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Who should Starmer sack? It's time the Labour leader cleared out his Cabinet

Will health minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan survive Keir Starmer's reshuffle? (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Will health minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan survive Keir Starmer's reshuffle? (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)


July 4, 2023   6 mins

Henry Kissinger memorably observed that the reason academic fights were so vicious was that the prizes were so small. So it has been in the Labour Party for most of the last 13 years, when the chances of overturning the Conservative administrations of the day were so unlikely that Labour MPs could focus on their real enemies — each other.

But slowly and decisively, silence has fallen on the Labour Party ahead of a purported reshuffle. Within its ranks, there seems to be a dogged determination to win. Unity of will doesn’t guarantee anything in a general election, but its opposite, disunity, is political death — as backbench Tory MPs are likely to see in the coming by-elections.

Of course, political energy has to go somewhere, and with Labour looking increasingly likely to be at least the largest party in the Commons after the next election, all the spinning is going into self-promotion to secure, or retain, a post in Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet. With a Labour opinion-poll lead over the Tories that in recent weeks has been between 16 and 25 points, it would be a “Golden Ticket”.

Hence the flurry of earnest speculation about which senior Labour figures could be sacked or sidelined in the coming weeks. When political editors are asked, “So, what is Keir Starmer going to do?”, the only honest answer is: “Nobody knows.” For, in contrast to most other modern Labour leaders, Starmer does not provide a running commentary to the Westminster Lobby; nor does he have a newspaper columnist who serves as “court reporter”. Starmer stays silent, acts and then moves on.

Will there be a reshuffle? We don’t know. Should there be one? Absolutely. This is the last sensible moment before the election — it’s now or never. 

There are clear rules Starmer should follow. First, a reshuffle must have a clear political purpose — or don’t do it. This is not a technical matter; it’s a demonstration of leadership. Previous reshuffles have reflected Starmer’s relative strength as leader, needing to balance factions in both the Parliamentary Labour Party and the movement as a whole. It is, after all, less than two years since the UK’s Covid “Freedom Day”, when it seemed as though Boris Johnson would carry politics before him for the rest of the decade. Yet Starmer is now on his third prime minister. There have been so many Tory reshuffles and departmental reorganisations since the 2019 general election that Labour’s Shadow Cabinet no longer “shadows” the government.

Given this Conservative chaos, it would be pointless for Labour to precisely match the current machinery of government. What Starmer needs is to show who would be sitting around the Cabinet table if he were to win the next election — and they need to be ready in post immediately. The sooner the reshuffle is done, the longer the new team will have to read into their brief, and to prepare for their autumn speeches. This October’s Labour Party conference is likely to be the last one before the general election, so it is the best chance to showcase a government-in-waiting. Specific policies can wait, but personalities show intent.

Second, Starmer should reward performance and sideline those who haven’t made the grade; this is no time for passengers. The benefit of presiding over a predicted landslide is that it yields absolute authority for the leader. Such moments are rare in politics, and Starmer should seize his and clear out the Shadow Cabinet.

First, he must shrink it to 22, the size of the actual Cabinet. Rampant “shadflation” means that 30 politicians are currently in the Shadow Cabinet, a size created by the evasion of hard choices. It’s time to make them. There is no longer a Department for International Development, and Starmer should be clear it isn’t coming back. The incumbent Shadow Minister, Preet Gill should, therefore, be the first to go.

The fashion, created by David Cameron, of “ministers attending Cabinet”, without being members of Cabinet, should be avoided. You are either in or out; there can be no halfway house. Which will leave up to six of Starmer’s frontbench out of a job.

This slimming-down will help with some of the politics, too. It is visible from the Moon that Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Shadow Minister for Minister for Mental Health, disagrees with her boss, Wes Streeting, about health policy. As he is one of the strongest of Labour’s frontbench performers, he isn’t moving. So Rosena has to go.

Elsewhere, there are easier decisions for Starmer to make, such as keeping the strong performers where they are: Rachel Reeves, David Lammy and Yvette Cooper. In the wider ranks, John Healey has made Defence his own – his embrace of Nato has eliminated memories of the Corbyn years; Jim McMahon has been instrumental in making the politics of the water industry a vote-winner; and Shadow Leader of the House, Thangam Debbonaire, has become the quintessential (and essential) “Minister for the Today Programme”. Ed Miliband has earned his place be doing the rarest of things: becoming the ex-leader you actually want in your team because his government experience and credentials are a useful bridge to young and green voters.

But not all should have prizes. To promote talent, vacancies must be created, and politics should drive that, too. AI is transforming everything — but what has Labour had to say about this revolutionary moment? The debate ought to be driven by the Shadow Secretary of State for DCMS, but it hasn’t been — so Lucy Powell has to make way for a new appointment.

Similarly, when the justice system is in freefall and undermining public trust in law and order, the last thing Labour needs is a Shadow Justice Secretary trying to ramp up the Government’s ridiculous war on drugs. Steve Reed should be replaced by a politician who can consistently keep in voters’ minds the crisis in the Courts that undermines law enforcement. And amid a poverty crisis caused by the combination of cost-of-living pressures and cruel welfare policies, Labour needs a crusader, not a technician — so Jonathan Ashworth should make way for someone new. While all three are talented politicians, in opposition, it is “Shadow Cabinet or bust”. 

That still leaves what one might call the “Prescott challenge” — how to properly use the huge talents of a deputy leader who is a superb politician and the perfect counterpoint to the party leader. It is absurd to believe that Angela Rayner should merely be Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster — but the uneasy settlement of the last reshuffle, which left her holding down a sheaf of Shadow Ministerial posts, cannot last into government. Creating a mega-department for John Prescott wasn’t the right answer in 1997, and should be avoided this time round. Rayner’s radicalism, rooted equally in her working-class background and her Left-wing politics, would bring real edge to the Justice Department, or the Work and Pensions brief. 

But it will surely need to be resolved privately between Angela and Keir, in a modern-day equivalent of the 1994 Granita deal, struck in an Islington restaurant, which formalised the working relationship between Blair and Brown. 

Third, promote talent. New faces and new voices will bring new energy and get cut-through. When voters say that they don’t know what Labour stands for, they don’t want hundreds more pages of policy documents, they want definition. Given the state of the economy and the public finances — as well as Shadow Chief Secretary Pat McFadden’s tight control over spending commitments — Labour can’t spend its way into the public mind. It needs to think its way there instead.

