According to what can be gleaned from focus group research, the only flaw voters can spot (so far) in the Leader of the Opposition is some ‘wooden’ quality. But don’t get me wrong (or presumably the electorate). Being a little dull, as it is, is not quite in the same league as sending 50,000 of your fellow citizens back to the Covid-19 cemetery, for example, or triggering one of the longest lasting economic recessions. and the deepest of modern times. But stay.
Confronted with what must have been an almost empty and socially distant studio, Sir Keir’s statement on Covid was inexplicably nervous, like Nigel Farage accidentally wandering into a joint BLM / XR protest. The branches of the solid Starmer Oak glistened just a little against the brilliant magenta background with the increasingly familiar slogan “New Leadership” (rather than “Sponsored by Cuprinol”).
Given that he is such an accomplished man of the House of Commons and has managed to carry Corbynist crowds with him to Labor conferences in the past, it was difficult to understand why an audience of a few spin specialists , from a TV crew, plus courteous Vicki Young (BBC), Kate McCann (Sky) and Robert Peston (ITV) would scare him.
In any case, he had no problem with their questions, mainly because his policies and his answers were “guided by science” and therefore flawless in a way we now know are not so to the Prime. minister. Starmer might have done better if some of the awkward team of the Mail or Telegraph had had the chance to ask him questions about his own about-face; the bristling hostility might have animated him a little.
It was a perfectly competent performance, and the call for a two or three week ‘breaker’ lockout is in line with public opinion, and particularly popular with older / more vulnerable voters (where Labor lags far behind. preservatives). With a government heading for another Covid crisis, it really couldn’t be easier for it. He was doing well and far superior to his last three predecessors. But there’s something missing, you know.