Burnham Backs Corbyn in Cooper Bunfight

Andy Burnham has slammed Yvette Cooper for slamming Jeremy Corbyn, as the Labour leadership race descends into an almighty bunfight. Burnham spent nine minutes sucking up to Jezza on Wato, tacitly criticising Cooper and Blair:

“If we’re just attacking people and making dire warnings it is misreading what we are seeing… it misreads the mood of the party”

Sluuuurrrrpppp.

What does Andy think about the Corbynista entryists?

“It is a wonderful thing that 600,000 people are now signed up to vote in our election. We said we wanted to open up politics, we have done with this contest.”

Compare and contrast: Cooper (belatedly) takes fight to Corbyn directly, Burnham speculates about serving in his Shadow Cabinet, flirts with and defends him. Well, there are votes in it…

Dan Hodges’ Labour Leadership Journey in Full

Dan Hodges has had more flip flops in the Labour leadership race than an Ibiza beach rave:

June 9: “Will Labour choose a Tony Blair or a Neil Kinnock? Liz Kendall is Toni Blair. Young. Tough. Single-minded. Kendall has already set out the most challenging critique of why her party lost in May. She represents the best chance of unleashing the slingshot that downs the Tory Goliath… Yvette Cooper is Toni Kinnock… Keep a close eye for whether it’s Neil Kinnock or Tony Blair who tops the ballot.”

July 2: “The Labour Party should elect Yvette Cooper as its next leader. And – more importantly – it should be the Blairite, modernising faction within the Labour Party that delivers her victory and is seen to deliver her victory.”

July 27: The only way Labour can win the next election is to elect Corbyn now… I’ve signed up again precisely so I can be part of that wave of support for Jeremy Corbyn myself. It’s 23 months since I left Labour because it opposed the bombing of Syria. Now I’ve rejoined so I can vote for a man who helps lead the Stop The War coalition. Which I suppose indicates I’ve been on a bit of a journey.”

August 13: 

With four weeks to go he still has time to change his mind at least another couple of times…

While Guido is at it, how many days is it since Hodges promised to streak naked down Whitehall? 97 days have passed since the election and we still haven’t seen Dan in his birthday suit…

Shameless Burnham’s NHS “News Management” Chutzpah

Another stunning lack of self-awareness from Andy Burnham, who has some nerve putting his name to this article in today’s Mirror:

“the Government publishes all the bad news about the NHS on the same day in the hope that it will minimise the negative headlines. It’s a cynical attempt at news management from a Tory Government that knows the NHS is going backwards on their watch. And it shreds Tory claims to be committed to transparency in the NHS.”

“Minimise negative headlines,” you say? “A cynical attempt at news management”. Oh really?

Let’s remember how, as Health Secretary, Burnham and his deputy allegedly told the Care Quality Commission to “tone down” a report into hospital deaths because it would be too “political” before an election. This is from the Guardian’s write up at the time:

“Burnham, then health secretary, had questioned why he had heard “graphic details” about Basildon hospital’s treatment of patients on Sky News before he had been briefed about it in December 2009. The agreed protocol was that his department was told in advance of such reports and CQC officials were told he was “furious” about the breach.

Two months later with an election looming, Burnham’s deputy Mike O’Brien also cautioned the regulator that “anything you do is going to be political whether you intend it to be or not. And of course once we reach March (2010), purdah, whenever that starts, you can’t publish anything”.

Perhaps most damaging is the CQC’s own interpretation of ministerial wishes. Following the meeting with O’Brien a former non-executive director Martin Marshall at the CQC discusses the publication of the 2010 State of Care report, which summarised of the regulator’s findings in health and social care during the year.

In an email to former chief executive Cynthia Bower and her deputy Jill Finney a few months before the 2010 general election, he warns about “the politics”. “It is really important that we get this report absolutely right before sending anything to the department … The DH will go through this with a toothcomb and it is naive to think that they will really only do a factual check”.

Marshall said there was a need to be “careful about language” and suggests “being hard-hitting without presenting critical data will … be more politically acceptable than criticising with evidence”.”

Burnham’s your man for cynical news management to prevent negative NHS headlines…

Furious Blair Goes For Corbyn

“The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched, over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below. This is not a moment to refrain from disturbing the serenity of the walk on the basis it causes “disunity”. It is a moment for a rugby tackle if that were possible….

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the left, right or centre of the party, whether you used to support me or hate me. But please understand the danger we are in…

If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader it won’t be a defeat like 1983 or 2015 at the next election. It will mean rout, possibly annihilation… Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t offer anything new. This is literally the most laughable of all the propositions advanced by his camp. Those of us who lived through the turmoil of the 80s know every line of this script. These are policies from the past that were rejected not because they were too principled, but because a majority of the British people thought they didn’t work. And by the way, they were rejected by electorates round the world for the same reasons…

We know where this ends. We have been here before. But this sequel will be a lot scarier than the original. So write it if you want to. Go over the edge if you want. But think about those we most care about and how to help them before you do.”