The two most creative thinkers on the wider shadow frontbench are Liz Kendall and Alison McGovern. Kendall is perhaps best-remembered for her 2015 leadership bid, in which she was beaten into fourth place of four — but she also set the terms for the politics that have catapulted Labour to its current poll lead. When Kendall said “country first, party second”, it cost her the votes of the Left-leaning Labour membership, but it helped her frame the core tenets of Starmerism. And as Shadow Social Care Minister, she has avoided the siren call of expensive and pointless nationalising in favour of a focus on raising standards and investing in the workforce. 

Alison McGovern, meanwhile, has played an equally significant role in making Labour electable again. As chair of the centre-left political faction and think-tank Progress (now Progressive Britain), she shepherded moderate policies, politics and activists through the Corbyn years so that there was a reserve army to support Starmer when elected leader. As the Shadow Minister for Employment, she has a track record of innovative thinking: her most recent plan, to devolve job centres to local councils, would prove more effective than the status quo without costing more.

Finally, reshuffles are about two types of people. The first are your MPs — and when I say it pays to remember them, I mean that literally. There was a reshuffle during my time at No. 10 when a minister lost their job because their name was on a piece of paper that had fallen off the table and someone else’s was slotted in its place. The reality is that a reshuffle is rarely only one move; you must have the whole plan in full detail before you announce the headline parts. Nobody must be forgotten.

The second group of people are, of course, the voters. If Labour’s reshuffle is done right, the public will take notice of the new faces on the frontbench. Once he has his best team in place, the next challenge for Starmer will be sending them around the country to promote the party’s pledges and policies. Politics is a retail business, and sales are best done face to face — but you don’t need to wait for a general election to seal the deal with the British people.


John McTernan is a British political strategist and former advisor to Tony Blair.

johnmcternan

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Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago

While I’m sure Mr. McTernan is an expert on Labour Party Kremlinology, but when he uses the phrase ‘strong performer’ in the same sentence as ‘David Lammy,’ I had to chuckle. Ditto Yvette ‘two houses’ Cooper, a Blairite retread we all remember for her house-flipping shenanigans.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago

While I’m sure Mr. McTernan is an expert on Labour Party Kremlinology, but when he uses the phrase ‘strong performer’ in the same sentence as ‘David Lammy,’ I had to chuckle. Ditto Yvette ‘two houses’ Cooper, a Blairite retread we all remember for her house-flipping shenanigans.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
10 months ago

Angela Rayner – “huge talents”?? God save us all.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Even worse – David Lammy. If he’s seen as minister material, we might as well give up. Not that some Tory ministers should’ve been anywhere near a brief either, the most notorious being Gavin Williamson, who changed briefs regularly but soiled them all.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

He might be a heavyweight, but there’s no known universe in which he’s a top performer at his current job.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

He might be a heavyweight, but there’s no known universe in which he’s a top performer at his current job.

Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Angela Rayner doesn’t have any GCSEs let alone A levels or – help me Bob – a degree. Does JM not understand that you actually need to be quite intelligent to run a civil service department as secretary of state or junior minister? Surely, she is there as the unions’ representative, to make sure KS gives the unions value for money. I don’t recall her doing anything in Parliament other than slag people off.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Even worse – David Lammy. If he’s seen as minister material, we might as well give up. Not that some Tory ministers should’ve been anywhere near a brief either, the most notorious being Gavin Williamson, who changed briefs regularly but soiled them all.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Angela Rayner doesn’t have any GCSEs let alone A levels or – help me Bob – a degree. Does JM not understand that you actually need to be quite intelligent to run a civil service department as secretary of state or junior minister? Surely, she is there as the unions’ representative, to make sure KS gives the unions value for money. I don’t recall her doing anything in Parliament other than slag people off.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
10 months ago

Angela Rayner – “huge talents”?? God save us all.

Tina Lennon
Tina Lennon
10 months ago

Angela Raynor, David Lammy, Ed Milliband!! Monster Raving Loony Party are getting my vote next year.

Robbie K
Robbie K
10 months ago
Reply to  Tina Lennon

Good calls, Starmer clearly dislikes Raynor, he can’t sack her however as she was voted in by the members so merely sidelines her.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Tina Lennon

I expect that either the SDP or Reform will get my vote next time round 
. they seem to have more common sense than the mainstream parties. I do however recognise that this is rather a low bar to chin 


Robbie K
Robbie K
10 months ago
Reply to  Tina Lennon

Good calls, Starmer clearly dislikes Raynor, he can’t sack her however as she was voted in by the members so merely sidelines her.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Tina Lennon

I expect that either the SDP or Reform will get my vote next time round 
. they seem to have more common sense than the mainstream parties. I do however recognise that this is rather a low bar to chin 


Tina Lennon
Tina Lennon
10 months ago

Angela Raynor, David Lammy, Ed Milliband!! Monster Raving Loony Party are getting my vote next year.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
10 months ago

“Elsewhere, there are easier decisions for Starmer to make, such as keeping the strong performers where they are: …David (“hoarding rights”) Lammy…”.

I spat out my tea reading that.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Raiment
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Lammy – the professional grifter 


Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Lammy – the professional grifter 


Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
10 months ago

“Elsewhere, there are easier decisions for Starmer to make, such as keeping the strong performers where they are: …David (“hoarding rights”) Lammy…”.

I spat out my tea reading that.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Raiment
polidori redux
polidori redux
10 months ago

“former advisor to Tony Blair” Says it all. Who are we trotting out next week, Alistair Campbell, Tom Watson? Why not.
Unherd should try and maintain some standards..

