Saturday, November 11, 2006

Labour's Deputies & Alan Johnson's Website

Alan Johnson hasn't had a very good few months. I thought he would be the one to take on Gordon Brown, and to be honest I worried about the comparisons between him and David Cameron. So it was with a slight sense of relief that I heard he was now only going for the deputy leadership position, along, it seems, with most of the rest of his colleagues. This contest threatens to develop into a race with around a dozen candidates. It seems Labour is inviting people to join the Party just to have a vote in the leadership and deputy leadership contests. Of course, under Labour rules, party members don't get a full vote - they only get 30% of one. The trade unions still have the biggest say. If I were a Labour member I'd be voting for Hilary Benn or Alan Johnson. As a Conservative I suppose I'd back Hazel Blears. As regular readers know, I rather like Ms B, but she does seem to annoy everyone else with her constant smiley smiley outlook and her ability to speak in soundbite-ese.

Alan Johnson has launched a glitzy new website at, which has nothing of the look of 'deputy' about it at all. Indeed, it's rather good. He's soliciting for donations for his campaign but has put a limit of £200 on them.

Interestingly the rest of the the johnson4deputy domain names are still free. Well, they were, but I thought I'd snaffle them up in case Boris should ever need them... Seriously, I have bought them but would be happy to pass them onto the Johnson campaign if they want to get in touch. It's a bit silly of them not to have registered them all at the time.

PS: Right, back to my 4th episode of West Wing of the day. The tears have been rolling. Those of you who have seen the election night episode will know why.


Anonymous said...

Unions do not get the biggest say. And, gievn that around one million trade union members will get a chance to vote, what's the problem with their combined vote having the same say as that of the 180,000-odd members?

Anonymous said...


please, oh please, no more 'I love Blears' she is the epitome of new Blairite auto-response pseudo-managerial soundbites. She IS what is wrong with today's politics. To spell it out: they have all learned classic Further Education Management Speak - a ridiculous exercise in trying to impose upon managenent what they already have achieved with teachers i.e. you are either with us or against us, you talk our manglisms or you are out, which is why you get such crap taught in schools and why they (NuLab) still do not understand that you cannot just throw money at a problem to fix it. They believe this pedantic peddling waffle and vos mos ergo cogitus (get the scholars to do it right)'you will think like us' is the way forward. No doubt the Third Way (surely they are on to the Fourth by now) is the patently obvious, eternal revolutionary twaddle that it has always appeared to be?

I look forward to the moment on Question Time when you turn to the Blears Beauty and she speaks from on high (I had to go away and prepare more food then, the laughter was running down my trousers) 'is it 'cos I am a biker?'


Anonymous said...

You can donate more than £200 to his campaign - you just can't do it through Paypal.

Anonymous said...

Iain - Your regard for the grotesque Heather Blears is a puzzlement. She's got a nasty, smirky, self-regarding face and, as you said, she speaks in politically correct soundbitese, meaning she's a staunch disciple of NuLabour control freakery. Heather and Heather's friends know best. They don't know much, but they know best.

For someone as quick on the political uptake as you, I find your defence of her baffling.

Anonymous said...

Iain, what is your view on the Reid vs Brown for the top job debate which this announcement has kicked off ? I am yet to be convinced that Reid wants/needs the aggravation. He has built a reputation as the trouble shooter who is parachuted in to sort out problems at short notice, and I think he relishes the variety of that role.

He has a bit of history from his drinking days which he might be unwilling to have dragged up the gutter press journos at the Daily Dacregraph. But the chance at the top job in politics only really comes once in a lifetime.

Just ask El Gordo Brown..

Anonymous said...

I like this bit:

"2003 - Minister of State for Higher Education, Department for Education and Skill

* Took through variable tuition fees."

was that not against his party's manifesto promise? and does he think that will gain him support?

Anonymous said...

verity - with you all the way on blears - the sight of her hamming it up / slumming it down, by doing a stint in the supermarket, shelf stacking and going on the till was truly bizarre.

Do they honestly think that will make them appear more 'normal' or down to earth ? Couldn't they just do some voluntary charity work in their weekends without a camera crew in tow ? Truly creepy...

Man in a Shed said...

And of course don't forget the almost famous Nothing there - for obvious reasons - but the name was registered 5 Sept 06 - hence a quick check on with WhoIS gives:


Administrative Contact:
Taylor, David
Cardiff, Cardiff CF99 1NA

Now this look like the same fellow who did the Keeping The Faith Tony Blair site - which appeared when Gordon was having a strop a few months ago.
See Bloggerheads investigation here and Dizzy Thinks did a great investigation here.

(Sorry if this is a repeat from an earlier post you ran Iain I have a strange feeling of deja vu here ).

Johnson4DEPUTY.ORG was registered on 30-Oct-06 by Michael Archibald based in East Yorkshire. Seems rather late in the day given all the fuss that was made about This suggests to me that Alan Johnson wasn't even thinking about the deputy leadership seriously till about 2 weeks ago – If so I wonder what his mind could have been on ?

Anonymous said...

About 2 month ago I posted on LabourHome that Alan hadn't updated his website in 2 years - and he should get a web designer in.

Anonymous said...

At least Alan will be able to remain awake for the length of this campaign, unlike one orange faced contender who it seems fell asleep while in a meeting with the father of a terrorist victim: