Source: Wikimedia Commons

The next general election is around the corner, and people are likely to be thinking about who they might vote for. But how do we decide?

Can we tell the difference between the two main political parties?

Recently Rachel Reeves has announced that yet another of Labour’s pledges has been dropped. Add this to the other dropped pledges, and you may well be thinking that Labour has no credible plan.

10 Labour Pledges

At the last two general elections, Labour ran with 10 vital pledges that set the party apart from the government. Those pledges gained vast support and were behind the massive growth in Labour party membership, at that time.

The pledges covered the following areas:

  • Economic Justice
  • Social Justice
  • Climate Justice
  • Peace and Human rights
  • Common Ownership
  • Migrant rights
  • Workers rights (and trade unions)
  • Devolution of power, wealth, and opportunity
  • Equality
  • Freedom of movement

Keir Starmer set out a list of 10 pledges during his leadership campaign, yet he is U-turning on most of these pledges. Starmer has cited economic circumstances as the reason behind dropping pledges.

Surely the current state of our economy is a reason for not backtracking.

Mass Immigration, High-Interest Rates, and Strikes

Thousands of people are pouring into Britain every year and Starmer seems to have no more of a plan than our inept government.

Nobody is getting to the root of the issue, and yet you can be sure that “Stop the boats” will be the central theme at the next general election.

Starmer’s Labour is similarly not giving concrete solutions to how we tackle the state of our economy. Rising interest rates will have a negative impact on growth – something both Labour and the Conservatives seem to be ignoring when they keep banding about their growth mantra.

Media and government are intent on landing the blame for our economic woes, at the feet of the migrants who are apparently invading our shores.

Yet are they really to blame?

Or is this merely a distraction? One designed to avoid the elephant in the room.


What are the Brexit benefits that they promised? How long are we going to have to wait until we see them?

Yet even without the immigration issue, and the failure of Brexit, there still appears to be a huge atmosphere of dissatisfaction with the way our society is run and has been operating over several years.

The Enough is Enough campaign and the vast public sector strikes, point to the fact that people really have had enough.

Are Labour offering us any hope?

Platitudes and Watering Down of Pledges

One pledge that has been watered down considerably is Labour’s pledge to change the benefits system (for the better); Keir previously promised to scrap the inhuman work capability assessments and private provision of disability assessments (e.g. Atos), scrap punitive sanctions, two-child limit and benefits cap” (Source: Keir Starmer’s X account).

However, in July this year, Keir announced that he would not be reversing the Conservatives’ two-child cap.

It will come as little surprise that Rachel Reeves’s husband works for the DWP-and it isn’t a stretch to make the link between this and Labour’s new approach to any potential policy decisions for this area.

The most recent dropped Labour pledge was only announced by Reeves last week. Labour will now not be implementing a wealth tax, despite previously arguing that it was a fair way to achieve an equitable society.

Keir Starmer has backed out of this pledge by stating:

We are in a different situation now, because obviously I think we’ve got the highest tax burden since World War II

Yet Starmer fails to acknowledge that much of this “tax burden” is on the lower earners- and that his previous commitment would have addressed the balance.

In May 2023 the Evening Standard rightly asked How many of Sir Keir Stamer’s 10 pledges still stand?

This is an excellent question and one that traditional Labour voters will be asking, in the run-up to the next election.

Voters will want to know what Labour stands for and not just what they won’t do. If there is any chance of removing this inept government and ensuring that our economic, social, and climatic woes are addressed, then Labour needs a convincing plan.

If both Labour and the Conservatives are ideologically aligned, then how do we tell the difference between the parties?

Or are we moving towards a one-party state?

Published by Karen Burns

A 50-year-old mother of 3. Graduated from Warwick University in 2021 (with a degree in Social Studies). I have chronic illness, which affects my mobility. However, I love writing and I am a prolific writer of poetry as well.

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