Oh dear. The love in between Dr Éoin Clarke and aspiring Labour leader Andy Burnham appears to be over. Mr S’s colleague Sebastian Payne noted last week that Burnham has attracted ‘an online army of fans’ which includes Dr Eoin Clarke:
‘Part of [Burnham’s] nascent leadership campaign is an online army of fans who are promoting his cause and attacking his opponents. Twitter and Facebook are going to be key battlegrounds for each of the contenders — offering an easy way to spread a message without the filter of the media.’
These e-cheerleaders have subsequently been christened ‘Fandies’. Queen bee among the ‘Fandies’ remains Clarke – a man armed with nothing more than a PhD in Irish feminism and Microsoft Paint. For a glimpse into the astute political acumen the good doctor possesses, it’s worth re-reading his tweets from election night:
David Cameron’s career is over. Trust me, 323 MPs will not vote for his manifesto promises. By night’s end, he will not command a maj in HoC
— Dr Éoin Clarke (@LabourEoin) May 7, 2015
Still see no reason, whatsoever, to change my view that David Cameron’s career is over. — Dr Éoin Clarke (@LabourEoin) May 8, 2015
Bizarrely, Burnham’s camp decided to actively court Clarke, telling BuzzFeed that they thought his work was rather ‘creative’.
Further still, Burnham and Clarke have history. When Burnham was shadow Health Secretary, his team would regularly share online content created by Clarke. In 2012, Burnham’s PPS Debbie Abrahams refused to apologise when she was revealed to have mislead the House after citing research by Clarke on the Commons floor.
Yet now, when other Twitter users have raised concerns over some of Clarke’s particularly creative work, the official Andy Burnham leadership feed is quick off the mark:
@Labourpaul That isn’t official campaign material, as I’m sure you know…
— Andy for Leader (@Andy4Leader) June 1, 2015
They don’t, however, actually point out which bit of Mr Clarke’s ‘creativity’ is incorrect.