‘We want much less of the aptitude of Blair and extra of the down-to-earth steer of Keir’

Choice for change is Keir to see

The choice at this General Election is clear. More of the same, or change for the better. Renewal over stagnation. Hope over despair. Keir Starmer yesterday put his faith in Britain’s future, pledging support for a lower voting age to give 16 and 17-year-olds a say in it.

And Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson tells us today that affordable childcare for all parents will be a key plank of Labour’s manifesto. That could be achieved by creating extra nursery places from spare space in primary schools. She will also hire 6,500 more teachers – paid for by ending tax breaks for private schools to make the education system fairer. The Tories squeal at that but, while everyone should spend their money as they choose, the taxpayer should not be subsidising that choice.

As next Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper will boost police numbers – with 13,000 more PCs and support officers to tackle the anti-social behaviour that blights many neighbourhoods. And when Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting runs the NHS, there will be 40,000 extra hospital appointments a week to cut waiting lists. This will be funded by a crackdown on non-dom tax loopholes.


To curb Channel boat crossings, a new Border Security Command will use counter-terror tactics against the organised crime gangs who control this vile trade. But the top issue for voters is the cost of living – which is why Mr Starmer is right to put economic stability at the forefront of his campaign. He’s also right to urge caution over expectations that it can happen overnight.

Labour will not inherit the healthy economy Tony Blair did in 1997. Growth is now key to getting it back on track after 14 years of Tory mismanagement. That is why the new publicly-owned Great British Energy company is so essential. Doubling onshore wind power, trebling solar and quadrupling offshore wind could cut our annual bills by £1,400 and create 500,000 jobs.

Even Tory Chancellor Jeremy Hunt admits getting green technology right would be worth £1trillion to British business by 2030. It would turn economic growth into financial boom. But to get there we need less of the flair of Blair and more of the common-sense, down-to-earth steer of Keir.

The opinion polls suggest the Labour leader has this election in the bag. Tory MPs think so, too – and so one in five are quitting. Michael Gove also feels it’s time to throw in the towel.

Even Rishi Sunak must think the gods are against him after the heavens opened up over Downing Street, and he then launched his sinking ship from the birthplace of the Titanic.

But polls do not make a Labour victory a done-deal, as Neil Kinnock found out in 1992 and Ed Miliband in 2015. Which is why every vote counts. And every vote for Labour counts towards the change and renewal this country craves.