Burnham’s 22 Hour Reverse Ferret

At 1:30pm yesterday, Burnham went on the BBC to criticise those in the Labour Party attacking Jeremy Corbyn:

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

At 11:17am today, Burnham went on the BBC to attack Jeremy Corbyn:

“Jeremy’s plans lack credibility. It’s not possible to promise free university education, renationalising the utilities, without that coming at a great cost… His plans lack financial and economic credibility.”

Which is almost exactly what he criticised Cooper for saying yesterday. Burnham flip flops on a weekly basis during this race, but a full reversal in under 24 hours is impressive even by his standards…

Baldwin Plays Trump Card

Miliband’s former psycho-spinner Tom Baldwin has resurfaced from a summer of reflection to compare Jeremy Corbyn to Donald Trump:

“He is playing the role of outsider in an era when many in developed countries are rejecting the nuanced answers of a technocratic elite in favour of simplicity and the eternal “truths” of identity or ideology… As he defies decades of history — from the collapse of the Berlin Wall to the rise of a global economy and the financial crash — Mr Corbyn has as much in common with the shallow populism of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump as he does with Syriza and Podemos.”

One is a dangerous megalomaniac with a wealth of financial firepower and a Wikipedia page full of his questionable views. The other is Donald Trump…

Jez on Jez

Robert Webb, the Labour-supporting funnyman who played Jez in the hit Channel 4 comedy Peep Show, has rather spectacularly had his say on Jeremy Corbyn:

It’s a better argument against Corbyn than any of the actual candidates have managed so far…

Corbyn Campaign Bolstered By Union Gold

Last month Jeremy Corbyn declared a grand total of zero donations above the registrable amount. This month the unions’ cheques have cleared, landing Jez with over £50,000 from Unite, £25,000 from the RMT and £10,000 from ASLEF. Not including the £134,000 he has raised in small donations…

A large wedge of Yvette’s money is still coming from her controversial long-time backer, the former Labour MP and ‘expenses queen’ Barbara Follett, who has bunged her another £50,000. One donor she hasn’t managed to secure is Bill Thomas, aka Bill Somebody, who has given £5,000 to Burnham. Cheers, Ed…

Guardian Endorses Cooper: Readers React

The Guardian comes out for Cooper:

“The brute lesson of May is that Labour cannot get there without first winning back significant numbers of Tory voters. Mr Corbyn will not do that. Those searching for an election winner must look elsewhere…

Liz Kendall has shown courage in telling Labour audiences what they don’t want to hear about the need to win Tory votes, but she lacks experience, and too often appears to be reopening the Blair playbook. Andy Burnham is personable and has passion, but has zig-zagged too often in this campaign to be seen as a leader.

Yvette Cooper is more steadfast, consistently challenging George Osborne on economic terrain… The right leader is the person who can bring both Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall together in one big, progressive tent, offering enough moral common ground to transcend deep disagreements on policy. It is a formidably difficult task, but there are very many in Britain who desperately need someone to pull it off. The person best placed to do that is Yvette Cooper.”

And their readers are not taking it well:

Splitters…

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 Democrat politicians, was a senior adviser to the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and is now the chief strategist for Hillary’s presidential run. He also worked for Gordon Brown in 2009There is one obstacle…

The Hillary campaign guru won’t work for the Labour Party if Jeremy Corbyn is leader. Sources point to Corbyn’s extreme views on Israel-Palestine and Hamas as a major stumbling block to him coming on board. Benenson is described by GQ as the “go-to guy for any politico wanting to take the public’s temperature“. That he won’t work for Corbyn is a small indicator of Corbyn’s trans-Atlantic toxicity…

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 Gang” have made two very different videos about him for their “Golden News Shower” series. In the films, professional troll Nimrod Kamer, a former freedom fighter in the Israel Defense Force, asks an unimpressed Corbyn why people in Hackney can’t vote for the SNP and suggests he checks out a “really nice young” red head in Israel’s parliament:

Wonder if Jez knows his video guy is working with the Israeli army to undermine him…

Bad Al Campbell v Diane Abbott

The cracks are beginning to show…

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…

No, Corbynmania is Not “Sweeping the Nation”

“A movement is born,” claimed Jezza’s unofficial PR man Owen Jones last week: “across the nation, in every village and town and city you can see this movement emerging”. The hyperbole is even more generous in Owen’s interview with the man himself today: “in the last few weeks Corybnmania has swept across the country”. Well, has it?

The latest figures show there are around 270,000 Labour members.

In addition, around 70,000 have joined as affiliated supporters.

50,000 are so-called ‘registered supporters’.

A total of 390,000 people.

The voting age population of the UK is 50,780,423.

If we (generously) assume that around half of all those affiliated with the Labour Party support Corbyn – 195,000 people – then what proportion of the voting population is a Corbynista? Just 0.38%. 

Hardly sweeping the country…

Mrs Burnham Unravels Andy’s Career Spin

Andy Burnham’s reality-stretching campaign against Westminster bubble careerists has suffered another blow thanks to his lady wife. When they met on the first day of university, what did an 18-year-old Andy tell Marie-France he wanted to be when grew up?

“Do you know what you said to me on the first night, when I said ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’ You said you wanted to be an MP.”

From wanting to be an MP at 18, to being a parliamentary researcher, to being a SpAd, to being an MP, to being a minister, to being a leadership candidate. That anti-Westminster bubble career trajectory in full…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Jeremy Corbyn ‘to bring back Clause 4’[…] Read the rest

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