An Ipsos Mori poll has found that the public thinks TV presenter Piers Morgan – and even the tame journalists allowed to ask questions at the government’s daily briefings – are doing a better job than Labour leader Keir Starmer at holding Boris Johnson’s government to account over its mishandling of the coronavirus crisis.
In fact, it finds that the public thinks everyone is doing a better job than Starmer – except the Labour Party’s other spokespeople.
Even among Labour voters, only 33% think Labour’s front bench team under Starmer is doing a good job.
Starmer’s cheerleaders keep calling his approach ‘forensic’, although normally forensic means deeply and minutely searching rather than enabling and congratulatory. It seems the wider public isn’t fooled by this spin.
Starmer seems to have fallen for the line that highlighting and attacking the Tories’ endless failures and lies will be seen by the public as disloyal or unpatriotic. It’s eerily reminiscent of the spinelessness of Labour under Brown and then Miliband, when the supposed Opposition didn’t dare challenge the nonsensical lie that Labour caused the financial crash and allowed that nonsensical idea to become entrenched – and then fooled itself into thinking the public would be impressed if Labour talked tougher on spending and benefits claimants than the Tories.
Starmer is no novice to the front bench. If he can’t do better than this, he’s in the wrong job at the wrong time. People are dying needlessly – the people of this country need an Official Opposition, not an Official Facilitation.
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