Keir Starmer has formally confirmed to The New Statesman that Labour has no policies. Following the government stealing Labour’s windfall tax policy, pundits have been scrambling around trying to find any concrete proposals from Labour to scrutinise, and today Starmer has clarified the party’s 2019 manifesto no longer exists as a foundation of Labour policy. Speaking to Rachel Wearmouth today he said “What we’ve done with the last manifesto is put it to one side. We’re starting from scratch. The slate is wiped clean.” Once again Sir Keir proves that he lied to Corbynite Labour members to get their vote in 2020 and never meant a word of it…
This trashing of the 2019 manifesto stands in stark contrast to his rallying cry during the 2020 leadership election, when he said
“Jeremy Corbyn made our party the party of anti-austerity and he was right to do so. He made us the party that wanted to invest more heavily in our public services and he was right to do so. We must retain that. We build on that and don’t trash it as we move forward.”
Starmer also boasts that changing his views is the key to political success, something he’s obviously put to good use while shifting the goalposts over his own Beergate fate:
“If you don’t change your views as you experience life, then you’re probably not going to get very far
“People sort of drag out something that you said 40 years ago and say ‘Well, you’ve changed your mind about that.’ Course I have. I have changed my mind on loads of things – that’s because I’ve done loads of things.”
You hardly have to go back 40 years. Guido’s already done a comprehensive guide to how he’s smashed up all 10 of his leadership pledges, and that’s without mentioning Brexit…
Going further on the point of changing his mind, Starmer point blank refused to confirm that Labour would scrap university tuition fees or raise taxes on the top 5% of earners. Does Starmer refuse to release policy because he doesn’t have any, or because he thinks people won’t believe them?
Theresa May has doubled down on the bashing she gave the libertarian wing of her party at last year’s Conservative conference, setting out her and Nick Timothy’s principles:
We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality. We see rigid dogma and ideology not just as needless but dangerous. True Conservatism means a commitment to country and community; a belief not just in society but in the good that government can do; a respect for the local and national institutions that bind us together; an insight that change is inevitable and change can be good, but that change should be shaped, through strong leadership and clear principles, for the common good. We know that our responsibility to one another is greater than the rights we hold as individuals. We know that we all have obligations to one another, because that is what community and nation demands. We understand that nobody, however powerful, has succeeded alone and that we all therefore have a debt to others.”
Should bring an end to the Maggie comparisons.
In terms of policy this means the previous Tory vow to never raise income tax, VAT and NI has disappeared, replaced by a flimsy “firm intention to reduce taxes”. May’s Tories are not a committed low tax party.
“Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised democracy but politicians should never forget that taxes are levied on businesses that employ people, and individuals who work hard and face tough decisions about how they spend their money. The Conservatives will always be the party that keeps tax as low as possible and spends the proceeds responsibly. It is our firm intention to reduce taxes on Britain’s businesses and working families.”
And it means Miliband-style big government intervention in free markets. As the manifesto says: “A Conservative government will strengthen the hand of regulators”.
“Government can also help by making consumer markets work more fairly, and in doing so reducing the cost of the essentials that families have no choice but to buy… Tackling living costs must mean making consumer markets work fairly. Markets should work for consumers, as well as producers – with competition keeping prices low and encouraging new product development. Poor information, complex pricing and exploitative behaviour prevents markets operating efficiently for the benefit of all. As Conservatives, we believe in markets as the best means to bring about prosperity and innovation, but we should act firmly and fast when a market works against the interests of consumers. Since 2010, we have capped the cost of credit for expensive payday lenders and will shortly ban letting agent fees. We will now go further to reform markets in the interests of consumers and reduce the cost of living. A Conservative government will strengthen the hand of regulators.”
The money Britain will stop sending the EU each week will be spent on a very LibDem sounding fund to reduce inequality:
“We will use the structural fund money that comes back to the UK following Brexit to create a United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, specifically designed to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations.”
And there will be a new sovereign wealth fund funded by shale gas revenues and privatisation:
“We will create a number of such funds, known as Future Britain funds, which will hold in trust the investments of the British people, backing British infrastructure and the British economy. We anticipate early funds being created out of revenues from shale gas extraction, dormant assets, and the receipts of sale of some public assets.”
Spending more money while delaying clearing the deficit until 2025. Even George Osborne is now attacking May from the right, he says: “Far from using Brexit as a chance to get rid of red tape, the Tories are using it as an excuse for extra regulation”. Tough day for those of us who believe in untrammelled free markets, individualism and reject egalitarianism…