June 13, 2024

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Starmer: What the noise and promises tell you about the Labor Party

Starmer: What the noise and promises tell you about the Labor Party
Comment on the photo, In Purfleet on Thursday, Sir Keir Starmer set out what Labor would do first if it won the next general election

The business leaves absolutely nothing to chance.

After four successive general election defeats, it is a party now burning with a determination to do what history tells us it does far less often than the Conservatives: win.

This means that every aspect of its approach is worth examining because so many of its elements have been given significant thought.

The event that set out their key messages for the coming months – the bridge, they hope, from the results of local elections to the actual calling of a general election – was remarkable in itself.

It’s quite remarkable in the literal sense of the word, because it had the scope and ambition that a budget would probably normally associate with a caucus or the moment when an election campaign officially begins.

Comment on the photo, Sir Keir Starmer has spent recent months campaigning in several by-elections and local elections in England and Wales

It was in a movie studio, of all places.

At its centre, in near-presidential style, is Sir Keir Starmer.

His jacket and tie were nowhere to be seen, nor were the buttons on his sleeves, his sleeves rolled up just below his elbow.

This may seem superficial, or even trivial, but this kind of thing doesn’t happen by chance.

Video explanation, Watch: Keir Starmer explains his ‘presidential look’

They don’t consider it superficial or trivial, otherwise they wouldn’t do it. So we shouldn’t do that.

Sir Keir didn’t accidentally leave half his clothes on the train.

It is a carefully crafted image, with striking similarities to the last Labor leader who managed to achieve what Sir Keir is trying to do: actually win.

Sir Tony Blair made a casual appearance, with his tie but the top button undone.

He also had a pledge card that was not much different from the pledge card that the party is reviewing now.

Image source, People’s History Museum/Pennsylvania

Comment on the photo, Sir Keir Starmer’s poster resembles a poster from Sir Tony Blair’s campaign in the 1990s

He also had a pledge card that was not much different from the pledge card that the party is reviewing now.

“My First Steps” is called – note the ownership – next to the picture of Sir Keir.

As for what he was and wasn’t wearing, the Labor leader told me: “It’s about doing politics in a different way. It’s about trying to recognize the kind of leader I am, my mentality, who I am.” In my mind when I make decisions.”

He added: “I have to lead from the front. I have led many organizations. You always have to lead from the front. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve, and about how to get there.”

His shadow colleague Steve Reed, a guest on a BBC news programme, told me that his boss “seems like he’s very brilliant”.

“That’s the way he is,” Reed said. “I think there’s an authenticity to how he comes across. I’ve known the guy for a long time. That’s the way he appears when you talk to him.”

While talking about the photo, perhaps trying to appear relaxed and conversational, Sir Keir conducted his interviews with us standing and always leaning to his left, resting his arm on a railing or something nearby.

The strategic goal of the promises the party made this week is to give its candidates and senior figures something to talk about between now and the moment a general election is actually called.

This is what politicians like to call a “retail pitch” – ideas they can summarize in a sentence or two and repeat over and over again until people notice.

Not everything is there, for example there is no housing.

Expect the party to address this vital topic for many people in the coming days.

Insiders claim that the absence of an idea from the six “first steps” does not mean it is no longer a priority.

They cite a national minimum wage, a key idea of ​​the Labor government in the late 1990s, which was in the party’s manifesto in 1997, but was not on their pledge card at the time.

Taken together, the stage of the launch and the words themselves, I bear witness to the Labor Party’s desire for power as I have never seen before.

It is a longing for position based on the number of times he has failed to achieve that position, not just in the last decade but in the last century.

Psychology with this much history carries a heavy weight.

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