Mr Blair did not pre-occupy himself with Labour factionalism when he became leader in 1994. His priority was convincing the electorate at large that his party could, once again, be entrusted with the country’s stewardship.
And when the polls turned in Labour’s favour thanks to well-pitched policies like ‘education, education, education’ and ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ that unified and galvanised the electorate as the Major government disintegrated, the party soon fell into line behind Mr Blair.
Now the onus is on Sir Keir to do likewise if he’s to be in a position to begin to put his leadership on a firmer footing. This means the University of Leeds graduate beginning to set out a series of sensible and succinct policies that resonate with the public – it is paradoxical that Boris Johnson’s government still enjoys strong support when it is beset by scandal, incompetence and a growing cost of living crisis.
They have to be tailor-made for hardworking families who have neither the time, nor the inclination, to read the 11,500-word thesis that the Labour leader wrote over the summer.
If not, Sir Keir risks his own winter of discontent presiding over a bitterly divided party, and having to face down recurring threats to his authority, just at the time when the need for a competent and credible HM Opposition has never been more important to politics – or the country’s governance.
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