UK and Ireland correspondent
UK and Ireland correspondent
“Is this our new Prime Minister?” That’s the question on everyone’s lips as Opposition Leader Keir Starmer strides onto the stage during his party conference in Liverpool. The edgy rocker was chosen for his first video: decisive and compelling. This is what Starmer wants to convey as leader of the Labor Party in his final speech before the British elections next year.
Starmer’s party has been leading in the opinion polls for months. But can he – the man described by British voters as an “empty suit” and “colourless” – also turn this leadership into trustworthy leadership?
Before Starmer began his speech in Liverpool, a protester jumped on stage and threw a bucket of glitter at him, shouting “We are in crisis.” As security pulls the protester off the stage, Starmer takes off his jacket. He rolls up the sleeves of his perfectly ironed shirt and says, “If he thinks this affects me, he doesn’t know me yet.” Starmer continues with a blue-green streak in his hair.
A protester disrupts Labor leader Starmer’s speech with sparklers
Labor promises to build 1.5 million homes, reform the NHS and eliminate the waiting list of seven million surgeries. Starmer wants to boost economic growth by giving businesses “long-term confidence and stability”.
The promises are based specifically on what worries Britons most, according to voter research. First, the high costs of living and stagnant salaries Cost of living crisis The name of the thing. Secondly, the British healthcare sector suffers from high workloads and waiting lists, which means people cannot go to hospital.
Big themes like equality and respect were expertly woven through Starmer’s speech. The word “working class” has been used dozens of times. This is not without reason: Starmer wants to oppose the elite group of Tory prime ministers, who are often from expensive private schools such as Eton College.
“They don’t see you, they don’t see what you’re going through,” Starmer said. “For the elite club at Westminster, your lives and devotion are merely chess pieces on their chessboard.”
Starmer lends a listening ear to Great Britain, where social discontent with inequality is growing. In the country, the richest 10% own about 43% of the total wealth.
Keir Starmer could also be mistaken for the capital’s elite: a knighted human rights lawyer from north London, who ended up in the House of Commons at the age of 52 after a successful career.
However, he was born into a working class family. Starmer’s father was an instrument maker, and his mother was a nurse. He aspires to a country where everyone has equal opportunities, so that people can break through class society.
At the same time, for the first time since the era of Tony Blair (Leader of the Labor Party between 1994 and 2007, and Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007), there is a real coalition. buzz about his party, although Labor owes this largely to political chaos among the Conservatives.
From Brexit to Covid and financial mismanagement under the shortest Prime Minister ever: Liz Truss. It was a very turbulent period in British history under Conservative rule.
Nine out of ten Britons believe the country is ready for new leadership, although another poll showed that enthusiasm for the abolition of the Conservative Party is greater than for the arrival of the Labor Party.
Starmer – even with the shine in her hair – remains less glamorous than Tony Blair and Boris Johnson. But maybe the country could use that after a number of stormy years.
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