Conference diary IV: beef

As the Miliband era dawns, and shadow cabinet nominations close today, a new and important figure is born in British politics.

The new leader’s victorious and vindicated campaign manager, Sadiq Khan, swept through Manchester’s echoing halls with an entourage the size of Tooting Bec. He was what the late Biggie Smalls used to call “rolling thirty deep”. (In truth, Uncut counted a mere nine flunkeys riding his slipstream, but the figure he cut was impressive).

A slightly crumpled dresser, fat chains and a pimp cane may not come easy to the man who would be shadow home secretary. But these are the ways he must master if he is to match his entourage and justify his new i/d: Sadiq Diddy.

* * *

At the start of the week, the conference rumour mill had it that Joe Irvin, former political secretary to Gordon Brown, was about to replace Charlie Whelan as Unite’s chief fixer and finagler.

Joe has been denying it to everyone who’ll listen.

“It’s rubbish. Pure speculation”, he told Uncut last night.

Most people assume that he’s just saying that, because nothing has been signed and he is a professional.

Better informed people say that he’s telling the truth. The deal is off. And, for the moment at least, Charlie stays.

The reasons are labyrinthine, and for another day.

* * *

Uncut sallies forth to the defence fringe, where tempers flare. Eric Joyce attacks Bob Ainsworth and David Miliband for “doing nothing” on defence.

Bob shoots back: “I don’t remember you coming up with any ideas when we were in government”.

Eric retorts: “Are you going to take cheap shots or are you going to come up with a Labour policy on defence”.

Gentlemen, please. You can’t fight in here. This is the war debate.

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