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Keir Starmer the Conservative How will he manage Brexit?

Tack Right (Credit: Ian Forsyth/Getty)

Tack Right (Credit: Ian Forsyth/Getty)


May 25, 2023   5 mins

Labour Party leaders don’t usually win elections. Since 1945, only three have done so: Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Tony Blair. In contrast, eight Conservative leaders have won majorities and a ninth — Theresa May — did just about well enough to remain prime minister. As Roger Scruton put it, Britain’s post-war history has been one in which “half the English people voted Conservative at national elections and almost all English intellectuals regarded the term ‘conservative’ as a term of abuse”.

Regardless of recent private polling showing Labour’s “floor” to be at the uncomfortably high mark for the Tories of around 330 seats — a working majority for Starmer — some Conservatives hold out hope. But if history is to be our guide, there are more than a few reasons to believe that Keir Starmer really might be on course to join Attlee, Wilson and Blair in No 10.

Labour’s three watershed election victories came in 1945, 1964 and 1997. Each time, the Party won after long periods of Conservative rule or Conservative-dominated government: 14, 13 and 18 years respectively. Sometimes the country just demands change — and the Tories will have been in power for 14 years by the time the next election is called.

But in each of these victories for Labour, it wasn’t just that voters decided a change was needed — it was that the party was best placed for a world that had already changed. By 1945, after all, much of the economy had effectively been nationalised to fight the war, and all the main parties had endorsed the Beveridge Report calling for a dramatic expansion of the welfare state. Whether Labour won power or not, Britain was not going back to the discredited pre-war settlement. But in 1945, Labour was simply more closely aligned with this new Britain than the Tories, with or without Churchill. In foreign policy terms, too, Attlee offered almost complete continuity.

Something similar happened in 1964 and 1997. By 1964, the Tories had already begun the great corporatist experiment to run the economy that Labour would claim as their own. In 1961, Macmillan had initiated a form of centrist managerialism, with voluntary wage controls to combat inflation and national councils established to bring industry and trade unions together. Labour, under Wilson, did not reject the system, but offered a more dynamic and professionalised management of it.

Wilson looked the part for the job, too. Young, smart and committed to the task, he stood in contrast to his opposite number, Alec Douglas Home, who had been parachuted in from the Lords. This early incarnation of Wilson is strikingly similar to Blair, in 1997, when he swept to power demanding a more modern, professional approach to managing the state, maintaining the economic settlement which had been in place since Black Wednesday in 1992, but with more focus on public services.

In each of these elections, Labour was not so much offering radical change, as a policy programme that went with the grain of politics. And something similar is happening today. The pandemic, Net Zero and an ageing population have combined with the rise of China to create a world in which the state has become far more central to the success of an economy than before — a situation which fits far more comfortably into Labour’s economic philosophy than the Tories.

Since 2016, the Conservative Party has taken back regulatory control of the British economy by leaving the EU; it has increased taxes to their highest levels on record to pay for its interventions during the pandemic; and it has dramatically expanded the size of the state by offering to pay for childcare from the age of one (as well as end-of-life care). On top of this, the Government’s central policy idea, to level up the country, imagines a level of government intervention and redistribution on a scale previously deemed impossible, while the commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050 demands an even more transformative role for the state. All of this is happening, meanwhile, while the rest of the Western world begins the process of “de-risking” its supply chains from China, creating new manufacturing capacity outside of Beijing’s control largely by erecting new protective barriers. Not a single part of this economic landscape sits easily for a Conservative government led by a Thatcherite prime minister ostensibly committed to free trade, low taxes and a small state.

No party has ever won an election after presiding over a financial crisis — and the Conservatives actually caused this one. Wilson lost power after failing to stop the devaluation of sterling in 1967, Edward Heath after the oil crisis of 1973, James Callaghan after going to the IMF in 1976, John Major after Black Wednesday in 1992 and Gordon Brown after the great financial crash of 2008.

And yet, there is a socking great caveat to this rosy picture for Labour. Brexit.

Brexit is the one legacy of recent Conservative rule which Labour is not remotely comfortable with, least of all Starmer himself — the former shadow Brexit secretary who advocated a second referendum. Labour opposed the Brexit revolution and, quietly, continues to think it stupid, although cannot say so publicly. There is no precedent for this in the Party’s post-war history. Attlee believed that much of the economy could be run “in peace as in war” as he said in 1945; Wilson thought Macmillan’s corporatism was right but amateurish; Blair that Thatcher’s reforms had produced a better economy but needed better redistribution and professional management of public services. None was uncomfortable with the new settlement, and none would have reversed it — not that they could.

The one time Labour won an election after inheriting constitutional reform it did not support was in 1974, after Edward Heath took Britain into the Common Market. Yet, even here, Wilson was no longer the Eurosceptic he once was. Indeed, he had applied to join the Common Market himself, in 1967, and been rejected. The big difference between then and now, however, lies in how Labour handled this problem. Unlike today, the party was badly divided — split between the traditional Eurosceptic left and the pro-European right. Today, there is near unanimity in the parliamentary party that Brexit was wrong and continues to be harmful. In 1974, Wilson offered voters a referendum to ratify Britain’s accession to the EEC. Today, Starmer has ruled out a rejoin referendum.

On Brexit, if anything, Starmer is following a traditional Conservative Party playbook, not a Labour one. The essential dilemma of conservatism, since 1834, has been how to respond to major constitutional change that Toryism has opposed. At what point does this sort of reform become something the Conservative Party should seek to conserve rather than overturn?

In his famous Tamworth Manifesto, effectively creating the modern Conservative Party, Robert Peel declared (wrongly as it turned out) that the Great Reform Act should be seen as the “final and irrevocable settlement of a great constitutional question — a settlement which no friend to the peace and welfare of this country would attempt to disturb, either by direct or by insidious means”. This is essentially Starmer’s position on Brexit today. He didn’t like it, but has accepted it. In so doing, he hopes to benefit, as Peel did in 1834, from being seen as a moderate national leader able to bridge old divides, while also being the person best suited to ending what Peel called the “perpetual vortex of agitation” of a great reform when its  radical supporters aren’t reined in. This is Labour’s essential pitch today: we accept Brexit but will not let its supporters agitate for endless new changes. Enough!  Historically, it is a popular stance.

Will it work this time? It worked for Peel and, eventually, for Disraeli after he reluctantly accepted free trade. It also worked for Churchill and Eden and Macmillan when they accepted Labour’s welfare state. Each reform was popular. Today, the big difference is that Brexit no longer is.


is UnHerd’s Political Editor. He is the author of Betting The House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

TomMcTague

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Robbie K
RK
Robbie K
10 months ago

Starmer became leader by not being Corbyn, similarly Labour’s current polling is really down to them not being the Tories. His approach to Brexit stinks of everything that is wrong with politics today – undermining democracy with the call for a second referendum and wasting huge resources, time and energy fighting it through parliament.

