Starmer’s plan is for a government offering platitudes, minor admin reforms and a few more teachers in England alone. Ambition has rarely been as small as this.

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We finally know what Labour is going to do. These pledges are being launched today:

The first is statement any government could make.

The second would be the objective of any party at present.

The third has had £75 million allocated to it, a sum so small that it would hardly feature in national accounting.

No one really knows what the fourth means. But it is definitely not nationalisation and so how it changes anything very much is hard to tell.

The fifth is another platitude any government would say.

And the last is the clearest evidence of the lack of ambition Labour suffers from. Data suggests that there are about 25,000 schools in the UK, but if these only a little under  22,000 are in England. Starmer will have no control over the rest. He seems to have forgotten that. And his offer will, in any event provide fewer than one in three schools in England with a new teacher, presuming he is talking net numbers. That's really not going to change anything that much.

Now let's note what is missing. There is nothing on

  • climate change,
  • investment,
  • defence,
  • law and order beyond anti-social behaviour,
  • social care,
  • reducing inequality,
  • restoring workers' rights,
  • reversing the attacks the Tories have launched on those with disabilities,
  • human rights including the right to protest,
  • electoral reform,
  • devolution,
  • relationships with Europe and trade,
  • or almost anything else that might really matter to people.

In summary, Labour wants office on the basis of three platitudes, two commitments to reform that appear almost inconsequential and an offer of a few more teachers that he cannot deliver throughout the UK. As for everything else, we will remain as much in the dark as we have ever been.

Does Starmer think we're stupid, or is he?

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