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Labour woos the bosses and maps out a path to the right

This article is over 3 years, 4 months old
A series of speeches by leading Labour figures have mapped out a further shift right, says Nick Clark
Issue 2738
Labour leader Keir Starmer wants to reassure bosses that Labour wont hurt their interests
Labour leader Keir Starmer wants to reassure bosses that Labour won’t hurt their interests (Pic: UK Parliament/Flickr)

Keir Starmer and some of his top shadow ministers have mapped out the Labour Party’s path back to the right.

In a series of speeches over the past week they promised a return to support for the US, long prison time for criminals and cooperation with bankers.

Each speech was designed to show Labour has ditched the left wing politics of previous leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking on Saturday, Starmer declared Labour was proudly “pro-American”.

This means that Labour supports the US as the dominant power, propped up by wars and economic blackmail.

His message was that the anti‑war politics of the left have been pushed back to the margins of the Labour Party.

US politicians and military ­officials viewed Corbyn as a challenge because of his longstanding opposition to US wars and nuclear weapons.

Starmer wanted to show them that, under his leadership, the Labour Party is back on their side.

He claimed in his speech that Labour would be “a moral force for good in the world”.

But support for the US president Joe Biden—a champion of US wars in Iraq, Syria and Libya—is at the heart of this.

Starmer’s speech was one of several by Labour shadow ministers to the Fabian Society, where Labour ­thinkers outline their politics.


Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Labour would tackle police racism—by recruiting more police.

He wanted to show that Labour could be “trusted on policing”, which means more support for the cops.

His main criticism of Tory home secretary Priti Patel was that she had failed to “terrify criminals” as she had promised to do.

Earlier in the week, Labour shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds promised in a speech to top bankers that Labour would be a “responsible government”.

She said Labour would focus on “value for money and financial control” and “ensure public money is spent effectively and wisely”.

That means Labour has dropped Corbyn’s left wing pledges to spend more money on jobs, pay, public services and the climate crisis.

Dodds said Labour wouldn’t make “eye-catching announcements designed to raise expectations today, only for them to be dashed tomorrow”.

It was a swipe at Corbyn’s ­previous leadership.

The speeches all mark a betrayal of Starmer’s promise to “defend the legacy of Jeremy Corbyn”—a promise he never meant to keep.

Starmer is showing that Labour’s leaders can ignore their promises to members, and decisions made at conferences, whenever they want.

He wants to make sure Labour will return to being a party that doesn’t challenge the rich or the status quo.

His Labour is not a party that can be relied on to stand up for ordinary people.

Labour promises responsible government

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