TAKE your mind back to the Summer of 2017.
After smashing Theresa May’s majority in June, Jeremy Corbyn was showered with the familiar White Stripes anthem by thousands at Glastonbury. Socialism wasn’t only popular at the ballot box, it was cool.
This week showed how far the illusion has fallen.
In what was meant to be a landmark economic speech, Keir Starmer muttered something about recovery bonds and not going back to normal. It was, as per usual, uninspiring, unambitious and forgettable. There was nothing here for the Left.
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But he’s not exactly winning round his target voters on the centre-right either. Tony Blair, for all his faults, at least attacked the government effectively and proposed clear policy.
The press, who have given him a fair chance for the first nine months of his tenure, appear impatient. The Times leader admitted the “party is lagging in the polls and struggling to break through. The Telegraph said he is “clutching at straws”. On the other side, the BBC analysis claimed the tepid content of his speech is “unlikely to pacify those who would like to see Labour being more radical.”
Starmer came into the leadership with a far easier job than Corbyn did. No Brexit to deal with, no political baggage from his past and a fair few open goals that the Tory handling of the pandemic opened up.
But he’s swatted thin air so far. From an opposition that forced the most U-turns in history to one that, for some reason, pledges to support the government more often than not.
Talk of a leadership challenge is premature, but with each passing week, it looks less likely that Starmer will lead Labour into the next election.
At least the Left are doing half-decently elsewhere.
In Ecuador, Correa protégé Arauz could end up facing off against environmentalist Yaku Perez – a win-win there, some would say. Read our analysis below:
It’s the opposite in Italy, however. Mario Draghi has emerged victorious after months of political turmoil – and his only opposition is from the right. Every other party fell in line.
Over in the US, the Biden administration is facing its first tough foreign policy test in Afghanistan over the decision to withdraw troops.
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) also told Redaction that Biden will likely carry on the US’ imperial legacy.
Keep on eye on the Nigerien general election on February 21 (I’m serious) – Mohamed Bazoum of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, which is part of the Socialist International, should win comfortably.
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