Labour insiders say Starmer outmanoeuvred by Johnson again – reason for focus only on tax implications of Johnson’s plans is because of fear of messing up conference speech in 3 weeks
Labour leader Keir Starmer is allowing Boris Johnson and the Tories to outflank him – again – this time on the NHS and social care. Labour insiders report that Starmer’s conference speech, written by former Blair speechwriters and which he and his advisers desperately hope will help his appalling polling, is going to be all about his ‘determination’ to save the NHS and his plans for social care.
But the Tories, either told or guessing what he plans, pre-empted Starmer by announcing their own plan early rather than wait for their own conference – forcing Starmer either to bolt early or sit on his hands and try to keep everything back for his speech while they make hay. According to well-placed sources, he has chosen the latter.
As a result, Labour’s scant opposition to the Tories’ plans has concentrated on the tax implications with barely a peep about other issues or the fact that Johnson’s plan is built on further privatisation to benefit his mates and donors.
Even the Labour right has been critical of Starmer for failing to put forward any alternate plan or vision – and NHS campaigners in any case say that Starmer and his health team are essentially on board with the continued privatisations via the Tories’ new ‘Integrated Care Systems’ structure.
As far as Starmer is concerned, his conference speech is life or death, make or break for his ‘leadership’ – and that trumps all else.
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