Posts Tagged ‘Dugher’

Update: the teams behind the leadership campaigns

19/05/2010, 11:06:59 AM

We summarised the core teams here yesterday.   David Miliband made a point of saying in his formal launch speech that his named spokesperson would be Lisa Tremble, and that there would be no unattributable briefing.  Cynics in the other camps have raised their eyebrows.

His organisation and logistics will fall to Joe Carberry, the widely liked godson of Peter Mandelson.  (The Dark Lord himself is ‘keeping out of it’, as is Alistair Campbell).

The weird temptations of one more campaign have lured several former Downing Street staffers. Stewart Wood, Gordon Brown’s DCMS and foreign affairs guy, has  joined Polly Billington spinning for Ed Miliband.  Into which camp Rachel Kinnock has also wandered.  Whereas the woman who used to share an office with Dr Wood in Downing St, former Head of Broadcasting, Nicola Burdett, has reportedly signed on to spin for Balls.  At whose strategy meetings she will encounter the familiar face of Michael Dugher, now MP for Barnsley East but till very recently a top spinner in the Brown Downing Street.

For those who assume otherwise: I doubt that any of these ex-staffers will be paid for any work on this campaign, though many will be working full time.  As they will have been on the general election.  Which they won’t have been paid for either.  They do it because they can’t help themselves.

So far, the Brown Downing Street is splitting between the two Eds.  But there are many yet to declare.

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Let’s hope the candidates out-perform the campaigns

18/05/2010, 09:32:59 AM

So far, the leadership campaigns have been pretty shambolic. There is no sense that any of the contenders have a pre-assembled team which has kicked into operation.  Rather, they all seem disorientated by the lack not only of the civil service support to which they’re accustomed, but even of what remains of the Labour apparatus which served them as best it could during the election.
The nearest to organised is Balls.  In part this is just because his core team – in keeping with his niche in the party – boasts better organisers.  People like Tom Watson, Ian Austin, Michael Dugher and John Spellar may not exactly have ‘rainbow coalition’ or ‘next Labour’ printed on their t-shirts, but they are well acquainted with the mechanics both of internal elections and of external spin.
Balls is also the one who has done the most work over the last five years.  He’s the only one who’s been assiduously traipsing round the Friday night rubber chicken circuit of local Labour parties since 2005.  He has made the most effort to court the unions, and starts ahead in that section of the electoral college.  And he has worked harder than David Miliband, though perhaps not than Ed, at convincing his fellow Labour MPs to like him. (more…)

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