There’s something missing from Keir Starmer’s assault on the Tories

The Labour leader might win if Boris Johnson makes a complete mess of things, writes John Rentoul, but where is the plan for the future?

Friday 19 November 2021 14:51
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<p>Keir Starmer, on a train, probably reading Labour’s last manifesto </p>

Keir Starmer, on a train, probably reading Labour’s last manifesto

Keir Starmer is more like John Smith than Tony Blair. He is hoping that governments lose elections rather than that oppositions win them; and he believes that the job of an effective opposition is to take tactical shots at the government to weaken it, while showing himself to be competent.

Blair didn’t think that was enough, learning from the New Democrats in the US that the pitch had to be “change, versus more of the same”, with a dramatic promise to modernise the country.

Judging by Starmer’s interview with Justin Webb on the Today programme this morning, it is possible that he could just deny the Conservatives office at the next election by Boris Johnson being useless, but what was lacking was any sense that Labour has an idea of how to transform the country, and especially the economy.

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