HENRY DEEDES: Keir Starmer’s keystone speech was breathtakingly mundane
Sir Keir Starmer was great. radiant. No, really – you had to marvel at the spectacle.
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard such a massive batch of old cod delivered by an MP in all my time.
The Labor leader outlined his “five point mission” to fix the NHS, economy, crime, energy and education systems.
It was a half-hour speech that was so breathtakingly mundane you almost had to stick toothpicks in it to keep your eyelids open to check that this wasn’t some sort of Peter Cook script parody.
UN weapons inspectors, armed with the latest satellite imagery and infrared heat-seeking technology, could have combed through all eight pages of the speech and still struggled to find anything remotely concrete.
Labor Party leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers a speech during the unveiling of plans for a ‘mission-led’ Labor government at the Co-Op headquarters February 23, 2023 in Manchester
It was a half-hour speech that was so breathtakingly mundane you almost had to stick toothpicks in it to keep your eyelids open to check that this wasn’t some sort of spoo from Peter Cook
It was a master class in management language, a wilted salad of dreary catchphrases. Our setting was the Co-operative Group’s headquarters – 15 uninviting floors in central Manchester. Crowd? Mostly middle-aged and wealthy-looking. Very recent work.
Sir Keir came all jazz hands and game show smart. ‘Fantastic to be here!’ he yelled, looking nervous. “Great to be in Manchester. Brilliant.’ He was robotically still in a gleaming white shirt. With one hand he clung tenaciously to the lectern, like a struggling swimmer clinging to a rubber ring.
He began with an obligatory football reference, comparing Labor to his beloved Arsenal, who are currently in high demand in the Premier League thanks to what he called “teamwork, excellence and a mix of skills”.
Fun. For a man who claims to understand football, Starmer always sounds like he’s just been told the rules. The Tories are “unimaginative,” he told the room. What were his ideas? We haven’t heard anything, although he has promised to make the UK the fastest growing economy in the G7.
Good idea! Strange that no one has thought of it yet. He also pledged to “fix our relationship with the EU” – residual code to snuggle up to Brussels once he’s secure in power.
Pictured: Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner at the event in Manchester, where he opened his speech with an obligatory Arsenal reference
But that’s it for serious proposals. His language remained as sterile as a smear from Domestos.
He spoke crookedly of “frameworks” and “compasses,” whatever that means. He promised to make the streets safer by cracking down “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.” I’m sure I’ve heard that before.
But while Tony Blair, who coined the slogan, was ready to make bold attacks on his party’s left and even stood in opposition to the unions, there was nothing bold about Starmer’s speech.
He tried to drill into power. There were repeated promises to lead a “mission-oriented government.” He must have said it more than a dozen times. What did it even mean?
Soon we were on his plans to transform the UK into a ‘clean energy superpower’. Time was when Labor manifestos made crazy spending commitments. But ever since the Tories stole that ground, it’s all about setting green targets these days.
In fact, we have been promised that Britain’s energy supply under Labor will be carbon neutral by 2030. Believe it when you see it.
The half hour was up and the meaningless slogans continued. There was talk of a “national renewal for a new national purpose”.
We ended with a rant about ‘a Britain we can walk towards together’, which sounded like something you might read in an advert for Dignitas – not an unattractive prospect after such a speech.
Questions from the media came and were answered with a lot of head scratching by the Dear Leader.
An ITV reporter wondered what Starmer would do on his first day in government.
It was an open goal – a perfect opportunity to steal headlines.
Would he ban zero-hour contracts? Would he pull the remaining hereditary peers out of their taxpayer-subsidized nosebags in the Lords?
Uh, no. Starmer continued to ramble on about putting the necessary “bricks” in place.
oh brother If he thinks voters will tolerate such idle chatter if he makes it to No. 10, he’ll be in for a nasty shock.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/henry-deedes-keir-starmers-keystone-speech-was-breathtakingly-banal/ HENRY DEEDES: Keir Starmer’s keystone speech was breathtakingly mundane