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The 6 steps to Keir Starmer’s red heaven

As the election year flies by, Sir Keir Starmer, having donned his spectacles in recent PMQs and interviews, is evidently feeling Prime Ministerial. Despite reasonable claims that the General Election is not yet done and dusted, this dispute focuses more on the potential size of Labour’s gains and thus the party overall majority. However, realistically, Keir Starmer is going to be the next occupant of No 10. 

Thus, having made the final addition to his personal image, however uncharacteristic it may seem, the Labour leader has now moved on to making his concrete pledges. 

Speaking of concrete, having learnt from the teeth-shattering, PR clusterflop, known as the ‘Edstone’, Starmer has opted for a more modest pledge card which can be viewed on your phone. 

It is important to distinguish the 6 key policies from the 5 key missions that Labour announced last year. Starmer pointed this out by stating that Labour is by no means backing down from its “Big, bold plan”, rather the Party is setting out its “first steps” upon the formation of a Government. 

Step 1 - Delivering economic stability, by sticking to tough spending rules.

Just like in 1997, with Gordon Brown’s decision to make the Bank of England independent, Rachel Reeves wants to make sure Labour is seen as fiscally watertight, so that the comparison can be made between Labour and the abysmal tenure of Liz Truss. However, the messy withdrawal of the £28 billion pledge towards net zero earlier this year leaves step 1 as an open goal for criticism. Moreover, this hollows out Starmer’s critique of Sunak’s £46 billion plan to abolish national insurance, which the Government has already stated is a 2030 target, and will only be pursued if the economy grows to a sufficient standard. 

Thus, as stated above, step 1 is a hollow first pillar for Starmer’s Government.

Step 2 - Setting up Great British Energy, a publicly owned clean power energy company.

This announcement is of particular intrigue, and if successful, it could be a masterstroke. With the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, steps to improve energy security are essential. Further, the opportunity to produce clean power at home means cheaper energy bills and more jobs. As you can see, Labour should hire me as a spokesperson. 

In all seriousness, the GBE could be a very positive step for Britain, as well as for Scotland, which, with its energy farms and access to the North Sea, will be at the heart of a clean energy revolution. As well as this, it may help to untangle a little bit about the elusive £28 billion. In my view, with China pulling away with the production of cleaner energy, the investment in and the execution of a clean energy initiative, kicking off by establishing Great British Energy, is something that could be a massive net positive for Britain but also for the West.

Additionally, it may also help dispel the notions of Labour’s inaction on nuclear power. 

Step 3 - Cutting NHS waiting lists, by providing 40,000 more appointments per week.

The first commitment backed up with a clear numerical target. Labour claims it will pay for 40,000 more appointments by tackling tax avoidance and non-domicile loopholes. Assumedly, to deliver this promise, more GPs have to drop from the sky, without mentioning adequate training. When questioned about a timescale for delivery, Starmer replied that from “Day 1, minute 1, we’ll be working to deliver it”.

However, Labour’s record on the NHS is measurably better than that of the Tories, and that is specifically thanks to record investment. Thus, in my view, this is a commitment that stands solid.

Step 4 - Launch a border security command to stop gangs organising boat crossings.

Trashing Suella Braverman’s biggest dreams, Keir Starmer has committed, in no uncertain terms, to scrapping the Rwanda scheme. Labour’s alternative is the formation of a “Border Command”, cooperating with the Border force and intelligence services, to target and prosecute the insidious smuggler gangs. 

I think this is a common sense commitment, and evidently, the Labour PR team have broken the “10s of thousands migration” curse which both the last Labour Government and the Cameron Premiership fell victim to.

Step 5 - Providing more neighbourhood police officers to reduce anti-social behaviour. 

With the community concerns, stretching from ineffective addressing of nuisance by councils, to knife and hate crime, action has to be taken to ensure the safety and the peace of communities. In fact, it is surprising to see Labour advocate for a greater police presence, instead of specialised community workers. In the end, the broad problem of anti-social behaviour is something that the more urban areas, mostly controlled by Labour, are facing. Furthermore, the greater police presence does not address the incompetence shown by local councils up and down the country. 

Step 6 - Recruiting 6,500 teachers, paid for through ending tax breaks for private schools.

Another commitment that is backed up by the actions of the Former Labour Government. A specified goal has been earmarked, and Labour have the superior record to deliver it. With reports that schools are dropping subjects due to unfilled vacancies, and teachers having to teach outside of the subjects they specialise in, gave way to strikes last year which disrupted those undertaking GCSEs and A level examinations. Given this, it is safe to say the final pillar of Starmer’s pledge card is a sensible one. 

When announcing these pledge cards, Starmer asserted that if he cannot deliver what he pledges, he won’t make the promise in the first place and that this is Party’s “downpayment for change”. Rather hollow remarks when faced with the plethora of significant u-turns he has made as Labour leader; one of the economically hefty ones, already discussed. 

Image: Rwendland

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