Another reason to lay Andy Burnham
and why Mark Drakeford might end up being the favourite to succeed Sir Keir Starmer
Like Pip Moss, I’ve been laying Andy Burnham as next Labour leader for a while, I don’t think he’s as good as he thinks he is, which is a rarity for for an alumnus of the University of Cambridge. Looking at this YouGov poll from 2014 his accent might be a hindrance. If he is hoping his job might change his accent, the Mancunian accent is just as unpopular. It might appear shallow, but accents, like hairlines seem to matter in politics.
I have to admit some of this polling surprises me, of course I can understand why the Brummie accent has the highest net unattractive and that the Yorkshire and received pronunciation accents are two of the most popular British accents, but as someone who married a plastic Scouser, I’m mystified that the Scouse accent is viewed so negatively. I’m even more mystified that the Welsh accent is so popular, as a truly wise man accurately observed about the Welsh and their linguistics
‘huge gangs of tough, sinewy men roam the valleys, terrifying people with their close-harmony singing. You need half a pint of phlegm in your throat just to pronounce the place names! Never ask for directions in Wales, you’ll be washing spit out of your hair for a fortnight’.
But if the Welsh accent is such a popular thing it might have betting implications, if Andy Burnham is seen as a successor to Sir Keir Starmer then so should Mark Drakeford, the man who led Labour to their best ever Senedd performance, his accent might be what wins it for him, Burnham runs a city region, Drakeford runs an entire country.
I keep on saying Mark Drakeford is massively underrated, he combines the brilliance, passion, and adoration of Aneurin Bevan, Richard Burton, and J.P.R. Williams, last year’s Senedd elections confirm that, as 2017 showed Corbynism is popular, a leader without Corbyn’s baggage might lead to Labour winning a general election without Tony Blair at the helm for the first time in nearly fifty years.