Is Keir Starmer all style and no substance?

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I have published this video this morning. In it, I note that Keir Starmer received gifts of more than £18,000 to polish his image in the run-up to the election – including £2,485 on glasses.

Really? Does this mean he's a man who is more interested in style than substance?

And does it mean he's also a man willing to be in hock to his donors?

None of this feels good about a new prime minister.

The audio version of this video is here:

The transcript is:

How much should Keir Starmer spend on glasses?

That does sound like a rather odd question, except for the fact that apparently, he spent £2,485 on glasses in the period running up to the election.

Does that matter? Well, yes. Not because we're discussing his vanity, but because those glasses were donated for his benefit by a Labour peer who was previously the chair of ASOS, the clothing retailer.

Worse than that, Starmer was donated £16,200 worth of clothing by the same man. So, Starmer's image has been created as a result of corporate donations. You might say, it wasn't corporate donations, it was because this person was a Labour peer. And he's entitled to give money to Starmer. But is he?  Is that right?

Is this appropriate? I mean, let's just go back to those glasses. How much can you spend on glasses? I know a little bit about glasses. I've worn them for 50-odd years. And they aren't simple, these things. In fact, these are trifocals, and they have to have anti-glare because I'm sitting surrounded by, well, three lights to get this image that you're seeing.

So, this not a very straightforward pair of glasses, of which I got two, when I bought them, because they offered me that option, and they came in at £300.

So he's got a lot of pairs of glasses, I can only presume. And that's again to create an image.

Now I'm not very worried if Starmer is a vain man. We know that Sunak has been. He's been spending over £3,000 apparently on suits, and even so, he still can't afford the last two inches of the trouser leg.

I'm more worried about Starmer accepting gifts. Now that's not hypocritical, that's not criticising the left for the sake of it. I think we can safely presume that Sunak could afford to pay for his own suits. But Starmer took corporate gifts to do that. Corporate or personal, I don't care which. Because in either case, he is now, in my opinion, in hock to somebody who's given him, well, nearly £20,000 to create an image, a style.

And I'm not interested in image and style very much. A little bit. Because, yes, I admit, I've been told to wear this colour shirt for the purposes of making videos, because I look better.

And, look, Starmer also happens to wear dark shirts, because apparently they suit him better too. And I can understand he wants a decent pair of glasses.

But, eighteen plus thousand pounds we're now talking about in total for this image?

No, I want a man of substance as Prime Minister. And I'm not totally convinced we're going to get one.

But worse than that, I do think we might be getting a man who's willing to be in hock to corporate donors for the benefit of this. And I don't care who gives him that much money, corporate or personal, I believe he should be free of such influences. And that's what really matters here.

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