What Everton’s David Moyes can teach the Labour Party

Andy Burnham and the art of leadership.

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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.

Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein.