The Tories’ cataclysmic failure proves Labour needs to be more like the Tories

Starmer smirking unsettlingly
Support us and go ad-free

You may have detected a note of sarcasm in the headline. If not, you’re either very angry with us for going against our left-wing credentials – or you’re a gullible Labour spin doctor who thought that the spin had somehow landed. Obviously the Tories’ current unpopularity isn’t evidence that Labour needs to emulate the Tories. Yet that seems to be the lesson Keir Starmer has taken away from the recent by-elections:


To beat the Tories, you must…

Both Labour and the Lib Dems had allegedly very good results this week; the Tories, not so much. The three by-elections resulted in the following (as reported by the BBC):

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

In political terms, these results are ‘banonkers’ good for the Tories’ political opponents – but only if you’re willing to ignore the dire turnouts of between 44-46%, showing most voters really don’t give a shit any more.

As the BBC reported, Labour “made history, overturning a 20,137 majority to take the North Yorkshire seat of Selby and Ainsty”. They achieved this despite their candidate being a briefcase-wielding political Stepford child who makes plastic ‘Ken’ Starmer look like a flesh-and-blood human being:

Any normal person would look at these results and think – ‘ah yes, so the Tories are very unpopular right now – therefore we should do our very best to be as unlike them as possible‘. Not Ken Starmer, though – this guy looked at the results and thought ‘how can I use this to justify our ongoing lurch to the right?

Jokers to the right

We published an article last week about Starmer being an unfunny joke. However, the topic of that piece was nothing compared to the hysterical steam of unfunniness he came out with on Saturday 22 July (emphasis added):

It is a reminder that in an election, policy matters.

We are doing something very wrong if policies put forward by the Labour Party end up on each and every Tory leaflet.

We’ve got to face up to that and to learn the lesson.

The second sentence is so bad you almost miss the first – but let’s start with that.

Starmer is a creature of the Labour right – a group of unlovable wonks who are famous for their avoidance of clear and/or beneficial policies. Realising that the Labour right is about as popular as Wuhan bat meat, Starmer fought for the Labour leadership by making it seem like he had an actual policy platforma platform he’s worked hard to jettison ever since.

Given that, the correct way to read this sentence is that Starmer is trying to justify the avoidance of appearing like he supports anything which remotely resembles a policy lest someone somewhere take offence to it.

This thing called ‘politics’

This leads us neatly to the next sentence – a sentence which is so abysmal that we’re going to quote it again to confirm it’s real and not some sort of stress-induced hallucination:

We are doing something very wrong if policies put forward by the Labour Party end up on each and every Tory leaflet.

We don’t know if Starmer is aware of this, but there’s this thing called ‘politics’, and in this thing called ‘politics’ there are people who compete against one another to realise competing outcomes. Unfortunately, ‘politics’ is also what’s known as a ‘dirty business’, and as a result it’s chiefly conducted by people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty – getting them filthy, in fact.

One way these muck-flinging politicos en-filthen themselves is by using techniques such as ‘disinformation’ and ‘pure bullshit’ to spin the objectives of their opponents in an unflattering light. This is actually very easy to do – much like when Labour promised free internet in 2019 and the media labelled it “broadband communism” to make people think it was one step away from a Stalinist purge.

How then should a politician counteract the effects of ‘politics’?

There are two main options:

  1. Get good at politics maybe? Maybe fling a bit of shit back in the opposite direction? Maybe stand up for what you believe in and make a case for it?
  2. Give up immediately and just emulate all of your opponent’s policies so they can’t criticise you.

We all know which one Starmer favours.


As stated, the Tories are deeply unpopular right now, so Labour should be doing everything it can to stand apart – not trying to stand slightly to the right and in front.

Starmer is specifically drawing attention to the issue of Tory voters in Uxbridge being turned off by the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) – a scheme which means Southerners have to pay to drive around London in their little Southern cars.

We’ll be perfectly frank in saying that we think ULEZ is a dogshit half-measure which primarily punishes ordinary people – a measure which is doomed to failure without simultaneously enacting the actual solution – i.e. massively expanding public transport and making it free to all users. Starmer isn’t making the argument that ‘ULEZ doesn’t go far enough’, though – Starmer is arguing ‘ULEZ goes somewhere at all, and we won’t be having that!’

Despite its ULEZ policy, Labour came within two percentage points of taking Uxbridge and South Ruislip. Uxbridge and fucking Ruislip. Do you realise how inherently Tory-leaning this area is? Formerly just ‘Uxbridge’, the Tories have only lost it twice since 1885, and given that, it’s hardly the best indicator of how the nation at large will vote (and even then – as stated – Labour nearly fucking won it anyway). That’s how deeply unpopular the Tories are.

No Labour, No Danger

Starmer wants us to know that come the next election, we won’t find anything in his manifesto that a Tory would object to. In other words, it will be a Tory Manifesto in everything but name. That is unless Starmer does the one thing Tony Blair never had the balls to do and rebrands Labour the ‘New Conservative Party’ – something he’s kind of already hinted at:

In the 1997 election, the Conservatives famously used the slogan ‘New Labour, New Danger’.

At the next election, they could realistically change this to ‘No Labour, No Danger’. ‘No Danger’ to the Tories’ billionaire backers, anyway – but an absolute menace to the rest of us.

Featured image via the Independent – YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Starmer is the leader of the STP.
      The “Substitute Tory Party”…
      …formerly known as the “Labour Party”!

      I have shouting this for about four months. What took the Canary so long to realise?

    2. “We are doing something very wrong if policies put forward by the Labour Party end up on each and every Tory leaflet.”

      Sir Kid Starver just made a simple slip-up, stop picking on him. So one day he lived backwards, get over it.

      Obviously, if his day had been running time in the normal way, he would have said this in reverse:

      “We are doing something very wrong if policies put forward on every Tory leaflet, end up as Labour Party policy”.

      You can see how easy it was for him to get muddled up, really.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.