Patch ,

If anyone is wondering, these aren't (really) new pledges, they're just a voter-friendly glossy repackaging of material that they've already published in greater detail elsewhere. So for anyone saying "this is all so vague, what does it all mean?", you can dive into the full detail at the links below.

The website for all their policies is here:

The high-level mini-manifesto is here:

There are specific policy packs on each of their areas too.

The economy:


NHS and related:


Education and related:

I think everything in these new "pledges" was already in the policy documents above with the possible exception of the "Border Security Command" thing, which is compatible with what they already announced but with a different name and a slightly different spin. That was announced properly last week, and the press release for it with a bit more detail is here:

cupcakezealot , avatar

he went with six instead of ten this time because six is easier to abandon than ten

YungOnions , avatar

Disappointed that climate change isn't more front and centre here, although at least their commitment around energy security includes renewables.

frankPodmore , avatar

This is just the first steps. It's in addition to the existing pledges on climate change!

sabreW4K3 , avatar

Starmer changes his pledges more than he changes his underwear. I wouldn't put too much stock in it.

manualoverride ,

That’s just not true… he took over the party when Corbyn became toxic due to failing to deal with antisemitism, and wanting to leave NATO the EU and remove our nuclear deterrent.
He came in on the intention of continuing a lot of socialist policies but then the Tories destroyed the economy, the NHS and our social care system, and put us in the highest debt to GDP we have ever been in.
He has had to get more realistic with his policies and taken great steps to not promise things he cannot deliver for the last 5 years.

Guntrigger ,

I keep wondering how "Corbyn's Antisemitism" would look today, now that more people are aware Anti-Zionism ≠ Anti-Semitism

manualoverride ,

A lot of it was a perception issue, certainly the Israeli government has done a lot of damage to the reputation of Israel.

Corbyn was playing against a stacked deck as the UK media is Tory-aligned, but he failed to change the narrative.

sabreW4K3 , avatar
manualoverride ,

Far be it from me to refute such diligent investigative reporting but this is the paper you say “no you keep it” when handing a homeless person a pound, an online petition, the National paper of the SNP and a reddit thread.

Even if Starmer did fundamentally change his beliefs on every policy listed, the fact that in 5 years since he became leader we are now in record debt, our NHS is all but crushed, our current government is so overtly corrupt there are billions being stolen every year and my local river is literally full of shit… I think any opposition leader can readjust their priorities a little.

sabreW4K3 , avatar

I made a joke about him changing his pledges a lot. You got defensive and denied. I provided evidence. You dismissed the evidence and then justified the thing you said started out by saying he didn't do. This has been a journey!

manualoverride ,

I’m a bit sensitive about this subject as I’m directly impacted by the policies of this morally corrupt government, to the point where a less sane person might begin to take it personally.

People perpetuating the Tory lie that “Starmer can’t be trusted because of XYZ” just increases the likelihood that people won’t vote or will use their vote ineffectively and allow the Tories back in.

No hard feelings as long as you remember to vote tactically.

ID411 ,

he came in on the intention of continuing a lot of socialist policies

You have to be very poorly informed to believe that, even for a minute.

manualoverride ,

At the moment we have two choices, the Tories or Labour. I know the Tories are corrupt criminals, given the choice I’m going for the ‘might not be a corrupt criminal’ guy.

Maybe he did think to himself “I’m going to tell all these lies and once I’m party leader I’m going to roll back on the promises because fuck everyone who voted for me”

Or maybe he had all these plans and then as the situation changed he had to make some compromises.

ID411 ,

Hey, if he has won your vote because he’s not a Tory, and you have made peace with the fact nothing is going to change, there’s nothing I can tell you .

If you think he hasn’t been fucking people over, thousands of Labour members plus elected MPs, since before he won control of the Labour Party, go and place your X in the box.

However , if you want to stand up your arguments in a politics forum, I would urge you to pay more attention to the man you are inviting us to support.

frankPodmore , avatar

I don't know how you can look at the five pledges, particularly on house building, the Green New Deal and the New Deal for Workers and say, 'Nothing is going to change' if Labour are elected.

ID411 ,

Because I remember the 10 pledges, which are now all but binned ?

frankPodmore , avatar

That doesn't follow. The 10 pledges, many of which in fact still stand, despite what the Tories would have you believe, were not the only possible way of changing things.

ID411 , (edited )

Which ones stand ?

Which of these assertions are wrong ?

frankPodmore , avatar

Best to look at primary sources. Here are the 10 pledges.

