Skip to main content

Hello. It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best experience possible, please make sure any blockers are switched off and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help you can email us

`

What does Keir Starmer have to do to build a big poll lead?

Comedian MITCH BENN lists his ideas of what the Labour leader could do to increase his standing in the polls.

Sir Keir Starmer explores future job possibilities as he tries reversing a heavy goods vehicle. Photo: Christopher Furlong

Keir Starmer must be wondering what the hell he’s got to do right now.

Tasked with opposing a government not so much mired in scandal and disaster as actively seeking out new scandals and disasters in which to mire itself, and whose leader he mops the floor with on a weekly basis at PMQs, he is still struggling to capitalise.

Labour may have inched ahead in some polls, but that’s down to (temporary?) Tory unpopularity rather than a new-found enthusiasm for Keir and his chums.

Modelling shows that even a small Labour lead would leave the Tories as the largest party in a hung parliament. It seems that this comically incompetent and corrupt administration is still unassailable. One could argue that this doesn’t really matter at the moment, given that we are at least two years away from an election. Nonetheless, it’s not difficult to imagine that Sir K and his people are scratching their collective heads right now and wondering exactly what it’s going to take to get out in front. I’m sure the aforementioned “people” will be having plenty of ideas, but in the meantime, I’d like to present a few of my own Things Keir Starmer Could Do To Build A Big Poll Lead:

PUNCH SOMEBODY
Remember the time when John Prescott lamped that guy with the mullet, and his personal approval ratings actually went up? The general consensus appeared to be that, far from tarnishing his image, he had in fact burnished his salt of the Earth credentials.

Sir Keir’s salt of the Earth credentials are, perhaps unjustly, more or less non-existent thus far.

Perhaps getting into a bit of a scrap with a heckler could help in this respect. I’m not suggesting for a minute that Sir K should actually go looking for trouble, but he definitely shouldn’t shy away from it if the opportunity arises. It’s worth pointing out at this juncture that our prime minister has never, as far as we know, beaten anyone up.

He just helps when his friends talk about beating people up.

RELEASE A CHARITY SINGLE
I have no idea if Sir Keir can sing, but those of us who are old enough to remember the 1980s heyday of the all-star charity single know that that doesn’t actually matter in the slightest.

It’s too late to get something together for this Christmas, but there will probably be at least one more Christmas before the next election. As regards good causes, we all know how close to Sir K’s heart donkeys are, and there are plenty of Christmas songs that mention donkeys quite prominently.

The resultant “national treasure” status shouldn’t be too hard to convert into political capital (or at least a decent regular gig on a cruise ship if all else fails).

LEAK A SEX TAPE
Yeah, I know, but just hear me out on this one, OK?

Sir Keir is, as we know, trying to unseat a man who is, perhaps, not the single most, let’s see how to phrase this… “romantically reckless” prime minister ever to hold office, but certainly the most, erm, “carnally enthusiastic” prime minister to hold office during the time that the public have been allowed to know about that sort of thing.

Sir K can’t help but look a bit uptight and frigid by comparison (although, in fairness, so do most rock stars and Premier League footballers).

This could easily be remedied if a privately videoed “intimate moment” were to accidentally-on-purpose find its way on to Pornhub… Nothing weird, just something tastefully under-lit and vanilla – it’s not as if he’s trying to compete with Donald Trump.

Still with me? OK then…

DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE HAIR
Has there ever, I wonder, been a starker tonsorial contrast between the leaders of the two main parties?

On the one hand, we have the prime minister, with his notoriously contrived and affected “explosion in an eiderdown factory” look; on the other, we have Sir Keir, with his perfectly maintained quiff, always so immaculately symmetrical as to make Max Headroom look like Keith Richards.

Now one might think that the electorate would examine these two rival coiffures and conclude that the man who looks like he combs his hair every morning (indeed, like he combs his hair every 15 minutes) might be better suited to lead the country than the one who looks like he’s just woken up on a park bench, but the polls would suggest otherwise.

So perhaps it’s time for a grooming rethink; maybe just let the quiff droop Bryan Ferryishly down over one eye… you’re picturing it now, aren’t you ladies?

POEM OF THE WEEK
The HS2 is coming through
But not right to the top

Of the whole UK, it’ll get half way
And that’s where it’ll stop.
The HS2 was proving too
Expensive to proceed
So it’ll get to Birmingham
But it ain’t going to Leeds.

See inside the 25 November: He's unravelling edition

Timisoara has become Romania’s version of Silicon Valley. Photo: Viktor Posnov/Getty

Romania has been on a cyberspace conquest

The Balkan nation has emerged as an unlikely global centre of high- tech industry – and of hacking.

Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson’s Like Lichens Listen, 2021. Photo: Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson.

The art that restores faith in Palermo

The Sicilian city is putting its mafia controlled past behind it and forging a new reputation for art and integration.

`