Concerned Labour is moving to the right? Keir Starmer just confirmed your worst fears – Angus Robertson
You have been warned: UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says he does not care if people think he is conservative – and he has promised the next government will be New Labour “on steroids”. Indeed, he told an audience that the Tories “can no longer claim to be conservative” and he attacked “patronising contempt for those who fly our flag”.
To anyone who is concerned that the UK Labour party is fast moving to the right, their worst fears have been confirmed by Sir Keir who has laid out his approach in plain sight: “That’s why I say this project goes further and deeper than New Labour’s rewriting of Clause Four. This is about rolling our sleeves up, changing our entire culture – our DNA. This is Clause Four – on steroids.”
In a leaked policy draft of Labour’s plans for the run-up to the election, the scale of the rightward shift is there for all to see: no U-turn on Tory hard Brexit and “no return to freedom of movement”. Starmer has already said he will abandon his pledges to scrap tuition fees, scrap Universal Credit, scrap Tory anti-protest laws and much else besides. Labour is planning to carry on where the Tories left off.
Some UK Labour strategists must think that this plays well in parts of England, but it will become a growing problem for them in Scotland. After all, in Scotland, there is a progressive alternative that also stands up for Scotland: the SNP.
Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary