X Close

Keir Starmer is no Blair Labour shouldn't read too much into its by-election victories

Heir to neither Blair nor Kinnock (Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP/ Getty)

Heir to neither Blair nor Kinnock (Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP/ Getty)


July 21, 2023   6 mins

When men make history, Karl Marx observed, it is not under circumstances of their own choosing, but rather under circumstances given and inherited from the past. History is the one thing we cannot escape; the great epochal force which creates the world in which we live, as well as being the story we use to understand it.

I thought of this as the results of the by-elections trickled in this morning, the Tories coming within a few hundred votes of losing all three seats in what would have been an unusually uncaveated rebuke. When trying to assess whether or not yesterday’s by-elections prove that the Government is destined to defeat, we cannot help but turn to historical precedent. Never has a Labour opposition overturned a majority as big as the one in Selby, we read; Rishi Sunak has only just avoided becoming the second prime minister in history to lose three by elections in one day (after Harold Wilson in 1968). Labour leader Keir Starmer reacted to the overnight results as you would expect: they were “historic”, he said.

The results come hot on the tails of Starmer’s public embrace with Tony Blair in the bowels of London’s Park Plaza hotel this week, in which the Labour leader consciously mimicked his predecessor by declaring the country needed three things: “Growth, growth, growth.” Unless anyone missed the obvious nod, Starmer moved quickly to acknowledge it. “Now you may have heard a refrain like that before,” he joked, to knowing laughter.

In some senses, this whole week has felt like a theatrical passing of the baton; exiled king recognising his rightful heir and receiving his blessing in return. Starmer had done what was necessary to win power, Blair declared. The audience whooped and cheered in what seemed like a moment of genuine catharsis, a sudden outpouring of relief. Starmer was one of them. The Pope had given his blessing. In turn, Starmer had used the occasion to show he was as determined as il Papa to win power for them, taking the tough decisions necessary to do so. Blair nodded on approvingly.

It is not surprising that, in Westminster, many conversations turn back to Blair when assessing today’s politics — the perennial question of whether the next election is going to be a rerun of 1997 or 1992. Is Starmer the new Blair? Or the new Kinnock? This, after all, is the dominant political fable of our time, the simple, easy-to-understand morality tale of modern British politics.

The story usually runs something like this. In 1992, Kinnock had almost done enough to win, but not quite enough. The party was still too Left-wing. The Tories, in contrast, had done what was necessary to cling to power by replacing Margaret Thatcher with John Major, allowing all those quiet Tories to secretly cast their vote for continuity. By 1997, however, not only had Major’s government imploded in a fireball of incompetence and sleaze, but Labour had finally chosen a man to win. This is the story of our time and retold in Tory form as the long march from madness from IDS to Cameron. Today, the question for many is whether Starmer has done enough to win over the public or whether he has left enough room for Sunak to pull a Major.

Yet, for Marx, the whole point was that history does not repeat — even in farce, as he joked. Each new era in history is different. Borrowing old battle slogans is not a way to resuscitate the conditions of the past, but a way of dressing up our modern challenges in “time-honoured disguise” to make them less daunting, turning scary, complicated problems into familiar ones. “Growth, growth, growth,” Starmer exclaims and everybody understands. What that actually means when it comes to, say, artificial intelligence wiping out millions of white-collar office jobs is anyone’s guess.

Ironically, I suppose, even Marx was kidding himself about the true scale of historical change, constructing a whole theory to explain how the chaotic process is actually one, long predictable journey towards the light. And yet what is perhaps most remarkable about today’s challenges is not their similarities to past decades, but their differences.

The challenge facing Starmer today is certainly closer to 1992 than 1997, in that he faces a sizeable Conservative majority rather than the marginal one Blair needed to overturn. But then, unlike 1992, Starmer faces a government which has presided over an economic crisis of its own making and so, in that respect, is more like 1997. In some ways, a closer parallel to either is actually 1964, another time a Conservative government with a huge majority found itself limping towards defeat under a new prime minister, by-election losses and scandals mounting up along the way, sapping all sense of hope from an exhausted party. This was before Wilson came in, only for him to become the man to lose all those by-elections in one day.

Once again, however, the differences are just as stark as the similarities. The recession of 1961 had been mild and the recovery reasonable. The Sixties today are notable for being a decade of sustained economic expansion with rising living standards for all. This is very much not the case today. If anything, our own period is closest to the Thirties following the Wall Street Crash.

Starmer certainly seems aware of the limitations of comparisons with the past. Speaking alongside Blair on Tuesday, he noted that even if he matched the swing to Labour that Blair managed in his landmark victory, his majority would amount to a single solitary seat. Perceptively, Starmer also acknowledged that the mood of the country was very different from 1997. Today, the feeling is less Things Can Only Get Better and more Things Can Hardly Get Worse. In fact, in one important but overlooked comment, Starmer said that unless the next government proved it could turn things around, this sense of national pessimism would turn into a kind of lethargy, It would, he said, “gnaw away at our collective sense of collective purpose and push us towards a learned political hopelessness and a mindset of decline”.

Here, Starmer alighted on one of the great — and worrying — differences between today and much of our recent modern history. In the Sixties, there was economic growth and a sense of possibility: the great white heat of technology, modernisation, Europe and all that — each an apparent answer to decline. Even in the Seventies, when the economic challenges seemed overwhelming at times, there remained, ironically, much more of a sense of hope than there is today. Without this hope, after all, there could not have been the radicalism there was — whether of the Bennite variety on the Left, or the Thatcherism of the Right, both of which believed they had the answers to the problems of the day.

The Seventies were a time, remember, when it was a national scandal if living standards did not rise each and every year and people took to the streets to protest if they didn’t. Today, there is a sense, it seems, that nothing matters. We have had 15 years of stagnant living standards, falling home ownership and deteriorating public services. Even Brexit, our great national revolution to shake the system out of its torpor, seems to have changed very little: immigration has continued to rise, the economy to stagnate, taxes to rise. We have taken a screenshot of what existed before, only a slightly worse copy. And yet, if anything, our politics have become less radical in this time, the answers to our stagnation becoming ever narrower and more timid.

Is our national lethargy a result of our political failure, or is our political timidity a reflection of our public despair? There’s a similar mood of despair in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. Published in The New Yorker in 1955, Salinger’s central character, Franny, laments how “everything everybody does is so — I don’t know — not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and — sad-making.” This seems to be the national attitude at the moment. Like Franny, everyone is just sick of “ego, ego, ego”, as she puts it, “of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something”. After Blair and Cameron and Johnson (and certainly Truss), we’re sick of people trying to do things. But we’re also sick of those who never look like they’re capable of doing anything, such as May or, perhaps, Sunak and Starmer.

It is this kind of nihilistic lethargy Starmer is worried about and which could cost him the election. It is the same kind of nihilism you detect in Salinger’s other book, Catcher in the Rye, the great lament about change and phoney adults going around saying things they don’t believe in. “I’m always saying ‘Glad to’ve met you’ to somebody I’m not at all glad I met,” says Holden Caulfield. “If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff.” For the same reason, the public has grown tired of their politicians, turning instead to authentic phonies such as Trump or Johnson.

In Catcher, Salinger has this wonderful metaphor, as I read it, for the slow, unrelenting progress of history which we see in politics as much as life. Holden thinks about his sister Phoebe going to the museum that he went to as a kid: “I thought how she’d see the same stuff I used to see, and how she’d be different every time she saw it,” he explains. “It didn’t exactly depress me to think about it, but it didn’t make me feel gay as hell, either.”

To me, this is much like politics, forever and always changing, shaped by the politics of the past placed in glass boxes for us all to gawp at and draw inspiration from. “Certain things should stay the way they are,” Caulfield declares in one of the great conservative laments. “You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them the way they are.” But you can’t, of course. That’s the point.

