn engine conundrum – do we try and rebuild only for it to fail as its primary parts have run out of clearance? or do we chuck it, melt it down and start with a new crate engine? In the case of UK uni’s sadly i can only see the latter option. Keep th eex polys though but only let them offer STEM or vocational courses.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  John Warren

They should be closed to get rid of the utterly useless staff in the universities.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

No, the unsuitable students. Most people do not benefit from a proper ‘education’, as it is, in essence, completely useless. This is why the rich of the past were generally more properly educated than the poor. To the poor, what Plato said is relatively unimportant in respect of ’employment’.
As for ‘practical science’ and all the rest, that is ‘training’, not ‘education’.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago
Reply to  John Warren

Next you’ll be asking Labour to represent the working class.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

With Rishi Sunak’s Budget pushing millions who don’t pay tax into paying 20%, while freezing the threshold for the tax paid by millionaires will have negligible effect on the tax they pay, Labour is representing the working class by opposing that.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  John Warren

I have to disagree. What needs attacking is the need for a bit of paper to do any job. Theory is now more important than experience.

We now have highly qualified people doing jobs on good money that must bore them stupid. We also have people doing jobs that they are not really competent to do because they have a bit of paper that says they are.

Jon LM
Jon LM
3 years ago

I mean, apart from the sop to border control at the end, my sense is that indigenous Britons are starting to wake up to the fact that they are on track to be a demographic minority in their ancestral homeland. This, especially as it entails further Islamisation (see what happened the other day in Batley) makes the arguments about tax rates and public transport rather weak sauce. Labour’s support for further immigration (and tolerance of growing Islamisation) appears to be a red line for them, so as far as I can see they are electorally doomed.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon LM

They are not electorally doomed if they can retain the Islamic vote alongside the metropolitan ‘elite’ vote. If the Islamists form their own parties, as they have done in other countries, then they are probably doomed. And a very good thing too.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

If islamists form their own parties and get enough votes to win power, we’re all doomed.

Clive Hambly
Clive Hambly
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

One reason to keep the FPTP system for GE’s.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It might not come to pass and they will lose their votes.
Somewhat ironically for Labour, immigrants are by and large culturally conservative. Furthermore, the fact remains that a significant source of racial tension in the UK is inter-immigrant. A friend of mine teaches at a London secondary and by far and away the most troublesome rivalries along racial lines are between Eat and West African origin children, and between African and Caribbean ones. This is reflected in research.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

immigrants are by and large culturally conservative

Labour has a newfound appreciation for *that* sort of cultural conservatism.

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon LM

But Boris has given UK rights of residence to 3 million Hong Kong citizens

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

Funny how border control is mentioned only in respect to Covid, as an afterthought. That item alone could sway an election towards whoever is willing to tackle it – Denmark is a good example.
Moot point anyway, as i cannot fathom why would anyone want Labour to win any election. Corbyn wasn’t an isolated septic element in there.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Mark Ian P
Mark Ian P
3 years ago

That is somewhere Labour cannot go because Internationalism is baked into the party’s DNA

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Ian P

Yes indeed – and that’s precisely what makes them unfit to govern.
A functioning opposition would be a nice thing to have though.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago

‘A functioning opposition would be a nice thing to have though.’

Not just nice but essential to the function of an effective democracy and therefore a luxury we can’t afford to do without.Without it, we are stuck in a one party state for god knows how long – with all that follows on from it in terms of corruption.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

The Opposition has forced one humiliating U-turn after another on this shambolic Government. Those who keep count periodically publish lists which now number over 20 separate U-turns since January 2020.
And where the Government doesn’t U-turn at the time (eg Boris dismissing Labour’s backing of SAGE’s call for a two week circuit breaker lockdown in mid-September 2020 as “ridiculous”), it has to U-turn later. Boris made a national broadcast at the end of October 2020 saying that the virus was out of control (just as SAGE and Labour had predicted would happen) and therefore he was instituting…. wait for it…. a lockdown. Amazing!
We have a functioning Opposition. What’s more in doubt is whether we have a functioning Government.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

Some people might want Labour to win, in order to get the present bunch of cronies, liars and cheats out of office. Politicians and nappies should be changed frequently – for much the same reasons.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Nobody who can remember Labour’s squeals of “Tory sleaze”, and the subsequent epically greater scale of Labour sleaze literally the instant they got power, will be persuaded by this.
If it’s a choice between one crony party that hates Jews, other whites in general and Britain, or another crony party that doesn’t, it’s not a hard call.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Elementary indeed.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

Sorry to let facts intrude on a good rant (because ranting is such jolly fun). But the evidence shows anti-semitism to be at least as prevalent among Conservative Party members as among Labour Party members.
And do you have any evidence you’d like to share that the Labour Party hates “Whites” and British people? It seems to have a lot of both among its membership, and its MPs.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

It appears you are replying to the wrong poster, but anyway (not that i’m speaking on Jon Redman’s behalf of course):

But the evidence shows anti-semitism to be at least as prevalent among Conservative Party members as among Labour Party members.

Does it, really? Somehow i find it very difficult to believe that. And no, the dislike of individuals like G. Soros is NOT antisemitism. No more than the left’s dislike of Priti Patel is racism.
Labour though, on the other side….

And do you have any evidence you’d like to share that the Labour Party hates “Whites” and British people?

