Laura Kuenssberg watches aghast as Alan Cumming fingers the ‘black hole of British politics’

Laura Kuenssberg Alan Cummings Starmer
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With Keir Starmer recently describing his Labour Party as “the real conservatives”, you’d be forgiven for saying there’s no choice for your average anti-Tory voter. So, Scottish actor Alan Cumming has described this lack of representation as the “black hole of British politics”.

He made the comment during Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg – one of the many black holes of British journalism – as the host watched on with a somewhat bemused expression:

Cumming: clowns to the right of me, clowns to the slightly further right

Cumming’s comments struck a chord with folks who feel like they have no political representation:

Read on...

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Some pointed out that there is a left-wing party. However, they failed to note that our non-democratic voting system (one which Starmer wants to maintain), essentially means we live in a two-party state:

Others noted how well Cumming came across on Kuenssberg – especially in relation to the other guests:

Said company was former Tory leader Michael Howard. He said during Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg that the Conservative Party is:

most successful political party in the world.

Sometimes journalist Isabel Oakeshott took issue with the comment, arguing that it was “extraordinarily arrogant” when “you look at the state our country is in right now”. She’s smart enough to understand Howard misses the point, obviously – barely smart enough, but still.

The country isn’t in a state because some Tory technocrat pulled the wrong political lever. It’s in a state because successive Tory governments have pursued a political programme which aggressively transfers wealth upwards from poor people to barely-working billionaires. Given that, it would make sense to vote for anyone else but the Conservative Party, surely?

Well, about that…

‘Conservative-light’

To be fair to Starmer, when he said that Labour are the “real conservatives”, what he literally meant was that Labour is the party which will conserve stuff. The full quote read:

Labour are the real conservatives… Somebody has got to stand up for the things that make this country great and it isn’t going to be the Tories.

To be less fair to him (but considerably more fair to reality), Starmer is a politician. Both he and his team understand exactly how it’s going to be interpreted when he goes out and says that “Labour are the real conservatives”. Besides that, the man’s big-C Conservative actions speak far louder than his conservative words.

Starmer has abandoned many of the left-leaning pledges which won him the leadership. According to Big Issue, he has – ironically – failed to conserve the following pledges:

  • Scrapping tuition fees.
  • Increasing income tax for the top 5% of earners.
  • Nationalisation of public services.
  • Freedom of movement.

This inability to conserve good ideas shows no signs of ceasing either. Labour has now ‘postponed’ its £28bn green jobs and industry plan. Presumably, having an environment isn’t something which “makes this country great”? You should also bear in mind that this is something that Labour is dropping while it’s enjoying an obscenely large poll-lead. So, just imagine what Starmer will feel comfortable dropping when he’s in power.

‘Great’ Britain. Ahem.

Getting back to the “real conservatives” quote, how is Starmer defining ‘standing up for the things that make this country great’?

The list of things which make Britain exceptional isn’t very long, and as the Tories aren’t currently waging a war against fish and chips, you’ve got to assume he’s talking about the NHS – the only other good thing we have. So, do Starmer and his shadow health secretary Wes Streeting have a plan for the NHS? You bet they do.

It’s one which involves more privatisation. Is that standing up for the NHS? Or is it like saying, ‘OK, Mr Pig, we’re going to allow the wolf to get his foot in the door, but we can assure you he won’t go any further than that’? To be fair, that comparison is 30 years out of date – as at this point Mr Pig is half-eaten, and our political leaders are inviting American vultures to pick over the bones.

Another thing to note is that Starmer isn’t just emulating the Conservatives; his leaflets arguably take an imperial measure of inspiration from the knuckle-dragging nationalism of UKIP – especially that purple colouring (a hue which notably tarnishes Labour’s socialist red with the Tories’ royal blue):

Right-light

So why don’t we have a Labour Party that prioritises things like – umm – progressing the rights of organised labour? Outlets like the BBC are dedicated to realising ‘balance’ in their political reporting after all. So, presumably, that means they’d treat a left-wing politician as fairly as a right-wing one, and that they wouldn’t seek to ridicule them with phrases like – oh, I don’t know – ‘broadband communism‘ or ‘nationalising sausages‘.

On an unrelated note, big shout out to Jeremy Corbyn who’s celebrating 40 years of kicking against the pricks:

Featured image via BBC iPlayer/Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg – screengrab

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  • Show Comments
    1. “Tory governments have pursued a political programme” which the writer of this piece failed to name. It’s called capitalism, with its supercharged neoliberal form causing so much poverty, inequality and general misery for the many not the few since the Lewis Powell Memorandum of 1971. Its antidote is revolutionary socialism, not the centrism of the historical Labour party or its permanently loyal representative, Jeremy Corbyn. Bet you though I would write Sir Keir Starmer.

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