N Satori
NS
N Satori
10 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Not being Corbyn only became a virtue after Labour’s disastrous defeat in December 2019. Before that much of the party grassroots were happy that at last a true socialist was in charge and on his way to 10 Downing Street.

Stoater D
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

The Labour party’s grass roots do not represent the majority of the electorate.
Most of them are students, or others that do not and will never work who spend their time agitating and protesting.
The Labour party lost touch with the working classes decades ago.
It is a party of dinosaurs.
No wonder they want children to have the vote.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I’m not a fan of either but:

Boris Johnson: 42.4%
Jeremy Corbyn: 40 %

Not really a ‘disaster’ is it? Cornyn actually did remarkably well.

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

The Labour party’s grass roots do not represent the majority of the electorate.
Most of them are students, or others that do not and will never work who spend their time agitating and protesting.
The Labour party lost touch with the working classes decades ago.
It is a party of dinosaurs.
No wonder they want children to have the vote.

Jeff Butcher
JB
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I’m not a fan of either but:

Boris Johnson: 42.4%
Jeremy Corbyn: 40 %

Not really a ‘disaster’ is it? Cornyn actually did remarkably well.

N Satori
NS
N Satori
10 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Not being Corbyn only became a virtue after Labour’s disastrous defeat in December 2019. Before that much of the party grassroots were happy that at last a true socialist was in charge and on his way to 10 Downing Street.

Robbie K
Robbie K
10 months ago

Starmer became leader by not being Corbyn, similarly Labour’s current polling is really down to them not being the Tories. His approach to Brexit stinks of everything that is wrong with politics today – undermining democracy with the call for a second referendum and wasting huge resources, time and energy fighting it through parliament.

AC Harper
AH
AC Harper
10 months ago

Brexit may now be no longer so popular (perhaps because of the reluctance of Parliament to actually get on with it)… but rejoining on normal accession rules would be even more unpopular.
Plus what would the benefits be? The economic case is argued but unproven and the bureaucratic case distasteful to people outside the elite. Plus we have seen the true nature Germany and France in a crisis.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

True about Germany and France but I think it unlikely that they will hold quite so much sway within the EU in the future: Poland is going to have some serious clout going forward.

Neil Ross
NR
Neil Ross
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Is Poland having more sway a good argument for rejoining the EU or the Single market? The EU focus in the 20 years before the Referendum on German reunification, East European expansion, political integration and the Eurozone crises led to the Leave vote as UK was sidelined in the EU. Do not forget after 40 years only one EU institution out of 40, the Medicines Agency, was based in UK and less than 5% of EU employees were British!

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil Ross

That 5% seems to be most of the UK’s ruling class. They’d done everything possible to screw Brexit, and people think Brexit is the problem!!!

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil Ross

That 5% seems to be most of the UK’s ruling class. They’d done everything possible to screw Brexit, and people think Brexit is the problem!!!

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

That may so if Poland actually stays.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Is that why it and Hungary are forever being threatened with financial punishments?

Neil Ross
NR
Neil Ross
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Is Poland having more sway a good argument for rejoining the EU or the Single market? The EU focus in the 20 years before the Referendum on German reunification, East European expansion, political integration and the Eurozone crises led to the Leave vote as UK was sidelined in the EU. Do not forget after 40 years only one EU institution out of 40, the Medicines Agency, was based in UK and less than 5% of EU employees were British!

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

That may so if Poland actually stays.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Is that why it and Hungary are forever being threatened with financial punishments?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Why does everyone take it for granted that they would allow us back in?

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago

We have a lot of fish, gas and the City of London? Despite all the remainers claims, the EU Bank and Finance Industry has warned the EC repeatedly that without the City of London the EU financial industry faces a cliff edge – they’ve even written two open letters on the subject urging the EC to get a grip and accept London. Not that the BBC appears to have ‘broadcast’ that information.
The best way to kill off the EU is for us to rejoin, because the catastrophe we face now is one the EU also faces BUT much worse because of the Eurozone and Germany’s Green insanity. The UK is out and will remain out. The Germany/EU has to survive another winter before Starmer even gets a look in, and as Wilson once said, ‘A week is a long time in politics.’ – 52 of them is a very, very long time.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago

We have a lot of fish, gas and the City of London? Despite all the remainers claims, the EU Bank and Finance Industry has warned the EC repeatedly that without the City of London the EU financial industry faces a cliff edge – they’ve even written two open letters on the subject urging the EC to get a grip and accept London. Not that the BBC appears to have ‘broadcast’ that information.
The best way to kill off the EU is for us to rejoin, because the catastrophe we face now is one the EU also faces BUT much worse because of the Eurozone and Germany’s Green insanity. The UK is out and will remain out. The Germany/EU has to survive another winter before Starmer even gets a look in, and as Wilson once said, ‘A week is a long time in politics.’ – 52 of them is a very, very long time.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

True about Germany and France but I think it unlikely that they will hold quite so much sway within the EU in the future: Poland is going to have some serious clout going forward.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Why does everyone take it for granted that they would allow us back in?

AC Harper
AH
AC Harper
10 months ago

Brexit may now be no longer so popular (perhaps because of the reluctance of Parliament to actually get on with it)… but rejoining on normal accession rules would be even more unpopular.
Plus what would the benefits be? The economic case is argued but unproven and the bureaucratic case distasteful to people outside the elite. Plus we have seen the true nature Germany and France in a crisis.

Ben Jones
BJ
Ben Jones
10 months ago

Starmer’s problems appear to be;
(a) He has no real principles to speak of. I get the impression his attitude to power is ‘it’ll be alright on the night’, borne from his natural arrogance as a barrister – I’m in charge, I’m fab, QED it’ll be fine. It’s like Cameron, except Cameron had no hinterland, just OE / Oxbridge bravado
(b) He has very little experience of politics. He’s a newbie. This is why his arrogance is going to count for nothing when the pinkish and leftish side of his party start giving him the run-around (I’m getting in the popcorn for the day Angela Rayner goes tonto)
(c) His intrinsic values run completely counter to those of the average Briton (what is a woman, Keir, tell us?). He’s going to spend his entire time in office fighting the nature of his inner-Liberal beast. One day, the beast will win. There’s a reason Labour wins so rarely. A deep dislike of this country is baked into it’s DNA.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Who would you prefer?

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

There is no longer anyone I can vote for. “None of these clowns” isn’t on the ballot paper.
And Starmer reminds me of the famous Groucho Marx quote:
“These are my principles, and if you don’t like them, well, I have others”

Paddy Taylor
PT
Paddy Taylor
10 months ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

I would absolutely support the idea of demonstrating that if was not apathy that meant you didn’t take part in a democratic vote, it was a lack of worthwhile options.
At the recent local elections, for the first time in my life, I chose not to vote.
It was not out of apathy – far from it.
It was out of seething antipathy.
Had there been a “Not one of you clowns deserves my vote” option I would have taken it. It would have been instructive to see how many seats would have been won by such an option.
I seem to remember a seat in a GE a few years ago contested by a chap dressed in Holy Orders, who stood as “Nun of the Above”.

