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Hope is not enough: people want to know that Keir Starmer can fix things | Gaby Hinsliff

Labour’s downbeat manifesto for a downbeat nation reflects the feeling that voters want action now – not grandiose words

“Look at that,” said a middle-aged woman delightedly, stopping halfway down the street in Great Yarmouth to nudge her friend. “Life is crap!”

She was pointing to a stall selling slogan T-shirts for a fiver, all bearing those three words in several bleak variations: life is crap because your ex got the house, life is crap because you’re out of wine, or … well, fill in your own version. I heard plenty over three days of travelling up the east coast, where Labour is targeting a string of Tory-held former fishing ports and seaside resorts where life for many is no holiday.

Gaby Hinsliff is a Guardian columnist

Guardian Newsroom: Election results special. Join Gaby Hinsliff, John Crace, Jonathan Freedland and Zoe Williams on 5 July

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