Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Miss Whiplash Shows Balls the Red Card

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Miss Whiplash Shows Balls the Red Card

Article excerpt

Teddy Miliband can add a Labour election turf war to a lengthening to-do list on his return from paternity leave. I hear Harriet Harman and Andy Burnham both think they're in charge of May's contests for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and English councils. Teddy appointed Burnham as election co-ordinator, which, one might assume, covered every contest. Harman, however, has other ideas: the deputy leaderene has told Burnham to focus on the general election and she'll handle everything else. Andy's not happy.

Also unhappy is the Labour young gun Michael Dugher. The fast-talking defence spokesman--a former No 10 aide who must find Barnsley East a Garden of Eden after his spell down Brown's bunker--is a member of an exclusive sect: the Derek Twigg fan club. Dugher's admiration for the quiet diligence of Derek Who?--a politician so deep undercover when he was defence minister that he made the SAS resemble attention-seekers--stunned comrades. Even more stunned, though, was the Barnsley boy when St Helens's Dave Watts suggested that Dugher rated Twigg because they're of the same generation. Watts should go down to Specsavers. Black-haired Dugher is 35; "Silver Fox" Twigg 51.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The luvvie-loving Ed Vaizey has put a couple of Tracey Emins on his office wall. Hobnobbing with the arty set is taking its toll on Unsteady Eddie, with unkind colleagues remarking that he's filled out and looks in need of a lie down on the Cameroon girl's unmade bed. Parliamentary answers show that supplying the Cut-servative Eric Pickles with a print of Her Majesty cost taxpayers [pounds sterling]256. …

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