Well, the reviews from the critics are in. Keir Starmer's 11,500 word essay dropped late on Wednesday night and two days on it's clear the treatise has not had quite the impact Labour HQ will have wanted. The manifesto – described by The Spectator's own Sam Leith as a 'cliché-ridden disaster' – has caused little excitement among hacks and politicos in SW1, aside from the usual synthetic frothing from the National and Morning Star about Scotland and socialism apparently being excluded.
And now the most damning verdict has been delivered by the most discerning critics of all: the readers of The Spectator. At 10 a.m. yesterday we published Keir Starmer's essay in full online. Buried two thirds of the way through the dreary disquisition was a secret offer for one lucky reader who braved the full text – the reward of a free bottle of Pol Roger to drown their sorrows. Unfortunately some 11 hours later no one had managed to spot the offer and thus it went unclaimed as of 9:30 p.m. Awkward.
Some interest did – at last– materialise after our editor Fraser Nelson referenced the offer in his Daily Telegraph column. Several dozen applications have now come in, along with various answers to our question about Starmer 'How would you sum up his essay in a sentence?' 'Tedious and vapid,' 'meaningless rubbish' 'turgid' and 'cliché' were some of the pithier replies, while one hardy soul clearly spoke for many when he wrote: 'I'm now ready for a bottle of Pol Roger.'
Mr S did enjoy the reader who summarised it as 'Hard working families who play by the rules and contribute to society should have help to buy a jar of new, green, healthy, diverse, safe, patriotic and unionist jam of their choice from our brilliant private jam sector tomorrow.' But his favourite was the one who wrote simply: 'I only read it get to the champers.'
Steerpike salutes the tenacity of The Spectator's readers and hopes the lucky winner enjoys their bottle of Pol.