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
10 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

None of the above – Wikipedia
In some countries and in California and Nevada in the USA in some local elections there is a box for “None of the Above” or “blank”. In one primary NOTA came first.
‘None of the Above’ Wins Nomination for Nevada Governor (Sort of) (governing.com)
Neither of the main parties would countenance this in the UK, they would not risk large numbers of us so voting. You have to spoil your ballot, which puts most people off.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

The Boaty McBoatface option

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

The best option would be to smuggle your ballot paper out of the polling station (a sheet of A4 smuggled in could be neatly folded to confuse) then send you spoiled ballot paper to 10 Downing Street – but minus a stamp. The appearance of millions of blank pages in ballot boxes would hit headlines, and then the Royal Mail having to ask 10 Downing Street to pay for all the unstamped mail if they wanted it delivering would be amusing and surely deny any result legitimacy.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

The Boaty McBoatface option

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

The best option would be to smuggle your ballot paper out of the polling station (a sheet of A4 smuggled in could be neatly folded to confuse) then send you spoiled ballot paper to 10 Downing Street – but minus a stamp. The appearance of millions of blank pages in ballot boxes would hit headlines, and then the Royal Mail having to ask 10 Downing Street to pay for all the unstamped mail if they wanted it delivering would be amusing and surely deny any result legitimacy.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

You could have spoiled your ballot

JOHN KANEFSKY
JK
JOHN KANEFSKY
10 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

None of the above – Wikipedia
In some countries and in California and Nevada in the USA in some local elections there is a box for “None of the Above” or “blank”. In one primary NOTA came first.
‘None of the Above’ Wins Nomination for Nevada Governor (Sort of) (governing.com)
Neither of the main parties would countenance this in the UK, they would not risk large numbers of us so voting. You have to spoil your ballot, which puts most people off.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

You could have spoiled your ballot

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
10 months ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

I would absolutely support the idea of demonstrating that if was not apathy that meant you didn’t take part in a democratic vote, it was a lack of worthwhile options.
At the recent local elections, for the first time in my life, I chose not to vote.
It was not out of apathy – far from it.
It was out of seething antipathy.
Had there been a “Not one of you clowns deserves my vote” option I would have taken it. It would have been instructive to see how many seats would have been won by such an option.
I seem to remember a seat in a GE a few years ago contested by a chap dressed in Holy Orders, who stood as “Nun of the Above”.

j watson
JW
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Who would you prefer?

JOHN KANEFSKY
JK
JOHN KANEFSKY
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

There is no longer anyone I can vote for. “None of these clowns” isn’t on the ballot paper.
And Starmer reminds me of the famous Groucho Marx quote:
“These are my principles, and if you don’t like them, well, I have others”

Ben Jones
BJ
Ben Jones
10 months ago

Starmer’s problems appear to be;
(a) He has no real principles to speak of. I get the impression his attitude to power is ‘it’ll be alright on the night’, borne from his natural arrogance as a barrister – I’m in charge, I’m fab, QED it’ll be fine. It’s like Cameron, except Cameron had no hinterland, just OE / Oxbridge bravado
(b) He has very little experience of politics. He’s a newbie. This is why his arrogance is going to count for nothing when the pinkish and leftish side of his party start giving him the run-around (I’m getting in the popcorn for the day Angela Rayner goes tonto)
(c) His intrinsic values run completely counter to those of the average Briton (what is a woman, Keir, tell us?). He’s going to spend his entire time in office fighting the nature of his inner-Liberal beast. One day, the beast will win. There’s a reason Labour wins so rarely. A deep dislike of this country is baked into it’s DNA.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago

Is it Brexit itself that is no longer popular, or is it that people just want to see more action taken to make the best of it?
As far as I can see for Labour the best course of action would be to try and lose the next election (which – judging by the pronouncements on giving schoolkids and EU citizens full voting rights, they are working on feverishly). All of this nonsense about “renegotiating the Brexit deal” is fluff: to “renegotiate” rather than make a few technical fixes that don’t touch the substance of the agreement, you need a willing partner and I don’t think anyone in Brussels wants to go there.
Everyone is sick of hearing about Brexit: it is still just the British arguing with one another. If I was one of the people responsible in Brussels, my strategy would be: just leave them to it. No renegotiation of the deal: either you rejoin the single market fully and submit yourselves to our control without any voice or you stop whinging and finally forge your own path without us with the deal you’ve got.
That leaves Labour a bit stuck doesn’t it? as I said, their best case scenario is to lose the coming election and then see what happens. If the Tories somehow manage to pull the rabbit out of the hat by reducing immigration (legal & illegal), continuing to diverge from EU in areas where there’s a benefit in doing so (data protection & AI perhaps?) and demonstrating a benefit from that and making some kind of inroad into the NHS and civil service swamps then perhaps Labour can ride on their coattails and get on board with Brexit in a convincing way. If not, then by the time the next-but-one election comes around, so many people will be against Brexit that it won’t be such a divisive issue and then perhaps you can bring up the single market issue again (although good luck in selling the revival of the freedom of movement to voters).

Last edited 10 months ago by Katharine Eyre
tom j
tom j
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yes. I don’t think we have evidence that Brexit is unpopular, the surveys I have seen have asked “Has Brexit been a success”, and most people say no. But the people who voted for it will say no because immigration remains out of control, and the establishment have spent most of the last 6 years resisting Brexit. Starmer is possibly smart enough to realise something along these lines, and so not to make the EU an election issue.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

One thing I am always struck by is that in 1945 Labour won a massive landslide, did massively popular things, most notably setting up the NHS, nationalising other things, and setting up the modern version of NI and state old age pensions, but then almost got beaten in the election 5 years later by the same old Conservatives with their same old leader.
Really they did get beaten as their majority was so small they needed to call an early election just the following year and did lose that one.
There were reasons and these are constantly re-assessed,and continuing rationing years after the end of the war was a big one. But it is a striking turnaround and shows how the electorate will constantly ‘bank’ achievements and progress quite happily but focus on other troubles, and punish the party for those.
I think Labour will win despite the Conservatives seeming attempt to ‘bore their way’ to some sort of acceptability. Starmer sees Brexit as the one issue that can cause his party to start looking chaotic, and as people want ‘no more chaos’ above everything, he can’t afford to re-open that issue lest the Conservatives creep in with their belated return to ‘safe and boring’, doubtless allied to various giveaways nearer polling day?

