Labour leader Keir Starmer seems like a sensible bloke to me – the honest, practical, good-natured sort who would make the ideal neighbour.
No noisy parties, a neatly trimmed hedge, a great set of jump leads for your flat battery and, of course, a full set of adjustable spanners.
Happy to help you sort out your DIY disasters, though best not bother him on Sunday mornings in case he’s listening to the Archers Omnibus with a cuppa and a digestive, before he cleans the goldfish tank and pops down to B&Q.
Sadly, the Shadow Cabinet don’t see their leader in quite the same light. This week they accused him of being boring, “boring voters to death” in fact, with his lack of drive and charisma. “What’s boring is being in Opposition,” Sir Keir is said to have replied.
And at the meeting, which obviously didn’t get heated, he suggested the really boring people were those trying to alter his course to No 10. He’s right.
Boris Johnson chairs a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London
Because Starmer is like the tortoise in that famous Aesop fable and he knows that slow and steady is the way to win the race.
Especially when the hare who’s currently holding him back is rapidly running out of puff. Prime Minister Boris Johnson used to be a real Duracell bunny, banging away while others flagged, seemingly unstoppable. But the resignation of his ethics adviser Lord Geidt has surely removed the final battery, leaving him powerless and inert.
And now the people of this country have to decide if they want a leader who’s devoid of ethics or one simply lacking charisma.
What’s wrong with being a little bit boring? We’ve had plenty of dull but effective PM’s in the past, like Clement Attlee, John Major and Gordon Brown.
And Labour’s Jack Straw, who served 13 years as a Cabinet minister, claims he got himself out of tricky situations by droning on at people in “unbearably boring sentences”.
“I was Mogadon, free, without prescription”, he claimed in his autobiography.
Labour is wrong to try to make Starmer appear more exciting than he is.
People eventually see through fakes, which is why they’re getting bored with Boris Johnson.
When they’re in a crisis they want someone they can trust – an honest, practical and sensible leader who’s eager to help them out.
And slow and steady Keir Starmer has all the tools for the job.