I read Matthew d’Ancona’s thoughtful article with interest and sense too that Starmer is between the rock of sterling competence and the hard place of growing isolation from the public at large.
There is no doubt that despite making great strides he has had a trying year, but there is a caveat, because he is now up against the Johnson vaccine uptick and a grateful and somewhat politically comatose public, who are lockdown weary and will soak up any old fallacious statements that the government hands out.
There is an inherent passion to make our country a fairer and more equal place but he is always up against Boris Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ mantra and somehow cannot cut through the noise of this rhetoric. I agree too that media people have not been invigorated and there is only a muted buzz, but of course this can all change once this dire pandemic has been suppressed and life resumes with more normality.
There is a legitimate space for Starmer to grow and mature as Labour leader but as d’Ancona points out, time in our febrile political scene is of the essence.
Risks need to be taken now with possible changes in the shadow cabinet, importing tried, trusted and trenchant MPs. Then Starmer indeed might relaunch Labour into a post-pandemic vacuum where their message can be heard.
Judith A. Daniels
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