Starmer runs away from left policies while Tories rip off Corbyn’s manifesto
Keir Starmer’s non-oppositional approach to opposition meant that last week both LibDem leadership candidates were able to position themselves well to the left of Labour, with both Ed Davey and Layla Moran arguing emphatically in a televised debate in favour of a ‘Universal Basic Income’ as a means of fuelling an economic recovery while protecting the vulnerable.
But Starmer’s scramble to distance himself from Jeremy Corbyn’s popular policies is even allowing the Tories to outflank him on the left – and while nobody should trust that the Tories will ever do something that genuinely improves the lives of the poor and vulnerable at the cost of the richest, Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a plan to raise taxes on the wealthy allows him to create an illusion that will fool many.
And because Starmer has refused to back tax rises for the rich, he finds himself on the right of the Tories.
Johnson and co stealing Corbyn’s policies is neither new nor surprising. Labour’s policies under Corbyn were always hugely popular, in spite of the Tories’ and the media’s shameless attacks and misrepresentation. And as soon as Corbyn was safely on the way out, Boris Johnson stole those policies – whether on financial investment or free broadband – equally shamelessly, to increase his appeal.
But Starmer has been running away for them, chasing the Labour right’s delusion that the public doesn’t want what the left offered. Johnson and Sunak know better and even if they have no intention on delivering on the substance of those policies, they’re eager to seize the appearance of them, while Starmer vacates the field and lets them play at being left.
Being outmanoeuvred by the LibDems is appalling. Allowing the Tories to outflank Labour on the left and cloak their murderous and totalitarian intentions in left clothing is inexcusable.
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