'Where is Keir Starmer's conscience?'

Opinion, comment and editorials of the day

Keir Starmer delivers a speech at Chatham House think tank, 31 October 2023
Keir Starmer has refused to back a ceasefire in Gaza
(Image credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Brave Labour MPs have voted with their conscience. Where is Keir Starmer’s?

Owen Jones in The Guardian

 Last night's vote in Parliament calling for a ceasefire in Gaza "was a crucial moment in Labour's history", says Owen Jones in The Guardian. For the 56 Labour MPs who defied the whip, "the moral obscenity was too great, as was the potential political cost". For Keir Starmer, this "moment of moral outrage" will "not be forgotten". He will surely win the next election, but "this saga ensures there will be little enthusiasm for his premiership", signalling "much trouble to come".

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Human rights treaties have had their day

Juliet Samuel in The Times

 With Rishi Sunak's Rwanda scheme "dead in the water", writes Juliet Samuel for The Times, the UK should "lead an effort to renegotiate the treaties that make it impossible, in an era of much higher migration, to control our borders". Regardless of "blood-curdling rhetoric, righteous feeling or kamikaze legislative tactics, you cannot govern if you do not actually wield any control over our institutions". Surely Conservatives, "of all people, ought to understand that".

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With all eyes on the Middle East, does the west have a viable strategy for Ukraine?

Ivan Krastev in the Financial Times

Faced with the "grim reality" of a stalled counteroffensive, and in the aftermath of Hamas's attack on Israel and the latter's response, "many observers are asking whether the west still has a viable strategy for dealing with the Russian war in Europe", says Ivan Krastev in the Financial Times. Public opinion surveys show "more people interested in when the war will end than in how it will end", as "both hawks and doves on Ukraine have started to appear dangerously divorced from reality".

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Nigel Farage is a gameshow king

Mary Harrington on UnHerd

"In all the hue and cry over Tory civil war, the scotching of the populist experiment, and – some say – betrayal of a once-vaunted political realignment, the week's other political bombshell was buried," writes Mary Harrington for UnHerd. But the "latest round of Westminster court drama" and Nigel Farage's appearance on "I'm A Celebrity" tell the "same story" – that "far from being a failure, the much-hailed post-Brexit realignment has been a roaring success. It's just not the realignment we wanted."

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