01 April 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Introducing Beige Labour

Following high-level discussions between several antagonistic factions across the Labour Party, which have been kept out of the news over the last few days due to Pastygate, Petrolgate, the Granny Tax and Bradford West, I can now reveal that the leaders of Blue Labour, Purple Labour, Red Labour, Green Labour, "In The Black" Labour and "White Flag" Labour have agreed to bury the hatchet and combine forces to fight the ConDem government on a unified basis.

"Beige Labour", as the new grouping will be called, combines the best of all six strands of Labour thinking for a truly progressive alternative.

Well-known Telegraph blogger and Labour party commentator Dan Hodges welcomed the move, telling us:

What we have here is an end to the bitter factionalism which has marred Ed Miliband's first eighteen months. I've been as guilty as anyone of putting the boot into Ed - you could almost say I've been earning a living from it - but when we got the leaders of the various factions of Labour into the same room, it was clear that beating this wretched Tory-Liberal coalition was the priority. And to do that, everyone has to pour their best ideas into the mix.

Dan was generously forthcoming about the fascinating process behind choosing the name "Beige Labour" for the party's new combined popular front.

We wanted Labour to be seen as relevant to the kind of hard-working people who go shopping on a Saturday afternoon, so Ed Balls suggested why don't we all get the tube down to Homebase at Ealing (Ed knew that particular store because Neil Kinnock used to live down the road from it), choose a tin of paint for each Labour colour, get the work experience guy on the 'paint station' to mix them all together into one big tin and see what comes out? Lord Glasman was particularly enthusiastic about a nice shade of cobalt blue he'd found from Farrow and Ball, as I recall.

When we did that we needed a pretty big paint tin because we had six separate colours going into the mix. And I think Eoin Clarke from Red Labour got some paint splashed on his deck shoes, but he was pretty relaxed about that.

So what was the result of this meeting of minds and colours in a West London DIY store? Dan suddenly looked enthused as he described the outcome:

What we had, in the end, was beige, which I have to say was pretty much optimal. If you'd set out to choose a colour off-the-shelf you couldn't have done better than light brown. It's an everyman colour - a working class but aspirational living room colour. What we have here is Dulux Paint Labour - it won't appeal to your average university lecturer, but the suburbs in the south east will lap it up. I think this is the day Labour painted over its differences once and for all. It means I'm going to have to find something different to write about in my columns from now on, but so what? It's worth it if it means we win the next election.

The ICI Corporation, which produces Dulux paints, was reported to be in conversation with Labour Party HQ at Victoria Street last night about a "sizeable donation to party funds", possibly in exchange for launching a range of new brushes inspired by Ed Miliband's "tough but functional" haircut.

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