Labour Urgently Needs Gallery Vernissages 140

State propaganda and corporate media are wasting no time in promoting their candidate for leader of the pretend opposition: Chuka Umunna. He ticks absolutely all the right boxes. Private school educated, grandson of a High Court judge (which did not hold back his career to become a multi-millionaire lawyer) and entirely London based. Umunna has only ever moved out of the M25 on an aeroplane.

And connoisseur of gallery vernissages.

Umunna - Born Sneering

Umunna – Born Sneering

What is more he really is very right wing. His admiration for Michael Heseltine, which drew attention during this election, dates back years. He openly declares his heroes are Heseltine, Mandelson and Blair. Blair reciprocates by making known Umunna is his preferred successor. Blair has been doing this for years too.

Small wonder that the London “elite” promoting Umunna has slipped into overdrive quicker than Jeremy Clarkson. He has a long piece in the Guardian today, and was given a major guest slot on the Andrew Marr show to promote his leadership bid. His message in the Guardian is “We need an approach in which no one is too rich or too poor to be part of our party”. Which is an interesting example of the rhetorical device of false equivalence, as rich people are not excluded from Westminster politics, they monopolise it. As Umunna is himself stinking rich, he somehow evaded this exclusion. He argues that “we allowed the impression to arise that we were not on the side of those who are doing well.”

Nobody could accuse Umunna of creating that impression. Umunna is so much on the side of those who are doing well, that he joined a special social network for them called A Small World, an invitation-only club for millionaires that studiously excludes the working classes. This website offers

“Access more than 100 events around the world each month: intimate cocktails, gallery vernissages, gourmet suppers, and extraordinary weekends.”

As well as upgrades, for example from an executive suite at the Las Vegas Mandarin to the Presidential suite. Though I am sure Chuka is more into the gallery vernissages. Well, Chuka Umunna posted on A Small World to ask his fellow millionaires what venues he could go to in London which did not let in any “trash”. Just in case anyone had not understood him, he specified that what he wanted was a “trash-free weekend”.

A spokeswoman for Umunna stated that this was a joke.

I don’t know what replies he got. Evidently nobody told him to avoid parliament because of the paedophiles. Maybe they said he should stick to those gallery vernissages. Not many trash there.

Anyway, it is obvious to all our betters in the metropolitan elite that Chukka is the man for the job, so who am I to argue? I don’t even know what a gallery vernissage is. And doubtless he will rescue the party fortunes in Scotland, where core voters who deserted Labour in the schemes of Scottish cities undoubtedly feel that gallery vernissages hold the key to a brighter future.

140 thoughts on “Labour Urgently Needs Gallery Vernissages

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  • Vronsky

    What the fuck is ‘gallery vernissages’? Here was me thinking I’d tried everything.

  • Les Cunningham

    What possible reasons (other than a lust for power) could someone like that have for being part of a left of centre party? But no doubt he is ideally suited to the neo-liberal, right wing party that Labour has become in reality.

    Meanwhile, the people of England are deprived of an effective and genuine alternative to the Tories.

  • Chris

    Umanna and Mandy on sunday morning news talkng about the future of the labour party. Another lurch to the right seems inevitable.

    Such a move will be pointless as the tories will remain in power until they feck up the economy again. It will take another black wednesday to see them removed. Rupert won’t allow it.

  • John Goss

    Excellent post. We have to stop Blairites like Chukka Umunna ever coming to power. It makes little difference because the Labour Party has sold out (with a few exceptions).

  • MBC

    The trade unions need to form a new party of the left in England and pull the plug on New Labour. And cultivate the 34% of the electorate that doesn’t vote. Do they have if in them? I doubt it.

  • bleb

    A vernissage (varnishing, from French) is a term used for a preview of an art exhibition, which may be private, before the formal opening.[1] Guests may be served canapés and wine as they discuss with artists and others the works in the exhibition. If the vernissage is not open to the public, but only for invited guests, it is often called a private view.

