‘A Changed Labour Party’ as Kier Starmer likes to call it, pursueing electoral credibility but at what cost to policies? Sir Kier Starmer keeps dropping in phrases about the Labour Party’s electoral credibility but what is unclear about his focus on this issue is the cost to the Labour Party’s policies and ambitions.
The last time we saw ‘A changed Labour Party’ was that of Tony Blair: and what a disaster that was
The last time we saw ‘A Changed Labour Party’ was that of Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’: and what a disaster that was. So is Starmer wanting to take Labour back to the uninspiring and instantly forgettable Tony Blair years? Well on the face of it it would appear to be so. So even though the Tories are gifting the next General Election to Labour, nervous Starmer still seems intent on watering the Labour Party policies down to worthlessness.
Clearly he is modelling his attempt to regain power on those of Blair, modelling Labour’s appeal not on striking difference to the Tories but instead on the lines of similarity and fiscal responsibility. In reality such an approach makes sure of constraints on ambition. Is Starmer actually using budget constraints as an excuse for lack of ambition? Is he rejecting the idea that you actually need to spend to invest and reap rewards ? Lack of investment equals lack of ambition in this case and another missed opportunity to really change Britain for the long term good and to finally get an opportunity to reverse the harm that Thatcherism has done to Britain. By so doing He has forfeited on many policies at the heart of the core values of his Party.
Britain needs ambition and a strong commitment to change but Kier Starmer seems to be undoing Labour’s resolve
There is a strong feeling that Starmer is unwilling to invest in those policies at the heart of core Labour values those which his predecessor Corbyn championed and which Starmer supported at the time. Sir Kier Starmer is now unwilling to invest in developing and taking forward into government those key policies and instead he is willing to drop them in order to make him look like he places greater emphasis on fiscal responsibility. However prior to this shift in focus it was these very policies that actually differentiated the Labour Party from the Tories. Now, instead, he is willing to seek power to simply act as an accountant, custodian and security officer, without any real ambition to change Britain for the greater good. Is this sounding very similar to what took place under Tony Blair’s administration? Britain deserves better than another missed opportunity by the Labour Party to really change Britain and finally turn our back on the failed policies of Thatcherism. Britain needs ambitions and an ambicious leader. Britain needs ambitious policies and radical reform not a custodian. More recently Starmer has reshuffled his cabinet to include many of the previous Blairite members. Is Starmer going to throw away a real chance to change Britain in the same way that Tony Blair did? Having power is useless if you don’t intend to do anything with it. What I am sensing about Starmer that he has no real strong commitment to change. Instead he seems obsessed about holding office in the same way that Tony Blair was and he is willing to sell out on Labour Party values and principles in order to do so in exactly the same way as Blair.
Nervous Starmer throwing away all hopes of really changing Britain for the better
Is nervous Starmer throwing away all hopes of actually changing Britain for the better? It would appear so from all the policies that he has ditched along the way. Modelling the Labour Party purely based on the desires of the electorate to have a moderate leader offering moderate change instead of radical change seems to be a Labour Party Leadership trait and a huge mistake. It underestimates the current desire of the majority of the electorate to embrace real sweeping changes which Britain is crying out for. This underestimate and lack of being in touch with scale of desire amongst the public for real change in Britain has already cost the Labour Party dearly in Scotland where Labour’s losses have resulted in SNP gains. In Scotland Labour were simply seen as unambitious and too much like the Tories. The SDP were simply more appealing with policies relating to free education etc. A Labour Party without any policies and leaving it all to wishful thinking and the morality of businesses behaving nicely this is what is really behind ‘A Changed Labour Party’ that nervous Starmer seem to be name dropping in at every opportunity he can these day. Call it what you will this not representative of Labour nor what the majority of it’s members want. Nobody wants ‘A Changed Labour Party’ without any policies or socialism. We want ‘A traditional Labour Party’ with values and an agenda to change and tackle the failed privatisations of Thatcherism. We don’t want new labels instead of policies. We don’t want re-invention for re-inventions sake. We don’t need a nervous Leader who is changing all the time to please everyone but nobody in particular. Let’s have the courage to be Labour and to be socialist. This next election is an opportunity but nervous Starmer is throwing it away for no good reason other than his own vanity seeks power at any cost, even if it means throwing away the Labour Party’s values in a fashion reminsceient of the actions of Tony Blair before him.