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

And Julia Gillard.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

AC and TW, you’re onto something there PR. Good call.
Out of interest though, what are the standards you refer to?
Separate but I think related, given the Right been in power for 13yrs, and the Govt of the day always gets more media time, plus of course majority of the media has a right wing bias, I often wonder if Unherd should change it’s title to just ‘Herd’, but perhaps one for another day.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I dispute your claim that the government of the day always gets more media time.
How many times have you heard this sort of thing on BBC radio news:
“The government will announce a plan to do X later today. Labour have denounced this as [garbage] because …”. Followed by a soundbite from a Labour politician.
So a government initiative is turned into a story about Labour attacking some “broken policy”. The BBC don’t actually expand on what the policy is, so you have no opportunity to judge for yourself before the actual Labour (and implied BBC) denuciation kicks in.
It’s not simply the volume of airtime that matters here. It’s also the quality and context.
I’m not sure what you’re measuring when you claim that the “majority of the media has a right wing bias”. Newspapers are a minority of the media these days. TV certainly isn’t right wing.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Think you’ll find the daily lobby packed with journos and that’s a massive advantage to Govt on how it gets out messages. Obviously the public broadcast is obliged to balance.
Any scan of the print media headlines every day tell you all you want to know about the Right’s advantage.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Think you’ll find the daily lobby packed with journos and that’s a massive advantage to Govt on how it gets out messages. Obviously the public broadcast is obliged to balance.
Any scan of the print media headlines every day tell you all you want to know about the Right’s advantage.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I know you’re a Blairite, but surely even you can’t be seriously proposing a return to power of these two? That would be a grave insult to the memory of their victims, wouldn’t it?

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Given TB not been in power for 16years I must admit I’m not sure what being a Blairite would entail. Do you have a decent description as may help with self-assessment?
I don’t foresee AC or TW returning to power though. That generation has passed. Not sure AC is a Lab member anymore either. But as a different perspective on what we usually see on Unherd not a bad idea. Certainly get me to roll over my subscription if for nothing else than to read the responses!

Last edited 10 months ago by j watson
j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Given TB not been in power for 16years I must admit I’m not sure what being a Blairite would entail. Do you have a decent description as may help with self-assessment?
I don’t foresee AC or TW returning to power though. That generation has passed. Not sure AC is a Lab member anymore either. But as a different perspective on what we usually see on Unherd not a bad idea. Certainly get me to roll over my subscription if for nothing else than to read the responses!

Last edited 10 months ago by j watson
polidori redux
polidori redux
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Mere tribalism on your part: The Conservative Party is right wing only in your imagination. Similarly, you are left wing, only in your imagination.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Didn’t Einstein say something about imagination being more important than knowledge or similar? Well there’s a thought for us.

polidori redux
polidori redux
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You’re not Einstein.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Razor sharp today PR

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Razor sharp today PR

polidori redux
polidori redux
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You’re not Einstein.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Didn’t Einstein say something about imagination being more important than knowledge or similar? Well there’s a thought for us.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I dispute your claim that the government of the day always gets more media time.
How many times have you heard this sort of thing on BBC radio news:
“The government will announce a plan to do X later today. Labour have denounced this as [garbage] because …”. Followed by a soundbite from a Labour politician.
So a government initiative is turned into a story about Labour attacking some “broken policy”. The BBC don’t actually expand on what the policy is, so you have no opportunity to judge for yourself before the actual Labour (and implied BBC) denuciation kicks in.
It’s not simply the volume of airtime that matters here. It’s also the quality and context.
I’m not sure what you’re measuring when you claim that the “majority of the media has a right wing bias”. Newspapers are a minority of the media these days. TV certainly isn’t right wing.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I know you’re a Blairite, but surely even you can’t be seriously proposing a return to power of these two? That would be a grave insult to the memory of their victims, wouldn’t it?

polidori redux
polidori redux
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Mere tribalism on your part: The Conservative Party is right wing only in your imagination. Similarly, you are left wing, only in your imagination.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

A bit of Kremlinology does no harm. The future Labour Executive we are promised by the polls needs a good look over. The present bunch are so mediocre and shadowy it is painful. I wonder who all the new Labour MPs will be?? Mandelsonian urban lawyers and greedy doctors? Or will those rough cold eyed Corbyista class warriors return to fill the benches?? More interrogation please. The entire political class – bereft of any real life experience – are now dangerously detached and of such poor quality it is scary. They all even think alike now (net zero/lockdown/high tax/stonewall diversity groupthink). This of course was one of the reasons why the Blairite/EU revolution shifted power away from the Cabinet to grown up permanent unelected technocrats…..- like Andrew Bailey, the Water & Energy Regulators, the never seen NHS leaders and the judicial overreaching judges. Doh!!!! We needed a brand new idea about governance of the UK State long before Starmer’s anonymous clueless visionless hordes reached the Palace. But it is too late now.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

And Julia Gillard.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

AC and TW, you’re onto something there PR. Good call.
Out of interest though, what are the standards you refer to?
Separate but I think related, given the Right been in power for 13yrs, and the Govt of the day always gets more media time, plus of course majority of the media has a right wing bias, I often wonder if Unherd should change it’s title to just ‘Herd’, but perhaps one for another day.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

A bit of Kremlinology does no harm. The future Labour Executive we are promised by the polls needs a good look over. The present bunch are so mediocre and shadowy it is painful. I wonder who all the new Labour MPs will be?? Mandelsonian urban lawyers and greedy doctors? Or will those rough cold eyed Corbyista class warriors return to fill the benches?? More interrogation please. The entire political class – bereft of any real life experience – are now dangerously detached and of such poor quality it is scary. They all even think alike now (net zero/lockdown/high tax/stonewall diversity groupthink). This of course was one of the reasons why the Blairite/EU revolution shifted power away from the Cabinet to grown up permanent unelected technocrats…..- like Andrew Bailey, the Water & Energy Regulators, the never seen NHS leaders and the judicial overreaching judges. Doh!!!! We needed a brand new idea about governance of the UK State long before Starmer’s anonymous clueless visionless hordes reached the Palace. But it is too late now.

polidori redux
polidori redux
10 months ago

“former advisor to Tony Blair” Says it all. Who are we trotting out next week, Alistair Campbell, Tom Watson? Why not.
Unherd should try and maintain some standards..

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
10 months ago

Christ almighty, reading through those names has been a grade A reminder, in case we’ve forgotten, of how awful the standard of Labour politicians is. They are worsted only by their frenemies across the floor. The next election truly is a choice between whether you want your plate of dog mess heated or cold.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

It’s been that choice for years – they’re not interested in meaningful change

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

It’s been that choice for years – they’re not interested in meaningful change

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
10 months ago

Christ almighty, reading through those names has been a grade A reminder, in case we’ve forgotten, of how awful the standard of Labour politicians is. They are worsted only by their frenemies across the floor. The next election truly is a choice between whether you want your plate of dog mess heated or cold.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago

In 1997, when New Labour came to power, a young blue collar worker – a fork lift driver or paramedic, say – could reasonably expect to become a homeowner or rent affordably, enjoy a degree of job and financial security and a rising standard of living, and get a same day GP appointment and fairly prompt hospital treatment.

