Labour Party: Keir Starmer sets out his long-term vision for the economy – BBC Newsnight

[Music] the truism is that it's the worst job in politics it's a truism for a reason in office but not in charge the leader of the opposition is the permanent understudy of british public life and most of them fail but since starman's election he has resurrected labour's cadaverous opinion poll ratings still some worry a ceiling appears to have been reached or worse labour's ratings have sharpened the increase since darma became leader but the rise has stalled we see a similar pattern with starma's personal ratings his negatives starting to climb quite sharply over the last few months and boris johnson has once again overtaken stalmer on the preferred prime minister stakes but many leaders of the opposition never get into positive territory at all or only fleetingly ed miliband managed a few months in positive territory even cameron's positive ratings disappeared after a year labour old hands say then that this is nothing to worry about for kiyostama in a year to not just have got us back on equal terms in in the polls we were 26 points behind by the way but also he's the first leader i think since tony blair who's got a personal rating higher than the than the current prime minister who who has been all too often over the last 10 years the leading conservative party that is a terrific achievement in his first year and yet not only are the tories just about still ahead but they're now pulling a bit further ahead and and kyocerma's personal ratings are starting to dip a little yeah i don't think that should concern kia in the sense that in the middle of a pandemic uh i think it's very difficult for governments to actually go down in the polls given that most people in britain in any way give them the benefit of the doubt and of course hasn't been able to campaign hasn't been able to make a conference speech sometimes unable to leave his own home and he's had to navigate a coveted politics where to be seen to commit politics maybe a sin but overall i welcome this statement i believe the government is trying to do the right thing but there are those who whisper that there's not enough politics within the man to begin with that he hasn't the bite of his successful predecessors that his critique of the johnson government has been one anchored in competence just to the point that through the vaccine program the government has shown it has it one of the critiques of kierstarma this year has been despite the fact that he's clearly a very competent figure uh someone who many people can imagine being prime minister perhaps he's a bit too loyal a little bit too cautious the public square and the so-called court of public opinion are actually very different from a a court room um even pmqs um uh where people say kyra has been a a very able performer even pmq's prime minister's questions is not the same as courtroom advocacy but in a sense those um those critiques and those conversations are our westminster bubble stuff and what i'm looking for is not really that what i'm looking for is the offering what i'm looking for is the great big hearted optimistic offering to the british people that says it was labor um that did it after world war ii it was labor that that built the welfare state and that's the offer to which starman will turn tomorrow that he will we're told start to map out the intellectual basis of astama labor governments of what social democracy will look like in the 2020s that he will say that there can be no return to business as usual or the failed conservative ideology of the past now you may think this sounds rather rum can labor credibly talk of a failed conservative ideology when they have so that is the conservatives transformed before our eyes moved away from the free market become in many cases born again status well talk to those around starmer and they think that in the long term that isn't going to happen that the conservatives haven't bought into a fundamentally new version of political economy that in the medium term at least rishi sunak and others will start to argue for spending cuts for deficit reduction that will become a key plank once again of our politics and that is the opening that labor starting tomorrow can start to prise open and the economic crisis will have a much longer tail i suspect than the public health crisis uh that that covered the code has brought about but i think this is the this is a good time to start talking about priorities with the long tail of inequality and insecurity with the end of the furlough system which was going to cause all sorts of directions in our economy with the with the regional inequalities that post-coded life will reveal there's so much that's going to be uh a re area for reasonable disagreement between the opposition and the conservative government many seem to think that kierstama looks and sounds the past of a prime minister but only two leaders of the opposition have made that leap since 1994.

