If Keir Starmer is our next PM he’ll hate every minute of it (and so will we)

Starmer shown word cloud of what voters say he ‘stands for’

After 13 years in the wilderness, the Labour leadership should be delighted at the prospect of returning to office. That will almost certainly happen next year, with the next election due by January 2025 at the latest.

Winning an election is never easy but it’s nothing compared to the challenges facing Starmer if he is handed the keys to No. 10.

Sunak is merely his political opponent. Starmer’s real enemies are in his own party.

The Labour left already hate him for dumping predecessor Jeremy Corbyn’s policy platform and purging his supporters.

They’re only going to hate him more when Starmer and his Chancellor Rachel Reeves refuse to turn on the spending spigots once in power.

For many on the left, there are only two things to do with power. One is to tax the rich, the other is to spend, spend, spend.

Voters know this, and Starmer knows that voters know this. So he’s been assuring them that it’s not going to happen.

The truth is, he has no choice.

When Gordon Brown’s Labour Party was booted out in 2010, former chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne, left a note in a desk stating: ”I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.”

The note was a notorious admission of Labour Party profligacy in power.

When Sunak departs, there’ll be no need for a note. We all know there’s no money left. The problem is that now we have a mountain of debt as well.

Starmer is going to confront that at every turn. Even if he wanted to go on a spree, he couldn’t.

As wet lettuce PM Liz Truss discovered, the UK is at the mercy of the bond market which now dictates our every financial move. We owe so much money that we have to keep bond buyers sweet.

In 2010, when PM David Cameron formed a coalition government with the Lib Dems, the UK’s debt was equivalent to 70.8 percent of our economy.

Today, it stands at 98.8 percent. That’s a rise of 40 percent but in practical terms, it’s a lot, a lot worse than that.

Back in 2010, the Bank of England base rate was just 0.5 percent. Now it’s more than 10 times higher, at 5.25 percent.

That means the cost of servicing our debts has rocketed. Ten-year borrowing costs are the highest since 2007 and 30-year borrowing costs are the highest since 1998.

Back in 1998, the UK’s debts were a mere 35.2 percent of GDP. Happy days.

The UK now spends £111billion a year on interest repayments alone, roughly the same as we spend on the state pension.

It’s a horror show and the moment Starmer takes power, it’ll be his responsibility.

The Labour left is desperate for the party to reverse years of Tory austerity and throw money at the NHS, schools, state benefits and green infrastructure.

Many rebelled when Starmer pledged to retain the controversial two-child benefit cap, which limits state support to the first two children. They’ll have a lot more to rebel against when he takes power.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner has even refused to safeguard the state pension triple lock, causing further dismay among party members.

The only way Starmer can spend more is to tax more. Yet so far he’s only suggested three hikes: taxing non-doms, removing tax-breaks for private schools and reversing Jeremy Hunt’s move to scrap the pensions lifetime allowance.

That little lot may raise a billion or two, but it’s nowhere near enough. Starmer will face endless rebellions, which will be a never-ending nightmare if he only has a small majority, as is highly likely.

The rest of us will be in a state of rebellion, too, when he is forced to U-turn and impose new tax hikes to feed his left-wing critics some red meat.

Nobody is going to enjoy Starmer’s stint in power. Least of all him.

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