Keir Starmer’s video address was peak Blue Labour

Starmer during his BBC address
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Keir Starmer’s televised address to the nation just cemented his right-wing credentials. Because the speech was filled with so-called Blue Labour posturing. And this coupled with his previous actions confirm Labour’s direction of ideological travel.

Caving-in over Covid passports

As the Mirror reported, the BBC broadcast a pre-recorded address by Starmer on Monday 13 December. It was in response to Boris Johnson’s one the previous day. During his speech, Starmer said Labour would support the government over its coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine booster programme and the contentious Covid passports. But with around 75 Tory MPs set to vote against the government, Starmer could have inflicted a humiliating defeat on the government.

Moreover, Labour had previously said it was against Covid passports on the grounds they’d be “discriminatory”. The issue is clearly controversial as Jeremy Corbyn has also spoken out against them. And as Big Brother Watch tweeted:

So, it seems Starmer is passing up a golden opportunity to annihilate the Tories. Unsurprising, really, when you look at his televised speech.

Intentional stage-setting

The stage-setting was intentionally done: the now omnipresent union jack; a photo of his family in the background; Christmas cards; the formal folder and pen holder and a book on Barack Obama. It all points to Labour’s attempts to brand Starmer as politically modern but with traditional British values.

But crucially, he was once again pushing patriotism. The Mirror reported he said:

We are a patriotic party. And it is our patriotic duty to vote for these measures to ensure that they go through.

So, as political strategist and arch Blairite John McTernan summed up on Twitter:

Blue Labour

“Flag, family and patriotism” is peak Blue Labour. As The Canary wrote in 2020, this ideology is about:

taking more socially conservative policies and combining them with left-wing economics. This is all a bit “Blue Labour”, a concept founded by Maurice Glasman based on socially conservative values of ‘family, faith and flag’ but more socialist economic policies. It is rooted in the values that Glasman perceived existed in the party pre-WWII.

This is exactly what Starmer presented to the nation, and what McTernan summed up in his tweet. And, it’s partly the direction Labour has been going for a while. From pro-war support for the military to Starmer’s muted opinions on Trans rights, the party is becoming socially conservative. Recently, Starmer’s lack of support for MP Zarah Sultana in the face of racist abuse sums this up, too.

But it still seems unclear how economically left wing Labour will be. For example, there was confusion between Starmer and Miliband’s stances on energy renationalisation. Plus, the Financial Times (FT) said that Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves have been “wooing” business; hardly ‘Corbynomics’.

Two cheeks

The problem with all this is, as one Twitter user alluded to, you’ve essentially got two cheeks of a very similar arse leading the country – with a binary choice at any election:

So, while Starmer’s party may lead in the polls at present – how long his Blue Labour approach will wash with voters remains to be seen. Because no one does ‘Tory’ better than the Tories – and the public may soon start to see through this.

Featured image via BBC iPlayer – screengrab

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  • Show Comments
    1. Blue Keef, not ‘blue labour’, ‘blue labour’ is equal to ‘centrism’ bogus BS.
      There are only The Democratic Socialist UK Labour Party and the Polar Opposite Thacherite Neoliberal TORY Parasite Neo-New-Labour Party, equally Conservative TORY as their colleagues across the aisle and perhaps a damn side more dangerous!
      The PEOPLE’S best bet to any sort of representation in Commons is Vote OUT Neo-New-Labour Party TORY MPs and prevent Candidates from taking seat.
      Wherever there are still any UK Labour Party MPs/Candidates do EVERYTHING YOU CAN to get them elected. It shouldn’t be too hard People want the TORIES OUT! So do we! Just don’t be fooled by brand “Labour” by voting for namesakes, you’ll only end up with a Parasite TORY, study your “labour” MP/Candidate well!
      VOTE NEO-NEW-LABOUR TORIES OUT & VOTE UK LABOUR PARTY IN. The PEOPLE chose the long and painful walk in 2019, DON’T PROLONG IT! Apart from the small handful of MPs, Exiles and Prospective UK Labour Party Candidates, there is no other representation for The People in the Commons. Lets Start There!

    2. What gets my goat is that this selfservative social climber gets to replay to BoJo’s announcements at all. When did JC ever get to counter Cameron/May on the Establishment Channel (BBC)? Miliband or even the Tories opposing Blair for that matter?
      Why is MiLord special?
      There’s no point, if you have even the slightest Social Democratic tendencies, being in the New Blue Labour Party any more. They stitched up selections at conference. So good luck with trying to keep your lefty candidates, let alone selecting new ones.
      And as for voting for them. It would be like taking a small dose of arsenic instead of a large dose of cyanide. Better to vote for any but the big two. A vote for New Blue Labour is a vote for a massive Tory majority anyway.

      1. MiLord is not special at all and we could let him know en mase by voting him and his entire Neo-New-Labour Party Parasite TORIES out of their seats. They Robbed The PEOPLE of the end of 43 years of Thatcher’s Neoliberal TORY HELL! The PEOPLE will end their Political careers and clean the house out of Parasite TORIES. Then we can (internal) sabotage free prepare for the Battle of our lifetimes, as 43 becomes 46 years and hopefully put an early stop to it before our suffering turns 50!

    3. Starmer is the biggest class traitor since Gaitskell! Fortunately Gaitskell came unstuck when he tried to expel Bertrand Russell from the party for “unpaid subs”; Russell was able to supple proof that:-
      He had never in his life missed a single payment,
      Gaitskell, by contrrast, had not paid ONE SINGLE PENNY of subs sunce becoming leader.
      Gaitskell was laughed our of the annual conference, shouting that his critics were all “crypto-communists” and “peanuts”; he died soon after of a mysterious undiagnosed disease, evidently MI5 does not tolerate failure and an undetectable assassination poison was used! The only question is, when will Starmer have his “Bertrand Russell Moment”?

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