DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Keir’s trying to dupe the strike-sick public
Sir Keir Starmer loves to lecture piously on the virtue of political courage.
So how odd that as militant unions malevolently began the rail strike that will blight the lives of millions of people, he chose to lie low.
He’s not usually slow to put in his tedious two penn’orth on the key issues of the day.
Nor is he always so shy about aligning himself with the Marxist rabble-rousers trying to bring the country to its knees with needless, selfish industrial mayhem.
Indeed, launching his Labour leadership campaign, he boasted of once being on the picket line with striking printworkers, and added: ‘We must stand shoulder to shoulder with our trade unions.’
But when the hard-Left RMT manned the metaphorical braziers outside eerily deserted railway stations yesterday, Sir Keir was nowhere to be seen.
When the hard-Left RMT manned the metaphorical braziers outside eerily deserted railway stations yesterday, Sir Keir Starmer (pictured here in Wakefield in 2020) was nowhere to be seen
Had he suddenly realised that these ideological relics of the 1970s were wrong to deliberately inflict misery on blameless commuters, workers and families?
No, of course not. It was just more proof that he is a spineless hypocrite.
Not for the first time, Labour’s duplicitous leader is trying to run with two packs of hounds simultaneously.
He wants to seem sympathetic to the public affected by these stoppages, including the hard-working families prevented from earning a crust by rail workers who typically pocket £44,000 a year. But he steadfastly refuses to condemn the wrecking tactics of Labour’s union paymasters. Even if he were opposed to their ruinous extremism, he won’t bite the hand that feeds his party.
With several of his frontbenchers openly defying his grudging, half-hearted edict not to join picket lines, Labour is in disarray and Starmer’s authority is shot.
The public know Sir Keir (pictured here in Wakefield on June 18) is trying to pull the wool over their eyes by pretending he sides with them, not the intransigent firebrands
The public aren’t stupid. They know Sir Keir is trying to pull the wool over their eyes by pretending he sides with them, not the intransigent firebrands.
That Labour can’t see the danger of double-digit public sector pay hikes shows it is not to be trusted with the nation’s finances. Such settlements would cost the taxpayer vast sums, while also accelerating the toxic spiral of inflation, ultimately destroying growth and prosperity.
Equally, if rail staff win their fight, it will embolden other sectors where the unions are bristling for a fight – increasing the disruption and economic pain.
Boris Johnson must end union tyranny by introducing strike-busting laws. On his side he has moral force, voter support and a huge majority. He won’t get a better chance.
Raab’s right on rights
One of the Tories’ most popular election pledges in recent years has been to replace Labour’s broken Human Rights Act.
We hope Justice Secretary Dominic Raab’s Bill of Rights lives up to expectations.
By redressing the balance between rights and responsibilities, it aims to stop foreign criminals abusing human rights laws. Free speech will get extra protections.
And it seeks to reassert the superiority of Parliament and UK courts, preventing a repeat of the farce of a foreign judge blocking the first Rwanda flight.
These are sensible plans. But history tells us disentangling Britain from the tentacles of ‘lawfare’ is fraught with difficulty.
Low energy watchdog
It’s bad enough struggling households are seeing gas and electricity prices skyrocket.
But it really sticks in the craw that £4.6billion is being added to their collective bill to clean up the mess after a raft of energy companies went bust. Some of these firms were little more than cowboy operations seeking to get rich quick.
Why weren’t they weeded out? Watchdog Ofgem is supposed to defend consumers’ interests – not fall asleep at the wheel.