I think you have to admit that Keir Starmer had quite a weekend.
His article in The Observer made it absolutely clear that he really is determined to pursue Thatcherism when in office.
His appearance with Laura Kuenssberg only reinforced that impression.
He also let slip that he is so dedicated to Conservative policy that he will not change the two-child benefits policy, much to the annoyance of even his own loyalists who appeared to have no prior notice of this.
The necessary conclusions from this are at least threefold.
First, the time to pretend that Starmer is doing one thing but means to do another is over. We are seeing what we are going to get.
Second, Starmer lied to become Labour leader and has lied ever since. He is, regretfully, about as trustworthy as Boris Johnson as a result. In fact, he may be worse. I am almost inclined to think Johnson was sufficiently detached from reality to not know how often he lied. Starmer is lying quite deliberately.
Third, we face the prospect of a truly torrid Labour government that fails to meet any reasonable expectation of anyone who thinks themselves even vaguely left of centre, which most in the UK are when to fines to social issues.
This, then, is a disaster in the making that is all too easy to foretell, and which could lead to a Tory return to power all too soon.
Opinion polls suggest that this is an outcome no-one wants. People are bored by Conservative policy, austerity and the claim that a government imposing record tax levels is unable to act. Instinctively (based on experience in 2009 and 2020) people know that government is not constrained in the way Labour now claims. They smell a rat, even before most have had the chance to vote for it.
So, what is there to do? Very obviously those who realise that things are those bad now need to vote for anyone but the Tories and Labour. Who that other party to support might be will only be apparent locally.
Then the programme of opposition to a government that is pre-ordained by its own choice to fail us all needs to be thought about. There are many options available here. Which one to opt for and focus on is personal choice, but what we know is that Starmer is going to fail on:
- Climate change
- Transport reform
- The economy
- Public sector pay
- The NHS
- Social care
- Law and order
- Trade unions
- Reversing Tory policy
- Support for local government
- Electoral reform
- Interest rates
- Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Taxing the rich
Take your pick. Become a bit of a geek about it. Wade in. The aim should be to make Starmer, and most especially his MPs, as uncomfortable as possible for as long as possible in such issues until, eventually, the pressure on him to reform becomes insurmountable and he has to change.
How to do this?
- Inform yourself
- Join groups
- Talk to people
- Write to MPs, councillors and anyone else
- Phone in to the radio (you are likely to get on)
- Consider peaceful protest
- Join a union if it is appropriate for you
- Write a blog
- Comment here
- Tweet, Thread, use Mastodon, create a YouTube, TikTok or Instagram post.
But just don't suffer in silence. Starmer has to know he is failing, already. Only then might he change, or be forced to. Things are far too serious to accept the dire policy options as those Starmer is now proposing. We all have to demand better.
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