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Keir Starmer the shapeshifter Fracturing the Labour Party won't win him the election

What could possibly go wrong? (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

What could possibly go wrong? (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)


January 23, 2023   5 mins

Dogged by the Covid lockdowns and hamstrung by no discernible charisma quotient, Keir Starmer has spent the best part of his nearly three years in office telling voters what was wrong with his own side, while attacking the Government without ever really explaining what the cure might be. Now, as the party that Starmer now portentously refers to as “my Labour Party” becomes accustomed to a double-digit poll lead, the question is: what does he really believe in?

Starmer and his Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, spent the past week in the somewhat unlikely setting of Davos in Switzerland. Their reason for attending the World Economic Forum — that exclusive club of business magnates and like-minded politicos — was clear: to demonstrate that Labour had moved back to what is euphemistically described as the “centre ground” (the “centre” is wherever an exclusive set of pundits and politicians decide it to be). Clearly now in better, more refined company, Starmer, in an interview with Emily Maitlis, rather let the cat out of the bag: “Westminster is too constrained,” he said. “Once you get out of Westminster, whether it’s Davos or anywhere else, you actually engage with people that you can see working with in the future. Westminster is just a tribal shouting place.”

I have known every Labour leader since James Callaghan (who gave me my first job interview and then thought better of making an offer), worked for one (Gordon Brown in his UN capacity), and for a number of years shared an office with another (Michael Foot). In that time, I have voted for every Labour leader who attained the office bar one, Tony Blair. I thought the latter was a phoney the moment I met him for a coffee in his Islington home shortly after he became leader. That feeling about Blair never escaped me in the years I spent on the party’s ruling National Executive Committee, before the disastrous Iraq war forced me to quit.

When running for the party leadership, Starmer was asked which former leader he most identified with. He settled on Harold Wilson, who still holds the record for winning four out of five General Elections for Labour. Wilson was, of course, the consummate party manager. On occasion he would do battle with the Left, but essentially took his cue from the inimitable Ian Mikardo, the Jewish Tribunite MP and the Commons’ resident unofficial “bookie”. The Mikardo maxim was that “in order to fly, Labour needed both a Left and a Right wing”. Sadly, few leaders have been able to free this old bird as Wilson once managed. But following the extraordinary toxicity that had characterised the relationship between the parliamentary Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn, Starmer’s call for “unity” and his commitment to broadly social democratic policies was enough to persuade many, including me, to vote for him. Since then, however, he has picked his side and is ferociously pinioning the Left of the party.

“These are my principles,” Groucho Marx is said to have remarked. “If you don’t like them, I have others.” Starmer, after being reminded recently by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg of some of the pledges he had made when standing for leader (or which there were at least ten), looked her in the eye and said: “When I was running for leader, I made pledges reflecting my values. Since then, a lot has changed.”

Indeed it has. Each of his pledges, let alone his values, has since been discarded, along with the party’s former leader and a significant portion of its fee-paying membership. Most political leaders U-turn to an extent, but few with such lack of guile and poor dexterity as Starmer. Take Brexit: first he accepted the referendum result, before demanding a second one, and now apparently accepting it (at least for the time being). His interview in March 2020 with Andrew Neil will doubtless be mined to exhaustion by his opponents for maximum effect ahead of the next election.

Neil: “You made 10 policy pledges — including that energy, rail, water, the Royal Mail will be taken into common ownership; so, will they all be in Labour’s next manifesto?”
Starmer: “I’ve made that commitment — the pledges I have made indicate the direction of travel.”
Neil: “So, those four industries will be in the Manifesto, for nationalisation, in 2024?”
Starmer: “They will. They are baseline indicators for where we are going. I think that we’ll need to think about how we will do it.”
Neil: “What about abolishing university tuition fees then?”
Starmer: “They are all pledges, Andrew, so the answer to these questions is ‘yes’.”

On the privatisation of the NHS (firmly ruled out), Starmer now looks to the private sector to remedy the crisis. Elsewhere in recent months, the shapeshifting has moved with some abandon. Having garnered union votes for his election, Starmer subsequently criticised Shadow Ministers joining picket lines. Someone could have shown him the pictures of Labour Ministers, Shirley Williams, Denis Howell and Fred Mulley, no militants they, on the Grunwick picket line in the late Seventies, or a photo of Harriet Harman and the sadly missed Jack Dromey, in matching duffle coats, doing the same.

Can Starmer pull off his Jekyll and Hyde act? Here he is when he was questioned about his predecessor during the leadership contest: “I want to pay tribute to Jeremy Corbyn, who led our party through some really difficult times, who energised our movement, and who’s a friend as well as a colleague!” Fast forward a few years, and Corbyn has become the object of the now-obligatory “six minutes of hate”; doubtless we shall soon hear that he has been blocked from standing in his Islington constituency.

The Forde Report, commissioned under Starmer into allegations of bullying, racism and sexism during the Corbyn era, produced enough uncomfortable truths that the leader and his consiglieres want to see buried. For instance, after claims of antisemitism dogged the Labour Party, Starmer resolved to tackle the crisis. So, according to Jewish Voice for Labour, under Starmer, an entirely disproportionate number of Jewish members, some 59 in total, are currently suspended, have now resigned, been expelled or been auto-excluded. A few were “cleared” and others received a “reminder of conduct”. Most have been investigated for allegations of antisemitism, which often means that they have been critical of Israel. The party membership, as a whole, is under unprecedented surveillance.

Members seeking selection locally or nationally have always been vetted for the more obvious misdemeanours that could rebound on the party. But, as Michael Crick has observed, the process has taken a sinister turn, with a number of individuals being blocked from standing for seemingly minor infractions, such as wishing Nicola Sturgeon a swift recovery from a bout of ill-health, or for once liking a post from a proscribed organisation before it had actually become proscribed. This process of filtration has been remarkably successful. Crick recently observed that out of the more than 70 or so parliamentary selections so far, only one contender from the Left of the party has managed to get through.

