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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  • Ba'al Zevul

    Chuka Umuna and the other Blairites are making sense of Labour’s debacle: they failed to appeal to people who are neither well off nor poor, and got flattened, so there’s a political moral there.

    Certainly is. Two, in fact

    1. Returning a party to power is far more important than implementing the prnciples for which the party was founded. These can conveniently be abandoned in order to obtain power.

    2. And then forgotten.

  • JimmyGiro

    @ Abe Rene,

    See the link in my post above. First pic is Umaguma’s ‘girlfriend’; third pic is Mandy’s catamite.

  • Googler

    It was hilariously sad to read Blair pontificating on what Labour needs, when he and Harman were the ones who destroyed the party to begin with. It is almost as if they were planted there, to ensure that the UK ends up with a one-party system. I agree with Tariq Ali. Let it bleed. One betrayal after another meant that it was never worth keeping.

    It may be just a theory, but I don’t think any man who realizes how extremist the misogyny of Harman is could ever vote for Labour again. She has done more than anyone in the country over the last century to promote gender inequality. Having said that, Cameron also made himself deeply unpopular when he stupidly compared low-income dads struggling to keep up with maintenance payments to drunk drivers. Ironically, the only drunk drivers I see are the bloody-minded politicians.

  • Mary

    Rory Bremner, in his paean of praise for Jon Snow who was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship last night, spoke of him ‘speaking truth to power’! That might have been true once but it was a long time ago.

    See this Medialens thread.

    which quotes the Guardian.

    ‘Jon Snow: ‘In the establishment, I’m the most anti-establishment person I know’
    The veteran Channel 4 newsreader has inhaled skunk live on air, interviewed Nelson Mandela (straight out of prison) and faced down Thatcher 20 excruciating times. Which must be at least part of the reason that he is about to be awarded a Bafta fellowship’

    Channel 4 News is a production of ITN.

  • Giyane

    So the lemmings followed Russell Brand and didn’t vote. My mother’s name was T and my father”s name was V.

  • Abe Rene

    @Jimmy Giro
    From the first pic, Craig appears to be luckier than Chuka (though the Metro showed her lower limbs to better advantage). But as for the third pic, what evidence is there of any improper relationship between him and Mandelson?

  • Abe Rene

    @ Mary “P Harry would like to earn a wage. Good idea son!”

    PH acquainted himself honourably as an Army Officer fighting the Taleban on the front line in Afghanistan and by active engagement in various kinds of charitable work since. So IMO he has turned his past round well.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    what evidence is there of any improper relationship between him and Mandelson?

    None whatever, since homosexual relationships are legal. Where I do take issue with the evidence is that there is nothing to indicate whether he is Mandelson’s catamite, or Mandelson his.

  • Abe Rene

    @Baal Zevul “None whatever”

    It depends on your view of morality. But what evidence is there of any gay relationship at all between the two?

  • Born Optimist

    Do gallery vernissages exist to keep out the trash ie ordinary voters? I would think that’s a fair assumption.

    Apart from that, though I have yet to learn much about Chuka Umunna he comes across as far too slick to be trustworthy and really care about other people. In fact he reminds me far too much of someone else with similar characteristics who once led the Labour Party.

  • Jon


    “A small world” looks like a club for very lucky people. Good luck to them. Their good fortune is none of my business.

    I hold no resentment towards people who are very wealthy, as long as they pay their taxes, and have come by their wealth through hard work put to decent ends. However, I take the view that substantial income inequality is harmful to society – I have in mind here The Spirit Level. I think instituting a maximum wage might go some way to curtailing this.

    It is often said that these sorts of schemes could encourage a non-austerity government to spend unwisely. To counteract that possibility, proceeds gathered from a maximum wage could be earmarked for special community projects, like the National Lottery fund, and given to good causes. Tracking where the money goes would then be easy (unlike general taxation).

  • Phil

    “I think instituting a maximum wage might go some way to curtailing this.”

    Er, real wealth does not get paid in wages. That’s sort of the point of capitalism.

  • Abe Rene

    @ ExpatSCpt “I know a few city Lawyers, and none of them were millionaires after 4 years!”

