That Starmer fella...

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  • That's not down to the right/left argument though is it, it's his "Christian" views?

    It's hardly a new thing for him, didn't he vote against (or abstain from, I can't remember) the legalisation of same sex marriage vote?

  • I don't fully agree with this but it makes some decent points

    I actually have some sympathy for the underlining argument, but I think you can be both above "contact sport" politics, and come out on the right side (or any side) of certain political issues from time to time. Also, many of the positives he's trying to spin for Starmer are identical to what people said about Corbyn. Not a criticism, just ironic.

    But the real reason I'm replying: fuck me did I cringe at the conclusion:

    Starmer, Sarwar and the rest should stick to their ethical guns, and we must give them the time and space to do so. If we don’t it may say more about us than it does about them.

  • I’m not a staunch Labour supporter let alone a member, and even I can see that not voting strategically each and every time there’s an election just gives more power to the Tories. I’m in a marginal and I voted Labour in the last election regardless of what I thought of Corbyn.

    There comes a point when you're essentially voting for the red team out of tribalism. Labour really need something better than being slightly less shit than the blue team*

    *Although I'd argue that doesn't really apply anymore, with Starmer trying to outflank the Tories on the right.

  • Starmer trying to outflank the Tories on the right.

    This is impossible.

  • slightly less shit

    Slightly?
    Do you really think there's nothing between them in terms of shitness for the general population?

  • There comes a point when you're essentially voting for the red team out of tribalism. Labour really need something better than being slightly less shit than the blue team*

    Voters really need something better than choosing the slightly less shittest party.

    Electoral reform is needed so that 35% of the national vote doesn't give a parliamentary majority, however, as it never suits the party in power to do this then we're fucked.

  • Obviously to talk about not tactically voting against the Tories is daft, but having to hold your nose to vote labour is definitely a bad thing. They've often not been my first choice, but I don't think I've ever felt they're against my general point of view, I don't think that's yet the case but I'm not sure I like the trajectory.

  • It seems like an odd time to have posted this, just after Starmer has had to apologise and criticise their views.

    It's a shame because I like Stephen Timms - he's my local MP and I chatted with him when we got the same tube home once, and he's been very willing to help out by speaking to my Politics students etc, and by all accounts he's a good constituency MP - you certainly see him out and about a lot.

    He's not a bad person and he's definitely not a Tory-lite as he (and other Labour MPs) are being called a lot at the moment.

    But he's also chosen a very bad time to restate his support for an organisation that's just been criticised for homophobic views.

  • But he's also chosen a very bad time to restate his support for an organisation that's just been criticised for homophobic views.

    I'd wager that it's because those views align with his own.

    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions­/pw-2013-05-21-11-commons/mp/10596

  • It probably is - he's made no secret of his religious views at any point, but it's a shame (and a surprise) if he also shares the homophobic aspects of this evangelical branch of Christianity.

    It might also be worth pointing out that he's not in Starmer's shadow cabinet, as he's the chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, so it's probably not something you can necessarily pin on Starmer.

  • Also, many of the positives he's trying to spin for Starmer are identical to what people said about Corbyn.

    Yep, Corbyn's "nicer" politics was viewed by many as naivety. I think Starmer is at least aware that he needs to play the PR game better but there needs to be some substance behind the opposition.

    I don't think he's going to turn things around in the short-term, the successful vaccination roll-out is going to give quite a bounce to the Tories, who knows about the medium to long term.

  • Janet Yellen calling for a global minimum corporate tax rate and the IMF calling for a wealth tax.

    I think Starmer is absolutely correct not to fall into these obvious traps from the left. He's way too smart an operator for that.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/202­1/apr/05/janet-yellen-global-minimum-cor­porate-tax-rate

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/202­1/apr/07/imf-wealth-tax-cost-covid-pande­mic-rich-poor

  • On a more serious note, it feels like after the pandemic there is a real appetite for systemic changes to the system. As we can see in the US, Biden is at least trying to make fundamental changes, reduce inequality and kickstart a green econmony. It's such a tragedy that we are stuck with a Tory government for the next 2 years (at least). The momentum and opportunity will probably be gone by then.

  • This isn't a surprising stat to me as a Labour member, but it may be to some.

    The loudest voices are not always the most representative.

  • Yet he's still less popular than Jeremy Corbyn in 2017.

    It's a dire situation he really needs to turn around. He won't win the manufactured "culture war" and shouldn't even try.

    He needs to do something though, perhaps on education where the Tories have been absolutely shambolic for the last two years and where the latest big idea is to take away phones because Williamson has decided based on absolutely nothing that behaviour is probably bad, and that creating a furore around phones might distract people from the exam shambles and his ideas about making teachers in a demoralised profession where 1/3 want to leave work longer hours with shorter holidays.


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  • He won't win the manufactured "culture war" and shouldn't even try.

    He's not though is he? He's trying to avoid it. It seems that the main criticism of him is that he isn't taking the points in this culture war and people would prefer he did.

  • 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.

  • Labour could really make a big dent in the Tories on education if their narrative was:
    Reform of the school system (academy's are simply not working)
    Removing public schools from their charity status bullshit
    All edu is free to degree level.
    You can't trust the backstabbing Tories on uni fees
    etc

    And then wrap that up in becoming a global centre of excellence for education, research, etc...

  • I'd vote for that (though I work in an academy that I think works well so I wouldn't trumpet it too loudly).

  • 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.

  • Your school was probably working well before becoming an academy though right? I think the facts are that most schools that have transitioned are either the same or worse.

    The idea that the good schools would be spreading their success around the less good schools turned out to be a good idea on paper only.

  • Actually ours was set up especially by one of the most predatory academy chains.

    The thing is - the chain has questionable methods around forced takeovers and expectations of staff (though the latter is improving) - but the outcomes for the schools are really impressive. I think there are one or two large MATs that have had similar success - and then quite a few very mediocre ones.

  • Yet he's still less popular than Jeremy Corbyn in 2017.

    With respect, that's not really true. When talking about Corbyn vs Starmer, a personal comparison, the stats are really clear:

    What I think you COULD say is that Starmer's Labour at its least popular (35%) is less popular than Corbyn's Labour at its most popular (44%):

    That'd be true. But it'd also be cherry picking. I could pull the same move and say just as truthfully that Starmer's Labour's worst result (35%) is still 13 points clear of Corbyn's worst (22%). But then I'd be cherry picking to make my point. Neither point of view is really fair or well rounded, its just stat-torturing.

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That Starmer fella...

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