By 2010 all that was gone. During the same years all my middle class neighbours became millionaires.

We should never forget that it was a Labour Chancellor who changed the RPI calculations in order to conceal just how completely this writer and his cronies had betrayed their voters.

Now they’re back. God help us.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I’m no Labour voter but that’s a somewhat partial assessment to say the least. I had no trouble getting a GP appointment until COVID and the 2008 financial crash certainly caused a lot of damage. The NHS was in much better health then than it is now though. Whether you liked Blair or not, at least they had a plan. The current lot haven’t even got that. What is Rishi’s plan?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I’m not convinced Blair had a resource plan for the c5 million extra people that his policies added to the population.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

A good point, but the current crop of ‘Conservatives’ have merely fostered an increase in the number of new arrivals

Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Perhaps he was hoping to send them to Iraq?

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

A good point, but the current crop of ‘Conservatives’ have merely fostered an increase in the number of new arrivals

Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Perhaps he was hoping to send them to Iraq?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I’m not convinced Blair had a resource plan for the c5 million extra people that his policies added to the population.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Damn right. New Labour first weakened the bond with the working man by embracing the ultra capitalist EU Single Market and so torched the national labour market with mass immigration. That same unplanned flood of people – near 1m a year – helped the urban middle classes to become super rich via the warped property market…1m demand plus 10 new houses = 100k capital gain untaxed… thank you (30m portfolio,) Tony & all the subsequent Westminster classes in on the scam! The 2008 Crash was the final act in this flaying amd betrayal of the non London,/SE working class as QE and xero interest bailouts further entrenched the unearned wealth of these middle class ‘propetocrats’. It was pure class war. And the defence of this Midas like property wealth was the primary force behind Remainer derangement. They would do anything – inc subverting our democracy – to preserve this inequitable status quo.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I could not express it better myself.

Jon Morrow
Jon Morrow
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“ultra capitalist EU….” that is the most hilarious description of them that I have ever heard.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Morrow

How about “ultra protectionist trade block” ?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Morrow

Er…look up the Single Market why don’t you. And the economic consequences of EU enlargement. Margaret Thatcher was evangelical for it, as were all the barons of German industrial & banking who dominate the Project, because it was a gift to global capitalism, as was its expansion into the fresh cheaper labour markets of the East. One of the most pathetic/hilarious/eye popping sights of the last decade has been watching hardcore hysterical (dumb as ****) Socialists and young Corbynistas wrapping themselves in the EU flag, while the EU & ruthless German bankers were busy waterboarding Greece, spreading mass youth employment in the south, wooing Putin and Xi with amoral zeal and generally enjoying the total collapse of national labour markets & trade union power. An earlier generation of Socialists in 60s and 70s knew well that the EU was a hardcore capitalist club with fuzzy liberal add-ons designed to beguile naive folk like you. Is it Remainia derangement that makes you question one of the most obvious truths about the EU?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Thanks for making more effort than I did.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Thanks for making more effort than I did.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Morrow

How about “ultra protectionist trade block” ?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Morrow

Er…look up the Single Market why don’t you. And the economic consequences of EU enlargement. Margaret Thatcher was evangelical for it, as were all the barons of German industrial & banking who dominate the Project, because it was a gift to global capitalism, as was its expansion into the fresh cheaper labour markets of the East. One of the most pathetic/hilarious/eye popping sights of the last decade has been watching hardcore hysterical (dumb as ****) Socialists and young Corbynistas wrapping themselves in the EU flag, while the EU & ruthless German bankers were busy waterboarding Greece, spreading mass youth employment in the south, wooing Putin and Xi with amoral zeal and generally enjoying the total collapse of national labour markets & trade union power. An earlier generation of Socialists in 60s and 70s knew well that the EU was a hardcore capitalist club with fuzzy liberal add-ons designed to beguile naive folk like you. Is it Remainia derangement that makes you question one of the most obvious truths about the EU?

Richard Heller
Richard Heller
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Tony Blair ran the Labour party (and the country) like Basil Fawlty on Gourmet Night – regularly insult and abuse Labour’s permanent guests in the hope of attracting a better class of clientele. Fact: New Labour lost all but five million votes in office from 1997 to 2010. Fact: Blair’s landslide in 1997 was gained with 600,000 fewer votes than the Tories won under John Major in 1992. Oh, and please could it be WHOM should Starmer sack?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I could not express it better myself.

Jon Morrow
Jon Morrow
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“ultra capitalist EU….” that is the most hilarious description of them that I have ever heard.

Richard Heller
Richard Heller
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Tony Blair ran the Labour party (and the country) like Basil Fawlty on Gourmet Night – regularly insult and abuse Labour’s permanent guests in the hope of attracting a better class of clientele. Fact: New Labour lost all but five million votes in office from 1997 to 2010. Fact: Blair’s landslide in 1997 was gained with 600,000 fewer votes than the Tories won under John Major in 1992. Oh, and please could it be WHOM should Starmer sack?

Alan Colquhoun
Alan Colquhoun
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Well said. The main beneficiaries of New Labour were the private equity guys and hedge funds who were handed huge tax breaks. Voters cannot be blamed for forgetting things they may never have been aware of!

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I’m no Labour voter but that’s a somewhat partial assessment to say the least. I had no trouble getting a GP appointment until COVID and the 2008 financial crash certainly caused a lot of damage. The NHS was in much better health then than it is now though. Whether you liked Blair or not, at least they had a plan. The current lot haven’t even got that. What is Rishi’s plan?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Damn right. New Labour first weakened the bond with the working man by embracing the ultra capitalist EU Single Market and so torched the national labour market with mass immigration. That same unplanned flood of people – near 1m a year – helped the urban middle classes to become super rich via the warped property market…1m demand plus 10 new houses = 100k capital gain untaxed… thank you (30m portfolio,) Tony & all the subsequent Westminster classes in on the scam! The 2008 Crash was the final act in this flaying amd betrayal of the non London,/SE working class as QE and xero interest bailouts further entrenched the unearned wealth of these middle class ‘propetocrats’. It was pure class war. And the defence of this Midas like property wealth was the primary force behind Remainer derangement. They would do anything – inc subverting our democracy – to preserve this inequitable status quo.