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

We should simply tell Brussels that the deal is off, we are out and the Trade War they’ve been waging against us since the moment we left will no longer be unresisted. We then promptly ban all EU vessels from UK waters for a start.

tom j
tom j
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yes. I don’t think we have evidence that Brexit is unpopular, the surveys I have seen have asked “Has Brexit been a success”, and most people say no. But the people who voted for it will say no because immigration remains out of control, and the establishment have spent most of the last 6 years resisting Brexit. Starmer is possibly smart enough to realise something along these lines, and so not to make the EU an election issue.

Ted Ditchburn
TD
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

One thing I am always struck by is that in 1945 Labour won a massive landslide, did massively popular things, most notably setting up the NHS, nationalising other things, and setting up the modern version of NI and state old age pensions, but then almost got beaten in the election 5 years later by the same old Conservatives with their same old leader.
Really they did get beaten as their majority was so small they needed to call an early election just the following year and did lose that one.
There were reasons and these are constantly re-assessed,and continuing rationing years after the end of the war was a big one. But it is a striking turnaround and shows how the electorate will constantly ‘bank’ achievements and progress quite happily but focus on other troubles, and punish the party for those.
I think Labour will win despite the Conservatives seeming attempt to ‘bore their way’ to some sort of acceptability. Starmer sees Brexit as the one issue that can cause his party to start looking chaotic, and as people want ‘no more chaos’ above everything, he can’t afford to re-open that issue lest the Conservatives creep in with their belated return to ‘safe and boring’, doubtless allied to various giveaways nearer polling day?

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

We should simply tell Brussels that the deal is off, we are out and the Trade War they’ve been waging against us since the moment we left will no longer be unresisted. We then promptly ban all EU vessels from UK waters for a start.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago

Is it Brexit itself that is no longer popular, or is it that people just want to see more action taken to make the best of it?
As far as I can see for Labour the best course of action would be to try and lose the next election (which – judging by the pronouncements on giving schoolkids and EU citizens full voting rights, they are working on feverishly). All of this nonsense about “renegotiating the Brexit deal” is fluff: to “renegotiate” rather than make a few technical fixes that don’t touch the substance of the agreement, you need a willing partner and I don’t think anyone in Brussels wants to go there.
Everyone is sick of hearing about Brexit: it is still just the British arguing with one another. If I was one of the people responsible in Brussels, my strategy would be: just leave them to it. No renegotiation of the deal: either you rejoin the single market fully and submit yourselves to our control without any voice or you stop whinging and finally forge your own path without us with the deal you’ve got.
That leaves Labour a bit stuck doesn’t it? as I said, their best case scenario is to lose the coming election and then see what happens. If the Tories somehow manage to pull the rabbit out of the hat by reducing immigration (legal & illegal), continuing to diverge from EU in areas where there’s a benefit in doing so (data protection & AI perhaps?) and demonstrating a benefit from that and making some kind of inroad into the NHS and civil service swamps then perhaps Labour can ride on their coattails and get on board with Brexit in a convincing way. If not, then by the time the next-but-one election comes around, so many people will be against Brexit that it won’t be such a divisive issue and then perhaps you can bring up the single market issue again (although good luck in selling the revival of the freedom of movement to voters).

Last edited 10 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Neil Ross
Neil Ross
10 months ago

Makes me laugh “The pandemic, Net Zero and an ageing population have combined with the rise of China to create a world in which the state has become far more central to the success of an economy than before”
”Success” need to be replaced by “Failure”. When will people return to the realisation that the more states extend their reach and try to do more and more they will only take the world further on the path to failure!

Neil Ross
NR
Neil Ross
10 months ago

Makes me laugh “The pandemic, Net Zero and an ageing population have combined with the rise of China to create a world in which the state has become far more central to the success of an economy than before”
”Success” need to be replaced by “Failure”. When will people return to the realisation that the more states extend their reach and try to do more and more they will only take the world further on the path to failure!

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago

Had to laugh when I read this:
“Blair [thought] that Thatcher’s reforms had produced a better economy but needed better redistribution and professional management of public services.”
Well, we may indeed have got “professional management of public services”. We’re certainly paying a lot more for it. Perhaps he didn’t actually promise better management. And it got worse. Both the management and the services. Largely because of the management.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are conveniently forgetting we’ve had 13yrs of the Tories messing up public services after they were put on a, not perfect, but more even keel. We are getting alot of this now as Right wingers try to imagine the last 13yrs all down to Blair forgetting they’ve been in charge. Almost comical.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

No. That’s your projection. I said nothing about that.
For the record, I thought a lot of the rot started under John Major who kicked off PFI. Before New Labour turbo-charged it. Things haven’t got any better since thn. I do however regard those who originate such things as more guilty than those who maintain a status quo.
So there’s plenty of guilt to spread around. But the article was about Labour, so naturally that is what I commented on. Which seems reasonable.
I have several objections – which are not about politics and which party did what – to PFI and managerialism. Amongst them:
#1 The “managers” never have any real “domain expertise” when they are brought in – so they are simply generalist managers who believe management is a portable skill and that specific hands-on experience in an industry to have a real feel for it is not required. In my experience this is just plain wrong.
#2 The politicians who are too lazy and/or too stupid to recognise point #1.
#3 The fact that outsourcing permanently de-skills organisations to the point where they can no longer “make” stuff internally and are barely competent to “buy” it in.
If you want to get party political, we might stop to consider the relative performance of the “governments” in Wales and Scotland with England. The outcomes in Wales and Scotland (health and education for starters) do appear to be signficantly worse – and with greater resources per head thrown at them.
I didn’t particularly want to go down this road, but you did pick the party political scab here.

j watson
JW
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

OK, but you’re a bit unspecific on what managers you are referring to. I’m sure some of your contention true but way too broad-brush. PFI – never been a fan, but 4 yrs after promising 40 new hospitals where are we without some form of partnership?
I think ‘management consultants’, all the big players, have had a malign influence – almost helping create the demand that they then have cashed in on.
Fair point on Wales, although the total funding remains a Whitehall decision. As is Education and funding for training places.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Renting hospitals instead of buying them never made sense to me. Particularly when the PFI contracts were so ludicrously bad about maintenance costs. Negotiated by complete muppets on the NHS/civil service/government side (presumably the NHS did the work here).
Do you think we’d actually have the staff for 40 new hospitals right now ? All very well building these things, but you then need presumably tens of thousands of qualified medical staff to suddenly appear.
Not saying we shouldn’t do it. But it’s far from a slam dunk to staff them up.
We did get some new “Nightingale hospitals” two or three years ago, didn’t we ? I wonder what happened to them ? Best perhaps not to ask.
Yes, the total funding for Wales is partly determined in Whitehall. It’s significantly higher per had in Wales and Scotland. That was my point.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Well IF we did staff them, then the NHS might then make it to the top of the World’s Largest Employer table, currently it languishes in about 7th behind the Indian Ministry of Defence, US Defence Department, China’s People’s Liberation Army, Walmart, Amazon and China’s National Petroleum Corporation.
IF numbers were all that mattered, we should be the healthiest country on the planet.