    In other words “a private viewing”

  • Ian

    Well, to put you all out of your misery, I looked up ‘vernissages’ and it means ‘private view’. Now, the common currency of the art world is to offer ‘private views’ to the press and invited guests before an exhibition opens to the public. Everybody in that world knows what a ‘private view’ is. Nobody I know has ever used or is acquainted with this term ‘vernissages’ – which is I guess further proof that elitist people adopt words smug in the knowledge that nobody else will have a clue what it means. In their privileged world, it gives them greater satisfaction not just to have private views but a private language, unknown to the common herd.

  • vronsky

    Umunna looks like an English Jim Murphy,but without the human warmth (sarcasm). This won’t turn out well. It seems that every time we Nats wish for a Labour leader worse than the last one, gloomily certain that no such thing is possible, they turn up trumps for us. If they can’t find anyone worse than Umunna, then Umunna it will be. God knows what beast lurches towards Bethlehem to be next leader in Scotland.

  • Mary

    My post on the Murphy/Dougie thread

    8 May, 2015 – 3:34 am

    Chuka Umunna has been re-elected in Streatham with an increased majority. It is said that Miliband E as leader will be toast so the ambitious Chuka is poised.

    Chuka is LFoI so has all the right connections for Liebour leadership.


    The other posh boy Tristram is going for it too I reckon.

    Leader Betting

    2/1 Chuka Umunna

    3/1 Andy Burnham

    7/2 Dan Jarvis

    9/2 Yvette Cooper

    6/1 Tristram Hunt

    10/1 Liz Kendall

  • Republicofscotland

    Speaking of the Labour leadership,both trade unions Unite and ASLEF,have called for the resignation of Jim Murphy.

    To add oil to the fire Neil Finlay, Murphy’s rival for the Labour leadership in Scotland has resigned,he was a favoured by Grahame Smith leader of the STUC.

  • Mary

    Reminder how Cameron won.

    General Election 2015: Tories hit hard with YouTube attack ads
    The Conservatives believe their US-style political attack ads are quietly out-gunning their opponents in the run-up to the May election

    ‘They will be familiar to any connoisseur of Washington DC wargaming – haunted music, faded-out colours, jagged headlines spelling doom, all punctuated with a series of apocalyptic sound effects. But rarely has it been a British politician in the headlights.

    Ed Miliband is unfit for office video

    It is understood that Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) has an internal team creating the ads rather than outsourcing them to an advertising agency. They are cost-effective – no expensive media space needs to be bought to host them on YouTube – and hard hitting.

    Labour’s spending plans are in chaos video

    They are also, if viewing figures are anything to go by, pretty popular. Videos posted in just a few weeks ago have already racked up hundreds of thousands of views. CCHQ uses an email list of more than a million addresses to promote them. (Feedback, incidentally, is less well known – comments are switched off on YouTube.)

    The Tories believe their social media team can be one of the secret weapon this election. Despite Labour’s claims to be leading on digital campaigning, the Conservatives think the attack ads are part of an online arsenal that is quietly out-gunning their opponents in the run-up to the election.


    Cameron’s spin doctor is Craig Oliver. His CV. He knows the ropes.

    ‘Profile: Craig Oliver
    4 February 2011

    Craig Oliver worked for ITN before he joined the BBC

    Craig Oliver, who has been selected to replace Andy Coulson as David Cameron’s communications chief, has worked in broadcasting for almost two decades.

    The 41-year-old has resigned from his job as controller of English services at BBC Global News.

    In this role he was responsible for the World Service, BBC World News and the News website outside the UK.

    There had been wide speculation about who would replace Mr Coulson, a former editor of the News of the World, in Downing Street.

    Many high-profile journalists were mentioned by commentators, but Mr Cameron appears to have opted for a more backroom figure rather than a household name following the embarrassment caused by the ongoing saga over phone-hacking at Mr Coulson’s old newspaper.

    When news of the appointment broke, it came as a complete surprise to many as his name had not been mentioned in any of the lists of possible candidates put together by media commentators.

