SIR Keir Starmer’s ideal Labour conference almost came to fruition this past week.
The Labour leadership passed their favoured internal party reforms on the conference floor, the Left were largely boxed into fringe events off the main stage and his speech went down well with the media commentariat.
Starmer said in a post-conference interview that the five-day jaunt in Brighton could be a turning point for his leadership.
Some analysts pointed out that the scattered heckles throughout the room during the Leader’s Speech on Wednesday represented Starmer’s clear break from the Corbynite left – something that would work to his advantage.
It was seen by some to be his Neil Kinnock moment – the centrist ex-leader who, despite vanquishing the Labour Left, went on to lose two general elections.
But as Redaction Report pointed out in last week’s newsletter, the current Labour leader is incapable of offering clear, alternative solution’s to Britain’s current issues.
[READ MORE: Redaction Weekly: All out of CO2, fuel, money and ideas]
The nearly hour-and-a-half long speech contained scant policy detail – bar some pledges on compulsory work experience, home insulation and tougher sentences for rapists, stalkers and domestic abusers – and was primarily focused on Starmer’s own story.
It was a clear attempt to inject some life into what has been 18 months of insipid dullness at the helm.
But aside from those moments, there was nothing – for ex-Labour voters, non-voters or the Labour Left.
The third day of conference saw Shadow Minister Andy McDonald – one of the Left’s remnants in Starmer’s Cabinet – quit over reluctance from the Leadership to back a £15/hour minimum wage.
It’s the same Leadership that failed to back a 12 per cent pay rise for NHS staff in March – after workers had been ground down saving lives for an entire year during the pandemic.
Starmer’s team reportedly briefed they were internally pleased with his resignation – another sign they care little about garnering votes from the left.
[WATCH: Did Starmer’s conference speech cut the mustard? | Redaction News Roundup]
Post-conference polling showed that Starmer’s ‘big moment’ was largely limited to impressing centrist commentators and New Labour types.
Starmer certainly achieved the Labour right’s goals at conference – disempower and disenfranchise the left while appealing to centrist types – but the lack of ambition, passion and ideology was also on full display.
The British public know this – polling shows that Starmer’s personal ratings have collapsed throughout his tenure, and they’re unlikely to improve with more air time during an election.
Sir Keir not only missed his chance to present an alternative vision to the country during conference – he actively took Labour backwards.
Featured Image: Chris Boland @Flickr / www.chrisboland.com
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