Under Starmer, it is estimated that 137,000 fee-paying members have either left, been suspended or expelled. There may be more, since the party is slow to cancel direct debits and we have less of an idea of how many new members may have joined. Practically, with fewer members and unions issuing blank bank transfers, Labour is potentially being led down the Tory route of “dark money”, with all of the pitfalls. Look no further than the recent row involving Wes Streeting, Dan Jarvis and Yvette Cooper, who all denied they did anything wrong by accepting tens of thousands of pounds from a company, MPM Connect, which is part-owned by Peter Hearn, a Labour donor, but does not have any obvious line of business.Meanwhile, Starmer is insistent that all Front Benchers now contribute to fundraising efforts. He has also recently recalled the services of Blair’s former chief fundraiser, Lord Levy, who was the centre of a “cash-for-honours” investigation in 2006. What could possibly go wrong?

Starmer has wisely drawn from Gordon Brown’s work around further constitutional reforms, and he is coming under pressure from his MPs to offer a Green manifesto. But where are the meat and potatoes; the bold vision that was at least encapsulated in Wilson’s promise of the “white heat of the technological revolution”? There are still two years until a General Election, one that comes with boundary changes that do not work in Starmer’s favour, a Scotland that has stopped sending large numbers of Labour MPs to Westminster, and an economy that may be beginning to recover. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde may be able to control the Labour Party, but that doesn’t mean they are certain to win an election.


Mark Seddon is a former UN correspondent and New York bureau chief for Al-Jazeera English TV. He also worked in the speechwriting unit for the former secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon

MarkSeddon1962

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Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

Keir Starmer is, ostensibly, the Leader of His Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition. Westminster, for all its flaws, represents the cradle of democracy and the “mother of all parliaments. More importantly, it’s where the representatives of the British people come, to represent the interests of their constituents. Starmer’s comments that he prefers Davos to Westminster, that Westminster is just a “shouting place” that does not have “meaning”, and implying that he no longer wants to work with those elected to represent the British people there, are therefore deeply, profoundly disturbing. It would not be inaccurate to describe them as traitorous – which is not a word that should be used causally.

Westminster is where actual politics happens, with all of the tribalism, compromises, heated debates, and tensions that come with balancing competing interests. There are disagreements, clashes of personality, worldviews, and thinking. A melting pot. In comparison, Davos is where consensus is formed into a monolithic world establishment position, a place of utopian “transformative” (transhumanist) thinking in which competing interests don’t need to be balanced with each other but rather realigned or, perhaps, “reimagined”. Where an elite class decides what’s best for everybody and then colludes to attempt to bring it about. No wonder the conniving, insecure, ideologically rigid, little ingroup bully that is Keir Starmer prefers that to actual politics.

Which begs the question: how did he end up in “politics”, anyway? How did this former chief of the Crown Prosecution Service and human rights lawyer, who only became an MP in 2015, end up as Leader of the Labour Party just four years later? How was he able to climb up and over people on both sides of the Labour Party, many of whom had worked tirelessly literally all of their lives at rising to the top of it, despite alienating many of those on his own “side” of the party by refusing to sign up to their campaign to remain in the European single market? Who, and whose money, were behind the “Keir4Leader” campaign that supposedly got spontaneously launched in 2015 without his blessing? Just who is Keir Starmer?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

I suspect a good proportion of the money that boosted this unprincipled flip-flopper into power came from the same NY hedge fund that pays for so much of the anti-democratic activity in this country. Best for Britain, for example.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Ya Tatar comment caught my attention too. You would rather be in Davos? Seriously?

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

He was elected by the Party! I have no particular brief for Starmer and his prevarications on ‘trans’ issues are very disturbing. But couldn’t you make similar points about other modern leaders? Blair certainly. Johnson, well known but only on the most on a trivial level, and all things to all men. I would say Starmer’s changes of position are largely explained by tactical manoeuvring for electoral advantage, and like Blair determined to jettison unpopular positions.

This is all not particularly principled but democratic politics can’t be ALL be about principle, because the whole point is that the system needs to be responsive to changing societal demands, however defined.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

This is a good point. Starmer as PM I suspect will be something like Trudeau in Canada – a thoroughly ghastly prospect. But as you say to a real extent he is only responding to the society in front of him. Western electorates (not just in the UK) have in recent years been very quick to demand ‘change’ but with no real consensus about what that change should be, still less a direction. That is the void out of which Davos man really emerged.
‘Principles’ are wonderful things on internet talkboards.
I have no great love for Jeremy Corbyn and a man who lived by identity politics can have no complaint about dying by identity politics. However he did bring some interesting ideas that were, sadly, little remarked upon – sectoral bargaining and worker representation and industrial policy. Why were those things not really discussed by us the public? Corbyn’s risible and gaudy spending commitments only really came later and were I suspect really those around Corbyn starting to panic.
I think you are right – democratic politics are not something that mean leaders have to take absolutist positions and defend that to the death. We the public perhaps need to reflect on our love of the social media ‘gotcha.’ The flipside is that democratic politics though isn’t just about drift and Starmer does give the impression he’s drifting a bit. Hence we get the identity politics – something that gives the impression of a strong stance without actually doing anything. Kneeling for BLM is free of charge.
But I do think that to some extent Starmer is a symptom of a problem, not a problem itself. Politics is in a haze because we the public are. There’s no obvious solution though.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Starmer isn’t responding to the society in front of him, he’s responding to the people he chooses to listen to. Sadly they are small groups of people, who want a world shaped according to their own views, while disregarding the majority. The byproduct will be a much larger state which intervenes in all aspects of our lives.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Moore

Hasn’t Labour always been like that?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Moore

Hasn’t Labour always been like that?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

I agree that principles about political stands should be changed when they are obviously wrong, but what is more important is to have principles about being honest and open. Why is it so hard to get a leader who is honest and open with a conscience these days. There are plenty of honest people around but they appear very thin on the ground in parliament. I think the one we have is a deceiver but the deceived vote for her.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Starmer isn’t responding to the society in front of him, he’s responding to the people he chooses to listen to. Sadly they are small groups of people, who want a world shaped according to their own views, while disregarding the majority. The byproduct will be a much larger state which intervenes in all aspects of our lives.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