Alan Colquhoun
Alan Colquhoun
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Well said. The main beneficiaries of New Labour were the private equity guys and hedge funds who were handed huge tax breaks. Voters cannot be blamed for forgetting things they may never have been aware of!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago

In 1997, when New Labour came to power, a young blue collar worker – a fork lift driver or paramedic, say – could reasonably expect to become a homeowner or rent affordably, enjoy a degree of job and financial security and a rising standard of living, and get a same day GP appointment and fairly prompt hospital treatment.

By 2010 all that was gone. During the same years all my middle class neighbours became millionaires.

We should never forget that it was a Labour Chancellor who changed the RPI calculations in order to conceal just how completely this writer and his cronies had betrayed their voters.

Now they’re back. God help us.

R Wright
R Wright
10 months ago

David Lammy? Strong performer? Perhaps if we’re measuring race baiting as a job criterion.

R Wright
R Wright
10 months ago

David Lammy? Strong performer? Perhaps if we’re measuring race baiting as a job criterion.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago

Englishmen face extinction if the next cabinet contains Cooper, Harman, Rayner, Abbot etc.
Labour’s next cabinet needs to include fewer “misandry advocates” if it wants to attract more male voters. The inclusion of any “race grifters” won’t help its chances either.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Chris W
Chris W
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Englishmen face extinction

That’s interesting. How?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris W

They all have an “equity” approach to sex-based issues – rather than an “equality” approach. The gender pay gap policy introduced by Theresa May (another one) is a great example of this mentality.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris W

They all have an “equity” approach to sex-based issues – rather than an “equality” approach. The gender pay gap policy introduced by Theresa May (another one) is a great example of this mentality.

Chris W
Chris W
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Englishmen face extinction

That’s interesting. How?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago

Englishmen face extinction if the next cabinet contains Cooper, Harman, Rayner, Abbot etc.
Labour’s next cabinet needs to include fewer “misandry advocates” if it wants to attract more male voters. The inclusion of any “race grifters” won’t help its chances either.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago

Since we’re gonna get Labour anyway, let’s go full clown-show and get it over with. Raynor for PM, Abbot for Chancellor and McTernan as their advisor. At least we’ll get a laugh.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago

Yeah, it’s gonna be an absolute riot, like an amputation without anesthetic.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago

Yeah, it’s gonna be an absolute riot, like an amputation without anesthetic.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago

Since we’re gonna get Labour anyway, let’s go full clown-show and get it over with. Raynor for PM, Abbot for Chancellor and McTernan as their advisor. At least we’ll get a laugh.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

“The benefit of presiding over a predicted landslide is that it yields absolute authority for the leader.”
And yet, look at the Conservatives with a large majority, such a success allows the dissenters in a Party plenty of encouragement to follow their own political aims and be awkward. And Labour, despite the Starmer purge, has plenty of dissenters built in.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

“The benefit of presiding over a predicted landslide is that it yields absolute authority for the leader.”
And yet, look at the Conservatives with a large majority, such a success allows the dissenters in a Party plenty of encouragement to follow their own political aims and be awkward. And Labour, despite the Starmer purge, has plenty of dissenters built in.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Rayner’s radicalism, rooted equally in her working-class background and her Left-wing politics, would bring real edge to the Justice Department, or the Work and Pensions brief. 

Brilliant idea. Lawyers, judges, and pension fund managers all appreciate being called “Tory thkoom”.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Rayner’s radicalism, rooted equally in her working-class background and her Left-wing politics, would bring real edge to the Justice Department, or the Work and Pensions brief. 

Brilliant idea. Lawyers, judges, and pension fund managers all appreciate being called “Tory thkoom”.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

The fashion, created by David Cameron, of “ministers attending Cabinet”, without being members of Cabinet, should be avoided. You are either in or out; there can be no halfway house. Which will leave up to six of Starmer’s frontbench out of a job.

But race-based tokenism to appeal to your electorate is a harsh mistress.

That still leaves what one might call the “Prescott challenge” â€” how to properly use the huge talents of a deputy leader who is a superb politician and the perfect counterpoint to the party leader.

That’s an excellent line, John, but can anyone tell me how to get cornflakes off my laptop?

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Now I can’t get the image of Prescott chasing his secretary around his office, huffing and puffing while his fleet of Jaguar’s idles outside.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Use a cereal killer?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

The “superb politician” phrase is now becoming a commonplace adjective for people who seem to be able to “talk the talk” but are otherwise useless. One N. Sturgeon springs to mind.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Now I can’t get the image of Prescott chasing his secretary around his office, huffing and puffing while his fleet of Jaguar’s idles outside.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Use a cereal killer?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

The “superb politician” phrase is now becoming a commonplace adjective for people who seem to be able to “talk the talk” but are otherwise useless. One N. Sturgeon springs to mind.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

The fashion, created by David Cameron, of “ministers attending Cabinet”, without being members of Cabinet, should be avoided. You are either in or out; there can be no halfway house. Which will leave up to six of Starmer’s frontbench out of a job.

But race-based tokenism to appeal to your electorate is a harsh mistress.

That still leaves what one might call the “Prescott challenge” â€” how to properly use the huge talents of a deputy leader who is a superb politician and the perfect counterpoint to the party leader.

That’s an excellent line, John, but can anyone tell me how to get cornflakes off my laptop?

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
10 months ago

“the last thing Labour needs is a Shadow Justice Secretary trying to ramp up the Government’s ridiculous war on drugs“. The social cost of drug abuse is enormous, eroding the labour force and weighing on life expectancy. Drug deaths are rising, there is a mental health crisis not unrelated to drub abuse, and the criminal networks which control the drugs trade involve many tens of thousands of people in the UK. Yet any attempt to deal with this, other than through decriminalisation or legalisation (which in the US has led to far more drug abuse) is dismissed as “ridiculous”. As so often, radical policies are normalised by Labour “moderates”.

