Single shite Mail: Keir Starmer’s ❤️ affair with the Daily Mail

"But Mic, he *has* to engage with The Daily Mail..."

In May, on VE Day, ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer opted to publish his article on the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe in The Daily Telegraph. The decision was hailed as a masterstroke by such left-wing figures as… George Osborne. It was a tactic designed to put clear blue water between the Starmer era and the Corbyn one.

Osborne’s assessment, however galling, was correct: “The Labour leader writing in the Daily Telegraph on VE Day tells you one thing – this guy is going to do everything he can to win.” But here’s an addendum to that thought: Starmer’s strategy and that of his haunted unfunhouse of a front bench have been oscillating between tepid agreement with the government and what they imagine to be pointed silence as Boris Johnson’s administration stumbles around like a clown college field-trip to an active minefield.

But despite a cavalcade of controversies and cockups, Starmer’s Basically Agree With Boris masterplan is not bearing much fruit. While it’s a long time until the next election and polling might as well be done on the back of a beermat, it has so far put pay to the constant centrist burbling during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership that ‘any other leader would be [X] points ahead’. A. Other Leader aka Sir Keith Boring is now in power and he’s not X points ahead in any meaningful measure. In fact, Boris Johnson could dance down Downing Street windmilling his cock and shouting, “I hate the poor,” and his numbers would stay the same.

It is in this context that we find froggy Starmer climbing onto the crocodile’s back again and placing an article on VJ Day (there’s that ‘patriotism’ again) in… The Daily Mail. Now, the argument from people who wilfully misunderstand things will be this: ‘But Mic, he has to engage with The Daily Mail. It’s one of the biggest newspapers in the country. Wa wa wa wa. I appear to have just soiled myself.’ Well, while you clean that up, here’s why that’s facile, strategically dense horseshit.

Yes, Starmer and Labour cannot afford to ignore the tabloids entirely. Even as their power starts to wain they are often drivers of the agenda on broadcast, with radio and TV producers picking lines up from stories in the morning editions. Corbyn’s direct antagonism with the tabloids, while in line with his principles, was not the best tactical approach as it wasted a lot of time on battles that were unwinnable.

That said, Sir Keir’s approach of bending over backwards so often that it looks like he’s the middle-aged dad who accidentally wandered into the yoga class and was too embarrassed to leave is going to get him rat fucked so frequently he’ll wonder if he’s been reincarnated as the central participant in a rodent gangbang.

Leaving aside the utter banality of the content of Starmer’s Daily Mail article — demanding the government open schools, when the government is already opening schools while pissing off the teaching unions and showing no solidarity with the actual workers involved in reopening the schools — it will also not have the media consequences he and his team seem to think it will.

The Daily Mail will use Starmer like a teenage boy uses an old sock and treat him as respectfully when it’s done with him. While it’s currently slapping the government around, when push comes to Gove, the Daily Mail will get back in line and ensure the Tories remain in power.

Starmer’s love affair with the right-wing press, while acting as though the few left-wing journalists and outlets that do exist have cooties, shows simply what Osborne identified: He cares only about winning. The trouble is that in order to win, he will throw any principles he might have accidentally retained in his ascent through the establishment right out of the window.

Right now, there is no discernible difference between Starmer’s Labour and Johnson’s Conservatives, beyond Starmer affecting a more ‘polite’ tone as he demonises undesirables. And with his policy positions, it’s not surprising that he’s got such a hard-on for the Daily Heil.