KEIR Starmer seems to be having an unrequited love affair with the red wall turned blue.

He is consumed by his efforts to woo back the erstwhile Labour adherents up north, pinched by an alpha PM who whispered sweet nothings about Brexit to turn their heads to vote Tory – while their forefathers spun in their graves.

Lovelorn Starmer seems blind to the rest of the UK electorate and their democratic entitlements as he seeks to reclaim northern England for its traditional overlords.

Free movement out the window, Europe out the window, fighting back against the useless Brexit deal out the window ... but never mind all that, the Queen and Prince Philip have been vaccinated against Covid! Two jabs and the world is restored to its axis.

It’s as if someone has drawn Starmer a crude picture of a red wall turned blue voter, some sort of cloth-capped, toothless man in a pub, drinking from a 1977 Queen’s jubilee tumbler – Andy Capp made flesh. Is this really the best that Labour’s focus groups can come up with?

Starmer seems blind to the bigger picture. He can’t move past the north’s betrayal, jumping ship to sail into the sunset with hard-right Jolly Roger Johnson and his motley crew. Regurgitating the same nonsense that the Brexiteers spewed into the Facebook posts of this corner of the electorate is not going to change their minds about Labour. Doubling down on the same simplistic rhetoric used by his opposite number is only going to push the more progressive voter away as well as utterly alienate the youth vote.

Just look what’s happened in Scotland, a perfect illustration of the mass evacuation of support. This is not the fault of insipid Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, it is a tale that started many, many moons ago. It’s going to take more than swapping Rule Britannia for the Red Flag to successfully serenade the disgruntled and left behind.

The hard reality is that in December 2019, Johnson with his promise to “Get Brexit Done” struck a chord with these marginalised and silenced voters, sick of being on the thin edge of the wedge when it comes to jobs, opportunities and hope.

Perhaps that’s what the Labour focus groups should be getting to the bottom of, not just lumping this electorate all together but really doing a deep delve to understand the reasons behind the leap from red to blue. And, of course, the enormous betrayal which now faces them as the truth of Brexit and its decimation of their livelihoods becomes apparent.

It’s all about winning the next election in 2024. Starmer has been warned by Labour politicos in the north that without this electorate, Labour cannot take back the throne; even with these 60 seats, the finishing line, although closer, is agonisingly still out of reach thanks to Scotland choosing its own path and rejecting Labour. The alternative is decades of long, cold Tory rule and more than one broken red heart.

Sitting on the fence of centrism is a very shoogly position to occupy, especially with the damage this catastrophic Brexit deal will bring on the country as a whole. Starmer seems to be deaf to this danger, or deliberately refuses to notice. “We have inherited that (Brexit) treaty, for better or for worse,” he told Marr last weekend on BBC TV.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer slapped down by SNP over Scottish independence claims

We may have inherited it, but it’s not what Scotland voted for, we had no part in the negotiation of it, indeed we were deliberately excluded from any involvement in the Brexit process, as was Wales. Also, what about the 48% of the UK who wanted to Remain, who mourn the loss of our EU status, a percentage that is growing as the hard reality of Brexit kicks in?

When it comes to Scotland, we’ve seen it all before. Starmer is just playing the same old tune, the one that goes “get back in your box”. Others in the Labour party seem to be able to see the situation for Scotland rather more realistically. Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, describes the clear choice now facing Scots, between independence in the EU with respect for democracy or staying tethered to “hard-right, neoliberal” English nationalist rule.

Lewis, a fan of democracy and someone who is supportive of Scots’ choice of a second independence referendum, is brutally critical of Starmer’s rejection of free movement, pointing out it contradicts UK Labour policy, saying “top down, policy by diktat rarely ends well”.

These warnings are falling on Starmer’s deaf ears. Who cares about Scotland, the youth, those who want a fairer, more equal society, who can see past the slender and lacking in substance promises of the righter-than-right, as long as we win back the north? Everything else is an irrelevance; the blue wall must be turned red again whatever the cost.

But this cost may be high, and it is one he may yet come to rue.