Why we should worry about Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer is on course to take Labour back into Government. But big questions remain about what he will actually do when he gets there.
What does Keir Starmer really believe in? After two and a half years of covering his leadership I find it increasingly difficult to answer that question.
In 2020 he stood on a platform of maintaining what he described as the “radical” agenda put forward by his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.
This agenda, which Starmer encapsulated in ten key pledges, included plans to back the “common ownership” of key utilities, stand up for trade unions and migrants, and back the free movement of people.
More broadly, he pledged to restore party unity and end the factional infighting that had dogged Labour since the end of the Blair and Brown era.
Much of this agenda has now been abandoned. Several major pledges have been ripped up, while the Labour leader has instead embarked on what appears to be a systematic attempt to ostracise the left-wing of his party.
Meanwhile, those around Starmer have largely focused on closing off potential lines of attack from the Conservatives.
The result, has been a gradual narrowing of the political space between the two parties, to the point where on two of the biggest issues of the day - Brexit and immigration - it is difficult to find any substantive difference at all.
So does this really matter?