Read his full extraordinary intervention in the Guardian. Ooof.

Leadership Candidates Claim Union Stitch Up

The Burnham, Cooper and Kendall campaigns have written to Labour HQ tonight complaining that the Corbyn campaign has been given contact details for the 90,000 strong trade union electorate, but they have not. “It would appear unreasonable for an election to be taking place” under the current circumstances, they claim. Here is their letter in full:

Dear Iain

We are writing following the meeting with campaign teams yesterday morning.  There are two issues we wish to follow-up on.

Lists of members/registered supporters/affiliated supporters

We are concerned we will only receive accurate lists in around 10 day’s time, which hinders each campaign’s effort. It would appear unreasonable for an election to be taking place without the provision of a full list of voters. If you are sharing the information with ERS, then it is reasonable for the campaign teams to also be provided with it. It was mentioned in the meeting that the data could contain individuals who have not been fully validated, however, if ERS are able to use this data then I believe the campaign teams should also be able to use it, on the understanding that individuals may later be excluded. We believe it is essential that campaign teams have maximum ability to contact potential voters, especially as the affiliated supporters data is likely to be made available to candidates who have the respective union support. This would not be a level playing field for all candidates. We would ask that the Procedures Committee consider making this data available to campaign teams 48 hours before it is provided to the ERS. It is likely that people receiving their ballot details will vote within 48 hours of receiving them and so campaign teams will be hugely disadvantaged if they are not in receipt of the data until some 5 days later.

Lists of members still to vote

We also feel it would be reasonable to provide lists of members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters who have voted. This will help us focus our effort on voters who have yet to cast their ballots. It would also mean that we are not calling members who have already voted.

We understand the Procedures Committee is in the tomorrow and believe that these are important agenda items for discussion at that meeting. We would be grateful if you would ensure this email is tabled at the meeting, and would ask for a response afterwards.
Kind regards

Vernon Coaker (Yvette Cooper campaign)

Michael Dugher (Andy Burnham campaign)

Toby Perkins (Liz Kendall campaign)

If it’s not Trots or Tories subverting the process, you can always rely on the unions…

Via Staggers

Yvette to Declare War on Corbyn Tomorrow

Yvette Cooper is giving a speech in Manchester at 9:30am tomorrow, billed rather grandly as “The Future of the Labour Party”. The mysteriously vague op note promises a “big speech” and says “this is a great chance to hear what Yvette has to say”, though slightly oddly it gives no detail whatsoever. Her team are tight-lipped on the contents of the speech, but Guido understands Cooper will take on Jeremy Corbyn directly for the first time. Get your popcorn ready…

Corbynistas Already Planning Victory Rally

There might be a month until the ballot closes, but that hasn’t stopped some excitable Corbyn supporters from organising a mass “victory party” for their man on September 12:

Nearly 1,000 people have already signed up to attend the event, which sounds just great:

Will they be flying the red flag through the streets of London, or are they a tad premature?

Deadline Extended as Labour Website Crashes Under Pressure

Labour have extended the midday deadline to register to vote for their new leader until 3pm, after the sign up page on their website crashed under pressure this morning:

At the time of going to pixel an estimated 70,000 ‘supporters’ and 90,000 union members had registered to choose the next leader. This is what happens next:

Friday 14 August: Ballot mailing despatched

12 noon Thursday 10 September: Ballot closes

Saturday 12 September: Special conference to announce result

Sunday 27 September: Labour Party conference begins

31 days til we welcome our new Corbynista overlords? True Labour supporters can sign up here

Hillary’s Chief Strategist Lined Up for Labour – So Long As Led By ABC

Multiple sources say top Obama pollster Joel Benenson, now working on the Hillary Clinton campaign, is lined up to work for the Labour Party – in particular on the London mayoral campaign. Benenson, who runs a consulting firm which advises […]

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Corbyn’s Official Filmmaker Made ‘Golden Shower’ Video Trolling Corbyn

The filmmaker who made Jeremy Corbyn’s latest campaign video is also responsible for series of videos taking the mickey out of Jezza. Not only does William Pine make snazzy films for the Corbyn campaign, he and his “Golden Shower […]

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Bad Al Campbell v Diane Abbott

[…]

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Corbyn 32 Points Ahead in New Poll

YouGov for the Times say Corbyn has extended his lead of three weeks ago from 17 points to 32:

One more heave, comrades…[…]

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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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