Jingoism is no substitute for an actual policy platform to improve life for UK people
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary has been criticised for a Radio 4 interview that effectively made ‘Britain First’ – the name of a far right hate group and the words shouted by the murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox – a Labour slogan.
Commentator Rachel Shabi identified the similarity just after Nandy had appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme:
Hundreds of responses attacked Nandy’s – and by implication party leader Keir Starmer’s – jingoistic approach, with some referring back to the appalling anti-immigration mugs created by New Labour as it tried to out-Tory the Tories:
Others simply felt nauseous, or referred to Nandy’s association with the right-wing ‘Blue Labour’ group:
While Nandy did not use the exact phrase ‘Britain First’, she did refer to lots of ‘British’ things and say ‘we will always put that first’:
Starmer’s excruciating conference speech, which Nandy’s appearance was meant to trail, attempted unconvincingly to tap into that same jingoism and will do nothing to persuade the leave seats that Labour lost last year that he is any different to the remain-obsessed referendum advocate that helped destroy Labour in many of its heartlands.
To even flirt with ‘Britain first’ rhetoric is an appalling betrayal of Labour values – and no replacement for pursuing the actual policies that will improve lives for everyone who lives in this country. But it seems Starmer thinks he can run away from those policies and make up for it in dog-whistle language.
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