I agree that principles about political stands should be changed when they are obviously wrong, but what is more important is to have principles about being honest and open. Why is it so hard to get a leader who is honest and open with a conscience these days. There are plenty of honest people around but they appear very thin on the ground in parliament. I think the one we have is a deceiver but the deceived vote for her.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

He was indeed elected by the party, but how did he manage to position himself as the leading candidate of the “moderate” wing of that party, including to garner the nominations of a large number of MPs? Through the power of his natural charm, charisma, and intellect? I don’t think so. To go from (in Labour Party terms) nothing to Leader of the party within four or five years requires organisation, connections, money, and leverage. Something stinks about his elevation to leader and proper journalists should be looking into it.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

So I can see a major problem here for starters, associated with just stop oil lot, themselves funded by the CEF from AMERICA.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-starmer-just-stop-oil-donations-b2259261.html

Also because I’ve just read it. Clarksons article.
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/clarkson-fights-back-goes-offensive-against-woke-take-over
Wondering where the ‘woke’ is coming from. AMERICA.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

So I can see a major problem here for starters, associated with just stop oil lot, themselves funded by the CEF from AMERICA.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-starmer-just-stop-oil-donations-b2259261.html

Also because I’ve just read it. Clarksons article.
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/clarkson-fights-back-goes-offensive-against-woke-take-over
Wondering where the ‘woke’ is coming from. AMERICA.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

This is a good point. Starmer as PM I suspect will be something like Trudeau in Canada – a thoroughly ghastly prospect. But as you say to a real extent he is only responding to the society in front of him. Western electorates (not just in the UK) have in recent years been very quick to demand ‘change’ but with no real consensus about what that change should be, still less a direction. That is the void out of which Davos man really emerged.
‘Principles’ are wonderful things on internet talkboards.
I have no great love for Jeremy Corbyn and a man who lived by identity politics can have no complaint about dying by identity politics. However he did bring some interesting ideas that were, sadly, little remarked upon – sectoral bargaining and worker representation and industrial policy. Why were those things not really discussed by us the public? Corbyn’s risible and gaudy spending commitments only really came later and were I suspect really those around Corbyn starting to panic.
I think you are right – democratic politics are not something that mean leaders have to take absolutist positions and defend that to the death. We the public perhaps need to reflect on our love of the social media ‘gotcha.’ The flipside is that democratic politics though isn’t just about drift and Starmer does give the impression he’s drifting a bit. Hence we get the identity politics – something that gives the impression of a strong stance without actually doing anything. Kneeling for BLM is free of charge.
But I do think that to some extent Starmer is a symptom of a problem, not a problem itself. Politics is in a haze because we the public are. There’s no obvious solution though.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

He was indeed elected by the party, but how did he manage to position himself as the leading candidate of the “moderate” wing of that party, including to garner the nominations of a large number of MPs? Through the power of his natural charm, charisma, and intellect? I don’t think so. To go from (in Labour Party terms) nothing to Leader of the party within four or five years requires organisation, connections, money, and leverage. Something stinks about his elevation to leader and proper journalists should be looking into it.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

We know about his ‘beliefs’. He – like the entire (undeclared) One Party State which unites Tories, Lib Dems, Civil Service & our governing Technocracy) and defended by our post 90s laws and aggressive evangelical BBC media – is a Leftist Blair/Brown/EU ‘Progressive’. They all believe in high tax Statism, the NHS, humsn rights, mass welfarism and bailouts, multiculturalism, identitarianism (Labour more extreme than Tories), State Intervention, Net Zero authoritarianism and Lockdown Tyranny. ALL of them!!!! He like the rest of our shabby ‘elite’ fosters the cult of greviance entitlement and victimhood that has poisoned our community and values. So the only real question is; what actual POLICYS will Keir eventually be forced to reveal???? As of now, there is a big dark void, just flashes of stupid SNP-like reflex class envy and more race hate legislation. He offers nothing new. He probably never will (the Biden Tactic). No one does. We are trapped, smothered amd suffocated by the disastrous outcomes of the 20 year old Revolution of New Labour.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Davos Men are the children of the new o0s EU Empire which saw national Parliaments as a threat to the authority of its technocratic Commission and so – via Blair – revolutionised & overturned our govering structures to put an unelected technocracy and active judiciary above it. Thats why Keir thinks the way he does. They all do.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

who? Some reincarnated under-Butler from the late 1930s…

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

I suspect a good proportion of the money that boosted this unprincipled flip-flopper into power came from the same NY hedge fund that pays for so much of the anti-democratic activity in this country. Best for Britain, for example.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Ya Tatar comment caught my attention too. You would rather be in Davos? Seriously?

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

He was elected by the Party! I have no particular brief for Starmer and his prevarications on ‘trans’ issues are very disturbing. But couldn’t you make similar points about other modern leaders? Blair certainly. Johnson, well known but only on the most on a trivial level, and all things to all men. I would say Starmer’s changes of position are largely explained by tactical manoeuvring for electoral advantage, and like Blair determined to jettison unpopular positions.

This is all not particularly principled but democratic politics can’t be ALL be about principle, because the whole point is that the system needs to be responsive to changing societal demands, however defined.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

We know about his ‘beliefs’. He – like the entire (undeclared) One Party State which unites Tories, Lib Dems, Civil Service & our governing Technocracy) and defended by our post 90s laws and aggressive evangelical BBC media – is a Leftist Blair/Brown/EU ‘Progressive’. They all believe in high tax Statism, the NHS, humsn rights, mass welfarism and bailouts, multiculturalism, identitarianism (Labour more extreme than Tories), State Intervention, Net Zero authoritarianism and Lockdown Tyranny. ALL of them!!!! He like the rest of our shabby ‘elite’ fosters the cult of greviance entitlement and victimhood that has poisoned our community and values. So the only real question is; what actual POLICYS will Keir eventually be forced to reveal???? As of now, there is a big dark void, just flashes of stupid SNP-like reflex class envy and more race hate legislation. He offers nothing new. He probably never will (the Biden Tactic). No one does. We are trapped, smothered amd suffocated by the disastrous outcomes of the 20 year old Revolution of New Labour.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Davos Men are the children of the new o0s EU Empire which saw national Parliaments as a threat to the authority of its technocratic Commission and so – via Blair – revolutionised & overturned our govering structures to put an unelected technocracy and active judiciary above it. Thats why Keir thinks the way he does. They all do.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

who? Some reincarnated under-Butler from the late 1930s…

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

Keir Starmer is, ostensibly, the Leader of His Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition. Westminster, for all its flaws, represents the cradle of democracy and the “mother of all parliaments. More importantly, it’s where the representatives of the British people come, to represent the interests of their constituents. Starmer’s comments that he prefers Davos to Westminster, that Westminster is just a “shouting place” that does not have “meaning”, and implying that he no longer wants to work with those elected to represent the British people there, are therefore deeply, profoundly disturbing. It would not be inaccurate to describe them as traitorous – which is not a word that should be used causally.

