Back when Keir Starmer bragged about supporting the abolition of the monarchy, he wasn’t a young and crazy punk in a God Save The Queen t-shirt.
He was a 39-year-old senior barrister – ironically a Queen’s Counsel.
“I was appointed Queen’s Counsel, which is odd as I have often suggested the abolition of the monarchy,” Starmer chuckles in a 2005 clip unearthed by a political blog.
Now, as you approach 40, you might think you know what you believe.
But since becoming Labor leader, Starmer has reinvented himself as a born-again patriot, waving the Union Flag like a comfort blanket in speeches and smirking that he just wants to “downsize” the monarchy.
Some – including members of Starmer’s own party – see this as a cynical marketing ploy to reconnect Labor with all the lost working-class voters repelled by Jeremy Corbyn’s sympathy for Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA.
“The Tory party has taken over Ukip and now Labor seems to be adopting the language and symbols of the Tory party,” thundered Labor MP Clive Lewis.
Labor lost the last general election because Corbyn and his roving supporters gave the impression that they despised this country.
Starmer campaigned to get Corbyn elected – twice! — but has since bent over backwards to show his respect and commitment to this country and its traditions.
And when Starmer paid tribute to the Queen after her death, his words seemed to come from the heart.
“Today our country, our people, this House are united in sorrow,” Starmer told Parliament, his voice choked with emotion.
“Queen Elizabeth II was the greatest monarch of this great country.”
If it was acting, it fooled me. A former Labor leader and member of the Privy Council, Jeremy Corbyn was invited to attend the Council of Accession for King Charles III. He didn’t show up.
There’s no way Starmer could be that rude – or that stupid.
For it is now clear that no matter how much the Tories screw up, our people will never vote for a Labor Party that openly despises this country.
Some find Starmer’s patriotism artificial.
To me it seems more genuine than Tony Blair’s slick, shallow remarks about “true patriotism” and “new patriotism.”
And people change their minds.
Liz Truss – who also campaigned for the abolition of the monarchy at a young age – became the strongest supporter of today’s Brexit by campaigning for Remain in 2016.
Perhaps we should view Starmer’s belated love of the institution of monarchy in the same light.
It is always the convert who believes most fanatically.
Starmer has ordered delegates to the Labor Party Conference in Liverpool to sing the national anthem today.
Risky! Will some comrades boo?
Even before the Queen was buried, Labor MP Clive Lewis was describing the monarchy as: “The backbone of a power structure that has its roots in feudalism.”
Even as a nation mourned the loss of the greatest head of state in human history, there was scorn and scorn.
Mr Lewis said the long queues to see the Queen’s coffin filled him with “desperation”.
Many Labor activists probably feel the same way.
To me, Starmer’s patriotism – like Liz Truss’ belief in Brexit – seems genuine.
Maybe I’m a mug. Maybe it’s all marketing.
But Starmer certainly understands something about the British people that all these red-flag-waving socialists will never understand.
Though cowards flinch and comrades sneer, we let the Union Jack fly here.
Some like it squishy
THE most unlikely love story of the 20th century was the marriage between super-nerd Arthur Miller, a bookish, bespectacled playwright, and the greatest sex symbol in human history – Marilyn Monroe.
The unlikely pair is brilliantly recreated in upcoming Netflix drama Blonde, which releases this Wednesday, with Ana de Armas as Marilyn in her torrid prime and Adrien Brody as a four-eyed bookworm lucky in love.
And if the Marilyn Miller relationship seems implausible to us today — much like Katie Price did with Stephen Hawking — imagine what it was like when they married in 1956 and Marilyn was at the height of her fame.
But her five-year marriage to Miller was the longest and most successful relationship of her short, tragic life.
Monroe reportedly loved Miller, her third husband, because he had an unimaginably large – wait a minute – brain.
But what on earth did he see in her?
TWO communities in Leicester – Hindus of Indian descent and Muslims of Pakistani descent – are at each other’s throats.
The country looks on in amazement.
In all the national debates about immigration over the past 60 years, has anyone ever considered how different ethnic communities would get along?
How naive we were.
Margot’s Mourning Sunshine
WHEN there is a death in the family, always expect the world to stop and allow you to catch your breath.
And this whole country just had a death in the family.
But the world doesn’t stop turning. Even the flags no longer fly at half-mast for our late Queen.
That doesn’t mean we stop mourning.
Margot Robbie walked a red carpet for the premiere of her new movie Amsterdam on Wednesday night.
Robbie was gorgeous, radiant – but the Aussie actress wore the black of mourning. And she looked perfect.
Greatest British Fight
lIF Tyson Fury will fight Anthony Joshua in Cardiff on December 3, it will be the biggest sporting event on these islands since 1966.
Nothing else even comes close. Fury is the undefeated WBC champion, an incredibly fleet-footed heavyweight who can dance even better than he punches, while AJ is the tragically fallen golden boy looking for one last chance at redemption.
Thanks to both for taking the fight of the century to Cardiff instead of Riyadh or Doha.
All credit goes to the Gypsy King for offering the fight to AJ.
And all credit to AJ for having the bottle to take on Fury, who will be a huge favourite. Somewhere Rocky Balboa is smiling.
Crown block to perdition
THE most eloquent argument for monarchy I’ve ever seen are the two great dictators of the planet shaking hands at a strongman summit in Samarkand a week ago.
Russian President Vladimir Putin – currently his mob army of rapists, drunks and murderers are being thrown out of free Ukraine.
And Chinese President Xi Jinping – who is currently wrecking the Chinese economy with his mad quest for Zero Covid and still locking down huge cities while the rest of the world looks at Covid in his rearview mirror.
For all their hardman posturing, Xi and Putin are pathetically weak men.
Even if Xi rattles his rusty saber against free Taiwan. Even if Putin threatens to bombard the West with nuclear weapons.
Even as he threatens to conscript a million unwilling Russians — prompting a rush to the border from those reluctant to be a despot’s cannon fodder.
Thank God for our monarchy. It keeps incompetent madmen from leading us to our undoing.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6296036/tony-parsons-keir-starmer-monarchy/ Born-again royalist Sir Keir Starmer knows that a party that hates Britain cannot win an election