Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Dave's Warning to the Chancer

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Dave's Warning to the Chancer

Article excerpt

Ed Miliband's office instructed stewards on the doors of a trade union reception to bar the press. Perhaps the Labour leader feared a repeat of that unpleasantness at the Trades Union Congress conference when he was booed and hissed by the brothers and sisters. Maybe Brother Ed wanted to avoid the meeja hearing him use the daring C-word: "comrade". Or it could have been that risque joke about Nick "30 Belt Notches" Cleggover screwing the country. This column's legman heard the C-word and the gag. Both went down well, apparently.

The Hillsborough tragedy and Kelvin MacKenzie's heinous "the truth" slur on football fans remain raw in Liverpool, 22 years on. Labour MPs, freed from their fear of Rupert Murdoch, turned out in force at a "Don't buy the Sun" gig on the eve of the party's conference. My snout spied Luciana Berger, Kevin Brennan, Dave Anderson, Steve Rotherham and "Tommy Gun" Watson. Dirty-Digger-baiting Tommy Gun's status as a political celebrity was confirmed when Mick Jones, punk legend of the Clash, asked if he could be photographed with him. The MP should adopt one of the band's hit singles as his theme song: "Tommy Gun".

The self-styled people's peer

Baron (Maurice) Glasman of Stoke Newington, founder of Blue Labour and temperamental guru of Miliband, is fond of regaling interviewers with how poor he was. One of this column's sources was reading such a piece while in the first-class carriage of a Virgin train from London to Liverpool, when he looked up and noticed Baron Hard-Up sitting across the aisle. …

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