Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 25 June 2010

Diane Abbott MP, Labour's 'joke' leadership candidate

I don't share many (if any) of her views on life, or politics, or anything at all really, from what I have been able to gather from her many media appearances, but I have always liked her and found her good value on television - she has got charisma, is usually a good and confident TV performer, and she comes across as being quite a likeable character. When it was first revealed some years ago that she was sending her child to a fee-paying school, however, whilst being politicially-opposed to the very concept of private education, and she was questioned about it on an edition of This Week at the time by Andrew Neil, the flaws in her character and her stance on politics were thrown into particularly high relief. Still, she was always good for a laugh - she has a good sense of humour most of the time, except when questionned on her 'socialism' and her 'hypocrisy'.

Now, when I heard her seemingly off-the-cuff announcement on the Today programme several weeks ago that she was going to stand as a candidate for the leadership of the Labour Party, like many people I was monentarily slack-jawed with amazement (even though I was still lying in bed at the time), but after a few moments I thought, well why not? She is an articulate woman (with impractical ideas, granted), she is from an ethnic minority - and she would certainly be a breath of liveliness and jollity, compared with the other candidates who were mostly from the same, boring 'party apparatchik' mould.

Over the past few weeks, since her leadership candidacy was announced she has, however, been given a relatively easy ride. As a regular commentator on the This Week programme for a number of years I think she must have accepted last evening's invitation to appear, after an 'hiatus' there of several weeks because of the General Election and her own subsequent Labour leadership candidacy, under the fond illusion that her 'grilling' by Andrew Neil would somehow be more gentle. I am very glad to say that this was definitely not the case! Andrew Neil asked her some very tough questions, to some of which she waffled in making a poor attempt at giving convincing replies, whilst with others she simply refused to make any sensible response at all. I 'tweeted' about this extensively last night whilst the programme was being broadcast (this is just one of my many 'tweers' about it last night). Diane Abbott was well and truly 'kippered' on last night's show and I'd say her leadership candidacy is not now just unlikely to succeed (as it always was), but a complete joke! Watch it and see for yourself:

(By the way, it was highly instructive to catch occasional camera-shots of Michael Portillo remaining completely silent and attempting to keep his face devoid of expression during Neil's verbal evisceration of his couch-mate.)

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