Keir Starmer Has One Big Decision: Where to Take His Party | Thomas Flisher

Keir Starmer has a big problem lying at his doorstep and it seems he can’t make up his mind. He has two choices: he can either entice back so-called ‘red wall’ voters and become electable again; or he can pander to the extremes of his party that have made up his party’s base for so long. Unfortunately for him, he can not do both.

Mr. Starmer isn’t exactly winning any awards for charisma; he is about as exciting as stale bread. In recent times, he has made speeches to try and kick some energy into his lacklustre leadership. To be honest, I’ve seen more exciting funerals. However, this is not the biggest problem he currently faces. His main focus has to be telling people, what it is he actually believes. Ask the average voter what they think of him, you will either get bewildered looks wondering if he was that guy on ‘I’m a Celeb’ or a muffled answer as they have no idea what he actually stands for. This is, believe it or not, by his own design.

The infamous Brexit plan that was supposed to appease Brexiteers and Remainers, angered both and left Emily Thornberry rather flustered on Question Time. The Brexit plan strikes at the very heart of the issue. You cannot appease both sides on controversial issues. His stance on Brexit made him seem to Remainers like he was allowing their nightmare to occur, and to Brexiteers, it was at best patronising. His stance on Black Lives Matters, trans rights, Covid-19 lockdown and a myriad of other topics has been hit by the very same designed indecisiveness. Some issues allow for compromise and everyone benefits from listening and understanding the other point of view but politicians still have to make decisions.

Just like Covid lockdowns, as Mr. Starmer thought the issue of Brexit was over, Boris Johnson forced him to go through it all over again. Bringing the Brexit deal in front of Parliament exposed him once more. He voted for the deal but said it was no good. Call me old fashioned, but I expect our law makers to stand up for what they believe in, not whimper to an acceptance. Once again, Stamer did nothing to embolden the Remain voters and was hardly passionate about Leave either.

Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, did do one thing well; build a base. One that made them almost electable in 2017. Now Mr Starmer has to make a decision. I know, scary for him. Does he align himself with that base, or does he build a different coalition to gain back those voters that Corbyn lost? What exactly would it mean for Labour policy to hold onto the Corbyn base of students and Londoners? Well, it would mean disregarding the family as an important unit; it would mean backing a ‘Rejoin the EU’ option; it would mean defunding the police and Marxist economic policies.

We all know Starmer knows this is not an electorally viable position. However, he would not only be lying to himself but also angering his party membership, if he claimed the majority Labour Party are not in favour of these policies. If there is one thing we know about the Labour membership is that they will pick principles over electability. Avoiding civil-war is another primary objective of the Labour Party top team. This presents a clear paradox for the Labour Party: how do you avoid civil war and become electable?

What is the solution to this challenging paradox? Starmer has stumbled upon the wonderful solution of not saying anything at all. He has shot down the middle trying to appease both and pleasing none. This is the worst of possible thing he could do. At least Jeremy stood for something. For any party trying to get into power there is a thin line between compromise and keeping your base. For Mr. Starmer, that means making some hard and scary decisions; or does it?

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