https://www.statista.com/chart/3585/the-worlds-biggest-employers/

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

In fact many other developed Countries employ alot more per capita, but don’t have them all under one workforce data capture.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

In fact many other developed Countries employ alot more per capita, but don’t have them all under one workforce data capture.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Most of 40 PB are replacement of decrepit existing with some on point of being condemned. Alot built in 60s/70s with concrete failure problems. And obviously in addition population changes and the way we treat people has changed obsoleting existing – e.g: single rooms on wards vs the old Nightingale layouts. So the rebuilding not generating the need to staff an increase in 40 ‘additional’. That said we know all about the existing nursing and doctor shortages.
PFI in late 90s/early noughties did get us the biggest injection of new infrastructure in 40 years, but as we agree, with some serious legacy issues. It was the only game in town at the time.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

No. That’s just a cop out. PFI was not the only game in town. There was nothing to stop us building and owning our own hospitals. Nothing at all. We seem to have done exactly that with the Nightingale hospitals. And Covid certainly proved that there’s no limit to government spending given the will.
There was no need for private equity either (like selling off MoD housing to Terra Firma). But New Labour just loved this stuff.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

For hospital management it was the only game in town. Everyone, bar those with big charitable funding resource, got funnelled this way. Agree the Govt then under appreciated the subsequent problems. I suspect some naivety in public sector management about how private partners would profit maximise because it’s not been an instinct for them. Tough lesson.
Question is now how are Govt funding the 40 they promised?

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

For hospital management it was the only game in town. Everyone, bar those with big charitable funding resource, got funnelled this way. Agree the Govt then under appreciated the subsequent problems. I suspect some naivety in public sector management about how private partners would profit maximise because it’s not been an instinct for them. Tough lesson.
Question is now how are Govt funding the 40 they promised?

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

No. That’s just a cop out. PFI was not the only game in town. There was nothing to stop us building and owning our own hospitals. Nothing at all. We seem to have done exactly that with the Nightingale hospitals. And Covid certainly proved that there’s no limit to government spending given the will.
There was no need for private equity either (like selling off MoD housing to Terra Firma). But New Labour just loved this stuff.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Well IF we did staff them, then the NHS might then make it to the top of the World’s Largest Employer table, currently it languishes in about 7th behind the Indian Ministry of Defence, US Defence Department, China’s People’s Liberation Army, Walmart, Amazon and China’s National Petroleum Corporation.
IF numbers were all that mattered, we should be the healthiest country on the planet.

https://www.statista.com/chart/3585/the-worlds-biggest-employers/

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Most of 40 PB are replacement of decrepit existing with some on point of being condemned. Alot built in 60s/70s with concrete failure problems. And obviously in addition population changes and the way we treat people has changed obsoleting existing – e.g: single rooms on wards vs the old Nightingale layouts. So the rebuilding not generating the need to staff an increase in 40 ‘additional’. That said we know all about the existing nursing and doctor shortages.
PFI in late 90s/early noughties did get us the biggest injection of new infrastructure in 40 years, but as we agree, with some serious legacy issues. It was the only game in town at the time.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Renting hospitals instead of buying them never made sense to me. Particularly when the PFI contracts were so ludicrously bad about maintenance costs. Negotiated by complete muppets on the NHS/civil service/government side (presumably the NHS did the work here).
Do you think we’d actually have the staff for 40 new hospitals right now ? All very well building these things, but you then need presumably tens of thousands of qualified medical staff to suddenly appear.
Not saying we shouldn’t do it. But it’s far from a slam dunk to staff them up.
We did get some new “Nightingale hospitals” two or three years ago, didn’t we ? I wonder what happened to them ? Best perhaps not to ask.
Yes, the total funding for Wales is partly determined in Whitehall. It’s significantly higher per had in Wales and Scotland. That was my point.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

OK, but you’re a bit unspecific on what managers you are referring to. I’m sure some of your contention true but way too broad-brush. PFI – never been a fan, but 4 yrs after promising 40 new hospitals where are we without some form of partnership?
I think ‘management consultants’, all the big players, have had a malign influence – almost helping create the demand that they then have cashed in on.
Fair point on Wales, although the total funding remains a Whitehall decision. As is Education and funding for training places.

Stoater D
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You actually think that the Conservative party is ” right wing ” do you ?

They are a social democratic party hardly distinguishable for the LibDems.

Simon Blanchard
SB
Simon Blanchard
10 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Not even close. They’re an organised crime group with a core mission to channel money from the British middle and working classes into the pockets of the transnational 1%

j watson
JW
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

As Lenin once said ‘you don’t think those Mensheviks are real Communists do you?’.
You argue amongst yourselves SD whilst someone half sensible tries to clear up the mess.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
10 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Not even close. They’re an organised crime group with a core mission to channel money from the British middle and working classes into the pockets of the transnational 1%

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

As Lenin once said ‘you don’t think those Mensheviks are real Communists do you?’.
You argue amongst yourselves SD whilst someone half sensible tries to clear up the mess.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Who began QE, low interest rates and deficit spending ? Who has continued with these same policies since they were elected?

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

No. That’s your projection. I said nothing about that.
For the record, I thought a lot of the rot started under John Major who kicked off PFI. Before New Labour turbo-charged it. Things haven’t got any better since thn. I do however regard those who originate such things as more guilty than those who maintain a status quo.
So there’s plenty of guilt to spread around. But the article was about Labour, so naturally that is what I commented on. Which seems reasonable.
I have several objections – which are not about politics and which party did what – to PFI and managerialism. Amongst them:
#1 The “managers” never have any real “domain expertise” when they are brought in – so they are simply generalist managers who believe management is a portable skill and that specific hands-on experience in an industry to have a real feel for it is not required. In my experience this is just plain wrong.
#2 The politicians who are too lazy and/or too stupid to recognise point #1.
#3 The fact that outsourcing permanently de-skills organisations to the point where they can no longer “make” stuff internally and are barely competent to “buy” it in.
If you want to get party political, we might stop to consider the relative performance of the “governments” in Wales and Scotland with England. The outcomes in Wales and Scotland (health and education for starters) do appear to be signficantly worse – and with greater resources per head thrown at them.
I didn’t particularly want to go down this road, but you did pick the party political scab here.

Stoater D
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You actually think that the Conservative party is ” right wing ” do you ?

They are a social democratic party hardly distinguishable for the LibDems.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Who began QE, low interest rates and deficit spending ? Who has continued with these same policies since they were elected?

