In the run up to the Labour Party conference, Keir Starmer has published an essay, totalling more than 10,000 words, that details his vision for what Britain could look like if he is elected Prime Minister. The conference will be held in Brighton between the 25th-29th of September, in-person for the first time since 2019, amid serious questions about his leadership.
Mr Starmer’s headline comment was his desire to build a society ‘based upon everyone’s contribution’. He also suggested that he intends to run a populist agenda, as he envisions a ‘contribution society: one where people who work hard and play by the rules can expect to get something back’.
In the doctrine, he also refers to his own working class background, and how he was able to reach the top of the legal profession despite his humble roots. He comments also that he finds it ‘hard to think’ that working class children have the same level of opportunity today.
Many have speculated that this is an attempt by the Leader of the Opposition to pour cold water on claims that the party lacks direction; claims that grew after a disastrous performance in Hartlepool, and a hotly contested race in the former Labour stronghold of Batley and Spen.
The doctrine also takes aim at Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as the Scottish National Party. He argues that the Labour Party should be ‘proudly patriotic’. However he also warns about ‘the divisiveness of nationalism’.
The essay has also received criticism from within the party. During an interview with ITV, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell described the document as a ‘sermon on the mount written by a focus group’. Mr McDonnell is generally considered to represent the more socialist wing of the party. In contrast to his beliefs, this newly released paper sees Mr Starmer praise former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is credited with moving the Labour Party closer to centrism in the early 2000’s.
Conservative Party co-chairperson Oliver Dowden also directed criticism toward the document: “If this is Starmer’s ‘big vision’ then he should have gone to Specsavers”.
The entire doctrine can be read at https://fabians.org.uk/publication/the-road-ahead/