DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Sir Keir's Thatcherite 'conversion' is a sham

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Sir Keir's Thatcherite 'conversion' is a sham

December 4, 2023

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Sir Keir’s Thatcherite ‘conversion’ is a sham

A cynic might say that it was only a matter of time before Sir Keir Starmer ‘converted’ to Thatcherism.

In his desperation to get hold of the levers of power, it was just about the only political philosophy he hadn’t already espoused.

Just four years ago he was a Corbynite, standing behind a hard-Left tax-and-spend manifesto at the 2019 general election.

When that didn’t wash, he switched to Blairism, bringing not just Sir Tony into his inner circle but also Lord Mandelson, New Labour’s ‘prince of darkness’.

Now, in an article for a Tory-supporting newspaper, he lavishes praise on Margaret Thatcher for ‘effecting change’ and ‘setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism’.

It’s hard to believe Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer could keep a straight face while writing that he was Margaret Thatcher’s heir

Risibly, the Labour leader goes on to imply that he is the Iron Lady’s natural heir. It’s hard to believe he could keep a straight face while writing that bit.

The two could scarcely be further apart. Lady Thatcher courageously took on the over-powerful trade unions. Sir Keir is in hock to them, financially and ideologically.

She championed economic prudence, low taxes and a small state, which helps rather than dictates to its citizens. He and his party have always believed the state knows best how to spend our money.

On Europe especially they were poles apart – she a passionate Eurosceptic, he a diehard Remainer who believed (and probably still believes) the democratic Brexit vote should be reversed.

There have been predictable howls of indignation about Sir Keir’s apparent Damascene conversion from the Labour Left, who will always despise Lady Thatcher for routing socialism.

But they miss the point. Whether Sir Keir truly believes a word of what he wrote in this article is irrelevant. It is a naked pitch to disillusioned Conservatives to trust Labour with their vote.

Sir Keir and the Iron Lady could scarcely be further apart – she was a passionate Eurosceptic, he a diehard Remainer

And the tragedy is that, for some at least, it might work. On tax policy, migration, NHS waiting lists, and other key areas, polls show this government has failed to convince even its own supporters that it has a genuine plan for change.

Sir Keir doesn’t have one either, but voters do not fear him as they did Jeremy Corbyn and his band of crypto-Marxists. Negative campaigning will not be enough to beat him.

Rishi Sunak doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for stabilising the Government following unprecedented party turmoil and a global inflation crisis.

But managerial ability alone will not win him the election. That will take vision and an inspiring blueprint for the future.

Sir Keir isn’t just trying to steal the Tories’ clothes, he’s already half-way down the street with them. There is time for the PM to wrest them back – but not much.

End racism smears

The claims of racism levelled against two senior royals following the publication of Omid Scobie’s new book are unwarranted and deeply hurtful.

Scobie, known as a cipher for the views of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, says he didn’t intend the names to be revealed.

But they have been – apparently because of a miscommunication between the author and his Dutch publisher. They are now all over the media and internet.

It was Meghan who first raised the issue in her Oprah Winfrey interview, when she said family members had asked questions about the possible skin colour of her then unborn son, Archie.

The claims of racism levelled against two senior royals following the publication of Omid Scobie’s new book Endgame are unwarranted and deeply hurtful

She gave no names or context and has offered no evidence. Indeed, Prince Harry has appeared to play the claims down.

In the name of fairness, the Sussexes should either back up these damaging allegations, or publicly repudiate them.

Harry frequently complains about being briefed against by anonymous sources. Yet that is exactly what his relatives are suffering now

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