What happened to James Purnell’s sideburns

Having so far failed to blog about the Labour Party Conference (which I am at), I’ve decided to kick-start my efforts with something undemanding. I speak of the renowned mutton-chop sideburns of “ultra-Blairite” Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell, which disappeared earlier this year, and which I have missed ever since. If you ask me, Purnell can pull off having sidies, just as he can get away with a mullet – which he is still growing. He’s got a rather large head and the hair frames it suitably. 

I caught up with Purnell at last night’s Guardian party at the Radisson Hotel, which was absolutely rammed and attended by everybody from rebel MP Siobhain McDonagh – who didn’t seem to hve many people to talk to – to Communication Workers Union general secretary Billy Hayes, and everyone in between. At one point I found a three-way conversation between Alan Rusbridger, Ed Miliband and Ken Livingston’s nemesis Andrew Gilligan. Pity I couldn’t hear what they were saying.

Anyway, having inadvertently caught Purnell’s attention with my trainers (they stuck out in a room full of shiny shoes) I demanded to know: what had happened to his sideburns? The answer surprised me.

While on holiday this summer, it transpires that Purnell grew that most un-Blairite of facial accoutrements, a beard. And when he shaved it off, the sidies went too. A dalliance with Trotskyism? Unlikely. But this will have to go into this week’s Tribune diary. One of our regular readers is Beard Liberation Front leader, Trot and incurable letter-writer Keith Flett. He will be delighted to know.

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3 Responses to “What happened to James Purnell’s sideburns”

  1. Enoch Was Right Says:

    But who was the last Prime Minister to have a nice pair of sideburns?

    Gladstone?

  2. Oli Says:

    Another trivia question: before Blair’s 1997 cabinet (which featured the beards of Blunkett and Dobbo), who was the last cabinet minister to sport a beard?

    (p1ǝıɟssɐd uoɹɐq) qqǝʍ ʎǝupıs :ɹǝʍsuɐ

  3. Del Says:

    James Purnell.

    What a sad bastard.

    Because of Purnell and his political kin, it’s now all over for the Labour Party.

    They’re finished.

    But why are the unions, which supply 90% of the Labour Party’s funding, still financially supporting said party with scumbuckets like Purnell, Flint, Hutton et al advancing policies that will pauperise the most helpless and vulnerable people the unions were created to protect?

    The unions should withdraw financial support from a political party that has drifted so very far from its original purpose.

    The New Labour Party is over.

    Can the last person to leave please turn out the light and slam the door shut?

    Goodnight all.

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