Starmer has ‘second chance’ to turn Labour round

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Sir Keir Starmer must lead Labor away from its “disastrous decade”, with the party’s annual convention being a key moment in the “Long March Back to Electability”, Peter Mandelson has warned.

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talking to Granthshala, One of New Labour’s architects argued that the party has come a long way from “ground zero” in the 2019 general election, but has yet to “re-establish” its credibility among voters in Britain.

Lord Mandelson, who served as cabinet minister under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, said the Labor leader – elected during England’s first lockdown – is now setting his stall as Covid’s “suffocating grip” on politics It was a “second chance”. moved back.


He also suggested that there was now a “huge opportunity” for Sir Keir to seize, claiming that Boris Johnson was exposed in the eyes of voters with “half-cooked” policies and no coherent political agenda. Were.

His remarks come just a week before Labor’s first in-person conference since 2019, billed as a prime opportunity for Sir Keir to establish his outlook after a difficult year and the party’s poor electoral performance. being done.

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With Labor trailing the Conservatives in almost all elections, Sir Keir had previously vowed during a late September conference to determine “what Britain in primary colors needs to look like after the pandemic”.

Just one poll has put Labor ahead of the governing party since the start of 2021, with a YouGov poll last week showing support for Mr Johnson’s party at its lowest level since the last general election in the winter of 2019 .

“The public’s disillusionment with Johnson and his government is growing faster than the restoration of trust and confidence in Labour,” said Lord Mandelson. Granthshala.

“I think this explains the difference in polls,” he said. “The reason is that Labor has not yet done enough to indicate that distance, and the change it seeks to make, has been a disastrous decade for the party.”

Asked how important the upcoming conference would be, he replied: “It is a momentous moment, but until the [Sir Keir] understands that this should be the start of the long march to electability, not some flash in the pan that takes place over two or three days in Brighton.

“Sometimes I think Labor ticks a box and thinks it’s done. This mindset tends to underestimate the brand damage Labor has done during the past 10 years, and how far we have to come back. “

At the direction of the party led by Sir Keir – 18 months after he was elected leader with a clear majority – Lord Mandelson said: “We are not at zero, we have come a long way since 2019, but we have to Establish your credentials as a party that believes in the UK: that for us patriotism is not just about hoisting the flag, but about changing the country so that everyone can live a better life.

“No one will believe that we can change the country until we are able to change ourselves. The Labor Party of the last 10 years is simply not what people will bring back in government. This is our starting point.” There should be, and I think it should be very clearly established at the party convention.

Lord Mandelson also argued that the public was “waking up to Johnson’s mannerisms”, claiming: “Everything is focus-grouped to death to refine the message, but the content is half-baked. People are realizing, with Johnson you have to read the small print—the detail that doesn’t interest him, but everyone else is impressed by it.

“now they [the voters] His competence is beginning to be questioned, and I think this is a major emerging factor in British politics. Voters expect Johnson to top jobs, health, crime and education. He has also promised to raise the radical level and [to] Transition to net zero. Where is the economic development plan that will pay for all this? It’s not there.

“So, people are starting to see him in a different light, and I think that’s opening up a huge opportunity for Labor to take back the mantra of change and reform.”

A senior left-wing Labor MP echoed this sentiment, saying: “It seems to me as if the government is on the verge of getting into some trouble, and so the Labor conference suddenly becomes quite a momentous moment, if we can speak for the country.” “

But he continued: “What is that? [Sir Keir] The moment has to be captured, then the way forward has to be presented. If he doesn’t succeed, I think he will be in some trouble.”

Another MP from the party’s left, however, underestimated the importance of the convention, saying: “Not that he is a surprisingly charismatic speaker who would have electrified everyone. He is not like that.”

He said the absence of “adequate policies” introduced by Sir Keir was more concerned in the wake of the prime minister’s manifesto-busting decision to increase national insurance to provide funding for the NHS and social care.

The MP said, ‘We do not have any plan. “It tends to the ambiguity of Keir Starmer’s thinking—the only thing he’s clear about is the importance of crushing the Left.”

Instead of setting “over-specific policies”, Lord Mandelson argued, the party should set policy themes in the build-up to the next general election, such as “the desire for fair opportunities and greater equality in society”.

“Second, the need to invest in public services and infrastructure with better delivery,” he said. “Third, prioritizing security in the neighborhood, through effective policing, and through strong international alliances and defense spending.

“These have been set as parameters of Labor’s thinking and policy proposition. They have all become Labour’s brand strength.”

Lord Mandelson also emphasized that the COVID-19 crisis had left “very little room” for Sir Keir to define himself, adding: “I think to do differently for any leader would have been impossible.

“But now we are re-entering the familiar form and landscape of politics, …


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