As post-Thatcherite economic orthodoxy fails, Labour must expand its political imagination
Sir Keir Starmer’s speech on Thursday reflects a Labour party that remains hesitant in action largely because it is divided in mind. With an election perhaps two years away, the party does not want to create hostages to fortune. But Labour’s leader also seems caught between scaring some voters and inspiring others with a transformative programme. Sir Keir wants to appear neither rash nor radical. But without clear conviction as to its own purpose, his party lacks the dynamic that only conviction can provide.
For Michael Jacobs, a former adviser to the last Labour prime minister, Gordon Brown, Sir Keir’s leftwing agenda is hiding in plain sight and is far bolder than his critics suggest. It is true that in some areas, particularly on the issue of workplace rights, Labour’s policies are descended from the manifestos of 2017 and 2019.