Keir Starmer’s lavish criticism of Boris suggests he only rants, no answers.
“He has half an hour every week to put serious and sensible questions to me about the state of the pandemic, about the vaccine rollout, about what we’re doing to support our NHS, about what we’re doing to fight crime, about what we’re doing to bounce back from this pandemic, about economic recovery, about jobs for the people of this country. And he goes on and on, Mr Speaker, about wallpaper when, as I’ve told him umpteen times now, I paid for it…”. Those were Boris Johnson’s furious words after he was repeatedly questioned by Keir Starmer at PMQs about his role in the flat furore.
It’s words that echo loud and clear and suggest foreboding things of the state of Keir Starmer’s Labour leadership. This week’s PMQs was less a polite political discussion than a shouting match. Both Boris and Keir showed their very worst side.
For Boris, he was reduced to a ranting, petulant teenager facing comeuppance for supposed comments that he would rather have the “bodies pile high” than impose a second lockdown. For Keir, the fallout was more sinister. It showed him to be both a charisma vacuum and an empty vessel making the most noise.
I’m not a great Boris fan myself, but he was the only one speaking an inch of common sense during this whole shout-a-thon. He’s correct. Keir should’ve been questioning him on the vaccine rollout, what needed to be done to support the NHS and revive the economy. Instead he reverted to petty, abusive insults branding the Prime Minister a “sleaze” and a “crony”. He continues to go on and on about Boris’ bloody wallpaper when there are far more important fish to fry.
I might be able to take Starmer more seriously if he was offering any solutions to the real problems of this pandemic. His outlook has continuously been one of “let’s just bash Boris” without actually coming up with a good alternative. He doesn’t have a vision for the free market model which he claims has failed, but offers no credible alternative, for example. I put it to Keir - could you do any better?!
The Greensill scandal and the wallpaper row has undoubtedly done damage to the Tory Party’s reputation; offering further ammunition for sceptics to trash them as a party of nasty, elitist opportunists. But I stress again that Labour has consistently proved themselves to be every bit as opportunistic. Remember the Expenses scandal? That was mainly Labour MPs - not the “wicked, nasty Tories”.
Keir’s accusations of sleaze and cronyism only go to reveal a fundamental flaw with the Left today. They make a lot of noise because naturally their voices struggle to be heard, but don’t actually come up with any solutions. It’s all good to trash the Tories, but what does Labour stand for anymore than let’s just hate them? I’m beginning to regret ever giving Keir Starmer the benefit of the doubt. He’s embodying every bit the ranty, smug, morally superior left-wing politician I have consistently detested. No wonder Labour won’t be returning to power anytime soon...