Keir Starmer is shouting from the rooftops—the days of Corbynism are over. On the anniversary of his predecessor’s 2019 electoral defeat, Starmer made a speech promising that his party has changed.
“Not just a paint job, but a total overhaul. A different Labour Party,” he said.
“Working people up and down our country looked at my party, looked at the journey we’d been on—not just under Jeremy Corbyn, but for a while. And they said ‘no’.
“We’d taken a leave of absence from our job description.” This is Starmer’s open admission that his government will be firmly right wing.
But it’s not working people Starmer is serving. The weekend before, Labour’s shadow City minister—whose role is to befriend London’s bankers—did a deal with financial advisers.
Tulip Siddiq promised Labour would bring stability and growth after Brexit and Covid—and embrace the City.
“The Jeremy [Corbyn] era. I want to be clear—it’s gone,” Siddiq said.
Even under Corbyn’s leadership, keeping the bosses on side was still a priority. But Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves have gone a step further.
They unveiled the panel of ten City leaders who will advise Labour on its new policy for the sector.
Siddiq also confirmed that Labour has no plans to raise more taxes from the financial sector and criticised the Tories for being too slow to implement pro-banker reforms.
Meanwhile just as doctors prepared to strike, shadow health secretary Wes Streeting accused the NHS of using winter crises as an “excuse to ask for more money”.
He promised to be a “tough love” health secretary. Like Scrooge, Streeting said the health service should accept “money is tight” and provide “better value for taxpayers’ money”.
While this unfolds, the Labour left both in and outside the party stays meek, mild and silent.
The front bench resignations and the number of councillors leaving over Palestine has slowed.
And much of the movement outside parliament is sitting tight for a general election.
Labour is proving that it is a party for the bosses, wedded to the system and prioritising its needs. But there is an alternative.
We can see it on the Palestine demonstrations, when workers strike and on the climate protests.
The hope for ordinary people has to come from fighting in the streets and workplaces, not relying on Labour.