OPINION - The Standard View: Now, let's hope Labour succeeds

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

It is axiomatic that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. But the Conservative Party has done more than most to keep this political truism alive.

All economies were forced to recover from the global financial crisis. But only the UK Government chose to facilitate an EU referendum and then take their country out of the largest and most successful trading bloc on the thinnest of deals.

All countries had to counter the spread of Covid-19. But only the UK Government held regular parties as the rest of the population was in lockdown. And all countries have had to acclimatise to a higher interest rate world, but only the UK Government precipitated a crisis in its own currency market by virtue of its “mini-Budget”.

Little wonder there is a palpable, almost visceral desire to remove the Tories from office. And for most people, the lever to pull to make that happen is Labour. There remain questions over Sir Keir Starmer’s ability to deliver on some of the big promises he has made, not least on planning reform and economic growth. There is also much we still don’t know about his plans for office.

But given that the stakes could scarcely be higher — both domestically and geopolitically — we must all hope the next government succeeds.

Break records, not rules

If cycling could be considered a culture wars issue, then it is surely one of the more stupid examples. One can measure the civility of a city by how many people move around on two wheels, saving time, space and carbon.

Still, all road users ought to obey the rules. As we report in today’s Standard, 11 cyclists a day are fined for running through red lights in the capital — creating a hazard for pedestrians. Meanwhile, every two days someone is handed a fixed penalty notice for riding on pavements.

Cyclists ought to follow the lead — if not the wheel — of Sir Mark Cavendish, whose stunning victory yesterday made him the most successful cyclist in the Tour de France ever. Sir Mark manages to break records without breaking the rules.

Murray at the double

Sir Andy Murray’s body may not have allowed for entry into the men’s singles draw, but the two-time Wimbledon champion begins his farewell tour this afternoon alongside his brother, Jamie, in the doubles.

Later in the week, Sir Andy is scheduled to play alongside fellow grand-slam winner Emma Raducanu in the mixed doubles. There will hopefully be plenty more opportunities over the next 10 days to pay tribute to the greatest British men’s tennis player of the modern era.