Labour Leader Keir Starmer’s speech, in which he suggested his party deserved to lose the 2019 election under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, has been ridiculed online as being self-defeating and full of “meaningless platitudes.”
“When you lose an election in a democracy, you deserve to,” Starmer said during a Tuesday press conference. He added that his fellow Labour officials should ask themselves “what [were they] doing” for it to come to this.
The opposition leader then lamented the losing streak his party is currently on, having lost four general elections in a row.
Starmer also tried to pitch himself and Labour to the electorate by talking about British “values,” saying, “I want this to be the best country to grow up in, and the best country to grow old in.”
The self-deprecating speech with no policy specifics might have backfired, as Starmer was harshly mocked for it online. Many commenters took issue with him seemingly “blaming” Corbyn for the 2019 loss. Some even saw it as an apology for the former leader’s left-wing positions.
@Keir_Starmer You blame Jeremy Corbyn, you laughable oaf, and who will you blame for the droves who have left labour since you became its sorry excuse for a leader??
— Pete (@lordjusticewolf) September 21, 2020
Just to be clear, Starmer’s ‘patrioism’ rhetoric is based around apologising for the previous leadership & implying Corbyn era policies (read: proximity to non-white, anti-imperialist causes) were ‘anti-british’. That’s not just harmless framing, that’s white nationalist logic.
— A Token Autie (@token_autie) September 22, 2020
To philosopher Oliver Thorne Starmer’s speech sounded so defeatist, that he called it “a funny way to announce [his] resignation”.
Other commenters focused on the way Starmer brought up a number of concepts without going into any specifics, like “decency, fairness” and “opportunity.” They felt that the opposition leader seemed “fake” and full of “platitudes.”
I just don’t like him, I’m afraid. No personality and no leadership skills. It was Corbyn who got me interested in politics. He was a good hearted man, smeared horrifically. #Starmer just comes across as fake to me.
— Jason Charles (@theclawsoftime) September 22, 2020
Not bad, as far as meaningless platitudes go.How about managing the post-Brexit economy and revitalising the north?
— MissionIncredible (@akumampus) September 22, 2020
On the other hand, Starmer did have some defenders who explicitly enjoyed his apparent break from Corbyn’s “hard-left”.
It’s rather telling that this benign tweet has triggered so many people.Who *wouldn’t* want this to be the best country to grow up in and the best country to grow old in?The hard-left; They’re intent on destroying our way of life. https://t.co/BmGhwYunDp
— Calvin Robinson (@calvinrobinson) September 22, 2020
The next UK general election is scheduled to be held in 2024. Last year’s one resulted in the Conservatives receiving a landslide majority in the parliament, and became a point of contention inside the Labour party.
Eventually it led to left-winger Corbyn stepping down from his leadership position, and the moderate Starmer assuming the role.
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