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What Everton’s David Moyes can teach the Labour Party

Andy Burnham and the art of leadership.

I spent some time this week with the Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham for a piece that will appear in the magazine in due course. Among the things you should know about Burnham is that he is a mad keen Everton fan.

A long-time season ticket holder, he and his ten-year-old son can be regularly seen in the Gwladys Street Stand.

So, among the questions about AV, Iraq, Mandelson's memoirs, health policy, unattributed briefing, etc, I asked him what Everton's manager, David Moyes, could teach him about leadership. This was his answer:

He's a wonderful role model; the Moyes textbook would be on my desk as leader. Let me give you a few examples:
* Loyalty. He sticks by people who are loyal to him. That's one of my traits.
* He's brought stability: that's a great strength in a leader.
* He doesn't flip about in the wind and do one thing one day and one the other.
* He doesn't do some of the things other Premiership managers did, like grabbing a microphone on the pitch and lecturing players on the pitch; he doesn't go in for showiness.

Judging by that, Burnham may have the Everton vote sewn up but he'll struggle with the Hull City vote -- or at least those Hull City fans who still have time for their former manager Phil Brown, who Burnham refers to (far from obliquely) at the end of his comment.