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  • I agree, I don't think he is trying to, although I think they have veered in that direction a couple of times. But I really don't think that's the ground they should be fighting on.

    I think they should try to couple Starmer's "Prime Ministerial" looks and establishment image with some genuinely progressive policies and not be afraid to be seen as radicals who actually stand for something.

    Especially given that they're up against someone who is colourful, and radical, and has delivered on their main election pledge already.

  • I think that's probably right, although I'm more nervous about the idea they should come across as radical. The sense I get is that radicalism is the opposite of what the median UK voter wants - if anything, it's a small 'c' conservative country. Being painted as a radical was one of the factors that counted against Corbyn, as far as I can see.

    Although brexit could be seen as a radical change, I'm not convinced that it means the country has an appetite for more radicalism. I'd say the opposite - that act has satisfied a lot of the desire for a big change, and people want things which are or can be presented as common sense.

    Maybe a lot of this is presentation - the Biden approach is interesting, as he came across as moderate, but that has allowed more wide ranging changes than I think he'd have got away with if he had campaigned as a radical 'change' candidate.

  • I think Corbyn's reputation as a radical made his policies seem more extreme than they were.

    I think Starmer could use his slightly bland image to make things like better public control of utilities and and education reform seem like common sense policies (which I think most people think they are) rather than socialism in sheep's clothing.

    There's also a case to present welfare reform and public control of services as a nostalgic and conservative move if it's done skilfully. Lots of the public don't really like cold neoliberalism but the Tories have recognised this and gone all "One Nation" while Labour just flap around.