Politics would be easy if all you had to do is read a history book and find the right precedent to copy, but it’s not. History is like Phoebe, the same but always changing. The conditions which exist today are similar to the past, the challenges recognisable, but they are also unique, requiring something new. Keir Starmer is not the new Tony Blair. But that doesn’t mean he’s Neil Kinnock either.


Tom McTague is UnHerd’s Political Editor. He is the author of Betting The House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

TomMcTague

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

98 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago

Starmer isn’t winning; the Tories are losing. Nobody likes Starmer. People sense his dishonesty; his faux piety. They recall him as the ringleader of the coup attempt to overturn the result of the Referendum. He’s unctuous, nassely, a bit dim witted and fake.
Starmer’s success rests soley on the incredible, astounding, ineptitude and stupidity of the Tory Party. There isn’t a rake that the Tories haven’t stepped on or a bullet they haven’t shot in to their own foot.
Starmer’s poll lead is as soft as a sponge. All it would take is an abrubt Tory shift to the right and some basic competence to see him off. Sadly,for the country, the Tories appear incapable of either.

Last edited 10 months ago by Marcus Leach
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Well said, in every particular. Moving from diagnosis to treatment is trickier. There may well be no cure, no way out – other than hoping against hope for a counter-fluff or two from Starmer which will allow a Tory victory by default, or at least a broken backed coalition with the Liberals.
But if I were a proper conservative within the Conservative party, I would be working hard to establish back-channel contacts with the disgruntled right wing vote.
And were I a proper conservative outside the Conservative party I would target only those seats where a nationalist as opposed to a socialist programme stands a chance of upsetting Labour.
That way, we would at least have a nationalist presence in the Commons, a Labour party deprived of an absolute majority or of government altogether, a chastened Tory party, perhaps deprived of a load of useless “wets” and a ruck of Liberals going – as usual – all over the place.
Better still, this would actually reflect the state of public opinion.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

“All it would take is an abrubt Tory shift to the right and some basic competence to see him off”
.
Name me four Tories significantly to the right of the Government’s present position who could competently fulfil the great offices of state. Braverman? Rees Mogg? Patel? Dorries? Truss?
.
I fear that the incredible, astounding ineptitude will continue.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Tories are the true dreamers of politics – just one more round of public service cuts, below-inflation pay settlements and tax cuts will bring us back to pre-2008. How is that dream progressing, Tories?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Cuts? Are you kidding? The NHS now gorges itself on more money than ever before, with worse outcomes. How much money does it take for a socialist to call time? The fallen Berlin Wall revealed a world of rust and paperclips and yet the headbanging reds are at it again – tax, spend, strike and collapse.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You appear to be arguing about another era. Word up – your economic philosophy has been hegemonic since the 1970s and look at the wretched state of this country. Time for a little humility on your part, maybe even self-reflection?

Last edited 10 months ago by Neil McNab
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

You know where you can stick your (inaccurate) preaching?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I’ll chalk that one to me then.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Well, up you, at any rate.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Well, up you, at any rate.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I’ll chalk that one to me then.

Stephen Philip
Stephen Philip
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Love to know what your philosophy is and how it’s going? Perhaps you could start by telling us which countries you would like us to try and emulate?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Philip

How about this country first. I know you want to deflect at all costs. Please explain how your politics (right-wing) are faring electorally in the UK?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Philip

How about this country first. I know you want to deflect at all costs. Please explain how your politics (right-wing) are faring electorally in the UK?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

You know where you can stick your (inaccurate) preaching?

Stephen Philip
Stephen Philip
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Love to know what your philosophy is and how it’s going? Perhaps you could start by telling us which countries you would like us to try and emulate?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

There were few if any strikes in the DDR.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Commies know best how to keep the plebs in line. Hopefully Charles Stanhope will drop by with a juicy anecdote from an obscure red state who did a bang-up job butchering workshy proles.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Commies know best how to keep the plebs in line. Hopefully Charles Stanhope will drop by with a juicy anecdote from an obscure red state who did a bang-up job butchering workshy proles.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You appear to be arguing about another era. Word up – your economic philosophy has been hegemonic since the 1970s and look at the wretched state of this country. Time for a little humility on your part, maybe even self-reflection?

Last edited 10 months ago by Neil McNab
Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

There were few if any strikes in the DDR.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Cuts? Are you kidding? The NHS now gorges itself on more money than ever before, with worse outcomes. How much money does it take for a socialist to call time? The fallen Berlin Wall revealed a world of rust and paperclips and yet the headbanging reds are at it again – tax, spend, strike and collapse.

Rob N
Rob N
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

The problem with this hope/dream of competent actual Conservatives (Badenoch perhaps) is that even if they are around they are blocked by their own party’s numerous socialists and even if they were to get into power they would, as happened to Liz Truss, be given no chance to actually do anything. The Blob, WEFers etc are far too powerful at the moment.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

We are in cloud cuckoo land if you’re describing Johnson’s party of Brexiters as ‘socialists’.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

No, dear, YOU are in cloud cuckoo land, with your reach me down, knee jerk moralism and embittered socialist bigotry.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Your hatred of those you deem socialist is presenting as pathological. These fever-dream tulpas encompass everyone to the left of Enoch Powell, which unhappily is almost all of us. I’m alarmed but elated to hear that I have been living in a socialist hell-hole under all those Tory governments, comrade.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Your hatred of those you deem socialist is presenting as pathological. These fever-dream tulpas encompass everyone to the left of Enoch Powell, which unhappily is almost all of us. I’m alarmed but elated to hear that I have been living in a socialist hell-hole under all those Tory governments, comrade.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

No, dear, YOU are in cloud cuckoo land, with your reach me down, knee jerk moralism and embittered socialist bigotry.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

We are in cloud cuckoo land if you’re describing Johnson’s party of Brexiters as ‘socialists’.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Rees-Mogg certainly; but social media hates him for what he looks like. Truss probably but again her image is not approved for modern times. Braverman and Patel both, but they are female and from ethnic minorities and Tories – the left really hate them for all that. Dorries, you do have a point there, but that was a joke, right?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

The left hate both of them because they are hopeless, vain far-right politicians. It’s only natural therefore. You want to believe it’s racism so very very much. Touching but lame-brained and easily refuted.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

The left hate both of them because they are hopeless, vain far-right politicians. It’s only natural therefore. You want to believe it’s racism so very very much. Touching but lame-brained and easily refuted.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Tories are the true dreamers of politics – just one more round of public service cuts, below-inflation pay settlements and tax cuts will bring us back to pre-2008. How is that dream progressing, Tories?

Rob N
Rob N
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

The problem with this hope/dream of competent actual Conservatives (Badenoch perhaps) is that even if they are around they are blocked by their own party’s numerous socialists and even if they were to get into power they would, as happened to Liz Truss, be given no chance to actually do anything. The Blob, WEFers etc are far too powerful at the moment.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Rees-Mogg certainly; but social media hates him for what he looks like. Truss probably but again her image is not approved for modern times. Braverman and Patel both, but they are female and from ethnic minorities and Tories – the left really hate them for all that. Dorries, you do have a point there, but that was a joke, right?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Well said, in every particular. Moving from diagnosis to treatment is trickier. There may well be no cure, no way out – other than hoping against hope for a counter-fluff or two from Starmer which will allow a Tory victory by default, or at least a broken backed coalition with the Liberals.
But if I were a proper conservative within the Conservative party, I would be working hard to establish back-channel contacts with the disgruntled right wing vote.
And were I a proper conservative outside the Conservative party I would target only those seats where a nationalist as opposed to a socialist programme stands a chance of upsetting Labour.
That way, we would at least have a nationalist presence in the Commons, a Labour party deprived of an absolute majority or of government altogether, a chastened Tory party, perhaps deprived of a load of useless “wets” and a ruck of Liberals going – as usual – all over the place.
Better still, this would actually reflect the state of public opinion.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

“All it would take is an abrubt Tory shift to the right and some basic competence to see him off”
.
Name me four Tories significantly to the right of the Government’s present position who could competently fulfil the great offices of state. Braverman? Rees Mogg? Patel? Dorries? Truss?
.
I fear that the incredible, astounding ineptitude will continue.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago

Starmer isn’t winning; the Tories are losing. Nobody likes Starmer. People sense his dishonesty; his faux piety. They recall him as the ringleader of the coup attempt to overturn the result of the Referendum. He’s unctuous, nassely, a bit dim witted and fake.
Starmer’s success rests soley on the incredible, astounding, ineptitude and stupidity of the Tory Party. There isn’t a rake that the Tories haven’t stepped on or a bullet they haven’t shot in to their own foot.
Starmer’s poll lead is as soft as a sponge. All it would take is an abrubt Tory shift to the right and some basic competence to see him off. Sadly,for the country, the Tories appear incapable of either.

