‘Labour is not fit nor ready to govern our country’ - Sir Robert Buckland

Sir Keir Starmer in campaign pictures (left) and Sir Robert Buckland (right)

Sir Robert Buckland (right) has claimed Sir Keir Starmer (left) has jettisoned all the policies he previously believed in

Robert Buckland

By Robert Buckland

Published: 08/06/2024

- 10:34

Sir Robert Buckland was most recently the Conservative MP for South Swindon

At this election, it is tempting to take a lesson from the “I’ve seen this all before” playbook.

The cycle goes something like this: a discredited Labour Government is turfed out of office with a higher rate of unemployment than when it came in, leaving a stack of unsolved problems.

The country turns in relief to a Conservative Government which is prepared to make hard and often unpopular choices to restore balance to our system.

After fourteen years or so, the Conservatives run out of steam, allowing room for a Labour Party that offers change and something called hope.

In 2024, however, things are different.

The last few years have been no ordinary time in politics and world affairs and will continue to be so. The playbook that means that the main parties take it in turns to govern doesn’t work.

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer in pictures

Unlike Labour, the Conservative Government has a plan for inflation and growth, fully taking into account the huge financial cost of the Covid crisis to our budgets, Sir Robert Buckland says


Brexit and Covid were seismic events that changed the political and social fabric of Britain in ways we are only just beginning to understand.

The world is now more insecure than it has been since the end of the Cold War.

In order to be a credible Government, the Labour opposition has to show that it understands this and is prepared to lead a vastly different country from the one it last governed in 2010.

Worryingly, Labour shows no sign that it has learned anything.

Whilst it may have removed Jeremy Corbyn from its ranks and has made other well-publicised moves away from Marxist extremism, these internal party manoeuvres are no substitute for a deep and serious change.

It has been only a few years in this very same Parliament since Sir Keir Starmer expressed loyalty to both Corbyn and his ideology.

It took Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Tony Blair about a decade to truly reform Labour. In short, Starmer’s Labour is neither fit nor ready to govern our country.

Instead of clear and straightforward policies, all we get from Starmer and company are platitudes.

Yes, we all know that the economy needs stability. We are getting just that from the Conservative Government that has a plan for inflation and growth, fully taking into account the huge financial cost of the Covid crisis to our budgets.

What we deserve to know from Labour is the detail, and about that there is silence.

Sir Keir, it is said, is intent on carrying his priceless Ming Vase across the floor to the finishing line without dropping it.

The trouble is, he isn’t carrying a Ming Vase.

It’s more like a worthless plastic toy dinosaur from a cereal packet that he has in his hands. Abstract nouns like “stability” tell us nothing about their tax and spend approach.

Where Labour has mentioned policy, it reveals a party that is far more left-wing than Blair’s. We can start with the threat of more red tape and fewer jobs as a result of Labour’s Trade Union-friendly employment ideas.

Then there is their pledge on net zero, with unravelling spending plans that offer little and threaten the prospect of many of us being forced into costly choices in the next few years.


Nowhere is this threadbare approach more apparent than on migration.

Their earnest talk about more border forces and better policing masks the fact that these measures are being taken already, and are overshadowed by their extreme position on the Rwanda scheme, which is to scrap it even though it works.

The principle of working with third countries to help deal with the challenge of migration is not illegal, as our courts have said, and other European nations are developing similar policies.

Labour will take us back to square one when it comes to small boats and migration.

In a dangerous world, can we really trust a Labour Party whose instincts on defence have been the wrong ones for quite a few years, and where even sensible Conservative policies on a new national service scheme are opposed by them?

In his pursuit of office, Sir Keir has jettisoned all the policies he previously believed in.

Labour is so desperate for power that they will do and say anything, or nothing, to achieve it.

In order to govern our country, Labour has to earn our trust, and they are a very long way from doing that.

If the traditional playbook plays out, our country will pay a huge price.

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