Are you telling us you missed all that anti-Brit / antiwhite propaganda oozing from Labour via multiple channels? You must be spending all your free time on “rightwing” platforms like Breitbart to have missed all that. Try turning on the TV or radio, pick up a paper.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

I’ve seen plenty of accusations that Labour “hates Britain” and a few that it “hates white people”. What I have not seen is any evidence that it’s true.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

I find it very difficult to believe that [the evidence shows anti-semitism to be at least as prevalent among Conservative Party members as among Labour Party members]

You probably do – but that may be a combination of confirmation bias and weaponised accusations of antisemitism during and leading up to the election campaign. And of course a small number of incidents of actual anti-semitism.
So, evidence.
In 2015, the Campaign Against Antisemitism found more than 30% of Tory voters believe “Jews chase money more than other British people.” 20% believe that “Jews think they are better than other people.” 10% think that in business, “Jews are not as honest as most people” and would be unhappy if a family member married a Jew. 17% think that Jews have too much power in the media. 22% think Jews are more loyal to Israel than Britain and 12% think that Jews talk about the Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy.
In 2017, the Antisemitism Barometer found that 40% percent of Tory voters endorsed at least one anti-Semitic statement from a list.
Anti-semitism exists across the political spectrum. Historically the right has been at the core of it – why would you think it’s suddenly changed?

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
James Rowlands
James Rowlands
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

“In 2015, the Campaign Against Antisemitism”
Paul. The title alone tells you that this is opinion, not unbiased research.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

The evidence that Tory supporters are more anti-Semitic than Labour supporters are in a survey published by academics with support from the Home Office, the [Jewish] Community Security Trust and various Jewish foundations.
https://cst.org.uk/public/data/file/7/4/JPR.2017.Antisemitism%20in%20contemporary%20Great%20Britain.pdf 
And since there’s no reason to limit discussion of racism to anti-Semitism alone, it is of course true that Tory supporters are massively more racist generally than Socialists. Many from the right who post on Unherd like to attack Labour for claimed anti-Semitism while flattering other types of racism as “splendid political incorrectness”, “reflecting the views of red wall constituencies” or suchlike.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Being a member of a political party doesn’t preclude the party from hating you. Look at the Democratic Party in the US.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Very much agree. About time UKIP (or whatever their current iteration is called) were given a chance at the wheel. Heck, even the Raving Loony Monster Party deserves a chance before Labour. At least they have style and charisma.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

And their [the MRLP’s] policy of harnessing the hot air produced in Westminster is commendably green!

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

That’s UKIP the racist party, which even Nigel Farage now attacks for their racism.

Robin Banks
Robin Banks
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Thank you Mark Twain.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

i cannot fathom why would anyone want Labour to win any election”
You can’t work out why people who rely on the NHS, state schools, etc, would be better off under Labour than under the current banker-and-hedge-fund-manager administration?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

More Garbage Liebour is finished…Gordon brown helped bankrupt NHS by his Public&Private Partnership x7 each ÂŁ1billion invested & of Course NHS car parking fees ONLY in England isn’t going to escape notice..

Mark Gilmour
Mark Gilmour
3 years ago

The problem with Labour and the Lib Dems is that on the key cultural questions they are more establishment than the Tories. Not that the Tories aren’t establishment – they’re ultimately pragmatic and will take whatever positions are optimal to maintain power. But Labour is going nowhere while it remains hostile to the interests of those it purports to represent. Labour is a fake opposition party and the only thing keeping it alive is the FPTP system.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gilmour

Agreed.
I don’t particularly like the Tories – but they have proven far more flexible and have at least tried to reflect what voters have wanted. I would bemoan that they don’t seem to have any guiding principles but at least they appear to listen.
Labour by contrast seem to be oblivious. They have their ideas and policies that have been proven toxic to the average voter. And their response? Shout louder and ignore, because clearly the idiot public didn’t understand the first time!
Looking at it that way it’s hardly difficult to see why they are where they are.

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Liebour are rooted in the arguments of the late 19th-early 20th Centuries and have long served their purpose.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Mud Hopper

Except that some of the problems of the 19th and early 20th centuries are returning.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Which ones would those be? Can’t see much industrial revolution or empire building to happen any time soon, those two being most commonly associated with “problems” (urban poverty, workers’ rights, etc.)

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
  • Workers being sacked by British Gas if they refuse to sign contracts giving them more work and less pay.
  • Workers from home being threatened with webcam surveillance which detects whether they have left their chair for any reason.

Labour opposes those things. Tories aren’t bothered and will murmur about “labour market flexibility”.
Given the tendency of right-wingers on Unherd to affect a cod “voice of the red wall working class” persona, I’d be interested to hear whether you right-wingers think it’s Labour, or the Tories, who are right on those issues.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

The problem with the Tories is that the current lot are incompetent.They might listen to the voters but whenever they try to implement a policy it all goes tits up.Mass vaccination is the exception but all the government did was pour in the money – it is the NHS that is delivering.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

It was a masterstroke by Johnson to use the private sector expertise to secure the vaccines. If we had to rely on the Civil Service then Von der Leyen would be the saviour of Europe right now

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

The vaccine procurement programme was far superior to Europe’s. But did Boris’s genius extend to the Test and Trace programme, run by a Tory crony from a business background, costing ÂŁ37 bn and described as the biggest waste of money in history?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

it IS Army medics and Volunteer innoculators who have delivered.. Certain sleepy useless lib-dems object to lockdowns a year after ….SARS2 passports police &crime bills are Another nail in Democracy as are ”Fake consultations” on Keeping Local Green Belts,Vote Independent May 6 ..

