Show Hide image

Chuka Umunna launches his bid for the Labour leadership

Chuka Umunna has launched his campaign for the Labour leadership with a video in Swindon, where the party was defeated by the Conservatives in both seats.

 

North, South, East, West - Labour can and must win in 2020. - C

Posted by Chuka Umunna on Tuesday, 12 May 2015

 

Chuka Umunna has confirmed he will stand for the Labour leadership with a video posted on his Facebook page. Umunna will have a formal launch event at a later date, but has chosen to make his intentions clear while visiting Swindon, where Labour lost heavily to the Conservatives in both Swindon North and Swindon South. 

David Cameron launched the Conservative manifesto in Swindon, and the decision to kick off his campaign in the town underlines Umunna's focus on winning back seats from the Conservatives and securing a Labour majority in England. In the video, the shadow Business Secretary rebuffs the idea that it may take Labour a decade or more to recover from the 2015 defeat, insisting the turnaround can be completed in just five years. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.

Getty
Show Hide image

An alternative Trainspotting script for John Humphrys’ Radio 4 “Choose Life” tribute

Born chippy.

Your mole often has Radio 4’s Today programme babbling away comfortingly in the background while emerging blinking from the burrow. So imagine its horror this morning, when the BBC decided to sully this listening experience with John Humphrys doing the “Choose Life” monologue from Trainspotting.

“I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got Radio 4?” he concluded, as a nation cringed.

Introduced as someone who has “taken issue with modernity”, Humphrys launched into the film character Renton’s iconic rant against the banality of modern life.

But Humphrys’ role as in-studio curmudgeon is neither endearing nor amusing to this mole. Often tasked with stories about modern technology and digital culture by supposedly mischievous editors, Humphrys sounds increasingly cranky and ill-informed. It doesn’t exactly make for enlightening interviews. So your mole has tampered with the script. Here’s what he should have said:

“Choose life. Choose a job and then never retire, ever. Choose a career defined by growling and scoffing. Choose crashing the pips three mornings out of five. Choose a fucking long contract. Choose interrupting your co-hosts, politicians, religious leaders and children. Choose sitting across the desk from Justin Webb at 7.20 wondering what you’re doing with your life. Choose confusion about why Thought for the Day is still a thing. Choose hogging political interviews. Choose anxiety about whether Jim Naughtie’s departure means there’s dwindling demand for grouchy old men on flagship political radio shows. Choose a staunch commitment to misunderstanding stories about video games and emoji. Choose doing those stories anyway. Choose turning on the radio and wondering why the fuck you aren’t on on a Sunday morning as well. Choose sitting on that black leather chair hosting mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows (Mastermind). Choose going over time at the end of it all, pishing your last few seconds on needlessly combative questions, nothing more than an obstacle to that day’s editors being credited. Choose your future. Choose life . . .”

I'm a mole, innit.