Sir Keir Starmer, has been waxing lyrical about the post-COVID UK. Sir Keir welcomed the fast-rolling out of the vaccines across the UK and said, there was indeed, the light at the end of the tunnel.
Sir Keir made reference to the UK at the end of the 2nd World War, when the welfare state and the NHS were formed by the then Labour government led by Clement Atlee. Labour had won the 1945 general election because the people wanted something different. Although Churchill, a Conservative, had been popular during the war because of his stirring messages, the Tories were not offering what Labour was promising. Labour had been in a coalition government during the war, but when that war ended, that coalition also, ended.
And so, it came to pass, that Labour brought in the NHS, a free health service to everyone, (before that, it had been an insurance system). Also, the welfare state came in, to support those who were without work.
Sir Keir said Boris has talked about "building back", but if that means going back to the same old society, Sir Keir said, that was not for him. Sir Keir said that the pandemic had highlighted the vast inequalities in society, between the 'haves' and 'have nots'. We just cannot go back to the way, things were and the UK must step back, and do some "soul searching". The UK, in that moment of soul-searching, must decide what kind of nation, it wants to be.
Sir Keir went on that, the UK must seize the moment to change or stay in the same old rut. Sir Keir said, to look to the future and build a nation, fit for the 21st Century.
The Opposition Leader said, if he were in power now or in the future he would keep the £20 on top of the usual monthly rate of pay for 'Universal Credit'. Sir Keir said the Labour party would build a new partnership between itself and business (much as Blair did in the time, he was Prime Minister). Sir Keir would end the pay freeze on key workers and extend business rates relief for businesses. Help with VAT for the hospitality and leisure industry. Sir Keir also announced he would create a 'British Recovery Bond' to invest in deprived communities.
Of course, the Conservatives were quick to react, saying Labour had no new ideas.
Sir Keir has slipped in the polls recently, as the vaccines have rolled out, across the country. Inoculating thousands of people and the UK is up there, with Israel and UAE, in this regard.
Ultimately, the knock-on effect of the successful roll-out of the vaccines has given Boris in the polls, a bounce. Sir Keir, somehow, must claw this back and maybe he will if he is cautious. However, it is good that Sir Keir is being sensible and recognising the successful roll-out of the vaccines from a government that is usually caught on the hop.