DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Twelve questions Sir Shifty must answer
The past two years have been a godsend for Sir Keir Starmer.
Labour’s leader might be a leaden communicator – ‘Captain Crasheroonie Snoozefest’ in Boris Johnson’s inimitable words – with an unattractive streak of self-righteousness, yet he’s been able to sit back as the Tories disintegrated unaided.
Sleaze. The Partygate psychodrama. Acts of deranged self-harm. By becoming mired in scandal and navel-gazing, instead of having a laser-like focus on delivering for the public, the Conservatives have gifted Sir Keir a considerable lead in the polls.
But democracy works on the basis that the electorate has some idea of what the politicians who stand for high office believe.
People need something to vote for as well as against. And on this score, Sir Keir is treating the British public with contempt.
Labour’s leader might be a leaden communicator with an unattractive streak of self-righteousness, yet he’s been able to sit back as the Tories disintegrated unaided
Sir Keir supported Jeremy Corbyn until it was untenable to do so. He was anti-Brexit until it was evidently the will of the people. He was in favour of gender self-identification until Nicola Sturgeon’s downfall
Because Labour is hot favourite to win the election, he arrogantly seems to assume he can coast to victory without serious scrutiny.
Yet he hasn’t earned his other nickname, ‘Sir Shifty’, for nothing. Everyone knows he adopts whatever is the political flavour of the month to boost his chances of power – then disowns it at the opportune moment.
Sir Keir supported Jeremy Corbyn until it was untenable to do so. He was anti-Brexit until it was evidently the will of the people. He was in favour of gender self-identification until Nicola Sturgeon’s downfall.
His endless U-turns mean voters are in the dark as to what he stands for.
During an invigorating party conference, in which the Tories nailed many of their colours to the mast, Rishi Sunak told the faithful: ‘The Labour Party have set out their stall: To do and say as little as possible and hope no one notices.’
So in the spirit of openness, the Daily Mail has some questions to ask Sir Keir:
- What on earth were you thinking when you twice fought hammer and tongs to put Corbyn, an unpatriotic, pro-Kremlin Marxist, into Downing Street?
- What personal taxes will you raise to help fund Labour’s vast spending plans?
- How will making it easier for the trade unions, Labour’s paymasters, to strike square with your plan to grow the economy?
- Were you lying when you let slip that as PM you would stick slavishly to EU rules – neutering all the opportunities of Brexit?
- And which aspects of our hard-won independence would you sacrifice to get your so-called ‘better deal’ from Brussels?
- How many thousands of illegal migrants would you accept from the EU under a deal to stop small boats crossing the Channel?
- Will you impoverish people by bringing back earlier bans on new petrol and diesel cars and gas boilers?
- Will you promise to end the war on motorists by restricting the spread of 20mph limits and spurious low-emission zones?
- Stripping the VAT exemption from private schools in the name of class war would force thousands of children whose parents couldn’t afford the fees into state education. How will you accommodate them?
- Many in Labour and on the Left believe Britain is a racist country and hate its history and culture. Do you?
- Do you agree with banning transgender women – biological males – from being treated on female-only hospital wards?
- As Black Lives Matter activists ran amok, you took the knee. Would you again?
With Labour heading to its annual shindig, Sir Keir has the perfect opportunity to answer these questions. But will he spell out his real plans? He doesn’t want to frighten ordinary voters, but he won’t antagonise the hard-Left and special interest groups he relies on for power. So he adopts more positions than the Kama Sutra.
Recently, Mr Sunak has displayed the courage a prime minister needs, levelling with the public on difficult and contentious issues.
If Sir Keir is to persuade voters to put him in No 10, he too must show some spine. No more fence-sitting, no more flip-flopping.
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