Last edited 10 months ago by Stephen Walsh
Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Good point. But they will be soft on drugs. The workers need their beer, the peasants need their religion, and the intellectuals need something a bit edgier.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Good point. But they will be soft on drugs. The workers need their beer, the peasants need their religion, and the intellectuals need something a bit edgier.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
10 months ago

“the last thing Labour needs is a Shadow Justice Secretary trying to ramp up the Government’s ridiculous war on drugs“. The social cost of drug abuse is enormous, eroding the labour force and weighing on life expectancy. Drug deaths are rising, there is a mental health crisis not unrelated to drub abuse, and the criminal networks which control the drugs trade involve many tens of thousands of people in the UK. Yet any attempt to deal with this, other than through decriminalisation or legalisation (which in the US has led to far more drug abuse) is dismissed as “ridiculous”. As so often, radical policies are normalised by Labour “moderates”.

Last edited 10 months ago by Stephen Walsh
Steven Targett
Steven Targett
10 months ago

I’m never going to vote Labour so no amount of tinkering will change that. However given the Tories are a busted flush a competent Labour government may minimise the damage they will inevitably do. Sadly I doubt that will happen so we’ll get yet more socialist clap trap piled on top of failed current policies – immigration, NHS, defence, welfare etc etc.

Steven Targett
Steven Targett
10 months ago

I’m never going to vote Labour so no amount of tinkering will change that. However given the Tories are a busted flush a competent Labour government may minimise the damage they will inevitably do. Sadly I doubt that will happen so we’ll get yet more socialist clap trap piled on top of failed current policies – immigration, NHS, defence, welfare etc etc.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago

“…AI is transforming everything — but what has Labour had to say about this revolutionary moment?…”

My suggestion for what they should say is something appropriately radical for an appropriately radical party: that upon election, Labour will replace the entire cabinet, including the Prime Minister, with GPT-4, in the name of equity, diversity and anti alien speciescism. Think of it as the equivalent of the moment when Brown handed over control for monetary policy to the BoE immediately after coming to power.

And as a concession to reducing culture shock, they could, for a transition period, put permanent cardboard cutouts of the entire shadow cabinet in the Cabinet Office, because GPT-4 won’t be needing that (being resident in the Cloud). I would suggest animated high-tech VR simulacrums, but they will have to cut costs in these coming days of severe austerity and I don’t see what possible difference we the governed would notice.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Excellent idea! In Starmer’s case, i’m sure Madame Tussauds would oblige.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I guess it would be the first time ever anyone makes a waxworks dummy of a waxworks dummy.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Indeed – how would we tell the difference ?

Mike Gee
Mike Gee
10 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

and more lifelike than the real thing…

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Indeed – how would we tell the difference ?

Mike Gee
Mike Gee
10 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

and more lifelike than the real thing…

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Would anyone notice the difference though?

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I guess it would be the first time ever anyone makes a waxworks dummy of a waxworks dummy.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Would anyone notice the difference though?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Excellent idea! In Starmer’s case, i’m sure Madame Tussauds would oblige.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago

“…AI is transforming everything — but what has Labour had to say about this revolutionary moment?…”

My suggestion for what they should say is something appropriately radical for an appropriately radical party: that upon election, Labour will replace the entire cabinet, including the Prime Minister, with GPT-4, in the name of equity, diversity and anti alien speciescism. Think of it as the equivalent of the moment when Brown handed over control for monetary policy to the BoE immediately after coming to power.

And as a concession to reducing culture shock, they could, for a transition period, put permanent cardboard cutouts of the entire shadow cabinet in the Cabinet Office, because GPT-4 won’t be needing that (being resident in the Cloud). I would suggest animated high-tech VR simulacrums, but they will have to cut costs in these coming days of severe austerity and I don’t see what possible difference we the governed would notice.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
10 months ago

Miliband , Lamy and Reeves as the pick of the crop??? God save and protect us. In truth there is no point in pruning a dead tree.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
10 months ago

Miliband , Lamy and Reeves as the pick of the crop??? God save and protect us. In truth there is no point in pruning a dead tree.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

What is all this nonsense?
We haven’t had anything like a Tory Government for nigh on thirty years, so yet another burst of ‘reheated socialism’ is of little concern, regardless of the ‘hysterics’* who will be in charge.

(* Male and Female if that is grammatically possible.)

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago

Agree. They cannot be more Socialist than the Fool Johnson on the economy. Game over. The problem is they CAN cause yet more mayhem in the social/cultural sphere, even during a wider spiral of decline. There is talk of even harder new Labour Racial Equality legislation…and with it the suppression of free speech and basic liberties. Identitarianism is the only hot live ideology the Progressive authoritarian Left cling too. Even the new ‘I am Tony’ Starmer cannot stop bending knees to the mob and dissing nasty terfs. Things will get very nasty for Tory scum, Brex scum, subsconcious raycist whitey male/patriarchs, anti Islamists & biology non conformists. China 68. Here we go…

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago

Agree. They cannot be more Socialist than the Fool Johnson on the economy. Game over. The problem is they CAN cause yet more mayhem in the social/cultural sphere, even during a wider spiral of decline. There is talk of even harder new Labour Racial Equality legislation…and with it the suppression of free speech and basic liberties. Identitarianism is the only hot live ideology the Progressive authoritarian Left cling too. Even the new ‘I am Tony’ Starmer cannot stop bending knees to the mob and dissing nasty terfs. Things will get very nasty for Tory scum, Brex scum, subsconcious raycist whitey male/patriarchs, anti Islamists & biology non conformists. China 68. Here we go…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

What is all this nonsense?
We haven’t had anything like a Tory Government for nigh on thirty years, so yet another burst of ‘reheated socialism’ is of little concern, regardless of the ‘hysterics’* who will be in charge.

(* Male and Female if that is grammatically possible.)

