“I’m told that I have to tell you what my favourite biscuit is. But I’m afraid I’m going to depress you all by saying that I don’t have a sweet tooth and don’t eat biscuits. But give me a beer and chips and gravy any day…” - Andy Burnham
Trying to Replicate...
Andy Burnham, by highlighting his northern working-class heritage, is attempting to replicate the downtrodden authenticity of former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Like Wilson however, this image of northern grit is a bit of a facade. Burnham is an ex-Oxbridge boffin with an impressive political CV. Perhaps Burnham could adopt a pipe in order to complete the Wilsonian guise.
On the Campaign
High Point - Earning more nominations from his fellow MPs than any other leadership candidate.
Low Point - Burnham has sent out mixed messages throughout his campaign, in relation to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in particular. Burnham’s ‘anti-establishment’ message is also rife with contradictions. Indeed, his derision of the ‘Westminster bubble’ doesn’t seem to correlate with the Shadow Health Secretary’s careerist CV (having worked as a researcher and a special adviser before entering Parliament).
A Video to be Proud of
Who’s Backing Him?
Burnham has attracted a range of notable supporters, including comedian David Walliams, and Coronation Street actress Sally Lindsay. Perhaps somewhat forebodingly, the Shadow Health Secretary has also received Abby Tomlinson’s ‘kiss of death’ nomination. Burnham's former New Labour colleague John Prescott has similarly endorsed his campaign.
1945 Landslide All Over Again?
To paraphrase Ed Miliband, voters think Burnham is ‘tough enough’ (or at least tougher than the rest). The Leigh MP appears to combine the public sector passion of Clement Attlee with the realism of Tony Blair. This will enable him to unite a deeply fractured party. However, trust remains an issue, and Burnham’s ‘anti-establishment’ pitch doesn’t correspond with his airbrushed style of politics. In the midst of an uninspiring field, Burnham is probably Labour's most electable candidate, though he may struggle to detoxify the party's brand in the South.