Keir Starmer ought to have more urgent priorities than writing a book

The Labour leader and other wannabe prime ministers – Wes Streeting, Lisa Nandy and Penny Mordaunt – should stick to politics, not publishing, writes John Rentoul

<p>Just because everybody else is doing it doesn’t make it a good idea</p>

Just because everybody else is doing it doesn’t make it a good idea

He didn’t mean it, but when Alastair Campbell told a journalists’ briefing that “people shouldn’t write books”, it should have been made a law, for politicians at least. The Labour spin doctor was complaining about an unhelpful book about spin doctors, I think written by Nicholas Jones, who was then a BBC journalist.

Now it seems that Keir Starmer has been so inspired by the rapturous praise with which his 14,000-word Fabian Society essay was received last year that he has decided to give us even more of his great thoughts, which surfaced on train and car journeys while he travelled the country for socially distanced gatherings of small numbers of supporters during lockdown.

“The book is expected to set out where the country is heading, how it can be improved, plans for a ‘renewed Britain’ and what Starmer’s place is within that,” The Times reported on Saturday. This prompted some mockery. Times readers suggested possible titles, including Hindsight is a Wonderful Thing and This Beer’s on Me.

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