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5 July 2022

Starmer borrows from Corbyn to fill his blank slate

Labour has announced two policies from the 2019 manifesto in the days since Starmer declared that he was “starting from scratch”.

By The Chatterer

To be radical or not to be radical? That is the question occupying Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

Starmer took great strides to scare off any remaining Corbynites at the New Statesman’s Politics Live conference last week when he said: “What we’ve done with the last manifesto is put it to one side. We’re starting from scratch. The slate is wiped clean.” (A line duly seized on by Dominic Raab at PMQs as evidence that he has “no plan”.)

But there may be reasons for Jeremy Corbyn’s acolytes to stick around. As the author of Labour’s 2017 and 2019 manifestos, Andrew Fisher, has noted, since Starmer’s remarks the party has announced at least two policies that were in the 2019 manifesto: a national care service and three gigafactories for electric car batteries. The most amusing irony for The Chatterer would be if, in the face of irate Corbynites, Starmer was the one to implement the radical policies that attracted people to Corbyn in the first place.

[See also: “Keir Starmer is too interested in not being Jeremy Corbyn”]

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