The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog have decided to deploy their less than perfect knowledge of the world outside the Westminster bubble in order to go after Labour MP Andy Burnham, one of their regular targets, as he has committed the heinous crime of putting his name forward for Labour’s nomination to fight the upcoming election for a Greater Manchester Mayor.
This also had the benefit of batting for the Fawkes folks’ pals, Simon Danczuk, at present not even a nominally Labour MP, and his appalling ex-wife Karen, two full participants in the Parliamentary gravy train that The Great Guido claims to vehemently oppose. Danczuk has recently had to pay back a five-figure sum after overclaiming expenses, and has re-employed Kazza on the public payroll, despite previously sacking her.
When Burnham declared his interest in the nomination for the new Mayoral post, the Fawkes rabble were contemptuous. “Northerners Mock ‘Grim Up North’ Burnham”, they declared, telling readers that “A series of prominent Northerners in politics and the media took to Twitter to take t’piss out of the shadow home secretary”, unaware that there is a difference between Yorkshire and other northern accents.
Then in the last fortnight came “Burnham Comes Last In Two Manchester Hustings”, along with the sneering “Scouser Andy Burnham running for Manchester mayor was always an odd one. The Everton fan’s Twitter stream is full of opposition from local Mancs who would rather have Stretford boy Tony Lloyd in the job”. Someone at the Fawkes blog missed that Burnham’s Leigh constituency is in, er, Greater Manchester.
But on they droned: “So it’s not surprising that Burnham’s campaign has bombed – he came last in the Co-Op Party hustings last week, and came last again in the Gorton CLP hustings last night. Lloyd won both by a landslide”. And, just for good measure, there was a Tweet from selfie queen Kazza putting the boot in.
However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, there are other CLPs in Greater Manchester, and the sudden silence of The Great Guido on this story is because Burnham has been winning over several of them. Last week, Makerfield CLP gave Burnham 16 votes against just two each for Tony Lloyd and Ivan Lewis. Then came a whole series of nominations to reinforce his position.
Bolton North East, Worsley and Eccles South, and Leigh all nominated Burnham yesterday. So did Heywood and Middleton, effectively putting the Burnham tanks on Simon Danczuk’s lawn. And then came Rochdale itself, to the annoyance of Si and Kazza who could do nothing about it - as Danczuk is still suspended following the small matter of his having been caught “sexting” a 17-year-old girl.
That Andy Burnham has just picked up six CLP nominations has passed the Fawkes rabble by. I’m sure there will be a good explanation. Another fine mess, once again.