Tomorrow's Business Today
Starmer realises that playing nice is pointless
Until the other day the narrative from the “experts” on Keir Starmer was that he is way too cautious to win an election.
No one knows what to make of him, so he just seems boring. What’s the point of him, they whittered.
That narrative is being re-written on an hourly basis after some fairly extraordinary assault ads on Rishi Sunak.
You’ve seen them. The most shocking asks: Do you think an adult convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison? Rishi Sunak doesn’t.
This is an attack on the government’s record rather than what Sunak believes, of course, but still. Blimey.
The obvious thing to say about all this is that it is gutter politics, which will surely backfire once the Tories get going.
Maybe. But if there is a negative tone in UK politics, we might well ask who is mostly responsible for that. (Clue: It isn’t Keir Starmer.)
I think that when Boris Johnson scolded Starmer in parliament for a supposed failure to prosecute Jimmy Savile – a wild, unfair claim – that was the point at which Starmer and his advisers decided that playing nice is just pointless.
The Tories affect to be civil, while their attack dogs at the Mail, Sun, Telegraph and elsewhere go barking mad.
This has never been a fair fight; why pretend it is?
In the West Wing, Democrat adviser Bruno Gianelli explains why he wants to launch attack ads against the Republicans, to defend what it means to be liberal.
“We all need some therapy, because somebody came along and said, “‘Liberal’ means soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defence, and we’re gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn’t have to go to work if they don’t want to!” And instead of saying, “Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave It To Beaver trip back to the Fifties…”, we cowered in the corner, and said, ‘Please. Don’t. Hurt. Me.’ No more.”
Labour MPs have been playing that “please don’t hurt me” game with The Daily Mail for decades.
For one its pathetic, and two – it doesn’t even work.
So, gloves off, game on. And may the man with the best communications team win.
Press release of the day
A fairly decent attempt from the CBI today on the dismissal of director general Tony Danker.
It hits most of the right buttons and concedes at the start that the allegations against the group are “devastating”.
As is increasingly usual, there are no contact details at the end however.
This is really annoying and doesn’t demonstrate the openness the CBI is now seeking to project.
It can hardly think hacks won’t have questions here.
Stories that will keep rolling
1) What do the US inflation figures signal about likely next interest rate moves?
2) Should we just scrap HS2?
3) How many members will quit the CBI?
4) Which profession is most at risk from AI? Lawyers?