Thursday, 19 November 2015

Not waving, but drowning - Diane Abbott comes a glorious cropper on this morning's Daily Politics

There's a distinct lack of amusing comedy programmes on television these days - but, never fear, the Labour Party has stepped into the breach to keep the nation laughing:

Pity it ended so quickly: I was rather expecting Ms Abbott to claim that the Sun has hired a John McDonnell look-alike, or that the photo had been photoshopped by Rupert Murdoch himself, or that it was all a plot devised by MI5 and Mossad. Instead we got the now-standard "You'll have to ask John that" and the implication that her shadow cabinet colleague probably hadn't bothered reading the letter he'd signed (slightly worrying behaviour from someone who apparently wants to run the nation's finances). 

One slight problem for the Labour Party's current cultural Marxist leaders is that the standard "You'll have to ask X that", where X is a colleague, is (a) journalists won't allow them to get away with it, (b) the hard-left MPs being asked to support their colleagues have no concept of collective responsibility because the "purity" of their own political beliefs is all that matters to them, and (c) current Labour leaders can't rely on rank-and-file centrist MPs or centrist members of the front bench to dig them out of holes of their own making, because they themselves spent decades undermining their own party's centrist leaders and back-bench colleagues at every opportunity: it's pay-back time. Hence this hilarious exchange between Labour MP John Mann and Andrew Neil on yesterday's Daily Politics (which is in a rich vein of form right now):
Andrew Neil: “Given Labour’s response to the issue of national security and Syria, do you have confidence in Jeremy Corbyn?”
John Mann: “I have total confidence in Hilary Benn.” 
Andrew Neil: “So you have confidence in your foreign affairs spokesman Hilary Benn, but not in your leader Jeremy Corbyn?” 
John Mann: “Jeremy has confidence in Hilary as well.” 
Andrew Neil: “But you can’t bring yourself to say you have confidence in Jeremy Corbyn.” 
John Mann: “I have huge confidence in Jeremy allowing Hilary to lead on Syria.”
As the Telegraph's highly satirical Michael Deacon remarked this morning: "I would have been quite proud to invent that exchange. Sadly, I didn’t have to."

As if two disasters within 24 hours weren't enough, Ken Livingstone, having been appointed by Jeremy Corbyn in an act utterly beyond any satirist's wildest dreams as"co-convenor" of Labour's defence review, responded to the perfectly reasonable observation by the shadow defence minister Kevin Jones that he wasn't qualified for the job with the following charming remarks:
“I think [Jones] might need some psychiatric help. He’s obviously very depressed and disturbed … He should pop off and see his GP before he makes these offensive comments.”   
So, a colleague - justifiably - questions your suitability for a particular role, and you jeer at them because they have a history of clinical depression? You then spend hours refusing to apologise because you grew up in South London (!) and didn't go to Eton (!!) and, anyway, he started it, yeah? Then you apologise "unreservedly" on Twitter, but later water the apology down and say you only said sorry because your party leader told you to ("Now, Ken, shake hands with Kevin and tell him you're really, really sorry for hurting his feelings.") We're talking weapons-grade CAUC-ness here.

And yet these truly horrible people profess a political philosophy based entirely on compassion, and consider themselves morally superior to the rest of us. I'll examine how they could possibly imagine this in the next post.


  1. "This young man is not only Puerto Rican...he is blind as well!". Ed Sullivan introducing Jose Feliciano on his show in the 60s. I wonder how he would introduce Diane Abbott if he was still around? "Not only is this lady a person of protected characteristics, but her face is asinine with idiocy ... so give it up for the Great Fluting Blancmange!"
    I don't know who the designated "Adult" in the Labour Party is these days, but perhaps he should quietly slip her [and Corbyn] a book on "Emotional Intelligence" with the chapter on Self-Awareness underlined. Just a thought.

    1. I wonder if there's a book called "How Not to Be a CAUC". And the Fluting Blancmange could also usefully do with one entitled "How Not to Speak As If You're Profoundly Deaf".