Last edited 10 months ago by Marcus Leach
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago

Not only is Starmer not the new Blair, the circumstances of today are utterly distinct from those of 97. Back then people felt they could take a punt on Labour as a reward for its (apparent) drive to moderation, because the Tories had been in power for nearly twenty years and because – in the view of many influential centrists – they had become both corrupt and stuffy. Today, people may yearn for a change of government but they remain distinctly apprehensive of a Labour party which only a few years ago elected an apologist for terror as its leader. Starmer’s “moderation” is known to be skin deep and tactical in the light of his own political history. And whilst the Tories have had scandal heaped upon them in two instances – Johnson and Pincher – Labour has not sustained the spotless image so carefully manufactured under Blair. Beneath all this lies a roiling discontent with the way things are, whilst in 97 there was a generally sunny atmosphere. And most importantly, in common with the rest of Europe, there is a strong, consistent, grassroots move to the right on matters such as culture and migration which will prompt many a second thought between now and the general election. Even though the Tories have been spineless and all but inert on such issues, an electorate which is increasingly sick and tired of “woke” will not vote in its multitudes for “woke’s” political home in the UK, the Labour party.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Your first sentence, I agree with entirely, the rest, not so much.
.
In the mid 90s, the west as a whole was experiencing sustained growth, low interest rates and low inflation. It wasn’t just that you could afford to take a punt on Labour, but also that there didn’t seem to be an urgent need for a shift in the paradigm Consequently, Labour didn’t need an agenda of philosophical change, what it needed was an ambitious set of targets – ramping up education, cutting waiting times for treatment on the NHS, eliminating child poverty.
.
In 2023 however, there is a sense that the ideological chickens of recent decades coming home to roost. Deregulation, privatisation, etc. Tougher sells today than in the 90s. No-one seems to believe that any materially positive outcomes can be achieved without a radical change in approach.
.
Whatever else Corbyn represented, he did hold out the possibility of a break with the status quo.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Deregulation? We are regulated to the point that it gets in between your teeth like grit – Lloyd George’s magnificent denunciation of socialism. We need a new round or re-deregulation to rescue us from the abysmal micromanaged failure of recent neo-socialist years – to which Labour, the “new” Tories (for which read contemptible old wets) and the EU are all signed up. We need to smash that heap of heartless inefficiency the NHS and restore the whip hand to the paying patient, whether through their own money, insurance or government assistance, paid direct to the honest poor, not to some bloated monopoly producer. Chickens home to roost? Eagles swooping over the fat leeches of socialism, currently sucking the life out of the western world.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Talk to me about deregulation/red tape and Grenfell?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Talk to me about stuffing the country so full of unnecessary migrants that they end up cheek by jowl in social housing in the first place.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

What social housing? The Tories forgot to build any. Who has been in power for the past 13 years and in charge of immigration. Was it this ‘woke mob’ I keep hearing about?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Ah, so because it’s a Tory dereliction you suddenly remember that migration control is part of the housing problem? You wouldn’t do so without that malicious little incentive, would you? But whilst the Tories were weak, you on the left were actively malignant, opening borders and driving up house prices. No “social” hutches would have been necessary but for the left’s appalling malice. Now – typically and with the hypocrite’s brass neck – you use the issue to make a disingenuous attack. How can you possibly regard yourself as “moral”? Even your style of argument is devious and false.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

What drove up house prices was successive governments’ economics policies. But you desperately want to ignore this in pursuit of your Britain First racist agenda. I get that. I’m fine with it being your agenda, just lay off the “Hitler was a Socialist” stuff cos I’m worn out correcting it.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Oh, so adding eight million to the population needs no extra housing at all! They can sleep in your basement and polish your shoes, can’t they? And yes, Old Toothbrush was a socialist: it’s there in the name of his party – and not merely was it socialist; it was a “workers’ party”, to boot. No wonder you’re “worn out”; you are attempting to contradict the plain truth.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Denis
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Oh, so adding eight million to the population needs no extra housing at all! They can sleep in your basement and polish your shoes, can’t they? And yes, Old Toothbrush was a socialist: it’s there in the name of his party – and not merely was it socialist; it was a “workers’ party”, to boot. No wonder you’re “worn out”; you are attempting to contradict the plain truth.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Denis
Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

What drove up house prices was successive governments’ economics policies. But you desperately want to ignore this in pursuit of your Britain First racist agenda. I get that. I’m fine with it being your agenda, just lay off the “Hitler was a Socialist” stuff cos I’m worn out correcting it.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Ah, so because it’s a Tory dereliction you suddenly remember that migration control is part of the housing problem? You wouldn’t do so without that malicious little incentive, would you? But whilst the Tories were weak, you on the left were actively malignant, opening borders and driving up house prices. No “social” hutches would have been necessary but for the left’s appalling malice. Now – typically and with the hypocrite’s brass neck – you use the issue to make a disingenuous attack. How can you possibly regard yourself as “moral”? Even your style of argument is devious and false.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

What social housing? The Tories forgot to build any. Who has been in power for the past 13 years and in charge of immigration. Was it this ‘woke mob’ I keep hearing about?

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

So many rules and regulations ignored

So many reasons not to act accepted eagerly, even down to the performance of the “rescue” services

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Or the financial crisis, or zero hours contracts, or the water industry, or the care sector, or public transport outside the capital, or the consolidation of media ownership.
.
Note to Simon: petty-fogging bureaucracy is not the same as regulation. You can have massively complex and onerous regulation that doesn’t work (e.g. Basel II) or you can have straightforward regulation that does (The management of a bank end up broke or in jail if it fails) – the two are uncorrellated.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Weaselly quibbling. Micro-regulation is what we’re talking about here and micro-regulation is pettyfogging bureaucracy.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Weaselly Quibling was a Whig politician and aviator and I shall not hear his name misused!

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Weaselly Quibling was a Whig politician and aviator and I shall not hear his name misused!

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Weaselly quibbling. Micro-regulation is what we’re talking about here and micro-regulation is pettyfogging bureaucracy.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Talk to me about stuffing the country so full of unnecessary migrants that they end up cheek by jowl in social housing in the first place.

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

So many rules and regulations ignored

So many reasons not to act accepted eagerly, even down to the performance of the “rescue” services

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Or the financial crisis, or zero hours contracts, or the water industry, or the care sector, or public transport outside the capital, or the consolidation of media ownership.
.
Note to Simon: petty-fogging bureaucracy is not the same as regulation. You can have massively complex and onerous regulation that doesn’t work (e.g. Basel II) or you can have straightforward regulation that does (The management of a bank end up broke or in jail if it fails) – the two are uncorrellated.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Talk to me about deregulation/red tape and Grenfell?

