Monday, August 02, 2010

Elitism... It's What's For Dinner

Andy Burnham obsessed with New Labour "elitism"

When Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham suggested that the leadership of the Labour Party was too elitist under Tony Blair, he must have been satisfied with the results.

After all, that was June. Now it's August, on the verge of Labour members voting on their new leader, and Burnham is lobbing accusations of elitism again -- this time at David and Ed Miliband.

The Miliband brothers, he alleges, are both the result of the Labour party recruiting from "the elite".

As such, Burnham charges that the Miliband brothers -- one of whom will likely assume the party leadership -- represent the worst of the old party leadership.

"At its worst, it was self-indulgent, arrogant, elitist, Londoncentric and all of that has to change," Burnham contends. "It looked hollow and rootless at times."

Who is the antidote to Labour party elitism? Why, Burnham proclaims that it's none other than himself.

"I didn't have well-connected parents," he declares. "People are looking for politicians who have real life experience."

Whether or not Andy Burnham was born into any power elite establishment, however, is irrelevant. While Labour was in government under Gordon Brown, Burnham served in a pair of Minister of State roles -- for health and sport -- as well as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

In other words, Burnham is among the elite MPs of his party.

So while Burnham can pledge that he will be an anti-establishment candidate, this is repeatedly undermined by the detail that he, himself, is a member of the establishment within his own party.

He could certainly pledge to be less elitist -- as the Miliband brothers themselves have done -- but to be pretend that he isn't himself now a part of the elite defies credulity.

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