Sir Keir Starmer declared that winning is more important than unity, in a provocative message to the left of his party before his first ‘personal’ conference speech as Labor Leader.
Starmer is aimed at looking down criticism from the left in Britain’s main opposition party and determined to move to the middle ground after the ‘hard-left’ leadership of predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.
Asked by the BBC on Tuesday whether his priority was winning or party unity, he replied: ‘Win. Win a general election. I did not get into politics to vote in parliament over and over again and lose and then tweet about it. ”
Starmer was elected party leader in April 2020, but the Labor Conference was canceled later that year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. His previous addresses to his party are via video.
“I can not wait to get on stage and be in front of a crowd,” he told the BBC, ahead of his speech, which was seen as a personal version of his political convictions. “He must introduce himself to the country,” admitted a senior Labor MP.
The Labor leader will not name his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, because he wants to draw a line under the previous leadership with a confident, fiscal and responsible approach.
In a set published last week, Starmer called ‘business’ 29 times and made no mention of ‘socialism’.
In 2019, he will make implicit criticism of Corbyn’s Labor manifesto, which includes major tax and spending increases and mass nationalization. The last general election led to the party’s biggest defeat in 80 years.
He will say: “Labor will never go to the polls again with a manifesto that is not a serious plan for the government.”
Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor, has promised Labor will adopt new fiscal rules, balance the budget and take a tighter grip on future government spending.
Starmer alludes to the widespread public perception that labor governments do not have fiscal discipline, saying, “In the history of this party, our dream of a good society falls into the belief that we will not run a strong economy.”
The Labor leader this week forced changes to party rules that would make it more difficult for left-wing members to nominate a leadership candidate or elect moderate MPs.
As a sign of the continuing tension, members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union voted to shut down the party’s union, citing ” internal faction led by the leadership ‘.
But Starmer will turns most of his fire on Prime Minister Boris Johnson, questions the Conservative government’s “power” amid the ongoing fuel shortages that have ravaged the country’s gas stations in recent days.
“The government has reduced the country to chaos as we follow crisis after crisis,” he told the BBC. “The government is not intervening.”
Starmer, a former director of prosecution, is trying to see himself as “a serious man for tough times,” his spokesman said.
Some parties see a political opportunity in the offing ‘Cost of living crisis’ This will affect the poorer households with rising inflation, the period that has passed, cut off to universal credit, a rise in national insurance and rising gas prices.
Starmer will criticize number 10’s shortcomings, “illustrated by the current fuel and cost of living crisis”, and the problems exacerbated by their long-term neglect. “The public is waking up to the small and trivial response the government is offering,” he said.
The Labor leader will argue that the aftermath of the Covid crisis will provide two alternative avenues for the government. One will be to learn from the ‘sections and flaws’ that exposed the pandemic, and the other to ignore it.