Saturday, 24 August 2013

Diane Abbott and her £1700 "speaking" fee - for right-wingers, she really is the gift that goes on giving

Look, I’m sorry – I know Labour’s public health spokesthing made an appearance on this blog just the other day, but she’s just so irresistibly dreadful, I simply have to feature her again. Seems this doughty campaigner against university tuition fees charged Birmingham University £1700 to speak there. Students have - quite rightly - organised a petition calling on her to return the money.

But it’s not just her rampant hypocrisy I want to focus on – when a noisy opponent of private education sends her kid to a fee-paying school so it can evade the state system, you know you’re dealing with a major league hypocrite. No, it was her response when questioned about the fee that really caught my eye:

The idea that I routinely charge to speak to students is wrong. I routinely speak at student, community and political events for free.

Well, dear – that’s really big of you. I mean, it’s not like you’d expect an MP to go out and speak to people for free, now, is it?

Actually, I would be astonished to hear that party spokesmen ever charge anything (apart, perhaps, from basic expenses) to attend community or political events in this country. Isn’t that part of the job they're paid to do? As for addressing students – for God’s sake, what sort of politician wouldn’t be straining at the leash to share their beliefs (i.e. brainwash) the next generation? Almost everyone at a student event is either an actual or a potential Labour voter. Where does this frightful woman get off demanding money in return for the opportunity to spread left-wing propaganda? 

But what I really enjoyed about her response was the use of the word “routinely”, as if that excused everything. It’s like a self-confessed murderer haughtily informing the court that he doesn’t “routinely” kill people. Or a drunk driver angrily protesting that she doesn’t “routinely” drive while intoxicated. Or one of those bizarre celebrities who unleash a string of racial epithets in public and then claim they don’t have a racist bone in their body.

Mind you, that’s pretty much what Ms Abbott did last year when she tweeted this to a black journalist: White people love playing 'divide & rule'. We should not play their game  #tacticasoldascolonialism. When accused of sending a racist tweet (which of course she had), she came up with this nonsense: "Tweet taken out of context. Refers to nature of 19th century European colonialism. Bit much to get into 140 characters." When that got the response it deserved, she produced another load of old bull: “I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalisations about white people. I do not believe in doing that. I apologise for any offence caused."

I do not believe in doing that - where “that” refers to the very thing you have actually done - is a classic left-wing statement for several reasons. First, it carries the implication that having the right set of morally superior, correct, liberal beliefs somehow absolves you from having to admit to - let alone apologise for - thoroughly offensive behaviour. Second, it’s a prime example of denying a different allegation to the one that has actually been made. The accusation against Ms Abbott was not that she “believed” in making generalisations about white people – it was that she had actually done so. 

Her response to student anger at charging Birmingham University a £1700 fee is equally – and, one presumes, deliberately - obfuscatory. The repeated use of the word “routinely” – and the mention of utterly irrelevant community and political events - is meant to convince us that she is a victim who has been accused of always charging for public appearances. All that matters, of course, is whether she actually charged Birmingham University £1700 for speaking there. If she did – and she doesn’t deny doing so – she should be thoroughly ashamed of herself and should hand the money back at once.

I have a horrible feeling that Ms Abbott and I overlapped at Cambridge. Apparently, she was tutored by Simon Schama. I feel sorry for the chap – can you imagine what he had to put up with? “I’m sorry you have interpreted my essay as a very poor piece of scholarship, Simon. I don’t believe in writing bad essays.”

As for Birmingham University - why the hell did invite this ridiculous woman in the first place? And what made you agree to pay her £1700? She's as thick as brick and talks absolute nonsense.


  1. Yesterday morning I had to bin my breakfast as Shami Chakrabarti appeared on the "Today" programme banging on about this muslim woman who refuses to remove her veil in court. The before hitting the sack last night I read your post and at 3 a.m. woke up after a terrible "Abbottmare". Give an old guy a break!

    1. Thought you might enjoy this tweet from BBC Propaganda: "The average person will shed over 600 pounds of skin during a life time. Diane Abbott still has hers."

  2. concerned of Tunbridge Wells31 August 2013 at 12:40

    Has Ms Abbott returned the fee yet?If not she could donate it to a worthy cause such as Nigeria's Space Programme.It would'nt go far compared with the 1.3 billion the British tax payer is coughing up but could help to replenish the drinks cabinets in the back of their limos.

    1. This from the BBC: "Nigeria is running one of Africa's biggest space programmes."

      One of???

      As John Littledick often comments, "You couldn't make it up!"

      Perhaps we could send them Ms Abbott as their first astronaut. Need a hell of a lot of rocket fuel to get off the ground, though.

  3. Very Concerned of Tunbridge Wells.1 September 2013 at 14:47

    Its ok there would be enough gas in the capsule to ensure take off,although if the rocket did finally get off the ground lets hope its orbit does'nt take it over Tunbridge Wells or Scotland for that matter.

  4. You've got Diane all wrong.
    "Labor disunity hands power to Abbott".
    That's what it says on the Times website at the moment.