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What can Starmer learn from Biden? Now is not the time for timidity | Nick Dearden

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The severe crises humanity faces will not be solved by the outdated rules of the global economy. Keir Starmer came close to recognising this in his new year’s speech, when he spoke of his plans for “mission-driven” government. The phrase – borrowed from Mariana Mazzucato – implies governments setting economic goals (say, 100% renewable energy) and single-mindedly driving that goal forward through investment and regulation.

In essence, this is an acceptance that government planning, state intervention and public ownership, so derided over 40 years of neoliberalism, are necessary tools of government today, and it’s what makes Labour’s industrial strategy central to any progressive offer to the country.

But Starmer will need to go much further. First, Labour needs to be clear that any government support to the economy must come with serious strings attached. If the public is not simply paying for super-rich people to get even richer, then state support must require business to behave very differently. Second, Starmer’s Labour needs to realise that this way of operating…

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