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Failed centrists still dishing out ‘advice’

Why does anyone listen to them, asks SOLOMON HUGHES

STARMER’S strategy is visibly failing. After promising to run a softened, but still left-ish Labour leadership, he has instead spent time declaring how much he supports the Conservative government while attacking Labour’s own left. 

The idea that sacrificing left-wing principles automatically wins votes comes from a dog-eared, second-hand New Labour handbook. 

Following it means Starmer’s popularity and Labour’s support are both falling. 

Unfortunately, there are many voices in the media saying Labour’s poor performance would be improved by much more of the same. 

The Times recently published a piece by Ryan Wain, political director of the Tony Blair Institute, arguing that Labour losing Hartlepool showed Starmer must make more attacks on the left rather than the government. 

Starmer must make Labour more “centrist,” must “act decisively” and force the left to “leave” Labour, he must create “fissures” in the party for it to win. 

How does Wain know this will work? Wain joined the Tony Blair Institute in 2019. Before then he was the chief executive and co-founder of a failed “new centrist party” called United For Change, which had £50 million funding promised by multimillionaires like Simon Franks, but attracted no voters, split and died. 

Repeatedly we see the enthusiasts of failed centrist projects — United for Change, Change UK, the People’s Vote, Jo Swinson’s Lib Dem surge, the Owen Smith fan club — offering advice, and repeatedly see their projects collapse on contact with reality.

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