    Perhaps Chuka is *not* a millionaire (though he may well be a highly paid and relatively wealthy middle class lawyer)?

  • OldMark

    @Jimmy Giro
    From the first pic, Craig appears to be luckier than Chuka (though the Metro showed her lower limbs to better advantage).

    Haven’t been to the Metro website yet so I cannot possibly comment- but I can say it was a canny move of Chuka’s to keep the girlfriend hidden until after the election. A significant segment of the black female electorate would have cooled to him had they known of her identity before May 7.

  • Mary

    Abe Rene. Predictable response.

    Gross hypocrisy from the current 5th in line. With the aid of Sir Christopher Geiht and the palace spin doctors, P Harry is portrayed as this happy chappy who loves children. See the sycophantic interview on Sky News from NZ with their royal reporter who stood outside the Lindo Wing for hours the other week breathlessly reporting the arrival of the 4th in line.

    How many Afghani babies and toddlers did he dispatch to the other world by means of guided weaponry from his Apache helicopter? We will never know. Remember he does ‘bad things to bad people’. Spook

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Didn’t Chuka stop working as a lawyer in 2010, after 8 years in the trade? That would be a quick million to put aside indeed, even for m’learned friend. More likely he’s a trust fund beneficiary. (See Vona, Jersey)

    Whatever, he certainly has little objection to being thought of as being wealthy. More evidence that Labour has completely discarded its raison d’etre and its social value is now nil.

  • Mary

    Now is the time for Boris to come to the aid of the party,

    A very wise decision by Dave to bring him into the fold rather than having him snapping at Dave’s heels from the outside. Or perhaps it’s a deal between two Bullingdon boys for the succession at No 10.

    Boris In Cameron Cabinet As PM Finalises Team
    Boris Johnson arrives at Number 10 as David Cameron finalises his top team with promotions for a number of women MPs.

    Whittingdale, the subject of a few of Craig’s posts, gets a leg up.

  • Mary

    Amber Rudd the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary of State is the sister of Roland Rudd who is a millionaire, pal of Mandelslime, friend of BLiar and reportedly adviser to Miliband.

    ‘Amber Rudd is the youngest of four siblings, one of whom is the PR executive Roland Rudd, a Labour supporter and donor advising Ed Miliband on business.’

  • enda clarke

    Being an admirer of Michael Heseltine is by no means necessarily proof of being ‘right wing’, if that tired old binary means anything whatever.

    Being a supporter of the wetly social-democratic SNP, with its financially repressive policies towards the NHS and tertiary education, does not make one ‘left wing’ either… though it may qualify you to be a Friend of The Donald and The Rupert (Scottish editions only).

  • Abe Rene

    I wonder if Chuka is not a millionaire but a relatively well-off social/political climber. That could explain the quip about ‘trash’.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    .. a relatively well-off social/political climber…

    In the absence of any hard figures, I think a consensus could be reached on that. So the next topic is, do you want social (and economic) climbers in charge of the Labour Party? Maybe you do. Maybe you buy that drivel about appealing to the aspirational (ie greed). Or maybe you can see the case for a lot more equality, a lot more emphasis on enough being enough, and a lot less in the way of rewards for the already over-rewarded..

  • Villager

    Abe, I believe you’re totally right….a Pretender/climber, with no real depth.

    The vernissage language too I think is the ostentatious term for private-viewing by the collective pretenders.

  • Jon

    Enda, yep, the left/right labels still have plenty of meaning: always have done, always will do. The current centre as defined by the mainstream media might be right-wing, but I would argue the meanings of the words in political terms have not changed at all.

    (I prefer the two-axis approach to mapping political positions, but a single-axis measure isn’t entirely bad. Have you seen the Political Compass website? Well worth a look if you’ve not seen it:

    I expect we’ll just have to disagree. I am of the view that being an admirer of the aforementioned trio makes one very right-wing indeed, both in economic and social terms.

    I’d say the SNP are centrist, or centre-left: they are not social democrats, but they seem to be committed to more wealth distribution than the red or blue business parties. I agree about the Rupert thing, much discussed here already.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    So his gains don’t look ill-gotten.

    Did anyone say they were?

    What does seem to be a little obscure is in whose tax jurisdiction they are sitting.

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