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

The chickens that have come home to roost are those from the eggs laid by Attlee, the NHS and the welfare state. Between them, they have sucked the life out of the economy.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago

Well said. As to housing, the Thatcher sell off was a triumph only undermined by the socialist ploy of adding millions to the population by means of mass immigration.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Racism pure and simple.

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Yes, indeed. Disgraceful.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

No, you two are disgraceful – in fact, contemptible. You sidle past an obvious point about housing with an irrelevant and malicious invocation of “race” – such a clapped out Marxist dodge that anyone without a brass neck would be ashamed to try it on. You imagine we’d all be throwing our caps in the air to be overcrowded by ethnic Swedes, do you? Or you would be quite happy for Europeans to settle in overwhelming numbers all over Africa, would you? No? (And – before you squawk – the empires involved very little such resettlement beyond French Algeria) So why be so delighted that the same is being done here? It can only be the racial hatred of whites, the fons et origo of all current discourse from the left.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
10 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

He’s not going to shag you Terry.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

Mickey, Mick, Mikey. Have a sit down. And a think.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

Mickey, Mick, Mikey. Have a sit down. And a think.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

No, you two are disgraceful – in fact, contemptible. You sidle past an obvious point about housing with an irrelevant and malicious invocation of “race” – such a clapped out Marxist dodge that anyone without a brass neck would be ashamed to try it on. You imagine we’d all be throwing our caps in the air to be overcrowded by ethnic Swedes, do you? Or you would be quite happy for Europeans to settle in overwhelming numbers all over Africa, would you? No? (And – before you squawk – the empires involved very little such resettlement beyond French Algeria) So why be so delighted that the same is being done here? It can only be the racial hatred of whites, the fons et origo of all current discourse from the left.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
10 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

He’s not going to shag you Terry.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Yes – a racial hostility to whites so vicious and so pronounced that it willingly floods their homelands with any and every kind of newcomer; and does so regardless of any capacity on our part to house, feed, shelter and educate them once they are here. It is a kind of racial hatred for one people not seen since the 1930s and it is found on the left.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Denis
Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You ignore those already here who have suffered abysmally under right-wing austerity governments. Speak TO them on economics the way you think you speak for them on immigration. Tell them why there’s no money for them after years of cuts and pay freeze?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You ignore those already here who have suffered abysmally under right-wing austerity governments. Speak TO them on economics the way you think you speak for them on immigration. Tell them why there’s no money for them after years of cuts and pay freeze?

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Yes, indeed. Disgraceful.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

Yes – a racial hostility to whites so vicious and so pronounced that it willingly floods their homelands with any and every kind of newcomer; and does so regardless of any capacity on our part to house, feed, shelter and educate them once they are here. It is a kind of racial hatred for one people not seen since the 1930s and it is found on the left.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Denis
Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Racism pure and simple.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago

Trickle-down has failed for forty years now. When will you and those like you enter the 21st century?

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago

Interesting. To an old lefty like me, all of those projects seem to me to be about securing, for the less well off, a share in the better life that their labour creates for society at large. As such, they seem to me to be the sort of thing that the universal franchise will inevitably create – that the universal franchise does create in almost all democracies.
.
Can you point to a democratic country which eschews the provision of universal services to its populace and in which you would prefer to live than this one.
.
If none exist, could you hazard a guess at why that is?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

I think you maybe a little harsh in your judgment of Clement Attlee.

The real problem for Labour was the pernicious influence of the simply odious Harold Laski and his loathsome acolytes.
His years of teaching at the LSE did uncountable damage, which has yet to be ‘repaired’.

“Every man has his cross”, * and to his misfortune Attlee’s was Laski. Fortunately for us all, Attlee was able to destroy him, but the stench remains.

(* WSC?)

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago

This is a little recherche for me but I’m intrigued. Care to elaborate?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Well that could take sometime but in short ideologically the Labour Party was/is split between let us say decent socialists such as (Major) Clement Attlee, and outright communists such as Harold Laski.

This was, and probably still is, a bitter contest for the heart of the Labour Party.
Attlee did well to see off Laski and his cohorts, but they have since regrouped and cannot be ignored.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Well that could take sometime but in short ideologically the Labour Party was/is split between let us say decent socialists such as (Major) Clement Attlee, and outright communists such as Harold Laski.

This was, and probably still is, a bitter contest for the heart of the Labour Party.
Attlee did well to see off Laski and his cohorts, but they have since regrouped and cannot be ignored.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago

This is a little recherche for me but I’m intrigued. Care to elaborate?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago

Your economics of trickle down have destroyed the country. Glad to help you out with your ‘thinking’ there.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago

Well said. As to housing, the Thatcher sell off was a triumph only undermined by the socialist ploy of adding millions to the population by means of mass immigration.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago

Trickle-down has failed for forty years now. When will you and those like you enter the 21st century?

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago

Interesting. To an old lefty like me, all of those projects seem to me to be about securing, for the less well off, a share in the better life that their labour creates for society at large. As such, they seem to me to be the sort of thing that the universal franchise will inevitably create – that the universal franchise does create in almost all democracies.
.
Can you point to a democratic country which eschews the provision of universal services to its populace and in which you would prefer to live than this one.
.
If none exist, could you hazard a guess at why that is?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

I think you maybe a little harsh in your judgment of Clement Attlee.

The real problem for Labour was the pernicious influence of the simply odious Harold Laski and his loathsome acolytes.
His years of teaching at the LSE did uncountable damage, which has yet to be ‘repaired’.

“Every man has his cross”, * and to his misfortune Attlee’s was Laski. Fortunately for us all, Attlee was able to destroy him, but the stench remains.

(* WSC?)

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago

Your economics of trickle down have destroyed the country. Glad to help you out with your ‘thinking’ there.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

So did Lenin, Hilter, Mao….

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Sure – a change to the status quo isn’t always for the best, but that doesn’t mean that our present political settlement doesn’t call for a change.
And, beyond that, I don’t see your point. It looks as if you’re saying that the Social democracy of the 2017 Labour Manifesto was somewhow equivalent to the gulag, the holocaust or the cultural revolution. But you can’t be. Because that would be pretty blinking silly, wouldn’t it?

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Sure – a change to the status quo isn’t always for the best, but that doesn’t mean that our present political settlement doesn’t call for a change.
And, beyond that, I don’t see your point. It looks as if you’re saying that the Social democracy of the 2017 Labour Manifesto was somewhow equivalent to the gulag, the holocaust or the cultural revolution. But you can’t be. Because that would be pretty blinking silly, wouldn’t it?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Deregulation? We are regulated to the point that it gets in between your teeth like grit – Lloyd George’s magnificent denunciation of socialism. We need a new round or re-deregulation to rescue us from the abysmal micromanaged failure of recent neo-socialist years – to which Labour, the “new” Tories (for which read contemptible old wets) and the EU are all signed up. We need to smash that heap of heartless inefficiency the NHS and restore the whip hand to the paying patient, whether through their own money, insurance or government assistance, paid direct to the honest poor, not to some bloated monopoly producer. Chickens home to roost? Eagles swooping over the fat leeches of socialism, currently sucking the life out of the western world.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

The chickens that have come home to roost are those from the eggs laid by Attlee, the NHS and the welfare state. Between them, they have sucked the life out of the economy.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

So did Lenin, Hilter, Mao….

