Rebuilding Britain – What Keir Starmer Really Needs To Do
By TruePublica Editor: Everyone knows just about everything is broken in Britain. It’s like we are staring at the aftermath of a war. This is the task for Keir Starmer and the Labour party if they want to get into Downing Street. It is an enormous task. And if ever a three-word slogan was required it would be – ‘Let’s Rebuild Britain‘ because, frankly, that’s what has to be done now.
Britain has faced all manner of events within living memory that has required something of an all-around effort. Rebuilding Britain after WW2 took a herculean collective effort. And although much less so, certain events such as recessions – and there has been one every ten years or so, have forced a nation to cope. But in the last two decades alone, we’ve had the catastrophic bank-led financial crisis, its legacy still menacingly lingering with the awful effects of a failed austerity policy and a horrifically increased national debt. Then a war against a virus that subsequently killed twice as many people as civilians lost their lives in WW2 in Britain. (or three times as many people in our country as all road casualties in the last 25 years combined). Russia attacking Ukraine only piles on more pressure, which, apart from the awful death toll there, is also adding to the huge global supply chain issues, inflation threats – and is now forcing geopolitical change and a subsequent reshuffling of global partners and allies.
In addition, we have Brexit, which has divided our country more than anything. It is also causing a recession all on its own, calculated by the OBR to push GDP down by 4 per cent for at least a decade. The current government is trashing almost everything it touches – from the economy to Britain’s long-held and hard-fought-for democratic principles and rights. It is a party that, as The Economist rightly says was ‘ruthless, pragmatic and efficient but now cowardly, incoherent and inept’.
In Britain, right now, we have a health crisis with six million people on waiting lists. This is expected to double sometime in the next two years. We have a crisis in education. Astonishingly, over a third of children turn up to their first day of school unable to hold a pencil, speak their name properly or use cutlery and one-quarter of secondary pupils are now absent 90 per cent of the school year. We have a social care crisis, housing crisis, cost of living crisis and so many more challenges – making life a misery for millions. For almost everyone else, a fall in standards of living is assured.
Having a government that is cowardly, incoherent and inept and led by what many political commentators would agree is a self-serving vainglorious charlatan who excels only in lying and malfeasance guarantees us all only one thing – yet more failure. This reality is unravelling before our eyes right now.
Let’s rebuild Britain. Let’s rebuild the NHS and our education system. Let’s build back the stock of council accommodation. What’s the point of government if they can’t even house their own people. Let’s make the most of Brexit and get our economy going again. Let’s build a world-class clean energy infrastructure.
We need to build national resilience in areas such as agriculture and manufacturing so despot regimes like Russia can’t harm us as they are doing right now. Let’s stop selling national infrastructure to foreign states and companies only for them to profit from the labour of our own backs and taxpayers’ money.
Let’s also rebuild trust in Britain. Not just in politics, but in corporations too.
All this is easy to say and may well resonate but it has to be backed up with a plan. Let’s do something different then, something radical. Why not ask the very best people, with the best results in their field to chair non-partisan committees with a mission to emulate those world-class systems so badly needed in our country.
Let’s get the brightest people in these industries to work out a long-term horizon for what is best – not leave it to politicians on a five-year cycle of ‘top-down reorganisations’ that will inevitably fail us. Starmer needs to be bold, not just on policy but ambitious for the future when he is gone. His legacy could be truly transformational.
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Perhaps more voters would get behind this radical new form of government, knowing that a reduced political tendency to over-state or – dare I say – lie about failure, also means we get to the bottom of problems much quicker. It also means that voters have a real argument against tribal voters for once. It won’t be about which camp the voter is in if non-partisan groups manage critical services.
Keir Starmer needs to stitch all of Labour’s policies into an over-arching vision of what Britain can do when it pulls together. We all want prosperity, security, protection and respect – but it needs to be more ambitious because so much has gone wrong. We all need to understand our part in that vision, get behind it and know what it was that we are rejecting in the first place.
What we have right now is a failing economy through poor governance. Currently, it can’t support the public health crisis, an education crisis, and failures in housing and social care systems because there isn’t have a credible plan. You only have to look at Sunak’s emergency plan for the NHS that has miraculously been conjured up in a week – reimposing targets that his same party disposed of. That’s not a plan and that’s why no one is listening to it.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband enjoyed a 12-point lead during David Cameron’s premiership, but still lost the 2015 general election. He failed to get a vision across. Corbyn frightened off floating voters and traditional Labour voters who had become homeowners and wanted their children to do better than they had. Starmer has done a good job in shifting to the ground of the traditional centre-left social democrats. But it appears his biggest task, even with the scandals and failings of an incompetent government – is winning over the general public. He hasn’t quite connected.
Frankly, we all know UK plc is in big trouble. We need something that binds us. It needs to involve us all and involve everything, Any decent corporate leader will tell you that it means something to know what they are doing, how they are doing it and what they are aiming for.
Our new strategy should be about the economy, getting Brexit to work, to increase GDP and therefore taxation revenues so we can afford this vision. Growth is our only hope. It funds our future. And our future is looking forward to the 21st century – not back to an era long gone. We have to have our children well educated, we have to be a healthier nation, a stronger country and hopefully, bind the four nations of our union together. We have to do these things because the alternative being played out now is much, much worse.
Politicians have failed us. The political system is failing us. But only politicians can get us back on track because anything else is not democratic. Having a plan, a credible plan – a real vision with a positive outcome is a must.