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Yvette Cooper Goes Identity against ‘Boys’ Toys’ in Labour Battle.

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Yvette Cooper: Labour Should not be run by White Men.

Labour should not be run by two white men, says Cooper: Leadership contender launches stinging attack on Corbyn and says party needs a feminist approach

Yvette Cooper launched a scathing attack on Labour leadership front-runner Jeremy Corbyn yesterday and claimed the party should no longer be run by ‘white men’.

The Shadow Home Secretary insisted she was the ‘real radical’ and made the case to be Labour’s first woman leader – saying the party needed a ‘feminist approach to our economy and society’.

She hit out at the prospect of ‘a Labour Party after a century of championing equality and diversity which turns the clock back to be led again by a leader and deputy leader, both white men. Who’s the real radical? Jeremy or me

On Newsnight yesterday Cooper, married to Ed Balls, said that all the talk on transport, cars and trains, was about “toys for the Boys”.

What was needed was child care.

She is obviously proud of the expression “boys’ toys”  : it was made in Manchester the same day:

Universal free childcare should be as much the infrastructure of the modern economy as trains, planes and boys toys.

Cooper has never used boys’ toys transport.

In Manchester she also said, on Clause Four, and Corbyn’s proposals for greater public ownership,

“Bringing back clause IV? Spending billions of pounds we haven’t got switching control of some power stations from a group of white middle aged men in an energy company to a group of white middle aged men in Whitehall?”

Too right: the worst thing is that these men are white and middle aged.

Cooper was born in 1969 and is white.

She was Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from  5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010.

Her new concern with welfare issues contrasts with the fact that she did nothing to reform the ‘controversial’ Work Capability Assessments and the company, ATOS, from this programme, during her term of office.

The Welfare Reform Act 2007 introduced Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) to determine who should receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Decisions were taken by officials at the DWP using evidence from the assessments, carried out by the Atos subsidiary Atos Healthcare.

During her post she the Labour government operated its latest version of the New Deal programmes (the ‘Flexible New deal’) which paved the way for Workfare and a crack down on claimants.

It was hived out to companies run by…..white and middle aged men.

With one big exception: Emma Harrison and the notorious A4E .

A4e was a company started by Emma Harrison‘s father. It was originally a Sheffield based training company, putting unemployed steel workers through a getting-back-to-work course. Emma Harrison joined the company after graduating in engineering.

After the Labour Party came to power in 1997, they introduced the back to work New Deal service for those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, requiring claimants to attend vocational training or risk losing their benefit. In the mid 2000s the government withdrew funding from Jobcentre Plus’ vocational training programmes and redirected the funds to “back to work” agencies, such as the Sheffield based company A4e. A4e quickly became the largest provider of New Deal services in the UK, and had contracts for the New Deal worth £80 million.[11][12] When the New Deal was wound down in 2010, A4e was paid a share of £63 million in “termination fees”.

A4e was awarded a contract for the Pathways to Work scheme in 2008,[with a target to get 30 per cent of participants into employment. In February 2012 the Public Accounts Committee heard the success rate was 9 per cent.[14] Committee Chair Margaret Hodge questioned why A4e had been awarded new contracts to deliver the Work Programme despite this “abysmal” performance. Conservative Committee memberRichard Bacon expressed similar concerns, asking why A4e’s “dreadful performance in one of the immediate predecessor programmes” had not been taken into account during tendering.


David Blunkett, a pillar of New Labour, was closely involved with A4E.

David Blunkett, the former secretary of state for work and pensions, has amended his entry in the House of Commons register of interests to include a trip to South Africa paid for and organised by a private training company for which he is an adviser, the Observer can reveal.

The MP for Sheffield Brightside, who resigned from the cabinet for a second time in late 2005 after breaking the ministerial code over a separate business interest, amended his entry with the House of Commons authorities last week after discussions with the Observer.

He had travelled with another person last September, on behalf of A4e, a leading employment and training firm that is bidding for multi-million pound contracts in the UK from Blunkett’s former department and is expanding its interests around the world. Blunkett consulted the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and was told: “The registrar suggests that for the avoidance of doubt it would be advisable to amend your entry to make clear that you do travel on behalf of the company.”


Blunkett is also an opponent of Jeremy Corbyn.

Writing in the Mirror at the end of July he said,

The language used by Jeremy Corbyn about combating austerity will be out of date.

The arguments about who will protect the poor from George Osborne will have passed.

Jeremy is the candidate of the Old Left, and they will have few answers for new challenges facing the Labour Party and the country in 2020.


