UK: Labour Will Not be the Party of Big Spending, Says Kier Starmer

In his first speech of 2023, leader of the opposition Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer promised a "decade of national renewal" if he wins the next general election.

UK: Labour Will Not be the Party of Big Spending, Says Kier Starmer
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Facts

  • In his first speech of 2023, leader of the opposition Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer promised a "decade of national renewal" if he wins the next general election.
  • Speaking in Stratford, east London, Starmer denied that the UK's economic problems could be fixed by more spending, stating that his intent should not be taken as code for Labour "getting its big government chequebook out again." Starmer's message comes a day after current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's own speech, in which he promised to halve inflation this year.
  • The Labour leader criticized the "short-term mindset" of the Conservatives that he claimed currently dominates Westminster, pointing in particular to pressures on the NHS. He also promised a "completely new way of governing."
  • Starmer further promised to end the "hoarding power" of the Westminster model as part of the 'Take Back Control Bill', as well as for the reform and modernization of central government to be "dynamic" as well as "focused." The new approach is to be driven by 'national missions' which will be set out in the following weeks — they are expected to form the foundations of Labour's next election manifesto.
  • In response to the address, Conservative chairman Nadhim Zahawi described Starmer's speech as "cliché-ridden" and called it another "vacuous relaunch." Zahawi also said it was Starmer's "tenth bid" to sell himself to the public and his party without a "single solution" to the UK's problems.

Sources: BBC News, Guardian, Sky, Independent, and Daily Mail.

Narratives

  • Right narrative, as provided by The Telegraph. Starmer's speech was not only severely lacking in policy detail, but was spearheaded by the weak message that a government led by him would not make matters any worse. We only know what Labour will specifically not do, as Starmer has chosen to emulate the Blairite strategy of being impossible to pin down rather than standing for anything.
  • Left narrative, as provided by The Guardian. While the view that no one knows what Starmer stands for is pushed by right-wing media, in reality Labour has adopted a host of resolute policy positions. As history shows, Labour has always moved to the left and sought more active intervention at times of economic instability. Starmer critics may be in for a surprise come 2024 over the unorthodox response to the UK's economic weakness that this Labour leader may well have in store.

Predictions