A big part of political combat is over what the fight is actually about. Traditionally, the Conservative Party has preferred to fight elections on the issues like defence, the economy and crime, while Labour has preferred to fight elections on issues like health or education.
The success of Boris Johnson in 2019 was partly down to turning a traditional Labour issue – health – into a Conservative area of strength, in part by linking the need to move past the Brexit deadlock with the ability to spend more money on healthcare. The success of Tony Blair in 1997 was in doing the same to crime and Jeremy Corbyn was able to pull a similar trick off in 2017 in order to deprive Theresa May of her majority.
That’s part of why both Keir Starmer and Ed Davey, the new Liberal Democrat leader, this week have both sounded the same note on Brexit: that it is, if not for life, at least going to last well past Christmas. Starmer has said that the issue of whether the United Kingdom is in or outside the EU has been settled for the foreseeable, as has Davey. Neither plans to campaign to rejoin anytime soon.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.