Westminster is where actual politics happens, with all of the tribalism, compromises, heated debates, and tensions that come with balancing competing interests. There are disagreements, clashes of personality, worldviews, and thinking. A melting pot. In comparison, Davos is where consensus is formed into a monolithic world establishment position, a place of utopian “transformative” (transhumanist) thinking in which competing interests don’t need to be balanced with each other but rather realigned or, perhaps, “reimagined”. Where an elite class decides what’s best for everybody and then colludes to attempt to bring it about. No wonder the conniving, insecure, ideologically rigid, little ingroup bully that is Keir Starmer prefers that to actual politics.

Which begs the question: how did he end up in “politics”, anyway? How did this former chief of the Crown Prosecution Service and human rights lawyer, who only became an MP in 2015, end up as Leader of the Labour Party just four years later? How was he able to climb up and over people on both sides of the Labour Party, many of whom had worked tirelessly literally all of their lives at rising to the top of it, despite alienating many of those on his own “side” of the party by refusing to sign up to their campaign to remain in the European single market? Who, and whose money, were behind the “Keir4Leader” campaign that supposedly got spontaneously launched in 2015 without his blessing? Just who is Keir Starmer?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Rhetoric long ago parted company with reality in British politics. Having lost Scotland Labour now has to appease middle class voters to an even greater extent than Blair did.

Middle class voters love the rhetoric of leftism. It makes us feel like nice people. But don’t even think about taxing the the real wealth of the country – the trillions in unearned property wealth that we’re sitting on – that simply won’t do.

Blair understood this. Ask who were the principal beneficiaries of Blairism? It certainly wasn’t wage earners or rent payers. Starmer is just following a successful playbook.

We should never forget that it was a Labour Chancellor who changed the way that the cost of living is calculated purely to conceal the effect that his policies were having on the Party’s core constituency.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

100%. There has been a sustained super heist on a scale that the doomed French aristocracy would see as criminally OTT. The London and SE urban classes have all been gifted millions in property wealth- all unearned all untaxed all propped up by a rigged combination of mass immigration (to deliver demand) and the denial of supply (by stopping building new houses). One might say – well lucky us – but there is a direct link between Remainiac heartlands and the highest property price hikes. Look it up! The Brexit civil war and its nasty class hatreds was driven largely by the rage and terror of this gilded but grimly entitled class of midas propetocrats, desperate to preserve a status quo which enriched them. The defence of their brick & mortar heist still warps our economy as we let inflation surge rather than risk meltdown via interest rate and mortgage price increases. And look what happens to a society in which your actual merit and work is NOT the source of wealth creation – but your garden shed and postcode is.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well put.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I admire your rhetorical abilities Mr marvell. I was posting above I did notice
‘but there is a direct link between Remainiac heartlands’
And laughed my arse off. Are we sure about that part.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I am! First – map out all the areas in UK where house price inflation was at its highest 1997 to 2015. Then overlay a map of Remainer Voting Patterns. Surprise surprise – London, Oxford, Cambridge, etc match up 100%. Blind terror at ANY threat to the status quo that enriched this new class and the continuation of a rigged up Property Midas Machine (( and its component parts – uncontrolled mass immigration/Zero Interest Rate Regime/ No new House Builds/Nimbyism )) – was the root source of Remainia, not respect or even knowledge of the EU. Brexit was a purely internal affair rooted in this unacknowledged economic revolution; it was and is a civil war with rancid class and regional injustice at its heart.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well I have to say it certainly sounds like you’ve done your homework. So I’ll take your word for it. Here comes the subversion though.
London, Oxford and Cambridge are perhaps the most susceptible to American idealogy? London under Blair went full stars and stripes. I’ve heard the term on here ‘Washington on Thames’. Also those two universities are the heart of the woke debate, the woke debate is from America. America told us we would be at the back of the queue for a trade deal etc. were not very supportive of brexit. What do you make of them apples.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well I have to say it certainly sounds like you’ve done your homework. So I’ll take your word for it. Here comes the subversion though.
London, Oxford and Cambridge are perhaps the most susceptible to American idealogy? London under Blair went full stars and stripes. I’ve heard the term on here ‘Washington on Thames’. Also those two universities are the heart of the woke debate, the woke debate is from America. America told us we would be at the back of the queue for a trade deal etc. were not very supportive of brexit. What do you make of them apples.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I am! First – map out all the areas in UK where house price inflation was at its highest 1997 to 2015. Then overlay a map of Remainer Voting Patterns. Surprise surprise – London, Oxford, Cambridge, etc match up 100%. Blind terror at ANY threat to the status quo that enriched this new class and the continuation of a rigged up Property Midas Machine (( and its component parts – uncontrolled mass immigration/Zero Interest Rate Regime/ No new House Builds/Nimbyism )) – was the root source of Remainia, not respect or even knowledge of the EU. Brexit was a purely internal affair rooted in this unacknowledged economic revolution; it was and is a civil war with rancid class and regional injustice at its heart.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well put.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I admire your rhetorical abilities Mr marvell. I was posting above I did notice
‘but there is a direct link between Remainiac heartlands’
And laughed my arse off. Are we sure about that part.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

