Dragan Plavsic considers what we should we make of Labour’s new slogan
Someone somewhere was probably paid a lot of money to come up with Labour’s vacuous new slogan - ‘A New Leadership’. And vacuous it surely is because its focus on leadership is typical of the centrist world-view which holds that life’s problems can be sorted by better managers and not at all by changing society. Once again, it’s about personalities not policies.
The irony is that by his own centrist standards Starmer hasn’t even shown himself to be a better manager.
Time and again, he’s urged a faster and less unqualified (‘no ifs no buts’) return to normality, despite knowing that the test and trace system wasn’t fit for purpose. In his overriding eagerness to be ‘constructive’, he’s ended up contributing to the current exponential rise of infections and another potential lockdown.
A sense of this failure comes through in a BBC news article reporting that the new slogan is meant to ‘dovetail...with Labour's plan to "introduce" Sir Keir to the country. This intended phase of his leadership, it is felt, hasn't been fully realised due to the coronavirus crisis.’ No, and that’s because Starmer hasn’t actually shown any leadership.
Nor will he. Instead, real leadership will have to come from each and every one of us in our local and national struggles over Covid-19 and its consequences.
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Dragan Plavšić is a member of Counterfire in London and of Marks21 in Serbia. He jointly edited The Balkan Socialist Tradition and the Balkan Federation 1871-1915 (2003).
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