Memo to the Telegraph: dinner suits are also available in The North

This attack on Andy Burnham as a 'metropolitan elitist' is a recycling of the campaign against Ed Miliband


This morning the Telegraph’s website has exposed Andy Burnham for what he is: a man who sometimes dresses smart.

The story’s click-hungry headline (the Telegraph has spent £8million on its digital operations) about the Labour party leadership hopeful runs:

“Andy Burnham says he’s not part of the ‘metropolitan elite’. So what about this picture then?”

What follows is a picture of Burnham in a black suit, with a white shirt and bow tie, posing for a photo with fellow members of a Labour-affiliated amateur football team.

As you can see from the photo, (and do click on the link – it makes them happy), he looks like an ordinary bloke at a wedding.

It may come as a surprise to the Telegraph, but dinner suits are also available in ‘the north’.

But the Telegraph believes this photograph is proof of Burnham’s secret membership of something called ‘the metropolitan elite’. More ‘proof’ is laid out in a summary of his career in politics and the jobs held by people he knows.

And this from a newspaper owned by two billionaires who live in tax havens in Monaco and the Channel Islands!

This ‘metropolitan elite’ line is a recycling of the Tory press attacks on Ed Miliband.

Simply put, the trick goes like this: Labour politicians have more money and a better education than you, dear reader. This makes them hypocrites when they talk about helping disadvantaged people.

Tories, by contrast, make no such pretence, are proud of their privilege, and supposedly want everyone to have the same opportunities as they did, (even though this is impossible by definition).


Thus attacks on the gob-smacking elitism of the Tories are ‘anti-wealth’, ‘anti-business’ and ‘class war’, but attacks of the same nature on Leftists and Labour are a righteous puncturing of hypocrisy.

As the debate about Labour’s election defeat continues, it’s worth noting that if Labour decides to talk less about class, that won’t stop Tories talking about it.


The football team Burnham is pictured with in the Telegraph take-down was called Demon Eyes, after a Tory scare campaign against the ‘danger’ of… Blairism. How times change.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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