The Left

Campbell’s new goal?

Alastair Campbell to Greg Pope MP during the committee ‘grilling’ this week on the WMD issues: “I certainly accept it (the document) was a mistake. But, I mean, you and he both support Blackburn and maybe you drink Horlicks down there, but down the road in the rather less effete Burnley I think they would probably say it’s a storm in a tea cup.”

Alastair Campbell on Channel Four News on Friday:”Excuse me, that letter is about as robust as Blackburn Rovers were when they played Trelleborgs”

I’m not sure how much impact Campbell’s comments above had in the rest of the UK but I can assure you that they went down extremely well in this part of East Lancashire!

To explain, Blackburn Rovers were at the height of their purchased success when they suffered a humiliating 3-2 defeat to Swedish part-timers Trelleborgs and the result was greeted with joy in Burnley at a time when we were a good few divisions below our hated rivals.

If you drove to Burnley you were met with a road sign ‘Welcome to Burnley – twinned with Trelleborgs” and the full kit worn by the Swedes became a collectors item among Burnley fans who even made pilgramage trips to the Scandinavian town.

Campbell is a serious Burnley fan and regularly writes a column in the club’s match programme. He even persuaded his boss, the PM, to give an introduction to a club video released a few years ago (surprise, surprise Tony said clubs like Burnley are what football is all about etc – you have to see it!)

The spin doctor’s association with the club is well known, so why, in the midst of a serious political battle, make use of such local jibes that will win him points only among Burnley fans?

It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the Labour MP for Burnley, Peter Pike, is to stand down at the next election could it?

I do hope so.