SIR Keir Starmer is a decent politician, but has been lacking in charisma since becoming Labour leader in 2020 (The Yorkshire Post, September 29).
His speech on Wednesday to the faithful – for the first time face to face – at Labour’s conference in Brighton has put another layer on his image and personality.
He spoke with authority and confidence – even with humour, coping with occasional heckling. Will it be enough, though, for him to go forward?
Before this all we were aware of was distraction from Angela Rayner and the “scum” word and a resignation by Andy McDonald.
Starmer’s first solid speech – of 90 minutes – brought out his own personal fight as a lad growing up in an ordinary household and the values he nurtured from his tool-maker father and nurse mother.
These were from the heart and emotional.
Up to now he’s come across as a bit cold and forensic, so we saw a more human side.
He touched on serious issues to reboot the country like education, law and order, climate issues and working with business to bring in the wealth to pay for a better future.
Sir Keir represents all that is good that was, or is, in this country, in that by your own hard work, in a normal loving family, you can thrive and reach high office by your own endeavours and without the arrogance of privilege.
I say this as someone who is a Conservative (I have voted Labour) but who respects our democracy and sees a bigger picture of a good opposition that benefits the nation.
Labour has been a disaster at the polls – particularly the last election in 2019 under Jeremy Corbyn – when the northern red walls fell down like Jericho, the worse result since 1935. Corbyn has had his day.
Starmer is quite right to now concentrate his effort in winning an election and stamp out the war of attrition by the left with unelectable in-fighting and outdated ideology.
It has gone horribly wrong for Labour since David Miliband, a successful Foreign Secretary, incredibly, lost the leadership to his brother Ed, who came out of nowhere.
And then the Jeremy Corbyn era.
Very disappointing, strategically that Labour did not do more to parade its successful northern mayors – Andy Burnham, Dan Jarvis and Tracy Brabin. They are successful and they are in power.
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