KEIR Starmer is clearly emboldened by a largely uncontroversial Labour Party conference and the financial chaos being reaped by the Tory government.

It has allowed Starmer to position himself as a safe pair of hands, the sensible option compared to the current financial and economic turmoil facing the UK.

Suddenly, his despatch box style of lecturing the Tories as an annoyed secondary school teacher has come to bear fruit - “boring” Starmer can now, and already has, position himself as the “serious” alternative to Liz Truss and her cabal.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: UK facing economic situation not seen in living memory

“If anybody thinks that a government that loses control of the economy is somehow exciting, I think they need to go and speak to the people who will be looking at their mortgages today, looking at prices today, now looking at their pensions today, and say that they think that sort of excitement is what they want,” Starmer said after he was asked if it was time for ‘Mr Boring’ to be put in charge.

Labour now sits firmly in the political centre-ground - a statement that prompted a thunderous ovation from party members during Starmer’s keynote speech. A fast turnaround in the two years since Starmer took over from left-wing socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

He has likened himself to Tony Blair, the New Labour PM who made similar ideological moves in the early 90s and led his party to a resounding victory.

But is Starmer really following Blair’s path? Or is he emulating another former prime minister, who also moved his party out from the edges and a little bit more into the middle?

Starmer vs Cameron

While Starmer is capitalising on the Tory-made financial crisis we are seeing unfold as the pound collapses, interest rates rise, warnings from international experts far and wide and warnings of a looming recession, David Cameron solidified his position against then PM Gordon Brown in a similar vein during the 2008 global financial crash.

While Brown was praised outside of the UK for his reaction to the crisis, internally it allowed Cameron to circle back on Brown’s 1997 claims that the days of economic “boom and bust” were over.

READ MORE: Pension funds would have 'collapsed today without Bank of England action'

Come to the 2010 election, the grey-suited Tory in moderate clothing had won the keys to Number 10, after some negotiations with the LibDems to form a coalition.

Now that Truss is in charge and Cameron’s titular “sound money” policies have been scrapped, Starmer has moved in to take over the mantle.

Considering the chaos engulfing the UK and the Tory party, it might just work, but there are still around two years between now and the next scheduled General Election, and in politics, things can change very quickly.

What about Labour’s policies to tackle the numerous crises facing the UK?

FOR observers south of the Border, a nationalised energy company, free school meals, insulation for every home and a push for renewables may sound like a revelation compared to the current Tory orthodoxy.

But, in Scotland, these are the kind of progressive policies the Government has already been pursuing, and frankly, there’s little new or radical in the announcements that came out of the party’s conference.

A national energy company was an SNP election pledge in 2017, although it didn’t come to fruition.

READ MORE: Tory MPs round on Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng as UK enters economic crisis

The Scottish Government has been expanding free school meals to all primary four and five children, with targeted support rolled out during the holiday periods.

Scotland is aiming to have 50% of all energy generated by renewables by 2030. And a strategy for home insulation has been in place since October 2021, introduced by Scottish Greens MSP and government minister Patrick Harvie.

Labour has a chance to take Number 10 out of Tory hands, but much like the gains they made in the recent council elections, that may be due to the misfortune of their opponents rather than the substance of their own policies and arguments.