To change the Labour Party’s policies and values in response to the low expectations of the public and on public perception of what to expect from centre and centre right public opinion is wrong. It’s also a situation that the public may not even wish to vote for Labour because the two parties are becoming almost indistinguishable from each other again: in which case what would be the point because it would be a change that wouldn’t accomplish anything anyway. That is the danger of Starmer’s strategy. As in the case in Scotland the public tend to prefer a case whereby they can really see a marked difference between various political parties: not similarities. That ensures that the public get a real choice so when they get fed up with one then they can be assured that the other will offer real change and not just tinkering. If the public are not in a position to accept what Labour are offering then so be it. It’s not the right thing for the Party to change to try and cultivate and ingratiate itself to the public. Soon Labour will have no policies left if they carry on down this road.
A Changed Labour Party is not what is needed right now
The public will come to Labour when they are ready for real change and are sick of the what the Tories have been offering. I believe that this is currently the situation that Britain finds itself in so now is certainly not the time for the Party to have self doubts and be introspective or to change anything like key policies. Britain doesn’t need a ‘Changed Labour Party’ right now. What is really needs is a Labour Party that will change Britain. In order to do this it must be able to tackle the legacy of Thatcherism. Blair’s New Labour failed to do this so we need a Labour Party with traditional values to offer a real difference to Tory Party failures of the past. The only way in which this can be done is to have a Leader who is supportive of socialist principles and values. A leader that will not take Labour into government without them: sadly nervous Starmer is not such a leader, nor was Blair. Thatcherism persists in the UK and it is the main thing that is holding back Britain from bringing in a new era. In order to make a real difference the Labour Party has to stop ditching traditional Labour Party policies and values. If Starmer believes that taking the Labour Party backwards towards the New Labour of Tony Blair then he is mistaken. History has already shown this to be a big mistake. Blair was a traitor to Labour Party’s values and should not be venerated or copied. Blair let the privatisations of Thatcher go unchalleneged so couuld be largely regarded as being supportive of these Tory Party policies. A revival of Blairism in the Labour Party must be avoided at all cost.
Starmer’s Labour Party have misunderstood the real reasons why they lost the last General Election
The New Labour of Blair was really a missed opportunity of Labour to make real changes to Britain. Blair was a traitor to the values of the Labour Party. So obsessed with getting control for controls sake he watered down the Policies of the Labour Movement to such a point whereby the change of administration from the Tories to the Labour Party was hardly noticeable at all. Blair failed to reverse the damage of Tory Thatcherite policies. All Blair did was tinkering and and his time in office amounted to nothing more than self serving admiration. Blair was a traitor to the Labour Movement. Blair was no more than a Tory Cuckoo. It would be a massive mistake for Starmer to uphold the work of Blair and attempt to do the same.
Starmer’s ambition is simply to make Labour electable without any real ambition to change Britain for the better. Starmer’s ambition is to be an accountant or custodian without attempting any change or do anything creativily with the resources. He is afraid to be seen to be spending so if his Labour Party gets in office his legacy will again be one of failure and a missed opportunity to actually change Britain for the better. He will ultimately be remembered as a failure like Tony Blair.
