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Starmer seems elusive in the face of Corbyn's questions

Starmer seems elusive in the face of Corbyn's questions
Starmer seems elusive in the face of Corbyn's questions


A measure of how strange recent years have been in British politics is Keir Starmers' claim that his Labor predecessor would have made a better prime minister than Boris Johnson. Starmer made this comment last night Question time program. It was a sentence that was said under some pressure and it was a mistake.

The public obviously did not think that Corbyn would have made a better Prime Minister than Johnson.

Starmer initially said he never really believed Labor would win in 2019, but that he had campaigned for the party. This would have stood, had he not declared during the campaign five years ago that Corbyn would make a great prime minister. How to come back? Either say you were lying or believe your own improbable claim. The public thinks politicians are all liars anyway, but admitting that they are is taboo.

The problem with the line Starmer used last night: “He would be a better Prime Minister, look what we got, Boris Johnson, a man who made huge promises, broke them, and then had to leave disgraced Parliament is that it is a misreading of what the public thought in 2019. Starmer is not alone in misinterpreting this election result. Boris Johnson's die-hard fans will never accept that at least part of his majority was due to the public's failure to elect someone who had presided over institutional anti-Semitism within his party and who had almost always taken the side opposed to British security interests, whether politically or politically. nuclear deterrence or the response to the Salisbury poisonings. In these circumstances, it would have been frankly embarrassing if Johnson had obtained a smaller majority.

The public obviously did not think that Corbyn would have made a better Prime Minister than Johnson and had to live with the consequences of electing a leader who was simply the less unsuitable of the two. By failing to properly reflect this decision, Starmer gave the impression that he didn't really understand what a bad leader Corbyn was.

I suspect, however, that he knows this very well, but his own tactics in 2019 have left him in a bind where being honest about his thoughts would then be tantamount to admitting that he is a liar. His reluctance throughout this campaign on almost every issue is partly a reaction to saying bad things early on, before he became leader.

The only comfort Starmer can take is that the Tories made the decision at the start of this election campaign not to launch their main attack: you supported Corbyn, so how can we believe anything you say now. They clearly felt the electorate had moved away from Corbyn, which they have, but they have not given up on the question of whether they like and trust Starmer. Last night he showed that this is his greatest weakness, but the Conservatives' dysfunctional campaign has made this weakness much easier to bear than it should have been.




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