Don’t kick a man when he’s down, they say – unless, it seems he’s a Labour Leader
Don’t kick a man when he’s down, they say – unless, it seems he’s a Labour Leader.
Following last week’s election disaster, Keir Starmer‘s getting a bashing from all sides – with only former leader Ed ‘disaster’ Milliband rallying to his defence.
Yes, the Millibandroid, the charisma-free chap who thought writing his big ideas on a tombstone was a brilliant vote-grabber. With supporters like that, Starmer might as well ask for his P45.
He could have expected a drubbing from the Corbynites, but must have been choked when New Labour God Tony Blair pitched up on Good Morning Britain to reflect on what Labour should do next to turn around their disastrous fortunes.
Critics on all sides seem to agree that voters don’t know what the latest version of the Labour party offers voters. Even Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, seemed a bit baffled to discover that on the doorsteps of Hartlepool – and she was campaign manager.
So – what does Labour stand for in 2021? That’s a challenging question even ITV’s Chasers would be unable to answer.
We know what Labour DOESN’T stand for because they are very good at virtue-signalling, posing for pictures taking the knee in support of Black Lives Matter.
They want to get rid of statues from Britain’s colonial past and street names which could cause offence.
They’re not happy with JK Rowling’s definition of a woman (someone who gives birth), and they want to end discrimination in all walks of life. All very laudable, but what do ideals add up to if they’re not translated into solid policies, costed and planned in detail?
If Keir Starmer was a packet of cereal, what would be in it?
I hear a resounding silence.
Following last week’s election disaster, Keir Starmer (pictured with Angela Rayner in London yesterday) is getting a bashing from all sides – with only former leader Ed ‘disaster’ Milliband rallying to his defence
Sure, he wants to end poverty, fight for social inclusion, get everyone a roof over their heads but so does every sensible person, no matter where they stand on the political divide.
Those are placards, not policies and placards don’t pay rent, get you a hospital appointment or a place at the best local school for your kids.
My vote is precious – brave women fought and died for it – so I’m not going to give it away to a bunch of people (Labour) who appear to spend their time at war with each other, raking over the past, obsessing about covoluted rules and nit-picking over who ‘true’ believers are.
The main enemies of the Labour party are the people running it. Labour is run like a a business operating in the days when Workers Playtime was essential lunchtime-listening on the BBC Home Service, broadcast from factory canteens up and down the land. Factories that have since shut and workers laid off.
So why do I care so much about Labour?
I’m still working and healthy, you’d call me middle class. My parents left school at 14, were solidly working class, fanatically loyal to Labour. I followed suit.
Half a century later, there’s a massive problem – I don’t have a political party to vote for any more. The last time I was excited about Labour was back in 1997 when Tony Blair won a landslide victory.
I remember that night as if it was yesterday. It was a fantastic moment.
Here was a politician who was charismatic, idealistic, who talked directly to both young and old voters and promised a new future. He was bursting with energy, and New Labour brought a new wave of MPs into parliament- more women than ever before.
Keir Starmer (pictured with Angela Rayner in London yesterday) could have expected a drubbing from the Corbynites, but must have been choked when New Labour God Tony Blair pitched up on Good Morning Britain to reflect on what Labour should do next to turn around their disastrous fortunes
Yes, that was almost 25 years ago- and Tony Blair saw a spectacular fall from grace after it emerged there were no weapons of mass destruction in Syria and that we’d invaded a country on a false pretext.
Nevertheless Labour managed to win three successive elections and – as Blair reminded us on GMB – still managed to hold onto their ‘Red Wall’ seats in the North (including Hartlepool) even at their third victorious General Election.
Labour have now lost three elections in a row since those heady days, and at the current rate I might be dead and gone before they win one.
Can anything be done, or is the party – like the Sinclair car or the Hovercraft – dead as a dodo?
Keir Starmer was described as ‘capable’ and ‘a sensible guy’ by Tony Blair, on Good Morning Britain this week. You don’t have to be a mind reader to work out that calling somebody ‘capable’ damns with faint praise.
Anyone in the workplace described as ‘capable’ is generally the dreary individual no one wants to promote, busy re-arranging the cups by the coffee machine and managing bookings for the meeting room.
Captain Sensible is no match for Brigadier Bombastic – Boris, the man whose faults, general sloppiness and vague grasp of facts do not seem to deter voters one jot.
Quite the reverse, they seem to be infatuated with his larger-than-life persona. In short, it’s as if Boris is a pop star lower middle class people (especially men) are infatuated with.
Labour supporters voted Tory in their thousands as a thank you for sorting their jabs, and because Boris delivered the Brexit Labour wouldn’t and bringing to an end all the tormented and ineffectual manoeuvrings of Theresa May.
In other words, Michel Barnier and his Brussels bureaucrats were finally removed from our television screens and we can watch the latest series of Love Island without hot updates from talks which got nowhere.
But should you hand over your vote as a thank you – when the Tories stand for privilege and private education, and are the ‘looking after myself and sod the rest of you’ party? Not in my book. My vote is worth more than that.
The Tories won last week because everyone knows what they stand for. Getting Things Done – even if it’s only Two Things.
And, as Labour wavered about whether flying flags was slightly racist – Boris has cleverly appropriated patriotism, hoisting union jacks and waffling on about the ‘Great British spirit’ at every opportunity.
He’s wallowed in sentimentality about our resilience and our fortitude during the past year. And launching his new parliamentary programme this week, he promised to ‘channel the extraordinary spirit’ the country has demonstrated during the pandemic. Boris bigs the British up while Labour is always banging on about society letting people down.
Keir Starmer does have some half-decent things in his manifesto but the Tories are cleverly nicking them.
They plan to act on animal rights (banning live animal exports and keeping primates as pets), are nationalising airports (Teeside) and taking over railways. The Tories promise massive housebuilding and a ‘levelling up’ programme – whatever that means.
But the big hole in British politics remains in the centre. The people who want to help others, but don’t think they should apologise for owning their own home, having two cars and liking Last Night of the Proms.
The people who want to keep grammar schools, want nurses and care workers to be paid more and are prepared to pay more for the NHS. The people who run small businesses, who struggled through lockdown and got very little from Dishi Rishi.
They are the people who have waited over ten years for a government to deal with the social care crisis, to prevent the elderly having to liquidate all their hard-won assets to pay to have their bottoms wiped and fed at regular intervals. Once again, Boris has reneged on a promise he made on day one by consigning the issue to the back of his in-tray.
Spurred on by last week’s results, Boris is seizing the moment by proposing to scrap the fixed term Parliaments Act, which would enable him to call a General Election whenever it suits him.
And with the current crew in charge at Labour, I expect that date to be very soon.