Keir Starmer unveils his new slogan: ‘sticking-plaster politics’


Labour leader Keir Starmer has announced his new slogan in his first speech of 2023: “sticking-plaster politics”.

It’s a label he has attached to the Conservative government, claiming that Rishi Sunak’s administration is only interested in short-term solutions to current political problems – attacking their symptoms without addressing their causes:

The medical analogy is appropriate, as the NHS is currently enduring its worst-ever winter crisis – a crisis that Sunak has refused even to acknowledge.

Starmer said Labour would restore the NHS by bringing its workforce back up to full strength:

Shadow Levelling-Up Secretary Lisa Nandy amplified Starmer’s words, claiming that Labour was making promises it knew it could deliver.

One example was a change to cheap, renewable energy rather than sticking with expensive fossil fuels like gas – the price of which is currently crippling households across the UK.

And she tried to justify Starmer’s attempt to co-opt the Brexit slogan “Take Back Control” into a solution for the problems created by the UK’s departure from the European Union:

But what was he actually promising, other than a new slogan?

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Starmer had offered “a whole load of nothing”:

He said Starmer’s promise not to spend money that wasn’t available had already been broken with £90 billion of unfunded spending commitments that he said equated to £3,000 per household.

That’s not true, of course – the UK’s taxation system means more of any such burden would fall on the shoulders of richer people who can bear it more easily, and doesn’t take account of taxes on (for example) businesses.

If you can bear it – and for the sake of easy access in the future – here’s Starmer’s full speech:

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