A year on, Keir Starmer’s grand vision is still in question | Letters
Dr Anthony Isaacs thinks the Labour leader must unite the party and restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn, but Bruce Sawford has lost hope
No new opposition leader could have been expected to gain much media attention in their first year against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the government has clearly benefited from the vaccine rollout. But after a promising start, Keir Starmer’s declining poll ratings (Keir Starmer: one year in, Labour leader’s popularity has plunged, 2 April) indicate that his cautious style and lack of defined policies have failed to gain traction. The pandemic has, paradoxically, opened the way to an alternative agenda that plays to Labour’s strengths of promoting social solidarity and investment in public services. Starmer must embrace the opportunity of the waning infection rates to move the fight away from equivocation and abstention over Tory culture wars to ground of Labour’s own choosing.
Your editorial (2 April) points to Labour’s need for a transformative agenda that both rallies the party and speaks to the wider public. To bring this about, Starmer must first unite the party. Restoring the whip to Jeremy Corbyn would be an important symbolic gesture, opening the way for the party’s factions to work together in devising popular policies to combat the corruption and market failures epitomised by our current government. The second task is to unite opposition parties around an electoral strategy as the only hope of preventing continued Tory dominance. That will be a true test of leadership.
Dr Anthony Isaacs