Last edited 3 years ago by Robin Lambert
Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
3 years ago

This list constitutes mere detail. There is a far, FAR more fundamental issue that will stop Starmer, or Labour, winning a General Election. Namely, coming up with an answer to: ‘What is the current Labour party for? Whose interests does the party seek to serve and represent?’
It is certainly not workers. Except maybe those in the public sector.
There is a strand of thought that runs through much of the senior Labour ranks that is, frankly, embarrassed of its working class members. Perfectly demonstrated by Gordon Brown’s encounter with Gillian Duffy in Rochdale. An open mic caught that note of contempt, which is an attitude that has been prevalent for many years, but only been spoken behind closed doors.
John McTernan, Blair’s advisor, put it most succinctly when he urged the party to forget about working class supporters who he dismissed as the “lumpen mass with their half-formed thoughts and fully-formed prejudices”, urging Labour to ignore them and instead focus on ethnic minority voters, who could be attracted to Labour by stoking their sense of grievance.
The Labour front bench of recent years, whether NuLabour centrists or dyed in the wool trots, seems to have an agenda completely at odds with the hopes, fears and aspirations of their former heartlands. Many longtime supporters now only vote for Labour out of reflex, or they’re disengaged enough to imagine that Labour is still the party it used to be.
Nothing that Downhill Sir Keir has said or done is likely to win back supporters to the cause. Though plenty he has said and done will have persuaded former supporters that he is a dud. A North London fauxialist who seems to have wafer thin policy positions backed up by no principles whatsoever.
He faces problems on multiple fronts:
Corbyn acolytes (of which there are still many within the PLP, inexplicably) will never forgive Starmer for being a centrist and diluting the purity of their 1970s Marxist tribute act.
Blairite centrists in the party (and the electorate) don’t think Starmer has been half strong enough in repudiating Corbynism and dealing with Momentum. They hoped Starmer would reform the party with a “Clause 4 moment” that he has singularly failed to do.
Possibly worst of all, he still imagines that Identity Politics will win him supporters because despite the painful evidence from the last General Election, he and his team have failed to recognise that the Islington / Guardian / Twitter bubble REALLY doesn’t represent the country at large
Plenty of the Starmtrooper cheerleaders over at the Guardian now seem to be conceding that he’s going nowhere and his only hope of gaining ground is for the Conservatives to do something to lose support.
Starmer’s 4 years of agitating to overturn Brexit, kneeling to BLM, and then imagining that just cynically draping himself in the flag because a focus group told him (much to his surprise) that most people don’t actually despise Britain, or wish to see the monarchy abolished, is not going to win back red wall voters nor appeal outside the base. He is an uninspiring, charisma-free technocrat, with no instinct for leadership.
The sole reason you can expect to see Conservatives kneeling should be in thanks for only having had to face Miliband, then Corbyn and now Starmer, and praying their good fortune holds.
Downhill Sir Keir is promising to be every bit as lacklustre as many of us suggested he would be. “Forensic” is not the stuff of inspiring leadership, however you try and paint it.
There is a fashion for over-hyping incoming leaders at the moment, for simply being better than their predecessor. Biden being better than Trump, and Starmer being better than Corbyn isn’t really setting the bar very high.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paddy Taylor
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

‘What is the current Labour party for? Whose interests does the party seek to serve and represent?’
The Labour Party is for envy monkeys, public sector workers and the grievance industry. It exists to confer a veneer of respectability on vices such as sloth, gluttony, racial malice and envy, by making out that it’s a coherent position to hate people wealthier than you, while also thinking that wage differentials should be maintained versus people poorer than you (i.e. the traditional trade union worldview).
There will always be a franchise of sorts for people with certain disgusting views, and Labour is, and always has pitched to, that market.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Do the disgusting views you mention include the idea that there should be a functional social security safety net, an adequately funded national health system, and an education system that is accessible burdening students with years of debt?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

All those three noble ideas go down the plughole the moment Labour commits itself to thirdworld mass immigration, which they do.
None of those three is feasible while the pool of their recipients grows, it’s like pouring water into a bottomless barrel. You can add housing and infrastructure to the list too.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Voting Labour works against every single one of those things. Labour voters vote Labour because they hate and envy other people.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I might envy your insight into the innermost thoughts of Labour voters more if I had more confidence in your judgement. Do you really know this, or is it contempt for those with other views – or maybe projection?

Grant Evans
Grant Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Really…any objectivevevidence

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes, criticism of the bankers and hedge fund managers who brought the global financial system to the edge of collapse, yet have been rewarded with tax cuts by this Tory Government, is “disgusting” isn’t it?

Did you notice what Rishi Sunak’s Budget achieved by freezing income tax thresholds?

  • Those on very low incomes who currently pay 0% tax will end up paying 20% if their pay rises with inflation – an increase of 20%
  • Those on higher incomes who pay 20% will be pushed into paying 40% if their pay keeps pace with inflation – an increase of 20%
  • Those on very high incomes who currently pay 40% will be pushed into the 45% band if their pay keeps pace with inflation – an increase of just 5%
  • Those on ultra-high incomes who currently pay 45% will continue to pay 45% – an increase of zero.

But I’m forgetting…. you like the wealthy to be protected.

Chris Bredge
Chris Bredge
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You seem to fundamentally misunderstand how tax thresholds work. You only pay the higher tax rate on the part of your income that exceeds that threshold, the rest is still taxed at the previous rate.
Given that inflation is low at the moment, the extra income is going to generate quite a small amount of extra tax for most people, especially at the lower rates. The cumulative effect for the Treasury will be significant at a time when we need to start balancing the books but people won’t notice the loss of what they never had.
That makes it a good policy in my view and progressive too.

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris Bredge
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Except Senile Bomber Biden iS substantially Worse than Trump,he helped Blue Collar workers,Hispanics,Blacks..biden is Postal Fraud President,one term loon with no Democratic delegates,VP Harris,another vacuous woke fool

Steve J
Steve J
3 years ago

1) Pissing about with the tax system will not fix the housing crisis in this country. The only sustainable way to solve it is to stabilise the population which means zero net immigration and discouraging large families.
6) I agree with this one. Far too many people are going to university, pilling up debt and ending up in jobs that don’t need and never used to require degrees.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve J

The population grew pretty strongly after the war, family sizes were large. Births are below replacement today compared to the baby boom generation where births were at exponential growth levels. Yet houses were cheap enough. So that’s not it.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago

But we have a population of 68m today, compared to 56m in 1980. That’s 12m more people in 40 years or 21% increase… You think that doesn’t have a bearing on house prices?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

its nearer 70million UN figure & 1million illegals;. 58m in England 5m Scotland, 3.5m Wales,3.5m northern Ireland

Steve J
Steve J
3 years ago

Basic supply and demand economics. If demand exceeds supply, prices will rise. If you don’t think that the country should be looking to stabilise demand at the current population, what population do you think is a sensible one for the UK?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Most of those proposals run contrary to the interests of Labour’s core support in north London and the university cities. Not going to happen.
The Tories’ weak spot is that they are a hideous, authoritarian disaster. Labour’s weak spot is that they would be even worse.