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Your first sentence, I agree with entirely, the rest, not so much.
.
In the mid 90s, the west as a whole was experiencing sustained growth, low interest rates and low inflation. It wasn’t just that you could afford to take a punt on Labour, but also that there didn’t seem to be an urgent need for a shift in the paradigm Consequently, Labour didn’t need an agenda of philosophical change, what it needed was an ambitious set of targets – ramping up education, cutting waiting times for treatment on the NHS, eliminating child poverty.
.
In 2023 however, there is a sense that the ideological chickens of recent decades coming home to roost. Deregulation, privatisation, etc. Tougher sells today than in the 90s. No-one seems to believe that any materially positive outcomes can be achieved without a radical change in approach.
.
Whatever else Corbyn represented, he did hold out the possibility of a break with the status quo.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago

Not only is Starmer not the new Blair, the circumstances of today are utterly distinct from those of 97. Back then people felt they could take a punt on Labour as a reward for its (apparent) drive to moderation, because the Tories had been in power for nearly twenty years and because – in the view of many influential centrists – they had become both corrupt and stuffy. Today, people may yearn for a change of government but they remain distinctly apprehensive of a Labour party which only a few years ago elected an apologist for terror as its leader. Starmer’s “moderation” is known to be skin deep and tactical in the light of his own political history. And whilst the Tories have had scandal heaped upon them in two instances – Johnson and Pincher – Labour has not sustained the spotless image so carefully manufactured under Blair. Beneath all this lies a roiling discontent with the way things are, whilst in 97 there was a generally sunny atmosphere. And most importantly, in common with the rest of Europe, there is a strong, consistent, grassroots move to the right on matters such as culture and migration which will prompt many a second thought between now and the general election. Even though the Tories have been spineless and all but inert on such issues, an electorate which is increasingly sick and tired of “woke” will not vote in its multitudes for “woke’s” political home in the UK, the Labour party.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
10 months ago

I appreciate that the metropolitan left loathe the Conservative party and are thus desperate to have a Labour leader they can love like Tony Blair, but Starmer really isn’t ever going to be that guy – however much they click their sparkly red pumps together and repeat “There’s no place like Sedgefield”. 
Starmer does however seem to be following the Blair playbook of appearing to be all things to all men, and saying whatever he thinks the audience to whom he is currently speaking want to hear most – but even then he struggles to enthuse a crowd.  He’s a North London fauxialist who seems to have wafer thin policy positions backed up by no principles whatsoever.
What Starmer and “Starmerism” – if that really is a thing – have still failed to answer is ‘What is the current Labour party for? Whose interests do they seek to serve and promote?’ It’s certainly not workers. Except maybe some of those in the public sector. Most of the working class, whose interests the party was founded to represent, have long been an embarrassment to the Labour leadership. Emily Thornberry’s Van & St George’s Flag tweet, and Gordon Brown’s encounter with Gillian Duffy, were just moments that publicly laid bare a view that has been prevalent within Labour HQ for years.
Nothing that Starmer has written, said or done is likely to win people back to the cause. Though plenty he has said and done will have persuaded former supporters that he is a duffer. Simply being marginally less awful than his predecessor isn’t enough. Corbyn never found an anti-Western, anti-British cause he wouldn’t support – we all know that. Motivated by adherence to long outdated and un-nuanced notions of Socialism, Corbyn famously never reads books, ever. His ideas were all ingested during his student days and his 20s, while playing Marxist in South America, and he has been regurgitating those ideas (mostly undigested) ever since. However much Starmtroopers might want to believe in their hero, Starmer cannot plead innocence through ideology, indifference or even ignorance. He supported Corbyn wholeheartedly and stood by him in the hope of his own personal advancement. Starmer cannot even use the excuse of being a fool – he has many faults, but he is by no means stupid. He is, however, a coward.
Downhill SirKeir spent 4 years agitating to overturn Brexit, despite describing himself as a democrat and patriot, then imagined he needed only to cynically drape 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. None of that is going to appeal outside the base.
Starmer – the unfortunate love-child of Max Headroom and Gordon Brittas – is an uninspiring, charisma-free technocrat, with no instinct for leadership. The only people who enthuse about Starmer as a Leader probably felt the same way about Ed Miliband.
He is likely to be our next PM, heaven help us, but it will be because the Conservatives lost, rather than Starmer winning.

Last edited 10 months ago by Paddy Taylor
Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“He supported Corbyn wholeheartedly”. Oh dear, your whole (silly) argument went up like firework and came down like a stick with that single line. Rewrite/rethink it?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

To be fair, Sedgefield is quite a good jumps track…

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“He supported Corbyn wholeheartedly”. Oh dear, your whole (silly) argument went up like firework and came down like a stick with that single line. Rewrite/rethink it?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

To be fair, Sedgefield is quite a good jumps track…

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
10 months ago

I appreciate that the metropolitan left loathe the Conservative party and are thus desperate to have a Labour leader they can love like Tony Blair, but Starmer really isn’t ever going to be that guy – however much they click their sparkly red pumps together and repeat “There’s no place like Sedgefield”. 
Starmer does however seem to be following the Blair playbook of appearing to be all things to all men, and saying whatever he thinks the audience to whom he is currently speaking want to hear most – but even then he struggles to enthuse a crowd.  He’s a North London fauxialist who seems to have wafer thin policy positions backed up by no principles whatsoever.
What Starmer and “Starmerism” – if that really is a thing – have still failed to answer is ‘What is the current Labour party for? Whose interests do they seek to serve and promote?’ It’s certainly not workers. Except maybe some of those in the public sector. Most of the working class, whose interests the party was founded to represent, have long been an embarrassment to the Labour leadership. Emily Thornberry’s Van & St George’s Flag tweet, and Gordon Brown’s encounter with Gillian Duffy, were just moments that publicly laid bare a view that has been prevalent within Labour HQ for years.
Nothing that Starmer has written, said or done is likely to win people back to the cause. Though plenty he has said and done will have persuaded former supporters that he is a duffer. Simply being marginally less awful than his predecessor isn’t enough. Corbyn never found an anti-Western, anti-British cause he wouldn’t support – we all know that. Motivated by adherence to long outdated and un-nuanced notions of Socialism, Corbyn famously never reads books, ever. His ideas were all ingested during his student days and his 20s, while playing Marxist in South America, and he has been regurgitating those ideas (mostly undigested) ever since. However much Starmtroopers might want to believe in their hero, Starmer cannot plead innocence through ideology, indifference or even ignorance. He supported Corbyn wholeheartedly and stood by him in the hope of his own personal advancement. Starmer cannot even use the excuse of being a fool – he has many faults, but he is by no means stupid. He is, however, a coward.
Downhill SirKeir spent 4 years agitating to overturn Brexit, despite describing himself as a democrat and patriot, then imagined he needed only to cynically drape 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. None of that is going to appeal outside the base.
Starmer – the unfortunate love-child of Max Headroom and Gordon Brittas – is an uninspiring, charisma-free technocrat, with no instinct for leadership. The only people who enthuse about Starmer as a Leader probably felt the same way about Ed Miliband.
He is likely to be our next PM, heaven help us, but it will be because the Conservatives lost, rather than Starmer winning.

Last edited 10 months ago by Paddy Taylor
Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

I have said since day one that Starmer is a dud. Like Teresa May, he looks plausible on paper but when he is called on to speak, he turns out to be a busted flush.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

He will be destroyed by his own glibness come the GE. I predict any failures will be blamed on “Long Corbyn” at least until 2030.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

So far he has not shown Theresa’s special talent for opening mouth putting foot in. There’s time yet of course

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

He will be destroyed by his own glibness come the GE. I predict any failures will be blamed on “Long Corbyn” at least until 2030.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

So far he has not shown Theresa’s special talent for opening mouth putting foot in. There’s time yet of course

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

I have said since day one that Starmer is a dud. Like Teresa May, he looks plausible on paper but when he is called on to speak, he turns out to be a busted flush.

