The Guardian view on Keir Starmer’s speech: in search of a vision | Editorial
The Labour leader was speaking more to his party than the country in Brighton
Sir Keir Starmer’s first in-person speech to a Labour conference concerned his party rather more than the country. The Labour leader had little to say about how he would alleviate the cost-of-living crisis looming for Britain’s poorer households. Nor did he prescribe a solution to a petrol situation so grave that British soldiers could be delivering fuel in the coming days. Sir Keir accused the government of having “no plan in place”. Carpe diem – seize the day – was Sir Keir’s advice to the prime minister. Yet he did not take advantage of the opportunity to tell the country what Labour’s alternative proposition was and how the party would fix a broken system.
Instead, Sir Keir sought to answer two questions about the party’s identity: how it responds to the left and what it looks for in its leader. It is clear that the Labour leadership wants to marginalise its left wing. A divided party is never a good look. Sir Keir’s ability to unite his warring party depended on whether he could articulate a vision that the bulk of the grassroots, trade unions and MPs could get behind.Continue reading...