Steve J
Steve J
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That is pretty much where I am at the moment. I dislike Johnson’s government, but I think that the alternatives are worse.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve J

That’s a helluva state for the country to be in, but I feel the same

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I don’t think red wall voters will find most of them appealing either.

Last edited 3 years ago by Mel Shaw
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Most of those proposals run contrary to the interests of Labour’s core support 

I think that’s why the Edster wrote it. He’s taking the p155 by presenting a list of things Labour could do but at the same time can’t.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

. . . and neither would recognise the truth if it bit them!

David J
David J
3 years ago

Starmer forfeited any chance of my vote (admittedly very slight) the moment he became a knee bender.

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

Agreed: There will always be ‘that photograph’.

marcus.scorer
marcus.scorer
3 years ago

I know it’s stating the obvious, but had it not been for Covid, there is no way in the world Biden would have defeated Donald Trump, regardless of whatever “values” he chose to showcase in his campaign. Labour’s only hope of unseating the Tories at the next election would have been to oppose lockdown. They chose not to.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  marcus.scorer

For some reason lockdown is unfathomable popular… And the people who do oppose it are people like ourselves, so unlikely to vote Labour due to their stance on pretty much Every other issue. Not many votes to be had there…

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  marcus.scorer

Biden managed to win without opposing lockdown. In the UK there are also plenty of ruinous government policies (even on the pandemic) that could be opposed or highlighted instead, without conceding to hard-right libertarian demands for “herd immunity”.

briseyk
briseyk
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Biden won because Covid meant he didn’t have to campaign like normal. His memory slips, his inability to climb stairs would have been obvious

Alex Camm
Alex Camm
3 years ago
Reply to  marcus.scorer

I agree the only thing that would persuade me to vote labour would be if they called for a truly independent inquiry into handling covid not one that just seeks to demonstrate that lockdowns worked and should gave been done harder faster sooner.
The myth that we could have kept it out by closing our borders early still seems to hold traction despite it lacking evidence. ( Please don’t cite new zealand)

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Camm

 Please don’t cite new zealand

I’ll bite. Why not?

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

An interesting but absolutely pointless article because it ignores the massive issues most of these policies would cause Labour. A few examples:

  1. Labour key electorate are the metropolitan middle classes. These people have good jobs, own their own homes and “dabble” a bit in property. Many will have a couple of buy to lets as a “pension” and when their son or daughter go to university they buy a property for them to live in, expecting to sell it for a good profit after the course ends. Taxing landlords, tax land values and closing those universities the children get into will go down like a buck of cold sick with Starmer’s core voter group.
  2. Housing reform requires planning reform and a review of the green belt. Labour supports think this will damage the Conservatives but like BRexit it will actually do more damage to Labour as they get outflanked by the Greens. Not because the policy is environmentally unfriendly but because the metropolitan voters swallow the whole “the science is settled” bit and fail to recognise that the Green’s actually want a renting society – they want to end the freehold of land
  3. Many of the Labour votes still hanker after the EU and remember the House of Lords tried to stop BRexit. Reform of the Lords will be more difficult as this will be used in it’s defence and many of the voters will only see cost without benefit ie who will stop the government from moving further away from the EU
  4. Labour has very serious scars from devolution in Scotland and Wales. Localism picks at these scars
  5. That photograph of Starmer taking a knee will not go away. His unquestioning support for an organisation who’s primary aim is to “defund the police” does not sit will with “making the streets more secure”. He has to fix this ambiguity but he is incapable of such decisiveness.
  6. Labour and securing borders is a bit like asking Diana Abbott to count. It just is not going to happen. When Trump closed borders to try and stop the spread of Covid, Labour were one of the first to scream “racist” and Johnson was scared of that policy because of the toxicity of the “racist” scream. Now they are demanding the same policy in the UK. “Racism” is now such a weaponised word that once a policy is labelled with it that policy is impossible. Starmer has shot his own bolt there. Labour’s core vote is also pro Eu and will fight anything that looks like it might stop free movement of people.

Starmer’s problem is his core vote is concentrated in a small number of areas and the core values of those voters are a dislike of the UK, a desire to rejoin the EU and an entitlement complex that says “anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and needs to be punished”. These voters also believe Labour will tax “the rich” to give them more and Labour are afraid to tell the middle class that all those extra taxes will actually fall on them!

Graham Buchan
Graham Buchan
3 years ago

Labour MP Apsana Begum is due to go on trial in July for housing fraud. She, with no dependents, was granted, after waiting six months, a riverside apartment with a local housing association valued at ÂŁ330,000. At the same time 8,000 households in Tower Hamlets had been sent a letter saying that they had no hope whatsoever of ever getting Council housing, despite being on the 19,000 strong list for decades. Such hypocrisy. It’s in Labour’s DNA. 

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Graham Buchan

Labour MPs are entitled to big houses because they need them. See Peter Mandelson.

Matt Whitby
Matt Whitby
3 years ago

Taxing landlords is a stupid idea. The cost just gets transferred onto the tenant and the upkeep standards will go down

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Whitby

A great many MPs are landlords, so they would oppose any taxes anyway.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Mostly Tory MPs. Remember Jeremy Hunt buying a job lot of 5/6 flats in Southampton? That’s why Tory MPs voted against a Labour Bill stipulating that rental properties had to be of habitable quality.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Whitby

The rental prices are driven by market forces, in a competitive market you can’t pass on your costs.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago

Unless all your competitors do the same…

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Whitby

Standards could be tackled by legislation and enforcement – if the government didn’t have an ideological block against interfering with landlords’ (and the finance industry, and the water and gas companies, and the railways, and anyone else with loads of money) supposed right to exploit decent ordinary folk.