    The son of a former chief constable of Grampian police, Mr Oliver was educated at a Scottish state school before studying at St Andrews University and then completing a broadcast diploma at the Cardiff School of Journalism.

    He started his media career as a cub reporter at STV in Scotland where footage still survives of one of his early reports from 1992.

    The following year he joined ITN on a training scheme before becoming a producer on ITV’s News at Ten.

    He was later appointed programme editor when Channel Five launched its news service in 1997 and returned to ITV News as senior programme editor of the early evening news programme in 1999.

    After a spell at Channel 4 News in 2002, Mr Oliver returned to ITV News in 2003 as head of output and then as head of network news programmes.

    He took on his latest BBC role in April last year, having previously edited the Six O’Clock News and Ten O’Clock News.

    Mr Oliver also oversaw the BBC’s results coverage for last year’s general election and was involved in preparing plans, announced in January, for cuts to the BBC World Service.

    The were announced just days before news of Mr Oliver’s departure broke.

    Staff were told that up to 650 jobs would be lost from a workforce of 2,400 over the next three years in a bid to save £46m a year.’

  • BrianPowell

    Could be the media and state are so unaware that they believe is is OK, or they promote hime so they can laugh at the public for continuing to elect politicians who despise them.

  • Beeston Regis

    Labour failed to address the oft quoted mantra that they ‘bankrupted the country’.

  • Republicofscotland

    Thinking of the Conservatives austerity agenda which will now surely be implimented with gusto.

    I recall the IFS and the OBR,stating that even they couldn’t fathom,where such deep cuts to public spending would occur, to the degree of £12bn pounds.

    Without across the board job cuts,lack of public services and profound widespread poverty.

    Or is that the whole idea of austerity,to widen the social class.

  • Mary

    All that for £75. A snip.

    Membership requires an invitation from an existing member or a membership application approved by our international committee of trustees. For a small annual membership fee we keep the community private, tightly-knit, and free of advertising while offering incredible benefits. The annual membership fee also includes a small donation to the ASMALLWORLD Foundation.

    The annual membership fee is $110 / €85 / £75

    Messrs Wachtmeister and Weinstein are probably doing very nicely out of it.

    I once worked for a local authority art gallery. The private views were hilarious. The local worthies including councillors spent the evening drinking as much free wine as possible and as many nibbles as they could stuff in. The comments on the art were pretentious.

    We were not of course in Chuka’s ‘A Small World’ league and did not run to providing canapés or champagne.

    Intrigued how Craig came to know of Chuka’s membership!

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I have just applied for membership of “A Small World” – let’s see what they will have to say to me.

    Kind regards,


  • JimmyGiro

    “…and extraordinary weekends.”

    “Bring on the chocolate gimp!” Is an expression which will become illegal under a private members bill, soon.

  • Mary

    No chucking up when looking at Chuka on Marr.

    Chuka Umunna: I intend to play the fullest part I can

    In an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, the Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna praised Ed Miliband for reforming the party and leading a courageous election campaign.

    But Mr Miliband’s resignation has seen bookies turn their attention on to his successor.

    Although Mr Umunna did not say he would be putting himself forward for the leadership contest, he stated that he intended to play the fullest part he could in rebuilding our party and “ensuring we have a proper debate.”

    He described the party’s loss as a “collective failure” but pointed in particular to the lack of clarity around Labour’s policies around business. “Our business agenda was pro-business,” he said, “but people were under the impression that it wasn’t.”

    Release date: 10 May 2015 9 mins

    A distinct lack of any warmth.

  • Daniel

    “Or is that the whole idea of austerity,to widen the social class.”

    Of course, the notion that the implementation of austerity measures as the precursor to deficit reduction is counter-intuitive and the Tories know it.

  • JimmyGiro

    “Our business agenda was pro-business,” he said, “but people were under the impression that it wasn’t.”

    If at first you don’t succeed, use a bigger hammer. Or so Umunna’s Proctologist advises.

  • Kenny

    A gallery vernissage is an exhibition opening. And no one goes to them, because only the same old people you want to avoid go to them.

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