And it isn't yet clear that he plays that part nearly as well lewis goodall when in a moment i'll be joined by james schneider co-founder of momentum and former director of strategic communications with jeremy corbyn and anna turley the former labor mp for red car but first i'm joined by jonathan reynolds the shadow work and pension secretary good evening jonathan reynolds first of all giving the various crises in the pandemic from ppe to schools to care homes to track and trace and even to dominate cummings given all that why is it that the conservatives are not only ahead in the polls but pulling further ahead look if you look at where the labour party is today based on where we were a year ago i think actually the rate of progress has been uh fantastic and i certainly feel much more comfortable about where we are today if you look at governments around the world incumbent governments have got a boost as you see in a national crisis people rally around the government they want the government to succeed and we want the government's corvid strategy to succeed nobody wants to to continue the disruption to people's lives the loss that we have all felt so that is natural if you look at the poll that really does count which is does the public see we've got a new leader yes they have seen that do they like him yes they do do they see him as a potential prime minister yes they do now i've known some good people who've been the leader of the labour party who haven't had poll ratings like that so on that yes i think that's a good position for us to be in a year on and you acknowledge that the government's done a very good job in the vaccine because as i say it's not just about the government being ahead of the polls it's about pulling the head just pulling ahead despite the fact that people know who kirsten is and think that he might be a trustworthy leader tories are pulling ahead just now well we've been ahead in the polls and lost big elections i i don't think frankly people should look too much at where things are right now except for the fact that we know they've noticed we've got a new leader and they like him quite a lot in terms of your question about the handling of the pandemic now if you look at where this country has got to tragically with the highest death toll in europe and the biggest recession of any major economy what kira is going to say tomorrow is yes that is about decisions the government have made in the pandemic but it's also about the country we had going into this crisis the inequality the poverty the insecurity in the workplace and that is why when we're talking now about what should come after the pandemic kira's going to say we kind of go back to business as usual yes he says something better and only labor can do that he says under my leadership labor's priority will also be financial responsibility so what is more important spending what it takes to repair britain or reducing the massive deficit it's about spending on the things that matter we've seen this government spend very large things that frankly haven't worked like test and trade so what kira is going to say tomorrow are the priorities that we would have to make that difference but there can be no return to austerity people always forget in these type of discussions it's not just about spending cuts and tax rises to get a grip of the deficit it's about shrinking that debt as a proportion of gdp shrinking it as a proportion of the economy and that requires growth and i would just say we cannot think that we'll get to where we need to be by ignoring rising levels of child poverty heading towards five million people five million children sorry and that will take and that will take spending and that will take spending and i wonder about the whole radicalism of that because what he says he's going to do according to the speech tomorrow is going to reverse the planned cuts to universal credit which will benefit six million families by a thousand pounds a year that is only taking it back to pre-austerity rates that is not a radical agenda well you're right to say that there has been in social security a very punitive set of settlements for many years i don't deny that but that commitment on universal credit which is obviously directly in my brief yes that is absolutely the right thing to do for british families i mean let's just not forget you've got to go back to the great depression to find a government that was willing to cut out of work support in a major recession but that is also the right thing for the economy because otherwise you'd be taking six billion pounds worth of spending that would be spent in local shops and on local services out of the economy now that's fine so the point is i return to the original question which is you'll spend what it takes to repair britain the way you want to repair it rather than being concerned about drawing away from the deficit about reducing the deficit you cannot presumably in the short term do both you can't do the short term do both in the short term well i'd say you can do both courses because if you look at where we've been for the last few years if you look at the george osborne plan on austerity and it's planned to tackle the deficit it didn't work it didn't work and you can't find anyone now saying that's the right way forward you can't find the imf or the oecd or major publications who specialize in this area they all agree that isn't the right way forward so let's surely learn the lessons of the past but the way forward to tackle both the national finances and the opportunity that people need in this country is to say look let's not go back to what we had going into that's not a prime minister who doesn't even know that child poverty's rising and doesn't seem to care anything about it let's not be food bank britain let's be britain with opportunity hope security for everybody after every major crisis in this country's history we've come out with something better if david blanc if if david blanket is saying tonight as he did that he wants to know what labor stands for surely that's a bit of an indictment of a former such a former senior figure in the labour party in the center right saying even now all these months after kirsten we're doing he doesn't know what labour stands for no i i don't think that is unfair at all i think what we all know is when you've got a new leader they have to set out their new territory how they want to take the party in the country forward there have been restrictions on us in the pandemic but in terms of what we've been able to do to challenge the government where they should have been challenged to make sure the government's response is as good as it could be and if they'd listen to us more i think their response would have been even better but yes at this stage now let's be clear if at the beginning of this pandemic we were talking about the long-term aspirations for the labour party what we wanted to do that wouldn't have been the right time but this is the right moment we're at a stage with the vaccination program where we can look to the future but we also have the budget we also have a very big set of elections this year this is the right time this is the right moment people know he is new they like him this is the chance to step out his vision thank you very much jonathan reynolds

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