Matt Whitby
Matt Whitby
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

No matter how it’s regulated the cover for the costs will still go to the tenant, the only possible way to avoid that is to set maximum rates of rent, which again we know from the past and other countries ends in disastrous results

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Whitby

If enforcement is funded through general taxation, the burden falls on both tenants and landlords, and does not affect rents.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Whitby

The properties will not cease to exist because landlords are dissuaded from buying them up and then renting them to people who previously would have been able to buy them outright. If the landlords hadn’t bought them up and forced the prices upwards, the renters would buy them at market-clearing prices.
My generation, in the 1980s, was able to buy a small property for three times salary with minimal deposit. My generation, as it entered its 40s, then went around buying up all the cheap properties and renting them to the generation below them. It’s iniquitous. And it’s actually a major cause of the excessively ‘woke’ attitudes of that generation – kept permanently in the status of renters rather than homeowners, they have no stake in this country, and therefore too easily identify with every noisy minority with a grievance.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago

Hilarious to imagine that Labour could ever become the party of border controls and law and order. The only thing they’re less likely to support is freedom of speech.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Civil liberties like freedom of speech is what the Lib Dems are supposed to be for. That’s why a coalition (this time without the conservatives) might be an improvement on a Labour government, and certainly would be an improvement on the Tories who want to abolish scrutiny and oversight of what they are up to, so they can break the law and cheat and steal and hand out contracts to their mates in private.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

The old Liberal party supported these things, the current Lib Dems are actually one of the most illiberal parties around.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

I wouldnt want the libdems anywhere near government after the way they behaved over brexit. Refusing to recognise the outcome of a vote because they didn’t like the result and insulting everyone who voted “the wrong way” should debar any organisation from high office permanently.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

You won – get over it!
Seriously though, as a country we need to stop fighting the battles of 2016, and get to work on the mess we’re in now.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

How about an article on the present Government and can we make them follow an conservative agenda.
Perhaps they could support free speech, stop spending insane amounts of money, stop mass immigration etc.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

a conservative agenda….. support free speech”
Maybe you missed Tory peer Daniel Finkelstein in the Times recently calling for an academic to be sacked for criticising the State of Israel? An example of cancel culture from the right.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

Looks like you ought to join the SDP Peter …. Labour are too busy clearing the stables to get on top of most of this.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
B Starek
B Starek
3 years ago

Quite frankly, the Labour Party can take a flying f@@k at itself… I wouldn’t want them to win a game of conkers

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  B Starek

Labour would refuse to play conkers. For a start, it is far too traditional. Moreover, the victim is brown, and there are endless ‘elf ‘n safety issues.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

“The lazy equivalence between Brexit and the blowhard populism of Trump”

This is the exact opposite of the real facts. It is Biden who is the blowhard ‘populist’. Trump pitched his appeal rather narrowly, that I remember, to ‘forgotten’ white manual workers in neglected parts of some States, whom he recognised had been effectively disenfranchised by middle-class, university-educated, white liberals..

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Trump also appealed to blacks who have historically supported the Dems by asking a simple question: what do you have to lose? His share of the black vote increased in 2020. Still just a fraction of the total, but there are blacks feeling disenfranchised, too.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

That seems to be a way of spinning the truth: Black voters voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020. Single figure percentage changes at the margins don’t change that.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

I believe Trump won at least 50% of the suburban or college educated female vote in 2016. You don’t become president of the US by pitching your appeal narrowly.

Katy Hibbert
Katy Hibbert
3 years ago

That photograph of Starmer taking a knee will not go away

Great, isn’t it? The Tories just need to get that picture out there, everywhere.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago

Starmer couldn’t beat an egg. His one claim to fame is covering up the rampant pedophilia in high office.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

That lie was withdrawn by the Tory MPs who claimed it. Your spreading of it is an example of how social media is used by right-wingers to spread lies.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Maybe but Rotherham cover up Still helped UKIP ..shamful episode on Yorkshire police and Labour ..

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

That gets repeated a lot without evidence. Surely if the police and social services were refusing to investigate, there could be no case for the DPP to prosecute? How is it Starmer’s fault?

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
3 years ago

Today’s response to the report on equality is far too kneejerk. Shock horror, it’s family values and attitude to education etc that outweigh race. Labour pour scorn so that’s another tranche of voters who’ll see them as the party of wokeness and won’t vote for them again.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

‘Today’s response to the report on equality is far too kneejerk’.
Labour seems to have an obsession with knees.

Edward Hulse
Edward Hulse
3 years ago

Starmer is just veneer for the Labour Party, scratch the surface and you still have the half-wits that came to prominence under Corbyn. If you dont believe me just take a look! He needs to cleanse the party and try to get some talent around him, its been done before but may be harder this time. Not much talent left i’m afraid. The Tories are not that much brighter but they have the edge when it comes to talent. It will take years for the tories to implode (which they will) and Labour to learn (unsure they will).

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Edward Hulse

The Tories have the edge in presentation. After their very own purge, there is less evidence of talent.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
3 years ago

I’m a ‘Red Wall’ voter, and the only one that got me nodding in approval was 6. (Abolish (some) universities). Some of the others are laughable in Labour’s hands e.g. a woke party with communists and worse defending UK borders or ramping up surveillance, no doubt on ‘hate’ criminals (like Humza has done at the SNP) is a terrible prospect.

Last edited 3 years ago by Pete Marsh
Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

Interesting that PR didn’t make the list.

