HENRY DEEDES watches the launch of Labour's local elections campaign

It was as if an aide had to keep pumping coins into Keir Starmer just to keep him going: HENRY DEEDES watches the launch of Labour’s local elections campaign

Treble espressos all round, Giovanni! And while you’re at it, best poke a couple of matchsticks under our eyelids lest we find ourselves toppling into a deep and rigid coma.

Sir Keir Starmer launched Labour’s local elections campaign yesterday morning and, ye gods, it was a force-five, chateau-bottled boreathon. To think I could been watching that lovely Holly Willoughby on ITV giggling like a St Trinian’s girl over one of naughty Phil’s outrageous double entendres. Who am I kidding? The Weather Channel would have been more fun.

Election launches call for a bit of the old razzmatazz. Instead, Labour’s leader was flatter than an old threepenny piece. Where was the fervour, where the fire?

The experience reminded me of sitting through one of those conferences you find taking place in suburban Holiday Inns where Apprentice contestant-types hone their management skills.

Almost made you long for the mad, bad old days of Jeremy Corbyn. Say what you like about Jezza and his junta-loving goombahs, his election rallies could peel paint off a space shuttle.

Sir Keir Starmer launched Labour’s local elections campaign yesterday morning and, ye gods, it was a force-five, chateau-bottled boreathon

To think I could been watching that lovely Holly Willoughby on ITV giggling like a St Trinian’s girl over one of naughty Phil’s outrageous double entendres. Who am I kidding? The Weather Channel would have been more fun

Yesterday’s was a virtual event, naturellement, and our host for the day was Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner. She appeared in front of a stripy background, which might well have been pilfered from Zippy and Bungle’s set on Rainbow. Incidentally, no sign of Angela’s fancy £250 Apple Airpods she claimed off expenses for events such as these. Lost already?

First up, we were treated to some syrupy clips from various candidates. These were accompanied by soaring aerial shots of Britain that may well have cost a few bob. London Mayor Sadiq Khan chipped in with a 30-second cameo.

There were some supportive messages too from right-on bore Ben Elton as well as ex-Coronation Street actress (and lads’ mag fave) Catherine Tyldesley. Will the Conservatives be reviving those old Tory stalwarts Jim Davidson and one time Page 3 popsy Keeley Hazell for their launch? That’d be a larf. Eventually we got to Sir Keir’s speech. ‘The headline act!’ as Rayner described it. ‘I know you’ve all been excited.’ Oh Ange, we’d been counting the sleeps.

Sir Keir’s set was a plain red and white background. Organisers must have blown the budget on all those fancy drone shots. He claimed the Government were ‘out of touch and out of ideas.’ 

What were his ideas? We didn’t hear many outside increasing pay for NHS workers. Pretty much his entire monologue was devoted to it. Hardly an issue for local politics but, hey ho, there was a pandemic to exploit. Starmer offered up that time-honoured electoral choice: change or more of the same? He slammed the Government for raising taxes. Funny. 

He seemed perfectly happy standing on Corbyn’s 2019 manifesto to tax us all back to the dark ages. There was a pledge to get tough on the ‘causes of crime’. Zoik! A direct lift from the Tony Blair playbook.

Each statement was interceded by jolty, robotic movements. A raised arm here, a pre-choreographed lean on the lectern there. The voice was so staccato it occasionally seemed to get stuck. It was though an aide has to keep pumping him with coins to keep going. After finishing, he handed back to Rayner, who was in full gush mode. ‘That’s a tough act to follow,’ she remarked breathlessly. Come off it, Ange. He’s hardly Donny Osmond.

Election launches call for a bit of the old razzmatazz. Instead, Labour’s leader was flatter than an old threepenny piece. Where was the fervour, where the fire?

It was left to the media to try and unearth some half-interesting nuggets. There were a couple of queries about the royal racism hoo-ha.

Sir Keir made it clear he didn’t wish to be involved. Sooo wasn’t going there. On Monday, he appeared to be siding with Team Meghan, but perhaps had been quietly advised to wind his neck in.

Someone from LBC wrong-footed him momentarily by asking whether he would join NHS workers on the picket line should they end up striking over pay.

Starmer coyly replied he hoped it wouldn’t come to that. Hmm, potential banana skin there. Lady Starmer is in the NHS’s employ.

Finally, we came to Peter from Wolverhampton’s Express And Star. No sign. Sir Keir tried summoning him once more. No, he’d gone.

Oh dear.

Perhaps he’d found something more useful to do with his morning. Like descaling the kettle or lancing the cat’s boils.

I for one wouldn’t have blamed him. 

Source: Read Full Article