Some time ago Guido predicted the death of Peter Mandelson’s Policy Network after Lord Sainsbury withdrew funding for centrist Labour organisations. Over the weekend it came to pass as the Blairite think-tank was merged with Progress, another wholly owned / financed Sainsbury project.* To bless their union they held a virtual conference jointly. Unsurprisingly the usual TrotsApp collective were spitting feathers after tuning in…
The primary source of anger came as Sir Keir told the small 55-strong Zoom audience:
“I’m not interested in focusing on manifestos of the past. I’m interested in focusing on the manifestos of the future, based on the values of our Labour Party”
Starmer won the 2020 leadership by, in the words of Owen Jones, “promising to preserve radical policies”, something he’s now “dumping”. John McDonnell also took to Twitter, reminding viewers that the same Keir Starmer who “today dumped Labour’s last manifestos” was enthusiastic for the 2017 manifesto being the foundational document of his leadership election:
In his speech to Progress today it appears Keir Starmer has today dumped Labour’s last manifestos. This is a reminder of what he said to secure his election as leader. pic.twitter.com/dcmpUzRVCL— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) May 16, 2021
Seems like almost all of Starmer’s 55-strong audience were hardline Corbynistas waiting for him to pander to a centrist audience…
*The Institute for Government is now the grocery billionaire’s well-funded lobbying operation in Westminster.