Mark Gilmour
Mark Gilmour
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. FPTP is keeping Labour alive by preserving the party system through entrenched legacy voting behaviours. In a proportional system voters would more likely vote for candidates who represent their actual views. The young would all vote Green and muslims would eventually have their own party. All of this means Farage would be the leader of the opposition of parliament was a fair representation of the views of the populace at large.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gilmour

Proportional representation means you can never sack the Goverment (or indeed many MPs), which in addition will be a Government that cannot do what it wants or thinks is right, but only what it can, as it will be in its turn hampered by power-balance-holding parties who are even less representative as an individual organisation than they are.
The appeal of the Liberal Democrats, for instance, lies solely in the fact that they hope to stymie what the Govt. wants by holding the balance of power. In those circumstances politics turns into a form of blackmail, or the extraction of concessions to minorities.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

PR is not the panacae look north of the border lying nicola Sturgeon is obsessed with readmittance to EU,whilst ignoring 1) Corruption in her own SNP 2) Education 3) drug crime etc… They have Overruled declining Scotland for two decades,even with Huge English &Welsh *Northern Irish Tax payers subsidies,they are cocking it up..

Last edited 3 years ago by Robin Lambert
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
3 years ago

Policies hardly ever make any difference. The biggest problem Labour faces is the fragmentation of the left vote. If I were Labour, I would target the LibDems, the Greens and the Celt Nats as ruthlessly as the Tories targeted first UKIP and then TBP. As Labour I would look to annihilate the other left leaning parties. But there again, if Labour were capable of this then they wouldn’t be Labour.

Last edited 3 years ago by Prashant Kotak
Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Arguably, infighting on the left allowed the conservatives to win at the last election.

briseyk
briseyk
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

There are three ex-Labour Mps fighting in Hartlepool, sums it up really

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

It’s also a structural problem for the left as a thing. The left generally considers that there is one acceptable view on anything, i.e. their own. If you disagree with their view, you are an evil racist, fascist monster.
So the various PFJ / JPF factions of the left face a structural problem in uniting, which is that as they hate everyone who doesn’t agree with them, they all hate each other. They do so whether you are right, centre, or other left. Intolerance and a hatred of diversity of opinion are absolutely baked in. Brownites, Blairites and Corbynites all hate each other at least as much as they hate Conservatives.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Splitters 🙂

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Most uKIP went to Brexit Party and Now Reform, SDP has picked up some moderate ‘left’ voters ..The truth is old Parties aren’t fit for purpose.. Tories target Brexit party in 2019 spectacularly backfired,they got 9% in European elections..

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago

Given the woeful nature of the current incumbents, I can only recoil in horror that someone, somewhere, can actually think that the inert Starmer and his front bench rabble, in what is supposedly an ‘opposition’ can ever be considered as an alternative. UK politics is in a very bad place at the moment, and I for one can’t see a way out.

Last edited 3 years ago by Mud Hopper
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mud Hopper

Don’t worry. Since 1945 there’s been only one occasion when a majority government lost and the incoming former opposition had its own majority. It was in 1970, and the franchise had just changed, which probably explains it.
Labour could not win from here if they had Mohammed leading them. At best they can try to reduce the Tory majority, but there’s not much prospect of even that given the empty suit they have leading their anti-Semitic rabble.
They are out for at least two and probably three to four more terms, and the next Labour PM is not even in the House. He is probably still at private school, in the pre-prep class (because he is white, male and selectively educated like all Labour leaders).

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Mohammed leading Labour is one of those nightmares that I occasionally have.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago

I was very alarmed that this proposed manifesto would have given even Jeremy Corbyn serious concerns about its viability. Then finally at point 9) I got it (MORE CCTV? where is there not a camera snooping already?) – its a joke, political satire at its best. Very good.
So how about writing a serious piece on the same subject – lower taxes on low incomes, serious reform of the civil service to make it competent and much smaller, simplification of the social support services so those who need really it get better support, and the bureaucracy is squashed, creation of proper jobs, give parents control of schools and the curriculum. Thin out the endless quangos and consultations so they do fast efficient reviews. Stop the HS” and instead improve local rail and bus services – and even roads, recognising most working people have to drive to schools, shop and work. Abolish the House of Lords, fine; refocus lower tier Universities to become vocational training colleges. And strict new rules on CCTV imagery and how it can be used.
What people want is cheaper, smaller, and more efficient government. That’s what Sir K should focus on

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

All your suggestions are sensible and/or necessary. As such, they will not be adopted by either of the main parties.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Give parents control of the curriculum? Seriously? I agree with all your other points though.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Strict new rules, improved roads and rail, more buses – but smaller government?

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
Gerard A
Gerard A
3 years ago

Given his record of supporting the Government or abstaining on every vote of significance I think Starmer is positioning himself to be the next leader of the Conservative party.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Gerard A

Frankly, he’d fit right in.

Warren Alexander
Warren Alexander
3 years ago

I just about managed to stay awake reading a rehash of failed nonsense from the last 60 years of “ideas” to make labour electable.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

Some decent suggestions but a few points:
6 – Abolish (some) universities. I agree with the point and this is the rational choice given the state we are in. But since you mentioned the Lib Dems, this would kill Labour as supporting the Tory tuition fees hike killed them. Agree with it or not (I personally don’t) this single issue made them a pariah party amongst large swathes of voters.
7 – Nationalise the trains, localise the buses Yes agreed. Also perhaps utilities?
8 – Share power around – I agree with the sentiment, and also thought the Northern Powerhouse was one of Cameron/Osbourne’s only good ideas. However to counter the Tories might be doing the right thing here. They are currently dealing with the chaotic aftermath of New Labour’s Devolution with growing independence sentiment in the Celtic regions. Whilst the North might not have quite the same historical separatist fervour, it might be wise not to stoke the fires of independence/devolution elsewhere. This is perhaps why they appear to have turned around on this.
9 – Reclaim the streets – yes being tougher on law and order might be a good policy, but championing further CCTV coverage would be a highly toxic one. The implicit point you make is that the current level of CCTV coverage is inadequate – this in a country with the most cameras per capita outside of China. The list of top 10 most surveilled cities in the world reads like a list of Chinese cities with London sat like a plump hog in the middle. That is not something we want to be competing with.
People want less control over them not more – a large part of why Labour has been cast into the shadows in the past few elections.

