Can Sir Keir Starmer revive the Labour Party?

Can Sir Keir Starmer revive the Labour Party?

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unident

3,552 posts

15 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Derek Smith said:
Coronavirus could be Johnson's Falklands War. Mind you, there'll be some criticism on the way the NHS was treated in the recent past, mabe some from doctors and nurses, and they'll be looked upon in a sympathetic light. Hancock didn't help with his 'some nurses' comment.

On the other hand, it may well be all forgotten at the next election if the economy is in a bit of a state. The electorate have never looked too kindly on a government that allows the economy to fall behind.

Everything might well depend on the econominc fallout of brexit, and that's a big unknown.
It could be his WWII also and that didn’t work out too well for Churchill.

Starmer was the only real option for Labour and the country needs a credible opposition, especially with a government that not only has a huge majority, but has also effectively closed parliament for the foreseeable future. I know these are exceptional times, but there need to be some checks and balances.

I’m not convinced Brexit will be an issue any more, the fall out from the virus and a destroyed global economy will be far more relevant. I expect all sides on Brexit to compromise to such an extent that it will be over in no time.

Robertj21a

10,424 posts

69 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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hackjo said:
I think the odds of Labour winning the election in five years are low. It would need the Government to make a very serious cockup for starters and as we saw with Blair and Iraq, that doesn't always provide a window for the opposition to seize power.

I think Starmer needs to do the following things which are all about rebuilding Labour's credibility:

- Support the Government when it's doing the right thing, don't oppose for the sake of opposition.

- Where the Government is failing, ask intelligent questions and make intelligent proposals in the spirit of being a check and balance. Seek to influence Government behaviour and work with them to ensure they do the right thing. Be factual, reasonable and accurate. Be challenging but again, don't oppose for the sake of opposing.

- Slowly develop credible Labour policies that address the failings of the Government and build on the things they've done well. Accept that if the Government is broadly successful, it may be tricky to find those one or two issues that really differentiate Labour.

- Speak openly and honestly. Don't be bullied by the press.

- Stamp out Momentum. Get away from the extreme left wing bias and aim to a more social conservative position, being to the left of the BoJo Tory Government but still credible. Effectively, take the party back where it was under Blair but with the gravitas and credibility New Labour lacked.

- Aim to re-engage with real people and get away from the London woke bubble.

- Build a shadow cabinet of A players.

If Starmer can tackle these things, he will build a credible and valuable opposition party. Even then, it may take up to 10 years of practising these principles for Labour to get another shot at power. But they must do them otherwise their only hope of power is a serious failure on the part of the Government. I think they can and should do better.

Edited by hackjo on Saturday 4th April 11:53
Sensible comments. At least he's got about 9 years to make the Labour Party more acceptable to some of the electorate.

king arthur

4,431 posts

225 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Derek Smith said:
Everything might well depend on the econominc fallout of brexit, and that's a big unknown.
The economic fallout, or otherwise, from Brexit will pale into insignificance compared to the economic fallout of what we're going through right now.

Brave Fart

2,570 posts

75 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Three things Sir Keir should have on his "to do" list:
  1. remove, or at least reduce, the influence of Momentum. Start with Jon Lansman, in my view a full on loon
  2. offer support, or at least constructive criticism, during the virus crisis
  3. appoint a Shadow Cabinet that doesn't contain the same failed candidates as before. So goodbye to Abbott, Ashworth, Burgon, Lavery and Gardiner. Bring in the likes of Yvette Cooper and Hilary Benn, plus some new MP's who don't seem to be Communists.
Oh, and learn to relax, smile, and stop looking so damned terrified of your own shadow.

Zirconia

36,010 posts

248 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Who is controlling the NEC at the moment?

unident

3,552 posts

15 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Just a side thought and certainly not raised flippantly, but it is very relevant at the moment.

There is a lot of talk about getting rid of the Left and sneering comments around socialism. Four months ago there was a groundswell in this country around not paying more tax, free internet, massive government borrowing and so on. There were cheers in mid-December as we “killed socialism for good”, got rid of all those EU scroungers and headed towards our own Utopia.

The irony now is that we are still demanding the end of socialism, whilst clamouring for the government to bail all of us out, spend a fortune on the NHS and so on. ,any people have become benefit claimants and many more are demanding the opportunity to become one.

I’m not suggesting that Socialism is the way forward, but there is clearly a balance to be struck and maybe a more equitable society is where we could be headed.