Written by Andrew Coates

August 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

7 Responses

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  1. Yvette Cooper’s latest supporter: Robert Webb.

    Andrew Coates

    August 14, 2015 at 5:20 pm

  2. The National Union of Mineworkers have also come out in support of Yvette Cooper.


    Yvette Cooper’s latest campaigning “strategy” is just beyond parody. What’s next? Jazz hands?

    The Tories can probably just not believe their luck. And no wonder Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign is doing better than expected. If Cooper’s level of debate is to resort to “boy’s toys” and “I should be leader because I’m not a middle aged white man” then, not to put to fine a point on it

    At first, I thought I’d vote Kendall, then Cooper, then Burnham. Purely as a “who’s the best candidate to beat the Tories?”

    Now, anytime I see Burnham’s stupid grin, I punch myself in the face for even thinking he could be leader. Cooper’s #NoWhiteMen strategy might swing her a few votes among Goldsmith’s students but it won’t win a General Election (which is surely what matters). Kendall is (still) the best of the three but her policies seem very ill thought out and her enthusiasm for Welfare Cuts recently was pretty sickening.

    Which leaves us with Jeremy.

    I have to admit he has made very sensible moves recently regarding Israel/Palestine by supporting a two state solution and the right of Israel to safeguard its citizens. His “yes” to the EU is also to be welcomed.

    I still can’t see him winning the next Election but the “moderates” are so awful that maybe he deserves a chance. And I never thought I’d write that.

    John R

    August 14, 2015 at 6:27 pm

  3. “Kendall is (still) the best of the three but her policies seem very ill thought out and her enthusiasm for Welfare Cuts recently was pretty sickening.”


    Blah blah:

    “Which leaves us with Jeremy.”

    I’m sorry John R , but I do not understand your thinking. Kendall is good, but her politics are ill thought out, and she has supported bad policies. What in that makes her the best of three runners up?

    And then you support Corbyn.

    No wonder the Labour Party is a mess (and I say this as an ex-member who did not like becoming regarded as nothing more than a leaflet distributor for Blairite nobodies).


    August 15, 2015 at 8:44 pm

  4. Andrew Coates

    August 16, 2015 at 11:49 am

  5. Pinkie, sometimes I don’t understand my own thinking, so, apologies.

    When it comes to Burnham/Cooper, my objection to them is that they represent “focus group” politics and end up having nothing new or coherent to offer. Kendall, at least, seemed to be putting forward a a coherent political programme of the Labour Right which was trying to deal with the core problems we face – how does the Labour Party win over Tory/Ukip/SNP voters.

    In many ways the Kippers and the Scot Nats are just another reflection of the curse of “identity politics”. The amount of time I’ve heard people in Glasgow (where I’m from) proudly boast how much more socialist we are compared to the English just made me want to tear my hair out. Alex Salmon would make the same point about the Social Democratic Scots all the while guaranteeing a substantial cut in Corporation Tax in an independent Scotland.

    In the end, I was hoping Kendall might represent a return to a more traditional Labour Right à la Hattersley or JohnSmith but I now see that was more of a projection on my part than reality.

    What I want is a Labour Govt. None of the present four leadership candidates seem, at the moment, to be able to offer a convincing case, imo, that they will be able to beat the Tories in five years time. I know this is the “politics of despair” and I hate myself for saying it.

    Which brings me back to Jeremy Corbyn.

    He has enthused many people. Of that there can be no doubt. It might well be that this new influx represents the best hope for the Labour Movement in a long time. He has also (surprisingly) made policy shifts ( Israel and the EU) which are positive. Opening up debate about “Why should a Labour Party even exist?” is what is going on.

    I’m still not convinced Corbyn is the right choice for Leader. Unfortunately, the others are just so useless and lacking any coherent political programme that his unrealistic, unelectable, far left socialist vision might be the only realistic choice on the table.

    John R

    August 16, 2015 at 1:06 pm

  6. It’s a measure of how far politics has hurtled to the right (and how quickly people can be made to forget) that simple social democratic policies are derided as ‘far left’. Social democratic parties should fight back against the lies of the right wing machine instead of running away from the ‘looney left’ label (they wanna see ‘far left’ they should let me run things for a few years),

    redkorat☭ (@red_korat)

    August 16, 2015 at 10:10 pm

  7. The appeal of Jeremy Corbyn is very simple: he’s the only one of the four candidates it would be hard to imagine as an Armando Ianucci creaton in The Thick of It.


    August 16, 2015 at 10:26 pm

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