MP COLUMN: Keir Starmer’s speech inspired activists and voters to see Labour in a new light

One major strength of our parliamentary democracy is what is called Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 1:50 pm
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.

The Opposition keeps ministers on their toes. It helps ensure that ministers don’t get lazy and out of touch or introduce bad policy from their bunkers. Just remember how the Poll Tax swept Mrs Thatcher out of Downing Street.

The Opposition is also ready to move into government at short notice without the country having needlessly long transitions where no crucial decisions can be made.

I am, therefore, relieved that the Leader of the Opposition enjoyed a very good conference. We cleared the decks of the terrible scourge of antisemitism and adopted changes that enable our MPs to focus on voters’ concerns.

Keir Starmer’s speech inspired many activists and, more importantly, voters to see Labour in a new and more positive light.

He rightly described the current Prime Minister as a trivial man who always comes too late to crises and panics rather than planning and trying to be ahead of the curve.

Ministers are apparently talking about the “EFFing crisis,” meaning problems in energy, fuel, and food.

Starmer was right to say the rhetoric of levelling up is undermined by people not being able to fill up at petrol stations.

But there’s no point in party activists and supporters kidding themselves that good conference speeches alone will suffice. I am sure that Conservative activists at this week’s conference may feel the same way.

Politicians must respect voters and earn their respect. Nothing should ever be taken for granted.

But decent competition between the parties not only provides a proper choice for people but also protects our precious parliamentary democracy.