Question about Andy Burnham

Is there anything interesting to say about Andy Burnham, or anything to report that reflects well on him? He’s one of those people who has largely flown under my radar. I remember seeing him on telly a few years ago, when he was reasonably new in some not insignificant job or other, and being underwhelmed, but since I don’t really get my political news from the TV, and I don’t follow the minutiae of Government policy, he’s basically passed me by this last parliamentary term or so. So: any Andy Burnham-related thoughts and observations would be more than more than welcome.

UPDATE [25.5.10]: Jamie K has more.

10 thoughts on “Question about Andy Burnham”

  1. Basically he’s a run of the mill ‘straight-down-the centre-of-the-road’ Blairite. The only interesting thing about him is there is a clip of him playing guitar to ‘Teenage Kicks’ having asked the rather bemused Fergal Sharkey (now head of something called UK Music, an umbrella organisation representing the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music industry) to sing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGYkvDbmM_g

  2. Burnham is a Philistine. When Minister of Culture, Media & Sport, he opined: “”Libraries should be a place for families and joy and chatter”, thus demonstrating that he did not understand what a library was, nor how it differed from a coffee shop.

  3. I’ve not been following this very closely — and of course am looking at this from the outside — but it seems like Labour would have to be mad to choose anyone other than the non-gaffe-prone, non-Blair-clone of the Millibands.
    An interesting and perhaps irrelevant fact about Burnham: he’s RC — so if he were to win, and he were ever able to form a government, he’d be the first (non crypto-)Catholic PM.
    I believe Burnham also didn’t emerge too well from the expenses scandal — he was rather grasping about his mortgage, or some such.

  4. Any comment which involves the phrase “Labour would have to be mad to….” needs to have some kind of custard pie thrown at it before it’s even finished.

    Library cats. There used, by the way, to be loads of cat photos at the reecption desk at Oxford Brookes library when I worked there, one of many reasons I liked the place.

  5. An old work colleague of mine from way back, who is now somewhere in the upper echelons of the Department of Health, worked closely with Andy Burnham at DH. He had two main insights on Andy:
    1. He’s a pleasant guy to work with.
    2. He appeared to have no strong view on any issue at all – to the extent that my ex-colleague never knew what Andy really thought about anything.

  6. He did produce an elegant performance before the Hillsborough Justice Campaign on the 20th anniversary of the disaster. It can’t have been easy given his government’s inertia – not to mention his well-known Evertonianism.

    Not a leader though is he?

  7. I only remember him being nowhere near as good as James Purnell when at the DCMS. And I’d say this even if Purnell hadn’t bunged £25 million in the direction of the organisation I work for.

    The crucial difference is that I got the very strong impression that Purnell actually recognised what his department was for, whereas Burnham never really gave me very much of an impression about anything.

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