Last edited 3 years ago by A Spetzari
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Most of Labour’s vote now comes from the products of our universities. The main purpose of those universities it to turn people into Labour voters, so why would Labour shut any of them down.
Labour might share some power around, but only if they can ensure that the shared power will be welded by Labour.
Labour will never believe in being tough on law and order. It runs contrary to everything they believe in.
I think we are all open to nationalisation, although people should be aware that it will lead to strikes and power cuts, three-day weeks etc.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

On nationalisation – I don’t think many think that 100% nationalisation is either desired or effective. But a balance is needed between private enterprise and centralised funding/control.
As Peter Franklin points out, TFL and the Govt have done well in London with the buses. They are relatively cheap and reliable. By contrast the tubes and trains are extremely expensive given the level of service provided.
This no doubt is largely down to having a very old network in a city/region that has welcomed many millions more inhabitants in a relatively short time period. We didn’t have the perverse ‘benefit’ that large parts of Europe had having their transport networks raised to the ground twice in one century, and London remains by some way the largest and busiest city in Europe.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

TFL are cr*** they have been bailed out by Imposing 7 day Congestion charge ,further killing off Small& medium business, A bailout of ÂŁ1.7billion ,yet Sadist khan escapes again.Incidentally GLA is ripe for abolishing ,it is a 2000 EU regional assembly launched by Blair,& he wanted another eight of these incompetent assemblies &cronies..

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

I agree with all this, and your last point in particular: becoming the party of mass state surveillance would be a very odd choice, particularly after a year like we’ve just had… Once covid is over and we start trying to recover our lost freedoms, People are not going to want even more police-state interference in their lives.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

CCTV coverage, combined with adequate privacy legislation, might be a good compromise. Germany, for example, strictly regulated what was allowed to be done with the data collected (I don’t know if that later changed, but it seems a good idea).

Hosias Kermode
Hosias Kermode
3 years ago

You do not mention one fundamental injustice in English and Welsh law (even Scotland and northern Ireland have managed to get rid of it): leasehold tenure must be abolished for residential property and replaced with commonhold. There are over five million leasehold households in the UK now, sold the dream of home ownership only to wake up and find they are mere tenants in law, and worse that they have no control over the costs of management or repair of their homes. They must pay without question whatever the landlord/freeholder demands. If they do not, their lease can be forfeit without a penny’s compensation, no matter what they paid for it. If they try to challenge any of this in court, they will almost certainly lose and be left paying both their own legal costs and those of the landlord/freeholder (via their annual service charge.) The possibilities for corruption under a system that affords no scrutiny much less control of costs are endless, especially given the fire safety scandal. Yet for some reason no political party seems to want to take this on.

Last edited 3 years ago by Hosias Kermode
Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Hosias Kermode

Certainly there should be an end to the escalating ground rent that residential leasholders must pay. Maybe they should be reset to the value at the start of the lease (by legislating that the increases are considered “unfair” contract terms and thus void, perhaps).

Elise Davies
Elise Davies
3 years ago

You would think from reading the Guardian, as I do online regularly, that the Left was particularly hard done by. Everything is terrible, the working class are stupid and racist, we’re going bust because of Brexit etc..
However, I’d imagine that the Guardian readership as a group must be one of the wealthiest demographics in the country. They already have the best jobs and the best houses and the best contacts. They send their children to the best schools and then on to the best universities and then give each other’s children the best jobs so that the whole virtuous circle can start again.
Could someone explain why they still seem enormously attached to socialism? Exactly what is it they want? What do they expect to gain from it?

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Elise Davies

Perhaps the left’s attachment to socialism isn’t purely based on self interest. Isn’t that the point?

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Elise Davies

They expect to assuage their guilt at the privilege they inherited, and assume that everyone who looks like them feels similarly guilty and will feel the same.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Elise Davies

“The Guardian readership….. send their children to the best schools and then on to the best universities and then give each other’s children the best jobs so that the whole virtuous circle can start again”
I think you are thinking of the Times and the Telegraph.

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris C
Richard Long
Richard Long
3 years ago

Starmer is, and will always be powerless whilst he continues to nod his head when government uses Covid emergency powers to side step parliament and push through controversial legislation that has little or nothing to do with Covid.
He’s a yes man when anyone mentions pandemic and the government remains unaccountable.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Long

Kneeler/Nodder Starmer seems to nod his head to every bad idea or malignant force. Among those I can think of are:

  • Demented, immoral and authoritarian Covid laws
  • Grooming gangs
  • BLM/Antifa
  • A knighthood, despite wishing for the abolition of the monarch
  • Overturning the Brexit vote

And I’m sure there are many more. He is a wholly disreputable individual.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Long

To be fair to Sir Keir, he tries at PMQs to hold the PM to account. But Boris doesn’t answer questions, and the media don’t point that out. So most of us never find out.
He could be better at PMQs (and holding the government to account more generally). But if it’s not reported, it won’t make that much difference.

