That rising star of left-wing journalism Grace Blakely has written an interesting piece for Tribune, stating that Keir Starmer is too timid to run the UK economy for the people – basically because he doesn’t know enough about it.
Starmer relies on his economic advisers, she says, and they adhere to right-wing dogma that prioritises the rich over the poor:
It is no longer radical to argue that the UK economy requires deep, structural transformation. With the power to set taxes, levels of public spending, wages in the public sector, and regulation in the private sector, the British state is the only institution capable of enacting such a transformation… The British electorate is in favour of a radical shift in economic policy.
Keir Starmer is undoubtedly a timid and conservative leader… His expert advisers inform him, allegedly objectively, which kinds of policies would be good for ‘the economy’, and he rigidly adheres to their advice.
Without ever providing any evidence, policymakers will state that ‘the economy’ requires tax cuts, or public spending cuts, or deregulation. Experts will nod along and, without the ability to challenge them, most people will simply accept their word as gospel.
And the policies these ‘experts’ promote just so happen to privilege the interests of the already wealthy while eroding the power of the working classes.
An example of this in action is the National Health Service. When he was campaigning to be Labour leader in 2020, Starmer said he would follow Jeremy Corbyn’s policy to increase income tax on the top five per cent of earners.
This would allow more spending – for example, on the NHS. But now Starmer has rowed back on this pledge, despite the fact that it would help re-balance the economy, which the Tories have tilted to give more money to billionaires:
Keir Starmer running to be Labour leader: "Increase income tax for the top 5%"
Keir Starmer now: "I don't want income tax to go up under a Labour govt… we've no plans for increasing tax"
— Saul Staniforth (@SaulStaniforth) May 22, 2023
And now we learn that he’s giving a speech today (Monday, May 22, 2023) saying that the NHS doesn’t need more money – he thinks it is “not serious” to suggest that the NHS’s current issues can be fixed solely with more money.
He won’t say how he’ll change the way the NHS works in order to fix those issues, though – probably because he doesn’t know.
His favoured solution is to bring in more privatisation – as advocated by his Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting.
Why does he say this? Would it be unreasonable to suggest that it is because they are both receiving donations from private firms that make a profit from the UK’s health industry?
Private companies don’t make donations to MPs without wanting something in return; we all know that – right?
And if you think that’s bad, what about the money going to MPs so they can employ staff and pay for “office costs”? If private firms or donors are paying this money, are they dictating who gets the jobs – putting their own people in a position to advise our MPs?
If so, then we should be deeply concerned that almost half of the £1 million that has gone to MPs for this purpose was given to just four Labour MPs – including Streeting.
Another major beneficiary is Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves.
With so much apparent influence from business people promoting their own selfish interests, is it any wonder that Starmer and his cronies are toeing the Establishment line, rather than supporting the radical, transformative policies of his forerunner Jeremy Corbyn?
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