Labour is the party of workers. Labour is the party of unions. It is all in the name. Labour is the party of strikes. Except they’re not. But maybe they are.
You would be forgiven for getting lost in some of the mismanaged logic happening at Labour HQ this week as they try and reckon with their own position on the train strikes. The Labour frontbench was banned from attending any picket lines today in an effort to stave off the Tories’ attempt to paint the industrial action as “Labour’s strikes”.
Numerous frontbenchers have refused to either condemn or support the strikes, while Keir Starmer desperately tries to keep control on a party adrift. Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, threw a spanner in Starmer’s plans by tweeting out a carefully constructed message of support for the striking workers.
Crucially, Labour has failed to turn this into a wider conversation about the shape of our economy and labour market. There are those within the party dismayed at Starmer’s inability to steer clear of the trap laid out for them by the Tories.