Keir Starmer thought that his response to the Royal crisis was his People’s Princess moment, but instead he showed why he’s floundering in all the polls

Keir Starmer thought that his response to the Royal crisis was his People’s Princess moment, but instead he showed why he’s floundering in all the polls. By Dan Hodges.

Sir Keir Starmer …managed to stop short of anointing her the People’s Princess. But the message was clear. [He] was signing up to Team Markle.

‘They thought Keir was speaking for the public mood,’ an exasperated Shadow Minister tells me. ‘No wonder they’re so reliant on focus groups to tell them what Red Wall voters are thinking, because there’s clearly no one in there with any decent instinct for what people actually think. They really believed this was their Diana moment.’ They didn’t believe it for long.

Within a few hours, Boris Johnson had emerged to place himself and his Government firmly on the side of Team Windsor. …

The next day the British people delivered their own verdict — in a poll, 36 per cent of them backed the Royals, 28 per cent were wholly unmoved by the Sussexes’ plight, and only 22 per cent were buying Meghan’s Truth.

At which point Starmer began to rapidly backtrack.

Last week’s blunder revealed its own truths about why Labour is now floundering behind the Tories in the polls. …

When he should have been focusing on how the Meghan psychodrama would be playing out in the country, he was spending too much time worrying about how it would play within his party. … Many high-profile members of his parliamentary party had already rallied to Meghan’s insurgent coat of arms. In 2019, a letter of ‘solidarity’ to her was signed by a large number of – mainly Labour – female MPs. … Starmer calculated turning his back on Meghan would mean turning his back on half his frontbench team. …

The left cannot simultaneously be both morally superior to us deplorables by virtue of their beliefs, and be genuinely popular (i.e. agree with us).

Last month it emerged Labour was preparing to wrap itself in the flag. An internal policy document revealed the party would be making use of the Union Jack, co-opting supportive military veterans, and ensuring all its MPs were ‘dressed smartly’.

But when details of the strategy emerged, there was a backlash. ‘Are you really so blind to what happens when you start pandering to the language and concerns of the Right?’ one aghast party official told the Guardian.

A ‘redacted’ copy of the report was hastily prepared for wider distribution, because of its supposed ‘sensitivity’. Which underlines Labour’s perennial problem.

When the mere idea of becoming a party that takes pride in its national symbols and learns how to tie a decent Windsor knot sends its own staff and MPs into paroxysms of rage, what hope is there of it marching confidently back to reclaim its Northern heartlands?

In the eyes of their gleeful opponents, none. ‘This Meghan stuff just shows his weakness,’ a Minister observed.

‘He’s always being forced to pick the wrong side. He’s too weak to stand up and be the patriotic leader he knows he has to be.’ But does he really know?

Politics based on hating the majority will always have difficultly in a fair election. Ah, they see the solution. Unfair elections. The US leads the way, as usual.

Labour still can’t help themselves. …

Sir Keir Starmer can commission as many redacted reports as he likes. If he was genuinely unable to predict how the self-regarding entreaties of a ‘Hollywood A-lister’ would play in the terraces of Bolsover and Bridgend, then his party is as far from power as ever.

Labour’s leader may want to anoint Meghan Markle as the new People’s Princess. But then he shouldn’t be surprised when the voters of Britain refuse to elect him the People’s Prime Minister.

Having one’s cake and eating it too. Oh grow up.

hat-tip Joanne