Today the Labour Party pivoted 180 degrees from the Corbyn era’s more cautious arms length approach to the armed forces. Labour today actively celebrated Armed Forces day in two tweets, as well as through Facebook and other social media.
The video is particularly clever in tying in left figures such as Tony Benn and Bevan into a more patriotic narrative. This shift along with the instant dismissal of Rebecca Long-Bailey, the last left-win member of the shadow cabinet, highlight that Keir presents a bigger change than some imagined. Keir clearly has his sights set on both soft Tory voters as well as in rebuilding the Red Wall. He appears to be willing to shift Labour considerably in order to win.
The video was accompanied by a pinned tweet highlighting Labour’s strong tradition in defence, however given the link it appears this effort may be as much about data gathering than presenting support to the armed forces.
Its safe to say to some party members this action and move will be divisive. Two replies to the video highlight the fight going on between the Corbyn era Labour support and who Keir appears to be trying to influence.
We will see over the next few months how Keir develops this new line of approach, however it is inevitably one that will require careful balance between Labour’s new left wing and the right. A bit of both strategy may go far, especially via social media. Labour appear to be realising that they need to speak to a broader base, even via left-wing heavy networks such as Twitter.