Breakfast at the Cinnamon: a recipe for cash

The cinnamon club is an up market Indian restaurant next door to the department for education, just across the road from Westminster Abbey.  At 300 yards or so, it is one of the closest restaurants to the House of Commons. Once, it had a Michelin star.

At any sitting, its large, airy dining room will be more than smattered with political big fish, their media parasites and the big business interests who put the oxygen in the tank.

At breakfast, while the ladies who lunch are still painting their nails, the political wildlife are the only ones there.

This morning was typical.  Steve Richards of the Independent was with John Pienaar of the BBC.  Anyone who knows Pienaar will not be surprised that he was wolfing a full English.  Richards, still digesting a big lunch in the House of Commons with David Miliband yesterday, was more restrained.

Design critic Stephen Bayley (once described as the second most intelligent person in Britain) was breaking elegant breads with Iqbal Wahhab, the successful restaurateur who set up the cinnamon club in 2001.

Lord David Puttnam (who lunches at quirinale, opposite the House of Lords, but breaks his fast chez cinnamon) was holding court with the open-faced charm and wily erudition which are his own.

The two ace hacks appeared not to notice that David Miliband was cloistered in the (glass walled) private room at the front of the restaurant with a gaggle of flunkies and Roland Rudd.

Rudd is the co-founder and senior partner of the major financial PR company, Finsbury. Often cited as close to Peter Mandelson and James Murdoch, he is a millionaire mover and shaker who has also been linked to Ed Balls.

All the money in the Labour leadership campaign, though, is lining up behind David Miliband.  He has hundreds of thousands pounds of campaign finance and an operation which reflects that.  None of the others have any serious money at all.

At the moment, the campaign is all about hustings and message.  Come the autumn it will be about turning out the vote; and that requires infrastructure.  Which is where the money kicks in.  And when lack of it bites.

Were the trade unions all to line up behind a single candidate and campaign hard, this could provide some counter-weight (assuming it wasn’t him) to the Miliband wedge.

Hitherto, though, they have taken pains to step carefully and not to take sides. A concerted “stop David” campaign seems unlikely.

But if he keeps raising money like this, that’s what it will take.

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2 Responses to “Breakfast at the Cinnamon: a recipe for cash”

  1. libertarian says:

    Who cares, totally irrelevant. What we need is an opposition party

  2. Nash says:

    David Miliband as PM! Don’t make me laugh.

    David M should have a look at Australia to see what his future could have been. He just does not have what it takes to be a leader.

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