Now, there's not a conveniently straight forward answer to all of this, so bear with me. But for my money, in terms of the headline of each pledge, all of them still stand. If things were simple, I'd be 10 for 10. Unfortunately for my argument, things are not so simple.

Starting at the top, with pledge 1: Economic Justice. Starmer is still pledged to economic justice, it's the raison d'etre of the Labour Party, but the devil is in the detail:

Increase income tax for the top 5% of earners, reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax and clamp down on tax avoidance, particularly of large corporations.

The only one of those three policies that still stands is the tax avoidance clampdown. However, things are, again, not so simple. The income tax pledge has been dropped, but the money that was going to raise has been replaced with a different tax on the rich (VAT on private schools and, till the Tories nicked it, abolition of non-dom status). So, is that a 'broken pledge'? Or has he found a better way to achieve the same goal? Should he really be held to a policy if he thinks it won't work and he can do it better in a different way?

I'm not going to go through all the pledges like this. But, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 all still stand, I would argue in pretty much every detail. That's 5 out of 10. For the others, #2 and #5 has been scaled back, but replaced with I would argue similar policies that achieve similar goals. #4 and #6 are very different in all but the headline. I think the changes are justifiable, but it's perfectly understandable if you don't.

Now, my questions to you is: Should Starmer stick to promising to deliver all ten things in every detail, even if: he sincerely changes his mind (which people do); the circumstances genuinely change (which they have); or he sincerely thinks some of those things, good ideas or not, will lose him the election? Should he keep promising ten things at the risk of delivering none of them? Or, should he stick to five of them, and modify the other five, in order to deliver some of them?

For me, not getting elected would actually, definitively break all ten pledges, because it would mean he'd categorically failed at his job.

ID411 ,

I think you are being incredibly generous in your interpretation. You’ve made no mention of statements he made on nationalisation,

In particular, equating Vat on private schools to a 5% tax increase in income tax is, I think, fanciful. Not least because you might be surprised that not every private school is Eton, educated the aristocracy. Indeed as has been well argued - they are a tool of social mobility for many.

You’ve not mentioned universal credit, tuition fees , outsourcing in the NHS, the list goes on.The article I’ve linked is fully sourced.

So here’s what happened. Post Corbyn, he’s surfed on the back of his popularity, He Pledged and talked up strong social policy as was the mood of the Party at the time.

On winning the leadership contest, he swiftly purged the left of the party that had done so well in the elections. Corbyn and Abbot remain unable to stand as Labour MPs.

Then He made a beeline to big business, and assured them their profits were safe : labour (small L) will remain cheap and there will no increase in tax burden.

frankPodmore , (edited ) avatar

I did mention all of those things indirectly, because they were all in the pledges, and I mentioned all of the pledges. Those changes were all contained within the changes I acknowledged. Your argument was that the 10 pledges had been all but scrapped. I've shown that 5/10 still stand exactly as they were. Of the five remaining, three of them at least partly stand. So, at least half, at most 8/10, still hold up. In either case, they haven't been all but scrapped, which is what I was asked to show.

manualoverride ,

So I am paying more attention than 99.9% of the electorate, and I’m still not sure where this hostility is coming from. I watch/read at least 4 hours of political content a day, I’m not sure I could do much more without it being a full time job.

What is the single most egregious act he has performed against you and your beliefs as a Labour member?

ID411 ,

I’ve never been a member of the Labour Party and I’m unlikely to ever become one.

What do you say to 20 odd pledges he made, that are now all but abandoned?

What is attractive about voting for a man who would some comprehensively abandon his politics, within 3 years or less or announcing them ?

Even if he has moved towards you politically, you must question his character?

What about the Labour Files investigation by Al Jazeera ? Which detail the smearing of elected MPs ?

What about the fact he’s been posing for photos with Elphicke, the bluest of tories, welcoming here with open arms, while Dianne Abbott - an elected MP of 30 years - is still suspended pending investigation?

manualoverride ,

In your last message you appeared to be annoyed because you were a Labour member who has been “fucked over”, you can just be annoyed on their behalf, but I’m sure they can speak for themselves.

This is why I asked you for one thing, I can have a rational discussion with you and offer counterpoints but not when you try and present 30 things at once… so again what is the one thing you believe is the most egregious example of betrayal/lying/or a broken promise that affects you personally.

Also who do you see yourself voting for?

HumanPenguin , avatar

That’s just not true…

Followed with a list of excuses pointing out. It is actually true.

I think you need to understand the meaning of true. Having reasons for why he did do something. Dose not mean the person saying he did something is living.

At the end of it. The man won leadership of the party members. By making overt pledges. Then cancelled all those pledges. If you can't understand why a high % of party members feel there vote was stolen by him. You are not trying.

Honest Democracy involves convincing voters to follow you. Not lieing to gain there vote.

If you can't convince the majority of a party to follow you. Run to lead a party where the majority agree with you.

manualoverride ,

More accurately it was “Starmer changes his pledges more than he changes his underwear” followed by:

“That’s just not true”

Followed by a lot of discussion pointing out that while he may have scaled back some aspects of his pledges, he has also gone to great lengths not to promise very much at all over the last 5 years because the Tories keep making it financially impossible to promise anything.

frankPodmore , avatar

Or just stealing Labour's ideas when they do promise things!

manualoverride ,

Or stealing enough to say, “we already did that!”whilst not changing anything for their donors, and giving them an excuse to cut taxes because of imaginary future savings.

Imaging a government that works as hard for the 99% and the planet, as the Tories work for the 1%

frankPodmore , (edited ) avatar

He didn't cancel all the pledges. This is Tory misinformation that some people have swallowed. Here are the pledges. In fact, looking at the headline of each pledge, he's still promising the same broad directions for all ten of them.

Some policy details have changed (justifiably, I think). But not completely. For example, under pledge 1, they've found other taxes to raise instead of income tax: different policies, same overall goal. Is that a broken pledge? Maybe, but it seems a bit much to say he has not only to to tax the rich but do it in the exact way he promised five years ago lest he be accused of lying.

Others, like pledge 3, on climate justice, are still entirely in place, as are 7, 8 and 10.

Some have changed a lot. I don't think the foreign policy or immigation stuff really resembles his current policy positions. But I also don't think he should let himself be dragged down by unpopular positions once their unpopularity is clear.

I don't personally think that shifting specific policies, but keeping the clear overall direction, is such a big deal. Your mileage may vary, obviously, but we should at least talk about what has actually happened, not repeat Tory propaganda at each other!

frankPodmore , avatar

The situation has changed, so he's changed his policies to match. Most people recognise that, which is why he's gone from 20 points behind in the polls to 20 points ahead.

HumanPenguin , avatar

which is why he’s gone from 20 points behind in the polls to 20 points ahead.

Not entirly correct.

He made that gain entirly because of tory actions. Starmer has not won support. The tories have thrown it away. Nothing starter has done has had huge influence on voters.

He is at best seen as a less currupt continuation of the same politics.

Tortoise and hare. Tortoise did not win through his effort. Hare lost via his overconfidence.

Starmer is just a Tortoise who was lucky enough to be challenging a stupid hare.

frankPodmore , (edited ) avatar

You're partly right, of course. Everything is always down to multiple factors.

However, Starmer clearly deserves some credit for Labour's success (and, I think, some credit for the Tories' failures). It's perfectly possible for the Tory vote share to fall and for Labour's to fall, too, which we saw happen under Corbyn, or for the Tories to have an unpopular leader and to still win because the Labour leader makes themselves even more unpopular (as we also saw under Corbyn and Miliband). Those things aren't happening now, so Starmer must be doing something right.

julietOscarEcho ,

Why reference a fable at all if you're going to totally ignore it's message?

The tories have been the same arrogant, entitled breed the whole time. Labour have still lost to them repeatedly so it seems weird to chalk it up to luck this time.

autotldr Bot ,

This is the best summary I could come up with:

Keir Starmer will on Thursday unveil his version of New Labour’s pledge card for the next general election with six key commitments “put up in lights” as part of his party’s offer to swing voters.

The campaign material, which will be distributed to voters on doorsteps across England, will be revealed at an event in Essex as the Labour leader launches the party’s biggest advertising blitz since the 2019 election.

His commitments, which include stabilising the economy, cutting NHS waiting times, setting up Great British Energy, cracking down on antisocial behaviour and recruiting 6,5000 new teachers, are the latest step in his five “national missions”.

However, they denied it meant that other policy issues, such as housing and workers’ rights, had been “de-prioritised”, citing the example of the national minimum wage, one of New Labour’s biggest achievements, which had not been on Tony Blair’s pledge card in 1997.

The campaign event, which will be attended by the whole shadow cabinet off the back of a successful set of local results, represents the party’s biggest spend on advertising since the race against Boris Johnson in 2019.

Amid frenzied speculation about a surprise guest at the event, senior party figures have ruled out there being another defection from the Conservatives today, after rightwinger Natalie Elphicke’s shock move to Labour last week.

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