Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Merits of Andy Burnham

I believe David Miliband will make the best Leader of the Labour Party. Like a number of friends my regard for Andy Burnham MP for Leigh during the campaign has increased. Three thoughts.

First, Andy's call for government increases in NHS spending to be looked at in the context of wider social care is wise. The government will increase NHS spending whilst cutting other services which allow people to remain in their homes longer when they are unwell. People being cared for in their own home have a better environment and also cost the taxpayer a lot less.

Second, I happened to be talking to a journalist in Lancashire who covered Andy's constituency. He talked about what a good constituency MP he was. The journalist covered a number of safe Labour seats in the North West. He said that whenever there was a story or an issue Andy was always responsive, giving local journalists an equal priority with national journalists. This was particularly well regarded as Andy had the commitments of being a Cabinet minister. By contrast some backbenchers with less commitments were clearly not as attentive to this journalist. I find it is often unexpected stories like this that give a true indication of the merits and qualities of a politician, shock horror, journalist sings praises of senior Labour politician. This commitment and level of hard work is the style of leadership Andy could bring as a leading Labour politican in the coming decade.

Third, with the crunch game against Slovenia starting soon Andy has published this celebrity endorsement from England's Jamie Carragher, who talks about Andy's work for charity. I do not expect Andy to win, but I hope he will find a place in one of the top positions in the Shadow Cabinet after Labour's Leadership election.

1 comment:

  1. For once I find myself almost in accord, at least on the Labour leadership issue, with Councillor Nottingham. Whereas I would be overjoyed if Diane Abbot or Ed Balls won the Labour leadership contest, I think David Milliband is the most likely contender and also the one most capable of restoring the party's fortunes (if not the country's). Equally I agree about the merits to high office in a future Labour government of Andy Burnham.

    The real shame is that neither Lord Mandelson or Alistair Campbell are running!!