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are conveniently forgetting we’ve had 13yrs of the Tories messing up public services after they were put on a, not perfect, but more even keel. We are getting alot of this now as Right wingers try to imagine the last 13yrs all down to Blair forgetting they’ve been in charge. Almost comical.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago

Had to laugh when I read this:
“Blair [thought] that Thatcher’s reforms had produced a better economy but needed better redistribution and professional management of public services.”
Well, we may indeed have got “professional management of public services”. We’re certainly paying a lot more for it. Perhaps he didn’t actually promise better management. And it got worse. Both the management and the services. Largely because of the management.

James Kirk
James Kirk
10 months ago

Ridiculous idea that we’ve had a Tory gov’t for 13 years. Five was a compromise with Clegg. Cameron had two with the turmoil of Brexit. May nearly lost to Corbyn and we had the PR style embarrassment of paying off the DUP. Then Boris who promptly caught Covid, got married and lost it. He got stabbed by decidedly unTory liberal wets. Sunak’s had 7 months. Tories, 2.5 years in power.
Any sensible Labour leader would duck this one; a poison chalice.
As for rejoining the EU. They aren’t having the best time themselves. I see no concrete benefit to Brussels having us chewing away at their ankles like irritating corgis. Then there’s the Euro.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  James Kirk

Except for the 2.5 years of Tories in power (when was that?) I like your alternative, and in my opinion accurate view of the reality of the EU/UK and its rulers.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  James Kirk

Except for the 2.5 years of Tories in power (when was that?) I like your alternative, and in my opinion accurate view of the reality of the EU/UK and its rulers.

James Kirk
James Kirk
10 months ago

Ridiculous idea that we’ve had a Tory gov’t for 13 years. Five was a compromise with Clegg. Cameron had two with the turmoil of Brexit. May nearly lost to Corbyn and we had the PR style embarrassment of paying off the DUP. Then Boris who promptly caught Covid, got married and lost it. He got stabbed by decidedly unTory liberal wets. Sunak’s had 7 months. Tories, 2.5 years in power.
Any sensible Labour leader would duck this one; a poison chalice.
As for rejoining the EU. They aren’t having the best time themselves. I see no concrete benefit to Brussels having us chewing away at their ankles like irritating corgis. Then there’s the Euro.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

It would be easier for Starmer to cross the House, become leader of the masturbaTorys and go from there, as they are effectively the same woke lower middle class run dross.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

It would be easier for Starmer to cross the House, become leader of the masturbaTorys and go from there, as they are effectively the same woke lower middle class run dross.

T Bone
T Bone
10 months ago

“The pandemic, Net Zero and an ageing population have combined with the rise of China to create a world in which the state has become far more central to the success of an economy than before — a situation which fits far more comfortably into Labour’s economic philosophy than the Tories.”

Interesting. It almost seems like Left of Center parties benefit from an environment that increases demand for State resources. I wonder if there is an unstated ambition to help “facilitate” those conditions. I guess we’ll never know!

Stoater D
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Absolutely correct.

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Absolutely correct.

T Bone
T Bone
10 months ago

“The pandemic, Net Zero and an ageing population have combined with the rise of China to create a world in which the state has become far more central to the success of an economy than before — a situation which fits far more comfortably into Labour’s economic philosophy than the Tories.”

Interesting. It almost seems like Left of Center parties benefit from an environment that increases demand for State resources. I wonder if there is an unstated ambition to help “facilitate” those conditions. I guess we’ll never know!

tom j
TJ
tom j
10 months ago

“No party has ever won an election after presiding over a financial crisis — and the Conservatives actually caused this one.”
What financial crisis did the Conservatives cause?

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  tom j

Their going for lockdown and their Net Zero insanity (May put that into law) – though every other party would have done the same, but probably harder and for longer.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  tom j

Their going for lockdown and their Net Zero insanity (May put that into law) – though every other party would have done the same, but probably harder and for longer.

tom j
tom j
10 months ago

“No party has ever won an election after presiding over a financial crisis — and the Conservatives actually caused this one.”
What financial crisis did the Conservatives cause?

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
10 months ago

Yes, but what about mass immigration – hugely unpopular- and persecution of freedom of conscience?

ben arnulfssen
BA
ben arnulfssen
10 months ago

Yes, but what about mass immigration – hugely unpopular- and persecution of freedom of conscience?

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
10 months ago

Last edited 10 months ago by Jonathan Nash
Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Labour opposed the Brexit revolution and, quietly, continues to think it stupid, although cannot say so publicly.

Starmer’s best bet is, then, to pay lip-service to Brexit in the run-up to the election, while playing a long game. Once he has extended the franchise to EU nationals residing in Britain and to 16 year olds, allowed a couple more million economic migrants into the country, and convinced the electorate that our continuing economic decline is due to our lack of European influence, the job will do itself. Brexit will look distinctly more white and gammony, and the electorate will row back from the great “mistake” it made in 2016.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Neale
Neil Ross
Neil Ross
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

By 2040 then once the EU process has run its course. 60% Debt to GDP to join anyone?

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

You appear to be suggesting that there’s something wrong with “white” votes – and by implication white voters.
Apologies if I got that wrong – I couldn’t quite be certain if you comment was literal or ironic/sarcastic. It could easily be the latter. I think most people assumed the former.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Ironic. If I were speaking literally, it would be for mass deportations.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

I did suspect. Too subtle for a few of us then. Those downvotes really are undeserved.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

I did suspect. Too subtle for a few of us then. Those downvotes really are undeserved.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Ironic. If I were speaking literally, it would be for mass deportations.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

The EU isn’t likely to last that long, and the masses of migrants coming do seem to ‘pass through the EU’ which suggests they may not vote to rejoin it should Starmer bring in sufficient numbers of them.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

By 2040 then once the EU process has run its course. 60% Debt to GDP to join anyone?

Peter B
PB
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

You appear to be suggesting that there’s something wrong with “white” votes – and by implication white voters.
Apologies if I got that wrong – I couldn’t quite be certain if you comment was literal or ironic/sarcastic. It could easily be the latter. I think most people assumed the former.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

The EU isn’t likely to last that long, and the masses of migrants coming do seem to ‘pass through the EU’ which suggests they may not vote to rejoin it should Starmer bring in sufficient numbers of them.

Simon Neale
SN
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Labour opposed the Brexit revolution and, quietly, continues to think it stupid, although cannot say so publicly.

