Richard burgon

Braverman’s brush with the law

Ah student politics: is there anything quite like it? The strange creatures it attracts, the passions it unleashes, the adolescent ambition and the glorious pettiness of it all; so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. Such an ignoble tradition has spawned many of our lords and masters – Boris Johnson was an unabashed Union hack at Oxford while William Hague was ‘convicted of electoral malpractice’ in one election of the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA). And having spent some time recently in the Cambridge University archives, Mr S is delighted to see the route from the common room to the Commons is still alive and well. For perusing copies of

Will Starmer move against the Socialist Campaign Group?

The Conservative party conference begins tomorrow in Manchester. Coming at a time of fuel shortages, tax rises and post-Covid drift, many disgruntled activists will be hoping to see some sign of dissent from backbenchers uncomfortable at the government’s direction of travel. Yet however bad those divides are, they’re surely nothing compared to those on show at Labour’s conference in Brighton just a few days ago. Nowhere was that better evidenced than at The World Transformed (TWT) festival, the socialist shindig to rival Labour’s ‘official’ event, held just a stone’s throw away from the main hall. It was here that members of the Socialist Campaign Group – the 35 most left-wing MPs in the

Labour lefties show their solidarity

Once the British left fought for civil rights, social justice and the brotherhood of man. But now such high principles have been discarded in favour of less grandiose battles, judging by the shenanigans of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs. The group, established by Tony Benn’s supporters in 1982, boasts the backing of 33 Labour MPs with more comrades in the House of Lords. Members spent the weekend organising a letter in defence of filmmaker Ken Loach, who revealed on Saturday that he has been expelled from the party. The group lionised Loach as ‘an outstanding socialist and a fierce opponent of discrimination’ and decried how ‘Ken is expelled

PMQs: The tragedy of Richard Burgon

PMQs is sixty years old. Speaker Hoyle opened the proceedings with a reminder that the weekly cross-examinations began in July 1961. Boris wasn’t there. Well, he was, but via Zoom. A televised shot of his head was beamed from Chequers to a flat-screen screwed to a high gallery. This was unfortunate for Sir Keir Starmer who needed to tackle the blond amplitude of Boris in person. Instead, he had to wrestle with an image, to punch at a vacancy and to skewer a shimmering square of coloured pixellations. It was like headbutting a cushion. Sir Keir was armed with some excellent complaints about the government’s ping debacle. Millions of citizens

Burgon: I’ll ensure members receive ‘political education’

You’ve got to hand it to Richard Burgon, the man’s not short on ideas (whether or not they’re good ideas is another matter). First, it was his plan to give Labour’s left-wing members a veto on UK military action. Now he’s promised to set up the ‘Tony Benn School of Political Education’. And what would Labour members benefit from learning according to Burgon? That’s right, ‘alternative economics’. No doubt the Leeds East MP will take advantage of some ‘alternative facts’ to teach that particular course. In an interview with LabourList announcing the ‘university’, Burgon praised the failed Labour Live concert – and also a festival organised by the French Communist Party newspaper.

Labour’s Richard Burgon problem

Richard Burgon is an idiot. Yes, I know you subscribe to The Spectator expecting more high-brow invective but I believe in being direct. Now, ordinarily I’d be in favour of leaving such a simple creature to his own devices, but this is the Labour Party we’re talking about, so Daisley’s First Law applies: The worst candidate in any Labour election is the one most likely to win. Elections for the deputy leader of the Labour party are generally to be filed under ‘private grief’, but Burgon is bent on spreading the misery around. He wants to be ‘campaigner in chief’ and pledges that, ‘within the first month of being deputy