Sir Keir Starmer took the stage for his speech at the Labour Party conference to upbeat, optimistic music. He chose vibes over well-known chart songs, often used to welcome party leaders.
That essentially summarised Sir Keir’s entire speech.
Without a bold energy policy, the Labour leader’s full 45-minute address lacked substance. It was entirely dependent on the mood.
He set a target of 70% home ownership. Is there any indication of a strategy for achieving it? No.
He pledged to put “country first, party second.” Do you have any idea what that means? No.
He promised to “get us out of this never-ending cycle of crisis.” Any thoughts on why Labour could now be trusted after enduring years of internal strife… Definitely not.
However, party members cheered and applauded as the Holborn and St Pancras MP proudly declared Labour was on the verge of election victory, and the entire hall exuded confidence.
“As in 1945, 1964, 1997, this is a Labour moment,” Sir Keir said as members rose for their 12th standing ovation of the address.
“Say it loud and believe it. Britain will deal with the cost-of-living crisis. Britain will get its future back.”
This was not the same conference speech given a year ago. Sir Keir no longer appeared nervous on stage as he addressed his own members, nor were Left-wing Corbynites heckling him during his speech.
Often, optimism alone is insufficient to win an election. Labour must do more to persuade the country to vote for them at the polls.
Sir Keir’s speech today spent more time emphasising what Labour isn’t than it did propose new ideas about what the party stands for.
Labour has stated why you should not vote Conservative, but the question of “why vote Labour?” has gone unanswered.
There is no doubt that Labour has advanced significantly during the tenure of the current party leader.
But it remains to be seen whether he is capable of completing the task.