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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007, 10:44 GMT
Wales@Westminster newslog

The Wales@Westminster weblog, BBC Wales' Parliamentary correspondent David Cornock's diary on political life

Saturday, 17 February

Cooking up a revolution

posted by David | 1044 GMT |

Peter Hain's campaign for Labour's deputy leadership has been characteristically energetic, creative and wide-ranging.

The secretary of state for Wales and Northern Ireland has called for a war on inequality to narrow the gap between the haves and have-nots.

Among the have-nots, we must now presumably include those whose kitchens lack an Aga, the unfortunate Aga-noughts (or the Aga-can'ts).

The company that produces the cookers of that name includes a Hello! magazine-style interview with Mr Hain and his wife Elizabeth Haywood on its website.

For the sort of "at home" interview that might make even that Hello! veteran Lembit Opik blush, read this:

The probing of Beverley Nielsen unearths gems about the Hain way of life in their "substantial" home which apparently consists of two refurbished barns and includes its own dancefloor (hopefully with one of those rotating sparkling silver globes from my youth).

But it is the Aga that takes centre stage in the photographs of Peter and Elizabeth at home.

"At first I was a bit sceptical about the Aga," confesses the man who wants to be deputy prime minister.

"I thought it was a great big lump. But now I actually think it's fantastic. We found food cooked on the electric cooker tasted very second class."

Perhaps it is time for a crusade to rescue the people of Britain from "second class" food. Let them eat Mr Hain's favourite marinated tuna steaks.

So after flirting with free TV licences for the poor and curbs on business fat cats, has Peter Hain finally found a cause around which Labour Party and trade union members can unite, propelling him to a major role in a Gordon Brown government?

"Agas for all" may not be the sort of manifesto pledge expected from a man of the left, but it does have a certain ring to it.

All together now:

What do we want? Agas. When do we want them? Whenever they've finished marinating the low-fat tuna steaks with onion, garlic and spices.

Man the barricades now, comrades.




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