marklucas8809
marklucas8809
3 years ago

Taxing the uplift in land values when planning status changes, it is not a new idea, but it is a great one! The value uplift can be 100x, from agricultural to residential use.
High taxes on land ownership, low taxes on ‘trade’ are a classical liberal idea. There’s the chance to raise significant amounts of taxation, without the downside of reduced incentives that always come with taxing productive economic activity.
I think Lord Wolfson of Next fame suggested a version of this in a new linear urbanisation based on new transport links from Oxford to Cambridge.
It is a mystery why some form of land value uplift taxes have not occured in the UK. The Treasury has its hands tied for raising taxation on the big three of Income tax, National Insurance and VAT. (And with an aging population and the NHS it is hard to see how the UK can avoid higher overall taxation – there’s only so much you can save by slashing the budget for seasonal planting on Bournethouth’s roundabouts.)
It all sounds a bit fishy. Maybe those self interested, landed, ermin clad Lords are exerting influence and lobbying behind the scenes? After all they have the time, not needing to take block out their diary for re-election every 5 years.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  marklucas8809

The trouble with taxing land value is that, while the farmer who gets planning permission to build on a relatively worthless field and thereby makes it worth a fortune does have money to pay a tax, nobody else necessarily does. If I buy a cheap house and then its value goes up because someone builds a town around it, how am I going to pay a tax on that when it produces no income and I bought it when it was cheap? How do you distinguish between capital gain and inflation?
Most people who support this think that when you buy a house for ÂŁ200k and sell it for ÂŁ275k, you’ve made ÂŁ75k profit. You have not; as soon as you try to buy a similar house you’ll find that it costs ÂŁ275k, too. The ‘profit’ is just inflation.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
Philip Buscombe
Philip Buscombe
3 years ago

Not a great article – too much “abolish” showing lack of detailed knowledge – but the general topics are good except for one thing no politician or journalist gets right which is we also need a really effective post-Brexit Industrial policy as so many of our competitive nations are nationalistic and protective – we need to achieve a balance of payments surplus with policies to do this eg re vehicles, renewables equipment and services and our utilities. Nationalised railways never worked so some form of subsidised mutual low-profit corporation with hybrid ownership and great management should work better. Have also forgotten the NHS which, despite the heroics of some staff during Covid-19 is a deeply flawed organisation with comparatively very poor outcomes in major disease or health categories. Needs some form of co–payment and/or self insurance for part of cost to get more rigour and better performance in health – this probably needs to be cross-party though. Reduce HOL to 100-150 elected peers on different timetable to commons.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

When points 9 and 10 are ranked 9th and 10th, the point of govt is being missed. There is nothing more important than protecting the rights of citizens. Nothing. And 9 is a missed point when the proposed solution is a more intrusive surveillance state. The rest reads like boilerplate left-wing “investment” with the usual attempt to make it palatable by couching it as being done for the public interest or the common good.
Keir Starmer ought to know that what really deters crime is not the fear of punishment, but the certainty of getting caught. 
Um, no; any deterrent comes from what happens after one is caught. In this woke culture, all sorts of mayhem has been committed and the arrested are far more likely to be freed without so much as a warning as they are to get a hefty prison term. Unherd’s own pixels have spoken to that. Perhaps unwittingly, this list offers the usual “govt knows best” ideology that makes Labour unpalatable in the first place.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

If you think you’re not going to get caught, the punishment is not going to deter you. The paramilitaries in Northern Ireland kneecap joyriders, and still they continue, undeterred. The prospect of hanging didn’t seem to deter thieves in the 18th Century, either.
That said it would be a mistake to have more CCTV without real safeguards, with teeth, on how the data is used.

Hugh R
Hugh R
3 years ago

He’s doomed, as the arch-remainer.
The Blaibour voters dismissed as “stupid, xenophobic, racist, etc’ will not forgive or forget.
Try to get your head round that, young Franklin – its all about the maths that deems the party under his stewardship unelectable.
The life I lived for four years after the referendum makes it so, and if Sir Kneel ‘took the knee’ for me, I’m not sure I could ever forgive him and his ilk.
It won’t go away because remainers like yourself think Brexit was an aberation.
Look at the Polls.

Mark Ian P
Mark Ian P
3 years ago

If Labour can nudge the Libertarians out if my party by forcing it to be more Socially Democratic that would be great

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
3 years ago

Abolishing the House of Lords won’t win back any voters for Labour. Constitutional reform isn’t much of a vote winner for any party which is probably why they only ever tinker at the edges.

Pauline Baxter
Pauline Baxter
3 years ago

O.M.G. Starmer take over from Boris, what an awful thought.
The present Tory Dictatorship – excuse COVID – is bad enough. For it to become a Labour Dictatorship, in perpetuity – is horrifying.

John Standing
John Standing
3 years ago

Starmer can’t beat the Tories. He’s history already.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  John Standing

Starmer wipes the floor with Boris at PMs Questions. Boris just blusters and fiddles with his hair.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
3 years ago

Has the author ever been out of his gated community? Land? Make it cheap and the speculators form cartels and buy it all up. Tax Landlords and the money men? How can removing incentives from one and not closing loopholes on the other help? Croneyism? Never heard of mates rates? Ever had to endure putting things out to tender run by civil servants? Borders? Labour endorses immigration. I’ll go along with the rest but buses are for poor people and students and no government here could maintain a subsidised train system like Europe do. Be in ruins in a decade.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

There are solutions to most problems, if you’re interested in finding them. If you just want to argue against any change, then you’ll not be interested in solutions. That said…

“Land? Make it cheap and the speculators form cartels and buy it all up.”

If you tax the unused land the speculators are sitting on, then they’ll have to stop hoarding the land, or do something useful with it.

“Tax Landlords and the money men? How can removing incentives from one and not closing loopholes on the other help?”

Not sure what you mean by this – but I really don’t think the author is advocating loopholes to allow abuse of the system.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
3 years ago

I’m a ‘Red Wall’ voter, and the only one that got me nodding in approval was 6. (Abolish (some) universities). Some of the others are laughable in Labour’s hands e.g. a woke party with communists and Islamists defending UK borders or ramping up surveillance (no doubt on ‘hate’ criminals like the SNP) is a terrible prospect.

tmglobalrecruitment
tmglobalrecruitment
3 years ago