Christopher Darlington
Christopher Darlington
10 months ago

Labour under Starmer is just New Labour 2.0. They’ll win, but as a labour party they fail again.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago

Yes they will fail, but the popcorn munching element is *how* they’ll fail. Starmer doesn’t have the iron hand, charisma or PR clout Blair enjoyed. Nor does he have the luxury of a reasonably solvent treasury like the one New Labour inherited in 1997.
Furthermore, he still has a small but organised Corbynista rump to contend with. Angela is no doubt hoarding canned goods and weapons for resistance operations, unless Starmer gives her boyfriend a safe seat.
The only thing that will rescue Labour, as it sometimes does, is events (dear boy), i.e. the economic headwinds change to their benefit. They will still squander it on vanity projects and client voters, Labour’s gonna Labour.
Meanwhile, in opposition, the Tories will fight for the party’s soul like desert island survivors fighting for the last litre of drinking water. It will be nowhere like ready to fight off Starmer by 2029.
Meanwhile, more popcorn (if there’s any electricity left to make the stuff) as the ‘Postliberal Right’ so beloved of so many UnHerd writers will act as an unwelcome break on the populist parties the country probably needs to give the body politik some much-deserved electric shock therapy.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago

Yes they will fail, but the popcorn munching element is *how* they’ll fail. Starmer doesn’t have the iron hand, charisma or PR clout Blair enjoyed. Nor does he have the luxury of a reasonably solvent treasury like the one New Labour inherited in 1997.
Furthermore, he still has a small but organised Corbynista rump to contend with. Angela is no doubt hoarding canned goods and weapons for resistance operations, unless Starmer gives her boyfriend a safe seat.
The only thing that will rescue Labour, as it sometimes does, is events (dear boy), i.e. the economic headwinds change to their benefit. They will still squander it on vanity projects and client voters, Labour’s gonna Labour.
Meanwhile, in opposition, the Tories will fight for the party’s soul like desert island survivors fighting for the last litre of drinking water. It will be nowhere like ready to fight off Starmer by 2029.
Meanwhile, more popcorn (if there’s any electricity left to make the stuff) as the ‘Postliberal Right’ so beloved of so many UnHerd writers will act as an unwelcome break on the populist parties the country probably needs to give the body politik some much-deserved electric shock therapy.

Christopher Darlington
Christopher Darlington
10 months ago

Labour under Starmer is just New Labour 2.0. They’ll win, but as a labour party they fail again.

John Galt Was Correct
John Galt Was Correct
10 months ago

Whatever the huge talents of Angela Rayner she appears to be a huge vote loser.

John Galt Was Correct
John Galt Was Correct
10 months ago

Whatever the huge talents of Angela Rayner she appears to be a huge vote loser.

N Satori
N Satori
10 months ago

According to the byline: John McTernan is a British political strategist – from the Blair era, no less!
Well, as a seasoned political strategist he must know that the only election -winning tactic that really matters is to discern what the people want from a goverment and promise (or should that be, ‘pledge’) to deliver it. If the tactic results in victory then, the more ideologically driven among the victors, may try to push through a real, less popular, agenda (think of Harriet Harman in the Blair/Brown days if that’s not too unpalatable) .
For the most part, regardless of pledges, the country will be governed in the same inept muddle-through way it always has been.
By the way, McTernan’s last paragraph gives an amusing hint at the lack of self-awareness of those dwellers within the political/MSM bubble. They really do imagine that the public are keenly interested in everything they say.

N Satori
N Satori
10 months ago

According to the byline: John McTernan is a British political strategist – from the Blair era, no less!
Well, as a seasoned political strategist he must know that the only election -winning tactic that really matters is to discern what the people want from a goverment and promise (or should that be, ‘pledge’) to deliver it. If the tactic results in victory then, the more ideologically driven among the victors, may try to push through a real, less popular, agenda (think of Harriet Harman in the Blair/Brown days if that’s not too unpalatable) .
For the most part, regardless of pledges, the country will be governed in the same inept muddle-through way it always has been.
By the way, McTernan’s last paragraph gives an amusing hint at the lack of self-awareness of those dwellers within the political/MSM bubble. They really do imagine that the public are keenly interested in everything they say.

Mark Polden
Mark Polden
10 months ago

My concern is replacing @lisanandy with @AngelaRayner. My impression of ms Rayner is of a classist blowhard whereas Lisa Nandy is doing a good job. To give ms Rayner the benefit of the doubt can anyone point me to a youtube video of ms Rayner giving a speech which involves some intellectual heft and grasp of serious detail.

Mark Polden
Mark Polden
10 months ago

My concern is replacing @lisanandy with @AngelaRayner. My impression of ms Rayner is of a classist blowhard whereas Lisa Nandy is doing a good job. To give ms Rayner the benefit of the doubt can anyone point me to a youtube video of ms Rayner giving a speech which involves some intellectual heft and grasp of serious detail.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
10 months ago

If our job centre was devolved to my local council it would be bankrupt within months.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
10 months ago

If our job centre was devolved to my local council it would be bankrupt within months.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
10 months ago

Reshuffles are destructive of coherent policies and should be kept to a bare minimum, both in and out of office.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
10 months ago

Reshuffles are destructive of coherent policies and should be kept to a bare minimum, both in and out of office.

Jonathan Bagley
Jonathan Bagley
10 months ago

Speaking not as a Labour voter, getting rid of Angela Rayner would be a vote winner. She no appeal to the swing voters Labour needs.
I think Starmer will be in trouble soon after he comes to power, if he does. Jeremy Corbyn’s reign brought back memories of the 1980s. The SWP hadn’t gone away, they’d just aged 30 years; and they stilll haven’t gone away. They’ve finally realised they should keep quiet until Labour is in power. How would Starmer have then dealt with the current wave of strikes? I think we know the answer.

Jonathan Bagley
Jonathan Bagley
10 months ago

Speaking not as a Labour voter, getting rid of Angela Rayner would be a vote winner. She no appeal to the swing voters Labour needs.
I think Starmer will be in trouble soon after he comes to power, if he does. Jeremy Corbyn’s reign brought back memories of the 1980s. The SWP hadn’t gone away, they’d just aged 30 years; and they stilll haven’t gone away. They’ve finally realised they should keep quiet until Labour is in power. How would Starmer have then dealt with the current wave of strikes? I think we know the answer.

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
10 months ago

Good grief, Starmer hasn’t got much in the way of material, has he?
Quite how John thinks any of those he’s praised here are capable of making their departments better or delivering for people, I’m entirely unsure. David Lammy? Please.
Not that I think the Tories are brimming with talent either, of course.