Starmer’s best bet is, then, to pay lip-service to Brexit in the run-up to the election, while playing a long game. Once he has extended the franchise to EU nationals residing in Britain and to 16 year olds, allowed a couple more million economic migrants into the country, and convinced the electorate that our continuing economic decline is due to our lack of European influence, the job will do itself. Brexit will look distinctly more white and gammony, and the electorate will row back from the great “mistake” it made in 2016.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Neale
j watson
j watson
10 months ago

He’s certainly going to inherit a right mess if he wins, (which I’m not entirely convinced will be as clear-cut as some commentators think). Nonetheless the Right Wing made a right shambles last 13 years – little to no plan and massive waste of time and energy trying to put lipstick on the pig that is Brexit and smearing it all over the place.
He knows going back in anytime soon not happening – quite apart from country not quite being there yet EU probably not ready to contemplate either. Getting the v favourable terms we had also unlikely. Furthermore it’d also be a huge distraction and we’ve just spent 7 years learning that lesson. But one can see a movement towards a Norway or Swiss form of alignment that Sunak already progressing. Maximising single market access critical, but Starmer would welcome a bit of flex on free movement and state aid – which EU just may be in a different place to accept than in 2016. EU will likely trust Starmer, much as they are beginning to do with Sunak, whereas the other clowns Tories put in charge they rightly didn’t.
The immigration issue will continue to have Starmer thinking v carefully. But as we know back in 2016 over half our immigration was non EU and entirely in our control already. Yet 7 years on we’ve trebled it. There’s room for a much better balance on this that re-engages with EU too. As inflation driven by labour shortages, care sector shortages etc continue the Country is in a better place for adult discussion. People just crying out for some competency too.

John Murray
John Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

My local council has been Tory, with an inbuilt supermajority, since Churchill was a boy, but in the local elections the opposition parties put up a single slate of candidates in each ward. The Conservatives got slaughtered, losing 27 out of 37 seats. Hard to be definitive but I think there is a visceral anti-Tory mood in the country and that could lead to a mini-1997.

The interesting thing will then be what happens next to the Tory Party. Do they go full Trump Nat C, backed by the Murdoch/Rothermere press and make themselves unelectable? If so, it will give Starmer room to make the sort of moves you suggest, but to a pretty grim background noise from the Right.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

In what way was EU immigration “in our control” ? The whole point of freedom of movement was that it wasn’t ! I think you have this back to front.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The Tory party right wing? ROFL

John Murray
JM
John Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

My local council has been Tory, with an inbuilt supermajority, since Churchill was a boy, but in the local elections the opposition parties put up a single slate of candidates in each ward. The Conservatives got slaughtered, losing 27 out of 37 seats. Hard to be definitive but I think there is a visceral anti-Tory mood in the country and that could lead to a mini-1997.

The interesting thing will then be what happens next to the Tory Party. Do they go full Trump Nat C, backed by the Murdoch/Rothermere press and make themselves unelectable? If so, it will give Starmer room to make the sort of moves you suggest, but to a pretty grim background noise from the Right.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

In what way was EU immigration “in our control” ? The whole point of freedom of movement was that it wasn’t ! I think you have this back to front.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The Tory party right wing? ROFL

j watson
JW
j watson
10 months ago

He’s certainly going to inherit a right mess if he wins, (which I’m not entirely convinced will be as clear-cut as some commentators think). Nonetheless the Right Wing made a right shambles last 13 years – little to no plan and massive waste of time and energy trying to put lipstick on the pig that is Brexit and smearing it all over the place.
He knows going back in anytime soon not happening – quite apart from country not quite being there yet EU probably not ready to contemplate either. Getting the v favourable terms we had also unlikely. Furthermore it’d also be a huge distraction and we’ve just spent 7 years learning that lesson. But one can see a movement towards a Norway or Swiss form of alignment that Sunak already progressing. Maximising single market access critical, but Starmer would welcome a bit of flex on free movement and state aid – which EU just may be in a different place to accept than in 2016. EU will likely trust Starmer, much as they are beginning to do with Sunak, whereas the other clowns Tories put in charge they rightly didn’t.
The immigration issue will continue to have Starmer thinking v carefully. But as we know back in 2016 over half our immigration was non EU and entirely in our control already. Yet 7 years on we’ve trebled it. There’s room for a much better balance on this that re-engages with EU too. As inflation driven by labour shortages, care sector shortages etc continue the Country is in a better place for adult discussion. People just crying out for some competency too.

John Murray
JM
John Murray
10 months ago

Starmer knows that the majority of the media is waiting, vulture like, to pounce and mischaracterise or distort anything he says, not because they will have any principled objection to it but because they know the Tory Party will run the country for their benefit rather than their readers. After all, they supported the reigns of Bad King Boris, despite knowing he was manifestly unfit to be Prime Minister, and Mad Queen Liz for promising unfunded tax cuts that benefited them and their chums.

He, therefore, has decided to follow the dictum ‘never interrupt your enemies when they’re making mistakes’. Not very inspiring but suitably pragmatic in the circumstances. With Brexit, he’s happy to let the public see for themselves that the promises made in the referendum by the Leave campaign were illusory. He can also watch as the architects of Brexit fall out and, like Western Communists when the murderous reality of the Soviet regime became too obvious to ignore, claim that ‘Brexit hasn’t failed, it just hasn’t been tried yet’ or blame others for the failure. If he gets in power then economic reality will lead in due course to a closer more pragmatic, that word again, relationship with the EU.

He is helped by Rish! being a rather hapless Michael Corleone in Godfather III “Every time I think I’m out they drag me back in” as a new example of Tory Sleaze or incompetence surfaces on a regular basis to undermine him.

Whatever happens, though, he’ll not inherit a happy situation.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  John Murray

The only reason Brexit promises were illusory is because Remainers are in charge. From the moment they lied about ‘respecting the result’ they have done everything in their power to overturn the result. They refused to be open and straight forward and say “We won’t leave.” Why? Because Farage would have had a field day, as it was he handed Boris the Brexit Torch and Boris, useless Boris stuck it somewhere while he did other more interesting things and it fizzled out.
Brexit is only going to be seen for the great escape it is when the EU collapses, and it will. From the Net Zero insanities of Insect Protein to enable the banning of beef, lamb and pigs (and the destruction of Dutch Farms) to the de-industrialisation of Germany, the EU (perhaps even Sunak) is charging toward a Net Zero catastrophe that will bring down Governments. Assuming the Euro doesn’t bring down the Eurozone first. Though perhaps next winter will also be abnormally warm, and Germany will still be able to afford to hoover up the world’s LNG supplies. Mind you they’ll need to do better as they have just shut down the 3 Nuclear power stations that helped them through this last winter.
The West is committing economic and social suicide (and potentially imitating Stalin in creating famines that will kill millions. See the UK FIRES report on what is expected for the UK in 27 years time! Sheer madness), but when it really starts to hit us plebs, watch out for a spectacular backlash. The Dutch Farmers, the Danish Truckers and the Gilet Jaunes are only the start in the EU.

John Murray
JM
John Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

LOL. And they say that satire isn’t dead….proves my point, though. It’s not Brexit, you say, it’s just not been done properly.

