Labour MPs mutter that the Rochdale Ranter, Simon Danczuk, has defected – from the Sun to the Mail on Sunday. The member for Tory Press Central, once a favourite of Rupert Murdoch’s Currant Bun, is more often found in Viscount Rothermere’s organs these days. My snout grumbled that Danczuk had attacked the party in signed pieces on each of the past three weekends. The Register of Members’ Interests reveals disloyalty is so profitable that the rebel with a column has set up Danczuk Media Ltd, “a company which will assist in the production of media articles”, and has totted up £52,858.39 in earnings from print and broadcasting.
To be fair to Simon D, the cash wasn’t all for knocking copy, and it includes payments for a book exposing the alleged Liberal paedophile Cyril Smith, as well as £350 from the Guardian. The snout snorted that Danczuk is kidding himself and his paymasters if he thinks that he could be a stalking horse to unsaddle Jeremy Corbyn. Every nice little earner costs him support in the Parliamentary Labour Party.
Danczuk’s carping was raised publicly by a party member at a recent talkathon with Alan Johnson that I chaired. Johnson replied, truthfully, that the Rochdale Ranter wasn’t his responsibility. AJ, an engaging man of letters, a postie who went on to join Labour’s lost leaders club, revealed that the only time he seriously thought of running for the top job was in May 2010, as a caretaker premier after Gordon Brown sacrificed himself during coalition talks with the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg jumped into bed with the Cons and the rest, as David Cameron likes to think, is history.
Johnson confessed that the refusal by members of the old guard to serve Corbyn causes confusion. The Hull MP asked a colleague: who was the “Judith” directing him into a voting lobby? Cue embarrassment on learning that she was Judith Cummins, elected last May in Bradford and already a whip.
Cameron complains to anyone who will listen that Angela Merkel blames him for Britain’s anti-EU newspapers. Germany’s Iron Lady feels that he should do more to sell Europe to Tory rags. Good luck. Cameron was heard to murmur: “It’s not as if I could ask them to lay off the Schulzes of Oxfordshire.”
Bah humbug! Mike Jones, the Tory group leader in Chester, has accused the Labour council of making a political statement by including red baubles in the town’s Christmas lights. He sounds a leg short of the full turkey.
Momentum is building in a rift between Corbynistas over who owns the details of the £3 voters. Spartism’s Jon Lansman insists that he does. Others argue that JC does and therefore the party. The workers, divided, will always be defeated.
Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror
This article appears in the 04 Nov 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The end of Europe