No – it wasn’t rent payers. It was rentiers – people like Blair himself – who were the big winners and rode the property and buy to let boom he partly created by artificial suppression of interest rates and inflation (by importing huge amounts of unskilled labour). Tempting to observe how uncomfortably close to insider trading that could have been considered (creating a property boom and then profiting from it).
Isn’t is curious how no journalist ever stopped to ask how Britain’s historic inflation problems suddenly disappeared after 1997 (until 2022) ? China’s cheap manufacturing and cheap Easter European labour were critical factors. UK productivity was not. In fact, we rode the “free lunch” from these windfalls, let the government spend like drunken sailors and did nothing to up our own game.
Of course, Starmer understands this even less than the Tories.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

100%. There has been a sustained super heist on a scale that the doomed French aristocracy would see as criminally OTT. The London and SE urban classes have all been gifted millions in property wealth- all unearned all untaxed all propped up by a rigged combination of mass immigration (to deliver demand) and the denial of supply (by stopping building new houses). One might say – well lucky us – but there is a direct link between Remainiac heartlands and the highest property price hikes. Look it up! The Brexit civil war and its nasty class hatreds was driven largely by the rage and terror of this gilded but grimly entitled class of midas propetocrats, desperate to preserve a status quo which enriched them. The defence of their brick & mortar heist still warps our economy as we let inflation surge rather than risk meltdown via interest rate and mortgage price increases. And look what happens to a society in which your actual merit and work is NOT the source of wealth creation – but your garden shed and postcode is.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

No – it wasn’t rent payers. It was rentiers – people like Blair himself – who were the big winners and rode the property and buy to let boom he partly created by artificial suppression of interest rates and inflation (by importing huge amounts of unskilled labour). Tempting to observe how uncomfortably close to insider trading that could have been considered (creating a property boom and then profiting from it).
Isn’t is curious how no journalist ever stopped to ask how Britain’s historic inflation problems suddenly disappeared after 1997 (until 2022) ? China’s cheap manufacturing and cheap Easter European labour were critical factors. UK productivity was not. In fact, we rode the “free lunch” from these windfalls, let the government spend like drunken sailors and did nothing to up our own game.
Of course, Starmer understands this even less than the Tories.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Rhetoric long ago parted company with reality in British politics. Having lost Scotland Labour now has to appease middle class voters to an even greater extent than Blair did.

Middle class voters love the rhetoric of leftism. It makes us feel like nice people. But don’t even think about taxing the the real wealth of the country – the trillions in unearned property wealth that we’re sitting on – that simply won’t do.

Blair understood this. Ask who were the principal beneficiaries of Blairism? It certainly wasn’t wage earners or rent payers. Starmer is just following a successful playbook.

We should never forget that it was a Labour Chancellor who changed the way that the cost of living is calculated purely to conceal the effect that his policies were having on the Party’s core constituency.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

It sometimes seems leftist writers can only do Ad hom. Where is the policy critique, where is the assessment of the legacy of the Labour figures he mentions.

No need apparently. Most old left figures were lovely chaps Blair was a salesman (let’s ignore his achievement of being the longest ever Labour PM, and certainly not examine what he did with the time.)

Starmer used the entryist tactics of the left to gain power and is now purging the election liabilities. I might applaud if I wasn’t concerned he might just as easily switch back once PM.

Lesley Keay
Lesley Keay
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

To be fair to the author of this piece, it is difficult to attack Starmer on policy because he is very vague on what his policies are. The author is quite correct to attack him on broken pledges as that is all there is to go on so far. Pledges made and discarded, even before we get to an election. This does seem to indicate someone who will say anything to win power, which makes me very concerned about what he would do should he ever become PM.

Andy White
Andy White
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Yes there is a lack of policy content in left critiques of Starmer but that is 100% mirrored in right critiques of Sunak. The reason: both leaders are policy-free zones. Neither of them is a fully-formed politician. It’s Technocrat A vs Technocrat B. So how do you critique them properly, and how do the voters judge who to trust, when they have no discernible principles or sense of political direction? Strange times.

Lesley Keay
Lesley Keay
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

To be fair to the author of this piece, it is difficult to attack Starmer on policy because he is very vague on what his policies are. The author is quite correct to attack him on broken pledges as that is all there is to go on so far. Pledges made and discarded, even before we get to an election. This does seem to indicate someone who will say anything to win power, which makes me very concerned about what he would do should he ever become PM.

Andy White
Andy White
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Yes there is a lack of policy content in left critiques of Starmer but that is 100% mirrored in right critiques of Sunak. The reason: both leaders are policy-free zones. Neither of them is a fully-formed politician. It’s Technocrat A vs Technocrat B. So how do you critique them properly, and how do the voters judge who to trust, when they have no discernible principles or sense of political direction? Strange times.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

It sometimes seems leftist writers can only do Ad hom. Where is the policy critique, where is the assessment of the legacy of the Labour figures he mentions.

No need apparently. Most old left figures were lovely chaps Blair was a salesman (let’s ignore his achievement of being the longest ever Labour PM, and certainly not examine what he did with the time.)

Starmer used the entryist tactics of the left to gain power and is now purging the election liabilities. I might applaud if I wasn’t concerned he might just as easily switch back once PM.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago

‘Pinioning the left’? Whilst embracing far-left identity nonsense, CRT and a truly awful anti-child, anti-woman gender ideology…….Mark the WEF IS the far left now. Globalism IS the far left. TRanhumanism IS the far left. Hyper individualism IS the far left. Starmer IS the far-left. You’d do much better in the SDP

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

Very true. It’s the billionaires like Gates, Soros and others that are controlling the politics. That’s where the real danger is.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

Very true. It’s the billionaires like Gates, Soros and others that are controlling the politics. That’s where the real danger is.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago

‘Pinioning the left’? Whilst embracing far-left identity nonsense, CRT and a truly awful anti-child, anti-woman gender ideology…….Mark the WEF IS the far left now. Globalism IS the far left. TRanhumanism IS the far left. Hyper individualism IS the far left. Starmer IS the far-left. You’d do much better in the SDP

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

Even a stopped clock etc.

Starmer is clearly useless, and might get found out in an election campaign, but removing the assorted cranks and crackpots of the previous regime is not going to harm his cause.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

That is true. We should be grateful for that. Shame he doesn’t know what a woman is though. Nationalising the Post Office, Water etc. might not be so bad. They don’t produce anything but just manage the countrys’ assets. So long as he doesn’t harm the real private sector that produces the country’s wealth we might be able to survive him.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

That is true. We should be grateful for that. Shame he doesn’t know what a woman is though. Nationalising the Post Office, Water etc. might not be so bad. They don’t produce anything but just manage the countrys’ assets. So long as he doesn’t harm the real private sector that produces the country’s wealth we might be able to survive him.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

Even a stopped clock etc.

Starmer is clearly useless, and might get found out in an election campaign, but removing the assorted cranks and crackpots of the previous regime is not going to harm his cause.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

There’s nothing as satisfying a reading a man of the Left putting the boot into another man of the Left.
Most Tories I know (and I’m not one, before you ask / assume / allege) want Starmer to win. They think five years of hopeless Labour government influenced by Ed Miliband, along with culture war flip-flopping, a clueless MP cohort and rats-in-a-sack positioning to be the next next leader (Wes and Rachel) will secure the Cons a default victory circa 2028/29.
Although this makes me chuckle, as by then I imagine the Tories will be eviscerated by a more recognisably centre-Right political party. This means Sir Keir will be PM for ten years, with the concomitant Americanisation of our politics into permanent left/right intransigence.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Why do we need to save the Tories? There are a number of good small parties with good policies if we were not so afraid of keeping one in to stop the other. If that is the case it will be Lab/Con forever. It’s the voters who need to break out and vote from the heart

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

They say they want Starmer to win now – hence the Labour poll lead and the Reform boost- but I suspect they will act differently once the election rolls around. People will have to choose between the Tories with their propensity to cave in the the woke, open borders, eco-fanatics and Labour who actually ARE the woke, open borders, eco-fanatics.

Mint Julip
Mint Julip
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Talk about a rock and a hard place…

Mint Julip
Mint Julip
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Talk about a rock and a hard place…

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Why do we need to save the Tories? There are a number of good small parties with good policies if we were not so afraid of keeping one in to stop the other. If that is the case it will be Lab/Con forever. It’s the voters who need to break out and vote from the heart

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

They say they want Starmer to win now – hence the Labour poll lead and the Reform boost- but I suspect they will act differently once the election rolls around. People will have to choose between the Tories with their propensity to cave in the the woke, open borders, eco-fanatics and Labour who actually ARE the woke, open borders, eco-fanatics.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

There’s nothing as satisfying a reading a man of the Left putting the boot into another man of the Left.
Most Tories I know (and I’m not one, before you ask / assume / allege) want Starmer to win. They think five years of hopeless Labour government influenced by Ed Miliband, along with culture war flip-flopping, a clueless MP cohort and rats-in-a-sack positioning to be the next next leader (Wes and Rachel) will secure the Cons a default victory circa 2028/29.
Although this makes me chuckle, as by then I imagine the Tories will be eviscerated by a more recognisably centre-Right political party. This means Sir Keir will be PM for ten years, with the concomitant Americanisation of our politics into permanent left/right intransigence.

Brian Delamere
Brian Delamere
1 year ago

By going to Davos, making him appear what you laughingly call “Centre Ground”, well at least they’ll have some common ground as neither Starmer and the denizens of Davos have been elected

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Delamere

Davos comes out with apocalyptic things that would affect us all backed up by billionaires dreams.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Delamere

Davos comes out with apocalyptic things that would affect us all backed up by billionaires dreams.

Brian Delamere
Brian Delamere
1 year ago

By going to Davos, making him appear what you laughingly call “Centre Ground”, well at least they’ll have some common ground as neither Starmer and the denizens of Davos have been elected

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

My sense is that Starmer is naturally quite far to the Left but he’s doing what he thinks is necessary to win the next election. The far-Left, people like Diane Abbott for example, are always hard to control, so keeping them on the periphery makes it easier for Starmer to control the party, even though he may agree with what they’re saying.
After all, Stalin had no qualms about silencing the thinkers of the Communist Party and you wouldn’t call him a Centrist.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

My sense is that Starmer is naturally quite far to the Left but he’s doing what he thinks is necessary to win the next election. The far-Left, people like Diane Abbott for example, are always hard to control, so keeping them on the periphery makes it easier for Starmer to control the party, even though he may agree with what they’re saying.
After all, Stalin had no qualms about silencing the thinkers of the Communist Party and you wouldn’t call him a Centrist.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

It seems to me the sole purpose of going to Davos was for Starmer to make an issue out of Sunak not being there. The media lapped it up, as if that actually meant anything serious.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

It seems to me the sole purpose of going to Davos was for Starmer to make an issue out of Sunak not being there. The media lapped it up, as if that actually meant anything serious.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

The main vulnerability for the davos globalist vision has always been that it could be easily dismantled by hostile governments pursuing national agendas at the expense of global goals. Globalism, being a form of collectivism applied to nations, suffers from the same vulnerabilities as other more familiar forms, namely that it requires individuals to act in ways that are inconsistent with short term self interest. That’s not an impossible hurdle, but it requires either a significant amount of ‘buy in’ from individual members or mechanisms to enforce compliance, inflicting punishments to change the self-interest calculations. Thus, it follows that globalism requires at least one of two factors to succeed, broad public support or governmental police power. Given that the former looks increasingly unlikely (they had to hire a small army to protect davos from ‘protestors’), it stands to reason they will focus on their efforts on the latter, attempting to corrupt and control governments at every level. Attempting to capture major political parties and place their supporters in key leadership positions is a basic strategy for this. That’s why Brexit opposition was robust in both the parties. The globalists had cultivated influence and support in both parties. They’re doing the same thing in the US, trying to expel Trump and take back the Republican party while keeping the Democratic party close to the political center. They’re having more problems here because America is a larger and less dense country and the people who designed America’s government knew that and deliberately wrote the Constitution to favor geography over population and resist the sort of imperialistic national control prevalent in Europe then and now. The struggle of globalists is necessarily global, and it will no doubt continue anywhere and everywhere the multinational corporations and the oligarchs that drive them operate. The getting, keeping, and wielding of power has always been a nasty business, often resulting in violence. The modern world is no exception. I expect the globalists must eventually fail because their philosophy runs contrary to human nature but I don’t expect them to go down easily, and I expect they’ll do as much damage as they can on the way out. Rather than concede the game and gracefully withdraw, keeping their dignity and some level of influence, they’ll instead do what people in power usually do when threatened, that is anything they can to keep power and hold back the threat. I expect ultimate something like a revolution, violent or otherwise, in one or more large nations will be required to break their hold on power. As for the present question, I expect Starmer will win the next election, then his policies, like the present Tories, will generate friction and public backlash until he too is defeated. Starmer’s leadership career is likely to be short and perhaps historically unpopular, but that’s of little concern to the davos crowd. By that point, they’ll be grooming another Tory leader or pushing a new EU referendum or something else along those lines. Starmer is a pawn, one of many around the world whose political career will be unceremoniously sacrificed to the masses while the globalists continue to delay the reckoning that is coming for them as long as they can.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

The main vulnerability for the davos globalist vision has always been that it could be easily dismantled by hostile governments pursuing national agendas at the expense of global goals. Globalism, being a form of collectivism applied to nations, suffers from the same vulnerabilities as other more familiar forms, namely that it requires individuals to act in ways that are inconsistent with short term self interest. That’s not an impossible hurdle, but it requires either a significant amount of ‘buy in’ from individual members or mechanisms to enforce compliance, inflicting punishments to change the self-interest calculations. Thus, it follows that globalism requires at least one of two factors to succeed, broad public support or governmental police power. Given that the former looks increasingly unlikely (they had to hire a small army to protect davos from ‘protestors’), it stands to reason they will focus on their efforts on the latter, attempting to corrupt and control governments at every level. Attempting to capture major political parties and place their supporters in key leadership positions is a basic strategy for this. That’s why Brexit opposition was robust in both the parties. The globalists had cultivated influence and support in both parties. They’re doing the same thing in the US, trying to expel Trump and take back the Republican party while keeping the Democratic party close to the political center. They’re having more problems here because America is a larger and less dense country and the people who designed America’s government knew that and deliberately wrote the Constitution to favor geography over population and resist the sort of imperialistic national control prevalent in Europe then and now. The struggle of globalists is necessarily global, and it will no doubt continue anywhere and everywhere the multinational corporations and the oligarchs that drive them operate. The getting, keeping, and wielding of power has always been a nasty business, often resulting in violence. The modern world is no exception. I expect the globalists must eventually fail because their philosophy runs contrary to human nature but I don’t expect them to go down easily, and I expect they’ll do as much damage as they can on the way out. Rather than concede the game and gracefully withdraw, keeping their dignity and some level of influence, they’ll instead do what people in power usually do when threatened, that is anything they can to keep power and hold back the threat. I expect ultimate something like a revolution, violent or otherwise, in one or more large nations will be required to break their hold on power. As for the present question, I expect Starmer will win the next election, then his policies, like the present Tories, will generate friction and public backlash until he too is defeated. Starmer’s leadership career is likely to be short and perhaps historically unpopular, but that’s of little concern to the davos crowd. By that point, they’ll be grooming another Tory leader or pushing a new EU referendum or something else along those lines. Starmer is a pawn, one of many around the world whose political career will be unceremoniously sacrificed to the masses while the globalists continue to delay the reckoning that is coming for them as long as they can.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
Roger Mortimer
Roger Mortimer
1 year ago

Marina Hyde expressed the problem with Starmer perfectly – whatever he says, you expect the next sentence to be “And have you thought about what kind of wood you’d like for the casket?”

Roger Mortimer
Roger Mortimer
1 year ago

Marina Hyde expressed the problem with Starmer perfectly – whatever he says, you expect the next sentence to be “And have you thought about what kind of wood you’d like for the casket?”

Michael James
Michael James
1 year ago

Starmer may be no good, but that needn’t stop him winning the next election. All he has to do is silence the far left and react plausibly to Tory blunders. As for ‘meat and potatoes’, voters don’t believe anything politicians promise anyway.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael James

I agree. It’s like they come out with things no ordinary person has asked for but things LGBT have pushed for. God help our children from this woke government.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael James

I agree. It’s like they come out with things no ordinary person has asked for but things LGBT have pushed for. God help our children from this woke government.

Michael James
Michael James
1 year ago

Starmer may be no good, but that needn’t stop him winning the next election. All he has to do is silence the far left and react plausibly to Tory blunders. As for ‘meat and potatoes’, voters don’t believe anything politicians promise anyway.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago

At the next election we will be offered the chance to decide whether our regional WEF branch manager (so much more than just a meteoric rise in common!) will wear a blue or red tie and that is what passes for democracy today. Enjoy.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago

At the next election we will be offered the chance to decide whether our regional WEF branch manager (so much more than just a meteoric rise in common!) will wear a blue or red tie and that is what passes for democracy today. Enjoy.

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
1 year ago

I was warming to him but his weasel words referencing Rosie Duffield with no mention of Lloyd Rusell Moynes have reminded me not to.

“And they’re the principles & the values
..that I insist on in our Labour Party whether it’s Rosie Duffield or anyone else.”

We see you, Keir.

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
1 year ago

I was warming to him but his weasel words referencing Rosie Duffield with no mention of Lloyd Rusell Moynes have reminded me not to.

“And they’re the principles & the values
..that I insist on in our Labour Party whether it’s Rosie Duffield or anyone else.”

We see you, Keir.

Dulle Griet
Dulle Griet
1 year ago

Excellent, insightful analysis from a perspective that doesn’t get airplay on mainstream media. Thank you Mark Seddon and Unherd.

Dulle Griet
Dulle Griet
1 year ago

Excellent, insightful analysis from a perspective that doesn’t get airplay on mainstream media. Thank you Mark Seddon and Unherd.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Dull and tedious little Pooter man….

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Dull and tedious little Pooter man….

Gianni Pischedda
Gianni Pischedda
1 year ago

‘Consiglieri’ not ‘consiglieres’

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

A BS article by a neo-Corbynite. Who cares? And why is it on Unherd?

