Starmer backtracks once again, exposing untrustworthy nature

  • Post last modified:June 11, 2024
  • Reading time:4 mins read

On 11 June in the general election, there was another clear instance of Labour leader Keir Starmer’s untrustworthy approach to politics.

Starmer: another U-turn to add to the list

Speaking to Sky News, the Labour Party leader ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn’s general election manifestos. He accused the Tories of “building this sort of Jeremy Corbyn-style manifesto where anything you want can go in it and none of it is costed. It’s a recipe for more of the same”.

But Starmer’s comments are not only untrue, but also a complete reversal of what he said on 11 January 2020:

Jeremy Corbyn made our party the party of anti-austerity and he was right to do so. The party that would fight cuts to public services. He made us the party that wanted to invest more heavily in our public services… We build on that we don’t trash it… We should treat… the 2017 manifesto as our foundational document, the radicalism and the hope that that inspired across the country was real.

In fact, Starmer initially pledged a number of policies from the 2017 and 2019 Corbyn manifestos. These include public ownership of essential services such as electricity and water, abolishing tuition fees and a Green New Deal.

The thing is, Starmer then U-turned on every pledge he made to win the Labour leadership. In other words, he lied to the grassroots membership to secure their vote.

Political choices

Starmer’s lack of policy commitments is a political choice. In 2017, then-shadow chancellor John McDonnell committed to the transformational manifesto with tax rises exempt for 95% of UK earners. 128 economists and academics backed the general election manifesto in a letter, stating:

Labour’s manifesto proposals are much better designed to strengthen and develop the economy and ensure that its benefits are more fairly shared and sustainable, as well as being fiscally responsible and based on sound estimations.

Almost no one saw the 2008 crash coming. But three who signed the letter – Dean Baker, Steve Keen and Ann Pettifor – all predicted the banking crisis that defined a generation.

Yet Starmer now acts like the 2017 manifesto is some kind of child’s dream, rather than policies distinguished economists support. He is trashing the manifesto he championed when it was politically beneficial for him.

Independent candidate Andrew Feinstein, who served as an MP for South Africa under Nelson Mandela, is challenging Starmer in his constituency of Holborn and St Pancras. Let’s hope Feinstein – a longstanding anti-corruption campaigner who has lived in the constituency for 22 years – unseats him.

Featured image via Sky News – X

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