Keir Starmer’s victory in the Labour leadership contest and the appointments he has made to his shadow Cabinet suggest the UK now, once again, has a viable opposition.
Jeremy Corbyn simply raised too many doubts in the minds of too many potential supporters – his mixed messages over Brexit, the burning issue every politician needs to take a clear view on, concerns over toleration of anti-semitism, and spending pledges that flowed too freely.
In contrast to his predecessor, Starmer impressed during the Brexit debates and he has now assembled what appears to be a capable and more moderate team, sensibly including leadership rivals Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey, and other seasoned politicians like former leader Ed Miliband and Edinburgh MP Ian Murray.
For democracy to function effectively, any government needs an effective opposition to keep them on their toes, to make them fear judgement at the ballot box. It’s still early days, but it seems that the UK now has one.
Whether this will have an impact on Labour’s poor showings in Scotland is another question.
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