Instant Opinion

‘Keir Starmer has no overarching vision for the country’

Your digest of analysis and commentary from the British and international press

Keir Starmer delivers a speech at Labour headquarters in London

1

Andrew Pierce in the Daily Mail

All stardust gone... and now Keir’s on a journey to nowhere

on the Labour leader

After promising an agenda to rival the Beveridge Reforms that reshaped Britain after the Second World War, yesterday’s announcement by Keir Starmer was instead a “faintly wooden speech from an ex-lawyer whose reserves of stardust appear to be dwindling”, writes Andrew Pierce in the Daily Mail. “Starmer has no overarching vision for the country”, he continues, and this week’s “so-called landmark speech will do nothing to change” the rising concern among MPs and Labour party members that his leadership is on a “journey to nowhere”. 

2

Judith Woods in The Daily Telegraph

We’ve gone so bonkers in lockdown, I’m not sure we’re ready for the return of real life

on post-lockdown life

“Be careful what you wish for”, warns Judith Woods in The Telegraph. “An easing of lockdown is coming down the line - but, hand on heart, are any of us psychologically, physically or practically prepared for RRL, the Resumption of Real Life?” She says that the upshot of lockdown is that “we’re fatter, we’re drunker” and “we don’t wash our hair – our ourselves – nearly as often as we used to”. After months of isolation at home: “Who’s up for cramming themselves onto a commuter train again? Rush-hour Tube travel, anyone? Up close and personal on a bus?”

3

James Forsyth in The Times

Boris Johnson’s great climate change challenge

on a double opportunity

After the pandemic, the “biggest challenge facing Boris Johnson is the Net Zero target: a 30-year plan to decarbonise the economy”, writes James Forsyth in The Times. Two of Johnson’s “big ambitions for his premiership” are to “put flesh on the bones of the idea of ‘global Britain’ and to make progress on the environment”. “Using Britain’s convening power to help forge an international approach on carbon emissions would tick both of these boxes”, Forsyth says. “But getting there won’t be easy; it will take years not months.”

4

Chris Stevenson in The Independent

James McClean has every right not to wear a poppy – all nuance has been lost in the debate

on poppy polarisation

“The idea of civil debate has been eroded in recent years”, writes Chris Stevenson as he defends Irish professional footballer James McClean’s right to not wear a poppy during matches played during Remembrance Week. “Nobody should have to suffer abuse for such a decision - with many under the mistaken belief it makes McClean anti-British”, he continues. “Any sense of nuance is being lost in a stream of abuse. It is maddening. That division between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is becoming as entrenched (if it wasn’t so already) as in many other areas of discussion.”

5

Kerry Craig in the South China Morning Post

Stock markets are likely to continue climbing, given the unexpectedly good US earnings reports

on soaring stocks

“The market marches on”, writes Kerry Craig in the South China Morning Post, celebrating recent gains on trading floors. “Yet, even with such a strong run, there are reasons to believe the markets will edge higher… including the global vaccine roll-out, the still-supportive policy stance of central banks and governments, and companies delivering stronger earnings growth.” However, warns the global market strategist, “equity investing is never a smooth road” meaning “strongly positive investor sentiment can pivot at even the most modest disappointment”.

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