Paul Marshall
Paul Marshall
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

It is on UnHerd because we need to hear all perspectives even if we don’t agree!

Paul Marshall
Paul Marshall
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

It is on UnHerd because we need to hear all perspectives even if we don’t agree!

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

A BS article by a neo-Corbynite. Who cares? And why is it on Unherd?

David Hedley
David Hedley
1 year ago

The destructive debate in the Tories is a short term opportunity for Starmer, but a longer term challenge as to his ability to define and execute policy that addresses that main challenges faced by the UK. Given that the BBC is now presenting Starmer as the PM-in waiting, it’s reasonable to question what Labour’s position is (or might be) on various issues.
The major and enduring challenge is to define a coherent post-Brexit economic strategy, and the consequent social transition to a new economic model. The idea of investment in renewable energy and green technology does have substance, but this can only be a part of what is needed, and is unlikely to have the transformative effect that Reeves proposes. From what else I can read, the Starmer/Reeves position is virtually indistinguishable from that of Sunak/Hunt, and the most likely outcome is a muddled set of compromises, increasing national debt, and progressive decline as the UK is out-competed on new technologies. In these circumstances, a return to EU membership is a rational objective, and is likely (in my opinion) to emerge as a policy position from Labour if they do indeed achieve a parliamentary majority at the next general election.
The alternative – a low-cost, competitive, nimble UK, progressive on global trade and at the forefront of new technology – looks like it will remain an abstract dream for the Tory right, who may never acknowledge that they squandered the opportunity to put this in place. Covid was a factor, of course, but the window of opportunity has now largely shut. The idea that Truss had the gravitas to deliver this was always fanciful, and I can’t see anyone else willing to put themselves forward to deliver this. (Of course, if the UK economy does improve in the first half of 2023, a meaningful challenge might emerge from the Tory right).
Addressing the NHS (as a talisman for the public sector in multiple ways – degree of investment, quality of service delivery, wage rises in an inflationary environment, and position opposite the trade unions) is the other major challenge. I don’t see anything from Labour that would convince me that they will do anything other than throw taxpayers’ money at this problem, rather than beginning a process of fundamental reform to a service whose delivery, resource and cost model has become obsolete.
You can follow similar lines of thought on other major policy areas. The most likely outcome of a Starmer PM-ship, in my view, is that within the next decade, the UK begins the process of return to full EU membership, mainly to mitigate some of the economic damage caused by Brexit, but also to procrastinate on areas of economic and social reform that are ’too difficult’ to address. As a corollary, the UK will then recover much of the diplomatic power that it has also lost through Brexit, and reassume the position of main interlocutor for the US in dialogue with Europe. Policy vagueness and ambiguity can have significant consequences.

John Reid
John Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hedley

As he didn’t vote for labour why does he thinks the labour party is for him, is the past. yes the party needed a left and right wing years ago but the overton window shifted massively in the 80’s, yes starmer had the most dishonest leadership campaign to win ever but

The party unity thing when under corbyns time they bulled out anone who disagreed with their toy town revolutionaries policy and the JVl is a joke, admittedly the nhs thing and private money is disgusting
 

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hedley

Some very good points unfortunately the brexiteer rednecks didnt like your suggestion….

John Reid
John Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hedley

As he didn’t vote for labour why does he thinks the labour party is for him, is the past. yes the party needed a left and right wing years ago but the overton window shifted massively in the 80’s, yes starmer had the most dishonest leadership campaign to win ever but

The party unity thing when under corbyns time they bulled out anone who disagreed with their toy town revolutionaries policy and the JVl is a joke, admittedly the nhs thing and private money is disgusting
 

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hedley

Some very good points unfortunately the brexiteer rednecks didnt like your suggestion….

David Hedley
David Hedley
1 year ago

The destructive debate in the Tories is a short term opportunity for Starmer, but a longer term challenge as to his ability to define and execute policy that addresses that main challenges faced by the UK. Given that the BBC is now presenting Starmer as the PM-in waiting, it’s reasonable to question what Labour’s position is (or might be) on various issues.
The major and enduring challenge is to define a coherent post-Brexit economic strategy, and the consequent social transition to a new economic model. The idea of investment in renewable energy and green technology does have substance, but this can only be a part of what is needed, and is unlikely to have the transformative effect that Reeves proposes. From what else I can read, the Starmer/Reeves position is virtually indistinguishable from that of Sunak/Hunt, and the most likely outcome is a muddled set of compromises, increasing national debt, and progressive decline as the UK is out-competed on new technologies. In these circumstances, a return to EU membership is a rational objective, and is likely (in my opinion) to emerge as a policy position from Labour if they do indeed achieve a parliamentary majority at the next general election.
The alternative – a low-cost, competitive, nimble UK, progressive on global trade and at the forefront of new technology – looks like it will remain an abstract dream for the Tory right, who may never acknowledge that they squandered the opportunity to put this in place. Covid was a factor, of course, but the window of opportunity has now largely shut. The idea that Truss had the gravitas to deliver this was always fanciful, and I can’t see anyone else willing to put themselves forward to deliver this. (Of course, if the UK economy does improve in the first half of 2023, a meaningful challenge might emerge from the Tory right).
Addressing the NHS (as a talisman for the public sector in multiple ways – degree of investment, quality of service delivery, wage rises in an inflationary environment, and position opposite the trade unions) is the other major challenge. I don’t see anything from Labour that would convince me that they will do anything other than throw taxpayers’ money at this problem, rather than beginning a process of fundamental reform to a service whose delivery, resource and cost model has become obsolete.
You can follow similar lines of thought on other major policy areas. The most likely outcome of a Starmer PM-ship, in my view, is that within the next decade, the UK begins the process of return to full EU membership, mainly to mitigate some of the economic damage caused by Brexit, but also to procrastinate on areas of economic and social reform that are ’too difficult’ to address. As a corollary, the UK will then recover much of the diplomatic power that it has also lost through Brexit, and reassume the position of main interlocutor for the US in dialogue with Europe. Policy vagueness and ambiguity can have significant consequences.