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
10 months ago

Good grief, Starmer hasn’t got much in the way of material, has he?
Quite how John thinks any of those he’s praised here are capable of making their departments better or delivering for people, I’m entirely unsure. David Lammy? Please.
Not that I think the Tories are brimming with talent either, of course.

John Baxendale
John Baxendale
10 months ago

McTernan – the ‘political strategist’ who lost Scotland.

John Baxendale
John Baxendale
10 months ago

McTernan – the ‘political strategist’ who lost Scotland.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
10 months ago

So Mr McTernan was responsible for the destruction of this Country through Blair’s revolution.. Devolution, Supreme Court, BoE, Universities, and of course his ultimate achievement of setting up the Technocratic Blob which run this Country today, circumventing parliament and frustrating everything the meek and useless Tories do. How can he support David Lammy when the man believes we should all be doped up to the eyeballs with Cannabis which is a scourge on our society?

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
10 months ago

I am missing Diane Abbott

Murray Morison
Murray Morison
10 months ago

And 
 Lisa Nandy? Was she on a piece of paper that dropped off your table?

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

What a refreshing run through of most of Labour frontbench. Thank you UnHerd. I’m sure this has delighted many regulars.
Of course the contrast with the elitist, primarily private schooled, silver spooned, out of touch brigade opposite them in the Commons comes across too. Country needs to be run by people more like ourselves now and who’ve got where they are by talent and effort not pre-determined advantage. The socio-economic median of Labour bench, and many of the back stories to these frontbenchers, much more akin to where we are as a country and that’ll stand them in good stead.
Anyway I’m sure my 2nd para further delighted our regulars and may have generated a few coffee spluttering moments this morning.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Well, I for one welcome our new socialistical overlords, and I’m delighted at the prospect of being governed by David Lammy, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and Angela Rayner. Cosmic (I say in my small Rodney voice).

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I think you’re over-estimating yourself J.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Maybe, but garnered a decent number of votes before brunch-time. And I think downvotes count double.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Maybe, but garnered a decent number of votes before brunch-time. And I think downvotes count double.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The country needs to be run by competent, honest people who can actually do the job they’re paid to do and don’t get distracted by pressure groups, passing fads and gesture politics.
I don’t care what someone’s “back story” is if they’re not up to the job. Or are going to pursue destructive policies.
It’s just so Labour to prioritise appearance (back stories, “being representative”) over reality (competence).

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agree with the ‘competency’ point.
I think ‘back stories’ can make a difference to how people connect and understand what people are struggling with. Clearly if they are then incompetent that’s no use though. But an elite background coupled with incompetency, such as we’ve had with the Tories, pretty toxic for us all.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agree with the ‘competency’ point.
I think ‘back stories’ can make a difference to how people connect and understand what people are struggling with. Clearly if they are then incompetent that’s no use though. But an elite background coupled with incompetency, such as we’ve had with the Tories, pretty toxic for us all.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Translation: yippee, up go the house prices, down go the wages, back come the planeloads of coffins. It’s New Labour all over again!

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Well, I for one welcome our new socialistical overlords, and I’m delighted at the prospect of being governed by David Lammy, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and Angela Rayner. Cosmic (I say in my small Rodney voice).

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I think you’re over-estimating yourself J.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The country needs to be run by competent, honest people who can actually do the job they’re paid to do and don’t get distracted by pressure groups, passing fads and gesture politics.
I don’t care what someone’s “back story” is if they’re not up to the job. Or are going to pursue destructive policies.
It’s just so Labour to prioritise appearance (back stories, “being representative”) over reality (competence).

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Translation: yippee, up go the house prices, down go the wages, back come the planeloads of coffins. It’s New Labour all over again!

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

What a refreshing run through of most of Labour frontbench. Thank you UnHerd. I’m sure this has delighted many regulars.
Of course the contrast with the elitist, primarily private schooled, silver spooned, out of touch brigade opposite them in the Commons comes across too. Country needs to be run by people more like ourselves now and who’ve got where they are by talent and effort not pre-determined advantage. The socio-economic median of Labour bench, and many of the back stories to these frontbenchers, much more akin to where we are as a country and that’ll stand them in good stead.
Anyway I’m sure my 2nd para further delighted our regulars and may have generated a few coffee spluttering moments this morning.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
10 months ago

It’s fascinating how terrified the ‘free thinking’ Herd are of Labour. Perhaps it’s because they have so much time for thinking because they are loaded.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago

I’m more bemused than terrified (I’m not loaded either). I’m generally as scathing of the Tories, no UK political party has a monopoly on mediocrity these days. It’s fascinating how the left are so thin-skinned when it comes to criticism. And if you don’t think the average contemporary labourite isn’t loaded then you haven’t been paying attention – the entire BBC, civil service and business elite support them.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago

You’re really not trying to pretend that Labour are still the party of the people, surely? That ended when Blair became leader. All my neighbours are millionaires and they all vote Labour because they know Starmer will make them even richer – entirely at the expense of the working poor – just as Blair did.

N Satori
N Satori
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Well, well Hugh Bryant – a privileged neighbourhood! Almost all my neighbours are immigrants from Eastern Europe. They’ll vote Labour because they imagine it furthers their interests – a moot point.
Incidentally, it’s surprising how many of those young men from the East look like clones of Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

N Satori
N Satori
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Well, well Hugh Bryant – a privileged neighbourhood! Almost all my neighbours are immigrants from Eastern Europe. They’ll vote Labour because they imagine it furthers their interests – a moot point.
Incidentally, it’s surprising how many of those young men from the East look like clones of Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
10 months ago

I’m more bemused than terrified (I’m not loaded either). I’m generally as scathing of the Tories, no UK political party has a monopoly on mediocrity these days. It’s fascinating how the left are so thin-skinned when it comes to criticism. And if you don’t think the average contemporary labourite isn’t loaded then you haven’t been paying attention – the entire BBC, civil service and business elite support them.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago

You’re really not trying to pretend that Labour are still the party of the people, surely? That ended when Blair became leader. All my neighbours are millionaires and they all vote Labour because they know Starmer will make them even richer – entirely at the expense of the working poor – just as Blair did.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
10 months ago

It’s fascinating how terrified the ‘free thinking’ Herd are of Labour. Perhaps it’s because they have so much time for thinking because they are loaded.