IT HAS been quite a week in politics, with oil companies posting record profits and water companies posting record amounts of raw sewage into our waterways. UK gas prices are tumbling from an all-time high of 600p a therm in August 2022 to 129p a therm today. Meanwhile our energy bills are set to rise again when the price cap is upped from £2,500 to £3,000 in April. Then the Government announced a fresh clampdown on Universal Credit, targeting the poorest and most vulnerable in society with fresh sanctions.
So you would expect the Labour Party to be leading the charge. After all, as part of his leadership campaign in 2020 Sir Keir Starmer had pledged to make large corporations pay more tax, to nationalise gas, water and electricity, to abolish Universal Credit and end the Tories’ cruel sanctions regime.
But Labour are nowhere to be seen. The defence of our rivers is being mounted in a media campaign by the iPaper and the New Scientist since it emerged that at the present rate only 6% of rivers will be healthy by 2027. It is only 14% now and Tory MPs in the shires are worried it will cost them their seats at the next election. Hence a House of Lords rebellion over plans to scrap clean water regulations is being led by the Conservative peer, the Duke of Wellington!
Where are the calls for a windfall tax on Shell and BP? Rachel Reeves did raise it in the House of Commons last week and Jeremy Hunt said, “No”. Since then nothing.
The tragedy is that Labour does have a policy to expand the windfall tax to be the same as Norway’s 78 per cent and backdate it to the start of 2022. This would generate an additional £13billion across 2022 and 2023, enough to meet the pay demands of all the public sector workers currently striking against the Government. But they are not campaigning on it at all. And Sir Keir Starmer’s pledges on nationalisation have all been reversed.
This is part of their strategy to cosy up to big business and show how ‘responsible’ they will be with the nation’s finances in office. They hope the media will give them an easy time and Tory voters will turn to Labour. But Tory voters do not vote Labour. They just stay at home on election day. And, judging by the result of the West Lancashire by-election, Labour voters are doing the same. Heralded as a landslide victory with a swing of over 10%, this victory was anything but. The Tory vote collapsed compared to 2019, with 13,380 fewer votes. But so did Labour. They had 13,390 fewer votes.
If Labour cannot get the vote out against this most unpopular government, they cannot take the next election for granted. And, even if they win, their timidity in opposition suggests an even more timid performance in government. Capitalism will continue to prosper, and we will pick up the bill.
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One thought on “Starmer Will Not Fight The Tories”
Fantastic critique of Starmer and his party and their total lack of resistance. I’ve often wondered if he really wants to win an election, or whether his sole reason has been to block any real opposition and maintain the Tories position in government?