A shift to the right & a litany of broken promises
When Keir Starmer ran for the Labour leadership in 2020, he promised that “another future is possible”.
His 10 pledges centred around progressive policies on taxation, protecting free movement and scrapping tuition fees – which have already been scrapped by the SNP in Scotland over a decade ago.
But now, it’s clearer than ever that instead of offering a real alternative to the Tories, Keir Starmer’s Labour has become increasingly indistinguishable from the Tories.
Starmer has turned most of his own promises into dust, adopting the strategy of fully embracing Brexit, aping Tory policies, and throwing Scotland’s voters under the bus.
Let’s take a look at just some examples of Labour’s shift to the right, and a litany of broken promises along the way.
Labour won’t scrap tuition fees – the SNP already did
While running for leader in 2020, Starmer made abolishing university tuition fees one of his key pledges. Now, he has abandoned it.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: “We are likely to move on from that commitment”.
Tuition fees were first introduced under Tony Blair’s New Labour government, before being tripled by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition.
In Scotland, the SNP has abolished tuition fees and we will always protect free education as long as we’re in government.
Labour won’t increase tax for the very wealthiest in society – the SNP already did
Another of Starmer’s infamous 10 pledges during the Labour leadership contest was to increase income tax for the top 5% of earners. In fact, it was the first sentence of his first pledge – but he’s now abandoned it too.
While the UK already has the most unequal society in north west Europe, with inequality and poverty rising after 13 years of Tory austerity, Starmer isn’t willing to ask the very richest to pay a bit more in tax. Labour also refused to increase the capital gains tax.
In Scotland, the SNP government has introduced a fairer, more progressive tax system – where those on the highest incomes pay a bit more to deliver extra funding for our public services.
Our investment in the NHS and education are at a record high, while people across Scotland benefit from free tuition, free prescriptions, free eye tests and so much more.
Labour won’t nationalise water and the railways – the SNP already did
When he ran for leader, Keir Starmer pledged to bring mail, rail, water and energy into public ownership – but like many other promises, he has turned back on it too.
In England, water companies are kept in private hands – and while profit margins (which Labour refuses to properly tax) are massively increasing for shareholders, the quality of service is often poor, with frequent discharges of sewage into rivers and seas.
In Scotland, the SNP kept Scottish Water in public hands, and we’re delivering a better service and better value – investing on average around 35% more per households than English water companies.
And while Labour is now refusing to bring the railways into public ownership, the SNP have nationalised ScotRail and we’ve reconnected 15 communities to the rail network.
Labour won’t accept the economic reality on Brexit – the SNP will always stand up for Scotland
Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has turned into a fully-fledged Brexit party, having voted for Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit deal – imposing it on Scotland against the wishes of Scotland’s people and our Parliament.
The OBR says that the long-term impact of Brexit is twice as bad as the impact of Covid, costing billions in lost growth and making us all poorer.
Brexit alone has pushed up average food bills by over £200, but despite the clear economic impact on the poorest and most vulnerable in society, Labour stands shoulder to shoulder with the Tories in their denial of reality.
As Starmer refused rejoining even the customs union or the single market, it’s clear that Scottish independence is the only way for Scotland to get back into the EU.
Labour won’t repeal the Tories’ cruel Illegal Migration Bill – the SNP will always stand for a fairer system
The Illegal Migration Bill, introduced by Suella Braverman and the Tories, tramples over human rights legislation, rolls back on decades of protections for desperate asylum seekers fleeing persecution and war, and destroys protections for victims of human trafficking.
In the 2020 leadership election, Starmer promised “an immigration system based on compassion and dignity” and to “defend free movement as we leave the EU”.
He has since firmly turned his back on free movement, adopted the right-wing Tory narrative on immigration, and confirmed that Labour would not repeal the Tories’ Illegal Migration Bill if they win the next election.
The SNP is the only major party that consistently advocates for a fairer, more welcoming immigration system. With the full powers of independence, we can create our own asylum system that offers refugees protection, security and dignity and serves Scotland’s interests.
Labour won’t undo the authoritarian Tory anti-protest laws – the SNP is clear they must end
A senior Labour frontbencher at Westminster, Lisa Nandy, said that Labour won’t get rid of the Tories’ anti-protest laws which crack down on demonstrations and noisy protests.
Another Labour frontbencher, David Lammy, doubled down and said Labour would not repeal the legislation because “it takes too much time”.
While Rishi Sunak’s government clamps down on our fundamental rights to protest, to strike, and impose unnecessary barriers to voting through Voter ID laws, Keir Starmer is failing to oppose them – confirming that Labour is just a pale imitation of the Tories.
The SNP is clearly calling for these laws to be repealed, and voting SNP is the best way to beat the Tories in Scotland, defend our democratic rights, and secure our right to choose our future.
As Labour drifts rightward, a vote for the SNP is a vote for a progressive future
Following the English local election results, analysis suggests the SNP could hold the balance of power at the next Westminster election, with a hung parliament looking likely.
Voting SNP is the best way to lock the Tories out of Scotland, and it would pull the Labour Party to the left to demand real change.
Keir Starmer’s string of broken promises and his consistent drift to the right shows he can’t be trusted. As Labour confirm their status as a pale imitation of the Tories, voting SNP offers a real alternative.