A battle of words erupted yesterday between the Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper campaigns.
“If he isn’t prepared to offer an alternative to Jeremy, he needs to step back and leave it to Yvette,” said Team Cooper.
“Yvette’s stunt is panicked, desperate and straight out of the Ed Balls handbook,” said Team Andy.
Ouch. But it’s okay because this morning, the Cooper camp apologised. Passive agressively, obviously. But anyway the hostilities were all for show anyway, and here’s why.
The bookies Paddy Power have paid out on Corbyn bets. That’s right – paid out. As in, not just stopped taking bets, but given the punters who plumped for Jeremy – some at 100-1 odds – their “winnings”. The gambling industry has been wrong before – as many a Manchester United fan can attest to – but they aren’t usually incorrect to this degree. It’s over – Corbyn has won.
And here’s the thing – both Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper know this. They can’t say it out loud in so many words, obviously, but they know it. The reason I know they know it is that it was all obvious from yesterday’s bunfight if you read between the lines. Yvette’s patter was all about how Burnham is essentially just sucking up to Corbyn. And Burnham is, well, basically sucking up to Corbyn. Yvette’s plan, and this carries on from her speech last week effectively denouncing Corbyn and all he plans to do, is to plant a flag for whenever, in her mind, Labour comes to its senses post-Corbyn. “You see,” she sees her future self saying, “I was the only one talking sense the whole time. I was the only one telling you it was all going to go horribly pear-shaped. Well, okay, so was Liz, but you know, out of the two of us who could have theoretically beat Jeremy, I was the sense talker.”
Burnham is aiming for short term glory. He figures by bowing to the leader-to-be now, he will be granted a plum shadow cabinet position (particularly as lots of Labour MPs will be fleeing from them – in theory, anyhow; let us see what happens when push comes to shove).
So that’s what yesterday’s trading of insults between the Burnham and Cooper camps was actually about. They know it’s over; that neither of them will win. But while Burnham wants to save his skin immediately, Cooper’s hunkering down for the long game. Liz, well, she’s coming fourth and has known that for a while now. She’s also known that dropping out wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference, which is why she’s still there.
Still don’t believe me that Corbyn’s inevitable victory on September 12th is common knowledge within all tiers of the Labour Party? Look no further than all this crap about second preferences and who should give theirs to whom. It’s nonsense and everyone participating in the discussion knows it. Jeremy is going to win on first preferences – and easily too.
A new order is being established and Burnham and Cooper, two stalwarts of the Labour Party, are placing their bets on what the future holds (just as the actual bookies are paying out in the here and now). We’ll see in the fullness of time who made the right decision and who made the wrong one.
Edward Wynn says
If the bookies are correct then the the weeks post Corbyn’s win will be absolutely delicious for outsiders and traumatic internally for Labour. MPs who are candidates for Shadow Cabinet or other posts are going to have an interesting choice. In my gut I think Corbyn may turn out to be more tricky for the Tories to handle than a lot of us think. For one he has no government history which can be used against him He also is a conviction politician which means nuanced attacks can break on the rocks of a stated and unwavering position. Also he doesn’t sound hysterical like a lot of them and many people outside don’t necessarily disagree with positions because they don’t understand the consequences. I for one don-t necessarily consider that re-nationalising the railways as a national infrastructure strategy is necessarily wrong.
Two words: May 2015.
Don’t be too sure.
That said, I think he’ll seep the board…
I sincerely hope you turn out to be wrong and Jezza loses. But even if he did win (I’m “for” Yvette, I dislike her but out of the candidates on “offer”) he could still inflict harm by moving the Overton window in his direction. State socialism, support for foreign despots, and I dread to imagine what else.
Do you remember the Scottish referendum? As a unionist II was glad the Scots made the right choice there. But i warned that if Yessers were ignored, they’d be back with a vengeance. (My exact words were that unionists would end up like the unlamented Mohammed Morsi in Egypt). A “fellow” unionist gloated and said this would never happen. But it has. Likewise Jezza will still be there in spirit, doing a lot and doing it badly.
The mere fact of a need for a referendum was in a sense a defeat for staunch unionists like me, and the fact Corbynmania exists is deplorable from here.
I utterly abhor those Tories who (probably but NOT definitely correctly) think Jezza couldn’t win a general election so want him in place so he can lose to them. What? Doesn’t that say it all about the stupidity of people like Andrew Wiley, and whatever the rest of them are called, that they can allow this asshat to do such harm so frivolously? And this government has done so many disastrous things, the bedroom tax, the war in Libya, and the attempted war in Syria that we should eternally thank Ed Miliband for stopping. We need a strong opposition or the government can do what they like next time, a basic fact that surely even the loathsome Toby Young can understand.
And I can only imagine what British Jews are feeling given the antisemitic onslaught by Islamists and the ultra-left, which they might have thought had been seen off given the demise of Gorgeous George and David “the Jews” Ward, but no.