Saving to ensure our talents don’t go to waste – by Keir Starmer

I’ve examined further Keir Starmer’s recent speech conducted without an audience where he said:

Today, our moral crusade must be to address the inequalities and injustices that this [Covid] crisis has so brutally exposed.

I think this is a very fair point.

Keir Starmer suggests it is not just a political question, it is an economic question too, because if Britain is to succeed in the world and we are going to get ready for to face the challenges of the 2020’s and 2030’s we simply cannot, literally, afford to waste anyone’s talents.

In fact he might even have to be conscious of the idea encapsulated in the American joke – “How do you silence a republican? Ask him to list three measures the Republican Party has introduced to benefit the working class in the last thirty years.”

The Conservatives have been similarly incompetent – even when you think as I do, there is no longer a ‘working class’.

That is why I reckon he’s on to a good thing with the idea of ‘not wasting talents’. The individuality of neoliberal Conservatism has meant that, in fact, many talents are wasted because significant numbers of people are far too impoverished to flower.

How on earth does this investment failure advantage the country? Especially on its own and without EU partners as it now is?

We are unlikely to prosper unless we encourage and with all the power that is available to us as a collective – aka the state – absolutely everyone to reach their fullest potential.

Conservatism believes in individual power, the Labour Party believes in collective power. Which is by definition greater.

The ‘recovery bond’ narrative has to some extent I think, kicked for the moment, the ‘Modern Monetary Theory’ ideas into touch – because by capturing the majority of our savings that is actually how Labour will ‘pay for it’. It doesn’t need to of course, but it is actually a sensible idea.

It gets rid of the ‘debt we are leaving to our grandchildren’ Tory narrative, because in any case we have now seen that what austerity does in fact, leave to our grandchildren is not the unreal ‘debt’ of government created money, but actually everything from potholes in the road to a shortage of doctors, teachers, libraries and decent affordable housing, all things that ARE decidedly real…

The children who, through no fault of their own, grow up undernourished and in poverty are literally storing up trouble for future generations that will in turn, take decades to put right. Apart from being disastrous for those affected that is also a major debt for our grandchildren.

I’d go so far as to suggest that I think a slogan along the lines of ‘Creating saving to ensure everyone’s talents don’t go to waste’ could even be an election winner.

It takes, remarkably for Progressive Pulse and perhaps politics itself, the focus off debt…

That’s not something I though I’d ever write…


  1. Jim Osborne -

    if you don’t think there is a working class any longer perhaps you should watch Darren McGarvey’s series on BBC Scotland – “Class Wars” – not broadcast in your neck of the woods but should be available on the iPlayer.
    Meanwhile, why don’t you think the “working class” exists any longer?
    Do you think any classes exist? If so what happened to the working class?

    1. Peter May -

      Is that where someone gets trained in etiquette by some Lord’s butler?
      That’s the soap opera theory of class. And I cannot get very wound up about it any more than I can,say, football. People’s lives are different but I don’t think there is a working class in the sense that we all work now, so in that case we are all working class.
      That there is gross inequality through inheritance and earnings is certainly true – but I think trying to define working class as a particular section of workers is difficult if not impossible and doesn’t get us very far…

  2. Jim Osborne -

    Your comment suggests you haven’t watched the documentary – McGarvey takes a multi dimensional slant on class identity rather than a one-dimensional view of “its what you do for a living”.

    1. Peter May -

      I haven’t but I seem to recall I saw a trailer and it didn’t excite me…Class identity gets too close to identity politics for me.

  3. Jim Osborne -

    don’t judge it from the trailer – it isn’t representative of the whole thing. Its a mistake to prejudge before proper evaluation.

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