The Labour leader needs to embrace Blairism and extinguish Corbynism.
On May 6th, the UK goes to the polls at the local elections. For the last two elections, I’ve voted Conservative. I’m not a natural Conservative voter, but previous Labour leaders like Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn have had me ticking Tory for their loony left-wing policies. Had I been old enough during the Blair years, I would’ve passed New Labour my vote. I believed in his promise of a Third Way between the left and right of the political spectrum, of a peace between business and the unions and a balance of social justice and free market economics.
Now, for the first time, since 2010, I’m considering voting Labour. I’m fed up and sick to death of Boris and his over-optimistic handling of this pandemic. He’s even betrayed the fundamental Tory ideologies of small state, low tax with the 2021 Budget by raising taxes and spending £407 billion of public money. I guess he has no choice given we are in our worst recession in 300 years, but the man has less integrity than a slug and he showed that when he backstabbed David Cameron and backed Brexit.
No, I think I’ll only be voting Tory if Rishi Sunak stages a leadership coup and becomes Prime Minister. He strikes me as two of the only politicians at the moment with any integrity and something to say for himself. The other is Keir Starmer.
Starmer is not a popular figure in the Hard Left of the Labour Party. He belongs in the Soft Left and wants to make Labour the ‘party of business’ - a hard mantra to attain considering most businesses saw the high tax, high spending rhetoric of Jeremy Corbyn as a vote of no confidence. I have friends who hate Starmer because he is “taking socialism out of the Labour Party”. Which is ironic because it was the Hard Left Socialism that led Labour to its worst defeat since 1935 at the last election and its worst defeat since 1983 in 2015.
Labour lost so badly at those elections partly because Ed Miliband was a weak and ineffective leader - and a brotherly backstabber at that - who looked like Wallace from ‘Wallace and Gromit’, but also because, under Corbyn, it spewed the kind of rhetoric that has been rejected by every single advanced society in the modern world. The idea of renationalising public utilities and railways and giving power back to the unions only stifles business and the economy. Do people not remember the Winter of Discontent? That’s what led to the rise of Margaret Thatcher because people wanted a quick fix to those striking bloody unions.
Former Conservative leader Michael Howard told Michael Portillo in the Thatcher documentary ‘Portillo on Thatcher’ (2008) that he “didn’t feel I was the right person to convince the country that the Conservative Party had changed”. Jeremy Corbyn very much followed this suit when he resigned as leader after the 2019 election. He wasn’t the right person to convince the country that the Labour party had changed - a Labour party wrecked by anti-semitism accusations and preaching pro-IRA, crypto-communist claptrap policies.
I believe Keir Starmer is the right person to convince me that the Labour party has changed. In my opinion, he needs to embrace the Blairite model once again and use the May election to promote it. If he does so, he has my vote…
Meet Roshan Chandy
Freelance film critic, journalist and writer based in Nottingham, UK. Specialises in cinema.
Roshan's Top 5 Films of the Week
1. A Quiet Place: Part II (in cinemas)
2. Cruella (in cinemas)
3. After Love (in cinemas)
4. Dream Horse (in cinemas)
5. Frankie (in cinemas)
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