James Kirk
James Kirk
10 months ago

Kinnock had a vestige of honesty about him. Starmer clearly U turns and makes excuses about such as Durham. Blair was clearly a BS merchant Not that that matters lately, ignorance is bliss.
Regarding voting against the Tories, what does Labour offer as an alternative? More of the same. Why sell one unreliable car and buy another old banger?
There’s a hard core of left and right. The swing voter decides. I’ve met nobody who thinks Starmer will turn anything round. Merely sick of Sunak and Hunt’s shenanigans.

James Kirk
James Kirk
10 months ago

Kinnock had a vestige of honesty about him. Starmer clearly U turns and makes excuses about such as Durham. Blair was clearly a BS merchant Not that that matters lately, ignorance is bliss.
Regarding voting against the Tories, what does Labour offer as an alternative? More of the same. Why sell one unreliable car and buy another old banger?
There’s a hard core of left and right. The swing voter decides. I’ve met nobody who thinks Starmer will turn anything round. Merely sick of Sunak and Hunt’s shenanigans.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
10 months ago

Nobody knows what Starmer is. I guess we’ll only find out when he’s in power.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

Au contraire – we know he is hard left, planning to repeal the union legislation which has minimised strike action, activist infiltration and industrial unrest for nearly forty years.
We know he plans to grind down the private sector in education and further politicise teaching. We can extrapolate from this that he will bear down with a similar degree of spite on private health, making it even less possible for non-emergency cases to gain access to the care which might prevent emergencies in the first place.
We should also be aware that he is a devout believer in all those articles of faith which have brought us “woke”, hence “taking the knee”, hence failing to support Farage’s rights as as citizen to a bank account.
And finally, we know that he will super-drive the extension of state power in all matters of private wealth and personal finance – digital currency will find a sympathetic hearing from any Starmer administration, not to mention strict impositions of all green fads.
This much is plain. That he ducks and weaves and retreats from this or that position should not, repeat not give reassurance: dishonesty is no guarantee of weakness with the big battalions of a hard left parliament behind him.
From all this, together with the evidence of the by-elections, we can only draw the following conclusions: One, Labour is still hard left. Two, the Tories, inadequate though they be are the lesser evil. Three, there is no third alternative. Four, letting Labour “mess it up” until that alternative materialises is irresponsible. Five, the mess will this time be irreversible because – six – Labour will stitch its successors up with a gerrymandered constitution and a fast-track migrant naturalisation process.
We are – as ever – prisoners of circumstance and like Monte Cristo we shall have to squeeze through a slimy tunnel (marked Conservative government) to avoid a life sentence.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I’m very worried about your point 6. Not so much the immigration aspect but the constitutional change. I fear the next GE will be the last we can call “free and fair”. There will be a PR, regional list stitch-up to make it impossible for the Tories to win again.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago

Tories polling 26pc don’t deserve to win anything much.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago

Tories polling 26pc don’t deserve to win anything much.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You don’t know any of this of course and there are just as many right leaning headbangers in the Tory party as true red believers in Labour.
The salient idea in the article is I think this:
“Is our national lethargy a result of our political failure, or is our political timidity a reflection of our public despair?”
There is a genuine sense I think currently in the country that what worked for so long is in some intangible, unclear way not working anymore and things need to change, it’s just not obvious yet *what* needs to change.
There is I think a genuine sense in which our entire political system is dysfunctional and hopelessly outdated irrespective of which ‘side’ you are on;
I just think people have yet to find or articulate a viable alternative.
Either way whoever wins the next election, it would be really nice for him or her to at the very least have some sort of plan for the country, and for everyone in it too.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

What nonsense – otherwise known as a false equivalence. Right head bangers equivalent to Corbyn, you mean? Apologists for Putin – like the left? For Hamas – like the left? And yes, I do know whereof I speak because I have paid attention to Labour’s plans and pronouncements.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Jolly good

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Thanks. I don’t which is worse, your actual socialist headbanger who thinks migration control is “ra-a-a-cist” or the loafing, “regular guy” sort of pink who throws up his hands in horror when the left’s malignancy is pointed out. The only recourse is to take the argumentative “mitrailleuse” to all of them.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You and the other Doug Murray/Toadmeister wimps couldn’t fight your way out of a crisp bag.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You and the other Doug Murray/Toadmeister wimps couldn’t fight your way out of a crisp bag.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Thanks. I don’t which is worse, your actual socialist headbanger who thinks migration control is “ra-a-a-cist” or the loafing, “regular guy” sort of pink who throws up his hands in horror when the left’s malignancy is pointed out. The only recourse is to take the argumentative “mitrailleuse” to all of them.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Jolly good

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

What nonsense – otherwise known as a false equivalence. Right head bangers equivalent to Corbyn, you mean? Apologists for Putin – like the left? For Hamas – like the left? And yes, I do know whereof I speak because I have paid attention to Labour’s plans and pronouncements.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Sorry, but to be pedantic but you cannot have a third alternative!
The word means ‘either-or’.

However otherwise an accurate, if very depressing synopsis of where we are now. Perhaps the most appalling aspect of it is how utterly useless and ‘wet’ the so called Tories have become.

Truly a disgrace to a nation that placed so much trust in them a mere four years ago.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago

Point taken. I would be no sort of Conservative at all were I not grateful for tips on grammar and style. And I can only agree about the current Tories – a miserable parcel of rogues. Nevertheless, to escape the disaster of a Labour government I cannot help believing that we need to prop at least some of them up whilst trying to take particular constituencies for a more vigorous and committed political force. With sufficient coordination and communication this should surely be possible.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I agree, and crucially there is still time.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I agree, and crucially there is still time.

John Solomon
John Solomon
10 months ago

Sorry to be equally pedantic Charles, but there can be a third alternative. Otherwise the hypothetical sentence “You could take that course of action, but there are alternatives.” would be impossible.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Thank you.
I thought that you might ‘correct me’, but that is rather stretching it!
However I concede.

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
10 months ago

Don’t concede. John is right that there may be other alternatives to a particular course of action: this course of action, or this alternative? This (same) course of action or that alternative? Always a binary choice.
But he is wrong and you are right; you cannot have the 3 alternatives as in his proposition, they are options.
However, pedantry aside, Simon’s points are good and valid. What a future we face!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Alan Elgey

Thank you.

John Solomon
John Solomon
10 months ago
Reply to  Alan Elgey

Atually, you can have 3 alternatives! I suggest you try looking in a dictionary – Merriam-Webster in particular has a good example of the usage of the plural.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Surely the Latin origin is ALTERNARE?

Thus either, or?

John Solomon
John Solomon
10 months ago

This may come as a surprise, but Latin and English are different languages, and meanings and usage change over time, even within a language. I am too tired to think of a better example (and I am not an accomplished latinist) but I seem to recall that the english word ’emperor’ derives from the latin ‘imperator’ which had changed in meaning from the time before Julius C to the time after Augustus. Or do you feel that Victoria, as Empress of India was merely a glorified military commander? Is this too nice a distinction, or have I not pointed it out nicely (i.e. politely) enough?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

A rather facetious reply if I may say so.

John Solomon
John Solomon
10 months ago

Guilty as charged, but it was not meant to be impolite, merely to explain my position on the matter.
The other example of a change in meaning over time I was going to suggest was ‘gay’ but on checking it on Wikipedia it would appear that the current meaning goes back quite a long way, so the word seems to have come full circle, which rather surprised me.
And reminded me of a very elderly female relative (long deceased) who used regularly to say to people “you seem very gay today” (meaning cheerful – I think.) Mind you, said relative once phoned us, having gone to the shops and suddenly feeling ill, to say “can you come and collect me in the car, please – I’m in a telephone box and I’m feeling a little queer.”
Words are fascinating, never more so than when one tries to pin them down.

John Solomon
John Solomon
10 months ago

Guilty as charged, but it was not meant to be impolite, merely to explain my position on the matter.
The other example of a change in meaning over time I was going to suggest was ‘gay’ but on checking it on Wikipedia it would appear that the current meaning goes back quite a long way, so the word seems to have come full circle, which rather surprised me.
And reminded me of a very elderly female relative (long deceased) who used regularly to say to people “you seem very gay today” (meaning cheerful – I think.) Mind you, said relative once phoned us, having gone to the shops and suddenly feeling ill, to say “can you come and collect me in the car, please – I’m in a telephone box and I’m feeling a little queer.”
Words are fascinating, never more so than when one tries to pin them down.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

A rather facetious reply if I may say so.

John Solomon
John Solomon
10 months ago

This may come as a surprise, but Latin and English are different languages, and meanings and usage change over time, even within a language. I am too tired to think of a better example (and I am not an accomplished latinist) but I seem to recall that the english word ’emperor’ derives from the latin ‘imperator’ which had changed in meaning from the time before Julius C to the time after Augustus. Or do you feel that Victoria, as Empress of India was merely a glorified military commander? Is this too nice a distinction, or have I not pointed it out nicely (i.e. politely) enough?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Surely the Latin origin is ALTERNARE?

Thus either, or?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Alan Elgey

Thank you.

John Solomon
John Solomon
10 months ago
Reply to  Alan Elgey

Atually, you can have 3 alternatives! I suggest you try looking in a dictionary – Merriam-Webster in particular has a good example of the usage of the plural.

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
10 months ago

Don’t concede. John is right that there may be other alternatives to a particular course of action: this course of action, or this alternative? This (same) course of action or that alternative? Always a binary choice.
But he is wrong and you are right; you cannot have the 3 alternatives as in his proposition, they are options.
However, pedantry aside, Simon’s points are good and valid. What a future we face!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Thank you.
I thought that you might ‘correct me’, but that is rather stretching it!
However I concede.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago

Point taken. I would be no sort of Conservative at all were I not grateful for tips on grammar and style. And I can only agree about the current Tories – a miserable parcel of rogues. Nevertheless, to escape the disaster of a Labour government I cannot help believing that we need to prop at least some of them up whilst trying to take particular constituencies for a more vigorous and committed political force. With sufficient coordination and communication this should surely be possible.

John Solomon
John Solomon
10 months ago

Sorry to be equally pedantic Charles, but there can be a third alternative. Otherwise the hypothetical sentence “You could take that course of action, but there are alternatives.” would be impossible.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I’m very worried about your point 6. Not so much the immigration aspect but the constitutional change. I fear the next GE will be the last we can call “free and fair”. There will be a PR, regional list stitch-up to make it impossible for the Tories to win again.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You don’t know any of this of course and there are just as many right leaning headbangers in the Tory party as true red believers in Labour.
The salient idea in the article is I think this:
“Is our national lethargy a result of our political failure, or is our political timidity a reflection of our public despair?”
There is a genuine sense I think currently in the country that what worked for so long is in some intangible, unclear way not working anymore and things need to change, it’s just not obvious yet *what* needs to change.
There is I think a genuine sense in which our entire political system is dysfunctional and hopelessly outdated irrespective of which ‘side’ you are on;
I just think people have yet to find or articulate a viable alternative.
Either way whoever wins the next election, it would be really nice for him or her to at the very least have some sort of plan for the country, and for everyone in it too.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Sorry, but to be pedantic but you cannot have a third alternative!
The word means ‘either-or’.

However otherwise an accurate, if very depressing synopsis of where we are now. Perhaps the most appalling aspect of it is how utterly useless and ‘wet’ the so called Tories have become.

Truly a disgrace to a nation that placed so much trust in them a mere four years ago.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

Au contraire – we know he is hard left, planning to repeal the union legislation which has minimised strike action, activist infiltration and industrial unrest for nearly forty years.
We know he plans to grind down the private sector in education and further politicise teaching. We can extrapolate from this that he will bear down with a similar degree of spite on private health, making it even less possible for non-emergency cases to gain access to the care which might prevent emergencies in the first place.
We should also be aware that he is a devout believer in all those articles of faith which have brought us “woke”, hence “taking the knee”, hence failing to support Farage’s rights as as citizen to a bank account.
And finally, we know that he will super-drive the extension of state power in all matters of private wealth and personal finance – digital currency will find a sympathetic hearing from any Starmer administration, not to mention strict impositions of all green fads.
This much is plain. That he ducks and weaves and retreats from this or that position should not, repeat not give reassurance: dishonesty is no guarantee of weakness with the big battalions of a hard left parliament behind him.
From all this, together with the evidence of the by-elections, we can only draw the following conclusions: One, Labour is still hard left. Two, the Tories, inadequate though they be are the lesser evil. Three, there is no third alternative. Four, letting Labour “mess it up” until that alternative materialises is irresponsible. Five, the mess will this time be irreversible because – six – Labour will stitch its successors up with a gerrymandered constitution and a fast-track migrant naturalisation process.
We are – as ever – prisoners of circumstance and like Monte Cristo we shall have to squeeze through a slimy tunnel (marked Conservative government) to avoid a life sentence.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
10 months ago

Nobody knows what Starmer is. I guess we’ll only find out when he’s in power.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

“Is Starmer the new Blair? Or the new Kinnock?”
Cleverer than Kinnock but not as charismatic as Blair. And possibly as grey as Major, not as laddish as Johnson. So winning is possible, but possibly not particularly noteworthy.

Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I think of Starmer as a can of Spam, unappetizing, but better than nothing if you’re starving.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Doyle

Boris called him a human bollard, which seems a good description to me.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

It is. But remind me who ‘Boris’ is again?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Boris who?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

El Gordo.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

El Gordo.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

It is. But remind me who ‘Boris’ is again?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Boris who?

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Doyle

Boris called him a human bollard, which seems a good description to me.

Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I think of Starmer as a can of Spam, unappetizing, but better than nothing if you’re starving.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

“Is Starmer the new Blair? Or the new Kinnock?”
Cleverer than Kinnock but not as charismatic as Blair. And possibly as grey as Major, not as laddish as Johnson. So winning is possible, but possibly not particularly noteworthy.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago

There’s a Sphinx-like aura around Starmer. What does he really believe in? Okay, I know he’s a dyed-in-the-wool man of the Left. He’s also, paradoxically, a realist (but a mediocre politico – thus the flip-flopping). He thinks he can only achieve left-wing ends via the market, thus trapping himself inside the usual centrist, social democratic doom-loop.
He’s sixty. He can’t think any other way.
I’d argue the UK needs either a proper left-wing government or a right-wing government in the Thatcher / Reagan mould. The national conservative agenda is appealing, but a canard. The centre cannot hold.
I also think the public need to experience what a real left-wing government would look like. Rub the puppy’s nose in it’s own mess. Now the left have technology, greenery and a weaponised cultural belief system I think they’d have a field day for five years before being voted into oblivion by a very angry electorate.
As it is, Starmer is like a WW1 cavalryman, almost realising he’s now in the age of the machinegun. He’s going to charge across no-man’s land anyway.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

The irony of a Tory mouthing off about Labour suffering future rebuffs from the electorate. The Tories just lost one of their safest seats. Labour are double digits ahead. Your party is broken and divided.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

I’m not a Tory.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

These days nobody can find a ‘Tory’ wiling to admit it.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

These days nobody can find a ‘Tory’ wiling to admit it.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil McNab

I’m not a Tory.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

The irony of a Tory mouthing off about Labour suffering future rebuffs from the electorate. The Tories just lost one of their safest seats. Labour are double digits ahead. Your party is broken and divided.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago

There’s a Sphinx-like aura around Starmer. What does he really believe in? Okay, I know he’s a dyed-in-the-wool man of the Left. He’s also, paradoxically, a realist (but a mediocre politico – thus the flip-flopping). He thinks he can only achieve left-wing ends via the market, thus trapping himself inside the usual centrist, social democratic doom-loop.
He’s sixty. He can’t think any other way.
I’d argue the UK needs either a proper left-wing government or a right-wing government in the Thatcher / Reagan mould. The national conservative agenda is appealing, but a canard. The centre cannot hold.
I also think the public need to experience what a real left-wing government would look like. Rub the puppy’s nose in it’s own mess. Now the left have technology, greenery and a weaponised cultural belief system I think they’d have a field day for five years before being voted into oblivion by a very angry electorate.
As it is, Starmer is like a WW1 cavalryman, almost realising he’s now in the age of the machinegun. He’s going to charge across no-man’s land anyway.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 months ago

The outcome of elections is increasingly volatile. Two years after Corbyn almost won the 2019 election, he was hammered at the 2021 election. That huge majority was won and then squandered by Johnson. Starmer may well win a healthy majority in 2024. What happens in 2029? A swing back to the Conservatives is possible. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives seem prepared to discuss and address the important issues: public finances in the context of an aging population, a current account deficit making the UK dependent on foreign capital at a time when past privatisations have clearly failed and most of London has been sold off, a failure to raise living standards even before reducing energy consumption, an unsustainable level of immigration, rising crime. Until either party does address these issues, the electorate will be increasingly volatile.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 months ago

The outcome of elections is increasingly volatile. Two years after Corbyn almost won the 2019 election, he was hammered at the 2021 election. That huge majority was won and then squandered by Johnson. Starmer may well win a healthy majority in 2024. What happens in 2029? A swing back to the Conservatives is possible. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives seem prepared to discuss and address the important issues: public finances in the context of an aging population, a current account deficit making the UK dependent on foreign capital at a time when past privatisations have clearly failed and most of London has been sold off, a failure to raise living standards even before reducing energy consumption, an unsustainable level of immigration, rising crime. Until either party does address these issues, the electorate will be increasingly volatile.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
10 months ago

“Keir Starmer” is an anagram of “Sir Marketer”.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
10 months ago

“Keir Starmer” is an anagram of “Sir Marketer”.

David McKee
David McKee
10 months ago

Our national malaise can be articulated very easily: lack of leadership.
No one in Westminster can persuasively argue that the way forward is: this, this and this. That’s because they don’t know what are the problems they propose to solve. At least, they have not analysed the situation carefully enough to identify the key problems – the solving of which will make the other problems dissolve into thin air.
Starmer has not used opposition to do his homework, in the way Thatcher did in the 1970s. It meant that when she came to power, she knew what she had to do, even if it took a circuitous route to get there.
Question is, will the Tories take advantage of opposition, 2024-29, to do their homework?

David McKee
David McKee
10 months ago

Our national malaise can be articulated very easily: lack of leadership.
No one in Westminster can persuasively argue that the way forward is: this, this and this. That’s because they don’t know what are the problems they propose to solve. At least, they have not analysed the situation carefully enough to identify the key problems – the solving of which will make the other problems dissolve into thin air.
Starmer has not used opposition to do his homework, in the way Thatcher did in the 1970s. It meant that when she came to power, she knew what she had to do, even if it took a circuitous route to get there.
Question is, will the Tories take advantage of opposition, 2024-29, to do their homework?

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
10 months ago

Let’s look at the numbers, why don’t we.
Right now: total government spending is 45% GDP 
Back in 1960: total government spending was 35% GDP  
From my site ukpublicspending dot co dot uk.
Really. What could go wrong.

Last edited 10 months ago by Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
10 months ago

Let’s look at the numbers, why don’t we.
Right now: total government spending is 45% GDP 
Back in 1960: total government spending was 35% GDP  
From my site ukpublicspending dot co dot uk.
Really. What could go wrong.

Last edited 10 months ago by Christopher Chantrill
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

Tedious little jumped up servant

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

Tedious little jumped up servant

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
10 months ago

There is now a Member of Parliament who was born while Tony Blair was Prime Minister, but he is openly enjoying it while it lasted. He may be back in 2034, at somewhere like Holborn and St Pancras, Keir the Second. But he is not one of the two real stories from last night.

One of those is the Liberal Democrats’ resurgence in the West Country, where they denied the Conservatives an overall majority in 2010 and entered by far the most stable Government since that year. The other is the toxicity of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to the Labour Party in Outer London and the surrounding areas, where it absolutely has to win if it wished to win outright.

And when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair’s Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.

Last edited 10 months ago by David Lindsay
David Lindsay
David Lindsay
10 months ago

There is now a Member of Parliament who was born while Tony Blair was Prime Minister, but he is openly enjoying it while it lasted. He may be back in 2034, at somewhere like Holborn and St Pancras, Keir the Second. But he is not one of the two real stories from last night.

One of those is the Liberal Democrats’ resurgence in the West Country, where they denied the Conservatives an overall majority in 2010 and entered by far the most stable Government since that year. The other is the toxicity of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to the Labour Party in Outer London and the surrounding areas, where it absolutely has to win if it wished to win outright.

And when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair’s Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.

Last edited 10 months ago by David Lindsay
Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
10 months ago

Sadly, as useless as Starmer is, he’s the least harmful leader of the opposition we have seen for a while.
The Tories need a period in opposition to regroup and come up with a new vision and a new set of policies to support it. You can’t change that radically when in power (witness Liz Truss).
Blare & Brown spent a long time in opposition creating the “New Labour” vision and Margaret Thatcher spent time in opposition coming up with her philosophy and vision (a seismic shift from the useless Ted Heath).
So we’d better hope for a swift execution of the current failed mob, a brief interlude where nothing much changes because Starmer is too timid to do anything radical – and a return to a new bolder strategy in 5 or 6 years time from a revitalised right (possibly even a new party, but that would seem unlikely) .

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Ahh Toylitte Ted Heath… his yacht had rented buoys ….

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Ahh Toylitte Ted Heath… his yacht had rented buoys ….

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
10 months ago

Sadly, as useless as Starmer is, he’s the least harmful leader of the opposition we have seen for a while.
The Tories need a period in opposition to regroup and come up with a new vision and a new set of policies to support it. You can’t change that radically when in power (witness Liz Truss).
Blare & Brown spent a long time in opposition creating the “New Labour” vision and Margaret Thatcher spent time in opposition coming up with her philosophy and vision (a seismic shift from the useless Ted Heath).
So we’d better hope for a swift execution of the current failed mob, a brief interlude where nothing much changes because Starmer is too timid to do anything radical – and a return to a new bolder strategy in 5 or 6 years time from a revitalised right (possibly even a new party, but that would seem unlikely) .

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

Welcome to the Undemocratic Pipls Republic of Bacteria…. aka nu britn…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

Welcome to the Undemocratic Pipls Republic of Bacteria…. aka nu britn…

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

Good grief just read the litany of ‘woe is me’ comments from Unherd right leaning regulars here. Perseverance wasn’t rewarded with much that was new or insightful. Just usual angry echo chamber rantings.

As regards Starmer – ‘a sheep in sheep’s clothing’ perhaps? Now who was that last said about and didn’t they end up delivering one of the most transformative Govts of last hundred years despite inheriting even more dire economic position?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

more like a dickhead in bri nylon clothing…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

more like a dickhead in bri nylon clothing…

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

Good grief just read the litany of ‘woe is me’ comments from Unherd right leaning regulars here. Perseverance wasn’t rewarded with much that was new or insightful. Just usual angry echo chamber rantings.

As regards Starmer – ‘a sheep in sheep’s clothing’ perhaps? Now who was that last said about and didn’t they end up delivering one of the most transformative Govts of last hundred years despite inheriting even more dire economic position?