The reason for the above is merely to highlight that if Starmer manages to make Labour a more coherent and relevant party in the next 4 years then he has a very good chance of succeeding at the next election. Normally stuff that happens at the start of a government is forgotten long before the next election, but the fallout from this is likely to drag and a drag.

paulrockliffe

12,101 posts

191 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Zirconia said:
Who is controlling the NEC at the moment?
Not Keir Starmer's lot.

anonymous-user

18 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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With the tories trending towards basic income and unprecedented wealth taxes, be interest to see how Kier will define labour from here.

turbobloke

92,884 posts

224 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Millionaire and common man of the people Sir K Starmer may be able to heal the politically sick but not revive the dead.

He'll have to wait for political suicide elsewhere in quite a few years and may find himself replaced due to growing Momentum for a radical female protest leader to heckle from the sidelines.

Teddy Lop

4,698 posts

31 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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unident said:
Just a side thought and certainly not raised flippantly, but it is very relevant at the moment.

There is a lot of talk about getting rid of the Left and sneering comments around socialism. Four months ago there was a groundswell in this country around not paying more tax, free internet, massive government borrowing and so on. There were cheers in mid-December as we “killed socialism for good”, got rid of all those EU scroungers and headed towards our own Utopia.

The irony now is that we are still demanding the end of socialism, whilst clamouring for the government to bail all of us out, spend a fortune on the NHS and so on. ,any people have become benefit claimants and many more are demanding the opportunity to become one.

I’m not suggesting that Socialism is the way forward, but there is clearly a balance to be struck and maybe a more equitable society is where we could be headed.

The reason for the above is merely to highlight that if Starmer manages to make Labour a more coherent and relevant party in the next 4 years then he has a very good chance of succeeding at the next election. Normally stuff that happens at the start of a government is forgotten long before the next election, but the fallout from this is likely to drag and a drag.
welfare and socialism are not the same and are not inter reliant; a welfare state can and does exist alongside, and support, the free market.

You do not have to pick a side.



hackjo

348 posts

124 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
quotequote all
unident said:
Just a side thought and certainly not raised flippantly, but it is very relevant at the moment.

There is a lot of talk about getting rid of the Left and sneering comments around socialism. Four months ago there was a groundswell in this country around not paying more tax, free internet, massive government borrowing and so on. There were cheers in mid-December as we “killed socialism for good”, got rid of all those EU scroungers and headed towards our own Utopia.

The irony now is that we are still demanding the end of socialism, whilst clamouring for the government to bail all of us out, spend a fortune on the NHS and so on. ,any people have become benefit claimants and many more are demanding the opportunity to become one.

I’m not suggesting that Socialism is the way forward, but there is clearly a balance to be struck and maybe a more equitable society is where we could be headed.

The reason for the above is merely to highlight that if Starmer manages to make Labour a more coherent and relevant party in the next 4 years then he has a very good chance of succeeding at the next election. Normally stuff that happens at the start of a government is forgotten long before the next election, but the fallout from this is likely to drag and a drag.
There's an underlying issue I think you're touching on there. Which is, the assumption that conservatism means profit at all costs and every man for themselves. Before Thatcher, Conservative principles were all about enabling individuals in all walks of society to succeed in their lives by encouraging social capitalism which generated wealth that then trickled down to communities. They wanted to "conserve" societal and community values. This type of social capitalism is best represented by the likes of the Cadbury family, who built a profitable company while creating a community and looking after their workers.

BoJo is more in this space than the Thatcher ideology. Hence his fondness for things like infrastructure, levelling up etc.

The measures being taken now betray this as they are targeted at safe guarding businesss so that individuals are able to retain their livelihoods, while also providing enough support to individuals to ensure the majority can make it through. A socialist approach would have been to do something like a universal basic wage, paid by the Government direct to individuals.

You're absolutely right about a balance being needed. Ae need to get away from the left-right bks and look at what social outcomes are being created and how that's being done.

unident

3,552 posts

15 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
quotequote all
hackjo said:
There's an underlying issue I think you're touching on there. Which is, the assumption that conservatism means profit at all costs and every man for themselves. Before Thatcher, Conservative principles were all about enabling individuals in all walks of society to succeed in their lives by encouraging social capitalism which generated wealth that then trickled down to communities. They wanted to "conserve" societal and community values. This type of social capitalism is best represented by the likes of the Cadbury family, who built a profitable company while creating a community and looking after their workers.

BoJo is more in this space than the Thatcher ideology. Hence his fondness for things like infrastructure, levelling up etc.

The measures being taken now betray this as they are targeted at safe guarding businesss so that individuals are able to retain their livelihoods, while also providing enough support to individuals to ensure the majority can make it through. A socialist approach would have been to do something like a universal basic wage, paid by the Government direct to individuals.