Curts
Curts
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

Sadly the beginning of your reply is very true

John Murray
John Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

LOL. And they say that satire isn’t dead….proves my point, though. It’s not Brexit, you say, it’s just not been done properly.

Curts
PC
Curts
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

Sadly the beginning of your reply is very true

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  John Murray

The only reason Brexit promises were illusory is because Remainers are in charge. From the moment they lied about ‘respecting the result’ they have done everything in their power to overturn the result. They refused to be open and straight forward and say “We won’t leave.” Why? Because Farage would have had a field day, as it was he handed Boris the Brexit Torch and Boris, useless Boris stuck it somewhere while he did other more interesting things and it fizzled out.
Brexit is only going to be seen for the great escape it is when the EU collapses, and it will. From the Net Zero insanities of Insect Protein to enable the banning of beef, lamb and pigs (and the destruction of Dutch Farms) to the de-industrialisation of Germany, the EU (perhaps even Sunak) is charging toward a Net Zero catastrophe that will bring down Governments. Assuming the Euro doesn’t bring down the Eurozone first. Though perhaps next winter will also be abnormally warm, and Germany will still be able to afford to hoover up the world’s LNG supplies. Mind you they’ll need to do better as they have just shut down the 3 Nuclear power stations that helped them through this last winter.
The West is committing economic and social suicide (and potentially imitating Stalin in creating famines that will kill millions. See the UK FIRES report on what is expected for the UK in 27 years time! Sheer madness), but when it really starts to hit us plebs, watch out for a spectacular backlash. The Dutch Farmers, the Danish Truckers and the Gilet Jaunes are only the start in the EU.

John Murray
John Murray
10 months ago

Starmer knows that the majority of the media is waiting, vulture like, to pounce and mischaracterise or distort anything he says, not because they will have any principled objection to it but because they know the Tory Party will run the country for their benefit rather than their readers. After all, they supported the reigns of Bad King Boris, despite knowing he was manifestly unfit to be Prime Minister, and Mad Queen Liz for promising unfunded tax cuts that benefited them and their chums.

He, therefore, has decided to follow the dictum ‘never interrupt your enemies when they’re making mistakes’. Not very inspiring but suitably pragmatic in the circumstances. With Brexit, he’s happy to let the public see for themselves that the promises made in the referendum by the Leave campaign were illusory. He can also watch as the architects of Brexit fall out and, like Western Communists when the murderous reality of the Soviet regime became too obvious to ignore, claim that ‘Brexit hasn’t failed, it just hasn’t been tried yet’ or blame others for the failure. If he gets in power then economic reality will lead in due course to a closer more pragmatic, that word again, relationship with the EU.

He is helped by Rish! being a rather hapless Michael Corleone in Godfather III “Every time I think I’m out they drag me back in” as a new example of Tory Sleaze or incompetence surfaces on a regular basis to undermine him.

Whatever happens, though, he’ll not inherit a happy situation.

Venerabledom
Venerabledom
10 months ago

Brexit is an absolute bin fire which anyone who doesn’t cling to their pride like a seamen on a sinking ship can see. I think that momentum is a big thing in politics and it’s moving back towards the EU- let’s be honest the people in favour of the EU are getting added to the electoral role as fast as those against it are coming off it. Labour will get a lot of votes this time because many people are sick of Tory corruption, but they need to come up with a different paradigm on Europe because under the current negotiated settlement it’s only going to look worse economically, socially and culturally as time goes on, not better. And if Labour don’t offer something to the ever growing pro-Europe lobby they’ll be put in the same bucket as the bruge group/Britain First headbangers currently in charge of the Conservatives by voters who will look elsewhere.

Last edited 10 months ago by Venerabledom
Stoater D
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  Venerabledom

Wishful thinking.
What makes you think the EU is so popular ?
Is there one thing in its favour ?
It is an outdated idea, no-one needs the EU.
It exists to provide a bolt-hole for failed and rejected politicians and to provide a luxury life style for a few thousand otherwise unemployable bureaucrats and outed politicians.
It’s demise cannot come quickly enough.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Venerabledom

Anything can be a spectacular fire when you have arsonists intent on starting one, and we have Westminster full of Brexit Arsonists. Brexit will still be here when the EU is gone, with luck our Europhile elite will go with the EU.

Curts
Curts
10 months ago
Reply to  Venerabledom

I wonder how people will feel when there is direct taxation to Brussels, we give up the pound, parliament becomes essentially a local county council and we go back to full on freedom of movement. Because that is the stipulation to go back in. It’s obfuscated in the EU policy but written in plain sight.
Theres a difference between Tarquin and Camilla being inconvenienced having to queue to go to mummy and daddy’s second house in the Loire and selling the family silver.
The latest wheeze is getting non UK nationals and 16 year olds on the electoral register to covertly get that over the line by Starmer. You wouldn’t trust the public you represent to have a vote on it would you? I mean actually letting them have a say?

Stoater D
Stoater D
10 months ago
Reply to  Venerabledom

Wishful thinking.
What makes you think the EU is so popular ?
Is there one thing in its favour ?
It is an outdated idea, no-one needs the EU.
It exists to provide a bolt-hole for failed and rejected politicians and to provide a luxury life style for a few thousand otherwise unemployable bureaucrats and outed politicians.
It’s demise cannot come quickly enough.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Venerabledom

Anything can be a spectacular fire when you have arsonists intent on starting one, and we have Westminster full of Brexit Arsonists. Brexit will still be here when the EU is gone, with luck our Europhile elite will go with the EU.

Curts
Curts
10 months ago
Reply to  Venerabledom

I wonder how people will feel when there is direct taxation to Brussels, we give up the pound, parliament becomes essentially a local county council and we go back to full on freedom of movement. Because that is the stipulation to go back in. It’s obfuscated in the EU policy but written in plain sight.
Theres a difference between Tarquin and Camilla being inconvenienced having to queue to go to mummy and daddy’s second house in the Loire and selling the family silver.
The latest wheeze is getting non UK nationals and 16 year olds on the electoral register to covertly get that over the line by Starmer. You wouldn’t trust the public you represent to have a vote on it would you? I mean actually letting them have a say?

Venerabledom
Venerabledom
10 months ago

Brexit is an absolute bin fire which anyone who doesn’t cling to their pride like a seamen on a sinking ship can see. I think that momentum is a big thing in politics and it’s moving back towards the EU- let’s be honest the people in favour of the EU are getting added to the electoral role as fast as those against it are coming off it. Labour will get a lot of votes this time because many people are sick of Tory corruption, but they need to come up with a different paradigm on Europe because under the current negotiated settlement it’s only going to look worse economically, socially and culturally as time goes on, not better. And if Labour don’t offer something to the ever growing pro-Europe lobby they’ll be put in the same bucket as the bruge group/Britain First headbangers currently in charge of the Conservatives by voters who will look elsewhere.

Last edited 10 months ago by Venerabledom