A Revival of Blairism in the Labour party must be avoided at all cost
All we have from Starmer so far are clues and broken promises. What he wanted to accomplish seems to be continually narrowing. As a Labour Party member I find it continually frustrating that I simply do not know what Labour stands for any longer. I am being asked to support a Party where I don’t actually know it’s values or what it intends to do when and possibly if it gets into power. It also appears that I am being to asked to support a Labour Party who’s values almost resemble those of the Tories. It seems that this continued pursuit of power comes at a cost that Labour will inevitably water down it’s policies and ambitions to the point that it resembles both Blair’s New Labour and also its main opponent the Tories. Starmer’s Labour has become so paranoid about its loss in the last election without actually finding the real reason why it lost. To my mind Labour lost because of the publics will to see Brexit finally done. It’s not so much about not liking Labour’s policies on matters such as re-nationalisation it was simply that it believed Boris would finally put the Brexit question to bed. The public did not believe that Corbyn was as committed. What has happened since then is that Starmer believed he had to go down the same path as Blair to make the Labour Party electable again. This was and still is a huge mistake alienating the left of his Party. History has already seen what a huge mistake this was under Blair who simply has no lasting legacy other than being a wasted opportunity to change Britain for the better and reverse the policies of successive Thatcherite Administrations. To this day Thatcherism still survives in Britain and it is the main thing still holding back Britain from being Great again. So why is Starmer attempting to follow Blair down that same path of abject failure. Why is he distancing himself further and further from Labour’s core policies?
To be the Party in power means very little at all if you are simply going to accept that you cannot change anything or do anything but tinker. Power and acceptability often don’t go hand in hand bit this is the position which Starmer’s Labour seeks. It seems that Starmer has failed to understand the failure of Tony Blair’s Labour. To mimic that would again be a mistake and a lost opportunity.
Despite loosing the last election under Jeremy Corbyn the Labour Party’s membership actually increased and this was because of his radical policies that offered an opportunity for Britain to finally change course and move away from Thatcherite policies once and for all. These policies spoke to a younger membership. Corbyn made Labour a valid opposition again with policies that we both in step with core Labour Party values and that were totally different from those of the Tories. Unfortunately Starmer has failed to understand that Labour did not lose the last Election on policies. It lost it on the fact that most people were quite sick of the Stalemate that the Brexit debate had become mired up in. The public did not see that Corbyn had a clear strategy on Brexit and they were fearful of more protracted debate over the matter that they believed Corbyn would be dragging us into. They saw that Johnson had a clearer agenda and a clearer path to finally put the Brexit question to bed. The last election was simply about Brexit and nothing to do with any other policies. At that time there was simply nothing wrong with what Corbyn’s Labour Party had to offer but the public saw that the most pressing topic was that of Brexit. Also very little to do with the fact that the right-wing press ( those so called newspapers that pretend to represent the working classes: but in reality are simply cuckoo’s representing the right) saw Corbyn as an easy target for so called made up looney leftist. In reality they saw him as a credible threat to their intrests. A real threat.
Starmer’s reaction to all this has simply been akin to a paranoia and deep self introspection. Self loathing to find favour from the public was Starmer’s answer. Starmer’s team have misinterpreted the real reasons that lay more with a public desire than any fault of Corbyn’s Labour Party. However Starmer rushed to change what didn’t need to be changed. The path to a Blairist revival had begun. It would be a huge mistake for the Labour party to experience a revival of Blairism. A revival of Blairism would again cost the Labour Party a loss of principles, values and policies. It would appear that this is the situation taking place in Starmer’s ‘Changed Labour Party’
Here are some screenshots that I made of Kier Starmer’s website probably before they get taken down and replaced with something more in line with the direction that he is taking the Labour Party in.
So there it is set down in writing on Kier Starmer’s 10 pledges page a commitment to take back into public ownership of rail, mail, energy and water. How then are these pledges reflected in the the policies of ‘A Changed Labour Party’? there has been no mention of them recently. It is likely that Starmer’s ‘Changed Labour Party‘ has swept these pledges under the table. Also when he is asked about this in many interviews that I have seen him give there has been no mention of these commitments. Has there been a scaling down of these ambitions? Maybe the webpages need updating? However what is interesting is that you cannot directly access these pages from https://kierstarmer.com because there are no links to these pages on the Menu. Pages have been indexed by search bots. I am left wondering if this a poor/lazy attempt to archive these pages. If these 10 pledges were what I believed in I would make sure that they could be accessed easily from my Main Menu.
Right now it appears that Kier Starmer has got it wrong and that he is out of step with the wishes of most Party members. As an example follow this link to an article on the BBC News app. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-67056005