WITH our strike-ravaged and cash-strapped country on the brink of total paralysis, shouldn’t Sir Keir Starmer already be taking action for those Downing Street curtains?
And yet, strangely, it is not.
After these two crushing by-election defeats for the Conservatives in one night, shouldn’t Her Majesty’s Opposition prepare with confidence for government?
But Labor does not seem ready to govern. The honeymoon may be over for Boris Johnson. But are the British people really ready to give their hearts to Keir Starmer?
The Tories lost Wakefield in West Yorkshire to Labor and rural Tiverton and Honiton in Devon to the Liberal Democrats – and lost dramatically.
In Tiverton and Honiton, the Lib Dems wiped out a majority of 24,239 Tories.
In Wakefield, Labor has recovered a crucial brick in the red wall.
The Tories are being wiped out by Labor in the North and the Lib Dems in the South – not a great look.
Oliver Dowden, chairman of the Conservative Party, resigned before breakfast on Friday morning.
But does that mean the British people yearn for an ugly coalition government of Keir Starmer where a weak Labor administration is backed by the Lib Dems and Nicola Sturgeon?
Both by-elections were called following unsavory Tory scandals. The Tiverton and Honiton by-election was called because
Tory MP Neil Parish has resigned after admitting watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons.
Wakefield Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan has resigned following his conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.
Voters in Tiverton, Honiton and Wakefield – many of whom are no doubt appalled by Partygate – have happily punished a Conservative government that sometimes seems spattered with mischief.
But does that really mean they want Keir Starmer to be prime minister?
These tired Tories look like a party that’s been in power for 12 years.
And yet the opposition is, remarkably enough, even weaker.
Just when you thought Labor might one day be eligible, 84-year-old Arthur Scargill was kicked out of his crypt to join a picket line of striking railway workers.
Now there is a vote winner.
I detect little enthusiasm for a Labor Party that has to—again! – crawling at the feet of the unions, and would need the Lib Dems and the SNP to hope to form a government.
We often hear that Starmer’s problem is that he is boring.
But Sir Keir’s real problem is that he has no backbone.
LACK OF NERVE
Starmer reportedly banned Labor MPs from joining the picket lines, but many ignored him.
He does not have the courage to unequivocally condemn — or support — the strikes that are paralyzing the country.
Starmer was the poster boy for a second EU referendum, yet he lacks the guts to say he thinks Brexit was a failure.
Starmer is against sending illegal immigrants to Africa, yet we don’t know if he believes in open borders – or not.
We just don’t know what Keir Starmer thinks about these big issues, because he doesn’t have the guts to tell us.
We remember him trying hard to get Comrade Corbyn into Downing Street.
But even Starmer’s historic and shameful association with Corbyn wouldn’t matter if he now had the bottle to tell us what he truly believes.
But he doesn’t. Strikes, Brexit, immigration – Starmer takes a vow of silence and crouches painfully on the fence.
Boris’ enemies often tell us that we have a prime minister with no morals.
But do we really want to replace him with a man without a backbone?
“Why are you so beautiful?” Sandra Bullock’s character asks Brad Pitt when he saves her in The Lost City.
“My dad was a meteorologist,” Brad replies, as if that explains everything.
Unlike, say, Tom Cruise, Brad’s face has changed over the years.
He looks 30 years older than the bad young cowboy who was hitchhiking by the side of the road when Thelma and Louise cruised by in 1991.
But even at 60, Brad remains the most handsome man in the world.
So what a shock to see Brad on the cover of GQ magazine with a pasty face, half buried in foliage and alarming glassy eyes.
For once in his life, Brad doesn’t look like the most handsome man in the world.
It appears to have been recently exhumed.
It’s hard to make Brad Pitt unattractive.
But somehow, GQ pulled it off.
Ding-hy dong in Africa
ALL a little awkward when our current Prime Minister and our future King met for a ‘cup of tea and a catch-up’ on Friday, while Boris and Charles were in Kigali, Rwanda.
Boris, desperate to tackle illegal immigration, has found the unlikely solution of flying migrants to Rwanda, saying critics should ‘drop some of their condescending attitudes’ towards the African country.
Charles disagrees, reportedly saying privately that he considers the plan to airlift migrants to Rwanda to be “appalling”.
Whatever you think of the pros and cons of trickery, the basic geography is undeniable.
No one has boarded these leaky canoes in Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq.
So if they are to be sent anywhere, then surely common sense tells us that it should be to France – a free, safe and tolerant country where the greatest danger is eating a baguette that is past its expiry date. expiration.
Off the tracks
JOBS change. They go up and down. Some blend into the story.
Dairy. Chimney sweeps. Linotype operators – like my uncles in old Fleet Street.
Print journalists – like me. And the railroad workers.
Nine out of ten office workers in London did their work from home during the rail strikes.
There were more people in the office during the Omicron wave last winter!
So while RMT’s thin-lipped supremo Mick Lynch is capable of inflicting misery and mayhem, the world will never need trains as much as it once did.
Mick is like one of those blacksmiths who thought, “People will always need horseshoes.”
Just as the first Ford Model T appeared on the horizon.
Mick Lynch doesn’t live in the 70s or 80s. Mick lives in the pre-pandemic world. And that is why these malicious and selfish strikes will fail.
Kate is old gold
A short scene in the Netflix sci-fi period drama Stranger Things made Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill a worldwide phenomenon.
In the UK alone, 700,000 people are currently streaming the song every day.
The 1985 song still sounds incredibly good – haunting, captivating, ridiculously catchy.
Kate first went to No. 1 in 1978 with Wuthering Heights and now, 44 years later, is back at the top of the singles charts with her second No. 1, Running Up That Hill.
Kate Bush, 63, returned as Paul McCartney, 80, headlined Glastonbury, while two 78-year-old geezers – Mick Jagger and Keith Richards – sold Hyde Park.
The success of Running Up That Hill is therefore not due to the power of Netflix.
It is thanks to the power of ancient music.
JOHN LYDON, formerly Johnny Rotten, stars in everything from Piers Morgan’s TalkTV show to ITV’s This Morning to Danny Boyle’s drama Pistol.
“That bunch of nonsense,” sneers John – the way only he can sneer! “It’s about me but it excludes me.”
Boyle’s drama certainly takes some liberties with real life.
But the drama totally captures a sad central truth.
Recruiting self-destructive Sid Vicious – a charming boy but a musical moron – the Sex Pistols were a formidable band that became a novelty act.
ACTING was “hijacked” by toffs, says historian Lipika Pelham, citing Eddie Redmayne (at Eton with Prince William) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Old Harrovian, distant cousin of Richard III).
It’s true that the modern acting profession lacks a working-class giant like Michael Caine or Terence Stamp.
There are still working class actors.
But these days, they’re not allowed to stray far beyond the Queen Vic or Rovers Return.