Starmer can learn from left-wing success stories across Europe
The writer is a political strategist and former advisor to Tony Blair and Julia Gillard
Slowly and with little fanfare, progressive governments came to power across Europe. But in Britain here, the centre-left remains fractured and fairly tight-lipped about what it will do when it comes to power.
Keir Starmer has made it clear that the UK will not rejoin the EU if Labor forms a government after the next general election. But the time has come for him and his shadow Cabinet to go to the EU and speak to more and more governments led by the companions.
When Tony Blair was at the height of his popularity in Britain, France had a socialist prime minister in Lionel Jospin, Germany had a Social Democratic chancellor in Gerhard Schröder and the centre-left “Third Way”, underpinned by Bill Clinton’s tenure in the White House, briefly looked like a dominant political stereotype.
All of this was pushed aside by populist parties in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent worldwide economic and austerity recession. The 2015 erasure of Greek socialists led to the coining of a new term, “Pasokification”, to describe the electoral destruction of the once powerful mainstream left and centre-left parties.
However, last year’s victory by Germany’s Social Democrats means more than half of the EU’s population now lives under a centre-left or centre-left government. How these parties win and stay in power has big lessons for Starmer if he’s willing to listen.
Germany’s new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, should be at the top of the list. His campaign was a good class. First, he turns his tough personality into strength – someone with a plan and the ability to execute it. A similar pitch would give Labor a special offer to British voters, and stand in contrast to Boris Johnson and his record.
Then Scholz found a new language to decarbonize the German economy. It was a great re-industrialization, he said. This overcame the polarizing language of the Green New Deal, which made blue-collar voters fear middle-class politicians looking to their wallets. And he suggested “respect” – one of Keir Starmer’s keywords – “for working people”: a nice bridge to working-class voters who dropped out of Labor at the general election. election 2019.
And Scholz’s swift response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by increasing defense spending shows how to create a security core for the middle left offer.
Meanwhile, the Scandinavians also have lessons for Starmer. The Norwegian Labor Party won after two consecutive defeats. The Denmark managed a balanced position on immigration – a good point that UK Labor still needs to find.
Starmer’s team says interior secretary Priti Patel is incompetent and unable to stem the flow of boats and refugees through the strait is not enough. Labor needs “firm but fair” policies. And in Sweden, a second term Social Democratic Party government, according to Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, is strengthening its language and actions towards law and order. This weakness in her government’s current record also parallels here, with the crisis of public confidence in treatment.
Difficult in crime, strong in national defense, resolute on immigration, focused on workers. This “muscular social democracy” could be a program specifically designed to win back Chair “Red Wall” which Boris Johnson was determined to win in Labor territory last time.
However, the scale of that defeat makes a Labor majority at the next election a highly unlikely prospect – it’s more likely the minority government has to mobilize its forces in the House of Commons for each vote. promissory note.
Here again, there is something to learn from a sister party in Europe – this time Spain’s Socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez, who leads coalition government, known as the Frankenstein coalition of the conservative opposition, and had the thinnest majority. But due to a good whipping system, they won all the votes. There’s a lot in Sanchez’s extraordinary powers that Starmer can model.
It seems that if Johnson wants to imitate Winston Churchill then Starmer should emulate himself Clement Attlee. With so much to learn from sister parties in Europe, and with a war in Europe, perhaps he too needs to find his inner self. Ernie BevinNato’s Labor architect.