You're absolutely right about a balance being needed. Ae need to get away from the left-right bks and look at what social outcomes are being created and how that's being done.
As I said, my point was more to highlight how people seem to have moved their mindset and decided that’s as once unacceptable “benefit scroungers” has morphed very quickly into outrage that they’re not instantly receiving all their benefit entitlement. I agree that Boris is more of a centrist than people realise, I’m just not convinced he has the gravitas, or support to pull off what he would like to achieve.

Getting through the next 6 months is all that really matters at the moment anyway. Medium / long term planning will have to wait until we’re certain things have settled down.

Teddy Lop said:
welfare and socialism are not the same and are not inter reliant; a welfare state can and does exist alongside, and support, the free market.

You do not have to pick a side.
You say that, but the whole country is binary nowadays. You are either 100% with someone or 100% against them. Some of the threads on here show that very clearly.

Teddy Lop

4,698 posts

31 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
quotequote all
unident said:
You say that, but the whole country is binary nowadays. You are either 100% with someone or 100% against them. Some of the threads on here show that very clearly.
the news/media/social media may present that and have a lot to answer for but you need not accept their broken world view.

Most people are centrist and ideologically far more aligned with other centrists regardless of left/right labels (which are outdated concepts used to mislead people) than they are with the freaks on the fringes who get all the airtime.

Blue62

6,047 posts

116 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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turbobloke said:
Millionaire and common man of the people Sir K Starmer may be able to heal the politically sick but not revive the dead.

He'll have to wait for political suicide elsewhere in quite a few years and may find himself replaced due to growing Momentum for a radical female protest leader to heckle from the sidelines.
I don't understand why the fact that Starmer is a millionaire is at all relevant in terms of his ability or propensity to lead the Labour Party, he comes from a pretty ordinary background and is obviously a bright cookie. With few of the advantages bestowed upon his peer group he rose to the top of the CPS and was well rewarded for doing so, I can't see any issue with that but maybe you could enlighten me?

I don't see many scathing remarks about 'working class Tories' though that is an obvious phenomenon, especially at the last election. I recognise that this is PH and accept the undoubted weighting of opinion here, but some otherwise lucid posters don't half let their guards down at times.

Sophisticated Sarah

13,286 posts

133 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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I hope he can bring Labour back to the working classes (probably now considered middle classes) and away from the screeching and vile academic sorts.

hackjo

348 posts

124 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Blue62 said:
turbobloke said:
Millionaire and common man of the people Sir K Starmer may be able to heal the politically sick but not revive the dead.

He'll have to wait for political suicide elsewhere in quite a few years and may find himself replaced due to growing Momentum for a radical female protest leader to heckle from the sidelines.
I don't understand why the fact that Starmer is a millionaire is at all relevant in terms of his ability or propensity to lead the Labour Party, he comes from a pretty ordinary background and is obviously a bright cookie. With few of the advantages bestowed upon his peer group he rose to the top of the CPS and was well rewarded for doing so, I can't see any issue with that but maybe you could enlighten me?

I don't see many scathing remarks about 'working class Tories' though that is an obvious phenomenon, especially at the last election. I recognise that this is PH and accept the undoubted weighting of opinion here, but some otherwise lucid posters don't half let their guards down at times.
Good point. Kier Starmer should be judged on what he does, not who he is or his background. That's the only rational approach. He should also be judged on what he does in this job, not what he did previously.

I apply the same thinking to BoJo - I dislike his philandering personal lifestyle and I think he has a very healthy ego that needs to be fed, but I recognise his strengths, not least forming a very credible team of capable people around him and letting them each have the limelight, an impressive leadership quality not often found in an egotistical showman.

mikal83

5,057 posts

216 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Another tightywhitey male londoner in charge. What could possibly go wrong. Shame it wasnt that asshole burgon as dep as that would have all but guaranteed another Tory majority at the next GE.

powerstroke

10,247 posts

124 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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Looks like another Blair! wealthy smug middle class champagne socialist... great !!!
Will he have enough glitter for his shadow cabinet and what about the loony left elephant in the room,
Going to be interesting will he drift leftwards or pick a fight ???

Tyre Smoke

17,118 posts

225 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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mikal83 said:
Another tightywhitey male londoner in charge. What could possibly go wrong. Shame it wasnt that asshole burgon as dep as that would have all but guaranteed another Tory majority at the next GE.
I don't know. He's got a dangerously stupid deputy.

Wacky Racer

34,146 posts

211 months

Saturday 4th April 2020
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bhstewie said:
I hope he can because regardless of your politics it's important not to live in what's effectively a one-party system.
This.

As a Conservative voter, I would still like to see a sensible strong opposition.

Good luck to him, now that thankfully Corbyn has gone.