Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Starmer has got the culture war all wrong

I’ve decided that I would like President Trump to win the next American presidential election, solely because it will disappoint Hugo Rifkind. I realise that such a statement could only possibly come from a shallow, petty-minded individual and that what should concern all of us is the, uh, stewardship of the free world. But there will be plenty of columnists suffused with gravitas and import to argue those odds one way or the other, leaving me to plough my own rancorous and spiteful furrow. Hugo wrote a very Rifkindy piece for the Times about whether it was necessary, or otherwise, to report the US elections in an honest, truthful and unbiased manner, seeing as Donald Trump was ghastly. He spent 950 or so words justifying not doing so and then, in the final ten, sort of changed his mind. This is one of the good things about Trump: he unhinges liberals and reveals them as being very illiberal indeed. Hugo and the rest of them will seethe and throw their toys out of the pram if Trump wins and for someone who, like me, holds within himself a reservoir of nastiness more voluminous than the Hoover dam, that’s reason enough to be delighted.

While people are relaxed about what constitutes this ‘war’, on the specifics they are anything but

These are the people who will be similarly distressed if Labour does not win the next general election, but I think any prospect of gloating is receding quicker than the hairline of a midget with alopecia. Still, I cannot quite join in the confected loathing of Sir Keir Starmer, which is the default position of those who are anti-Labour. Starmer strikes me as being a man who was dealt a very bad hand indeed but played it rather well. It is true that one cannot believe what he says from one day to the next, but he is scarcely the only politician at which such a charge could be levelled.

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