The media is giving Keir Starmer an easy ride

1 month ago

In less than two weeks, Keir Starmer will be Britain’s next prime minister. Oddly, for a man about to lead the country, he has faced very little scrutiny in the press during this campaign. Why?

While readers might think that scrutiny is one of the most essential responsibilities in political journalism, it often comes a distant second to sticking the boot into the incumbent head of government. Gordon Brown’s deficiencies were ignored because the demise of Tony Blair was so gripping. David Cameron’s epoch-shaping agenda of austerity was glossed over because Brown threw things and shouted at people. And now — while the Tories are rightly savaged for an abysmal 14 years in power — Keir Starmer is being treated with kid gloves. As evidenced during his Question Time appearance earlier this week, a potential prime minister who may receive the most substantial mandate in modern history isn’t being asked what he will do with it.

It feels stupid spelling it out, but sometimes the most valuable insights possess a childlike simplicity: the British media can only scrutinise one party, and one political leader, at a time. If you are buying stock in Labour you are selling it in the Conservatives — and vice versa.…Read more by Aaron Bastani


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