Giving This week a miss this week

Thursday evening is normally my politics fix. Catching a snippet of Newsnight before Question Time begins. Then after Question Time its Andrew Neil and This Week, which means retiring to bed after 12.30, more often than not well after 1.0pm if I’m motivated to compose a blog post or two.

However this Thursday evening, after the disappointment of Question Time, I watched and enjoyed Andrew Neil’s introduction and Diane and Michael’s moments of the week. But, then when he announced the guest line-up of Will Hutton, Sally Bercow, and Nick Watt my heart sank. The mere thought of listening to a Will Hutton negative diatribe, followed by a political lightweight in Sally Bercow, only to be rounded off by a Guardian political commentator, in total, I considered this would suck out my very lifeblood.

I had Donald Sutherland’s words [as Sgt Oddball] flood in from my memory in the film Kelly’s Heroes, “Always with the negative waves Moriarty, always with the negative waves.” 

However, it seems I missed a peach of a conversation between Diane Abbott and Andrew Neil, which Guido has thoughtfully captured. Perhaps, as Guido suggests, Andrew Neil has tired of Diane Abbott. I just get the feeling that Andrew Neil feels his show has been used as a political platform by Diane Abbott.

Of all the alternatives on the sofa with Michael Portillo I particularly liked Caroline Flint. Sensible and intelligent comment. Methinks, like Guido, that Diane has overplayed her hand. Bring on the change, I’m backing Flint for the sofa. I have history with Caroline, HERE.

UPDATE: James Forsyth in the Spectator is commenting on Diane’s disaster too.

Rowan Pelling’s idea of a new ‘Rokeby Venus’

An entertaining coincidence this week.

Rowan Pelling’s amusing article on civic portraiture, in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph, imagined how some modern day politicians might look if painted in the nude. Here’s a snippet from her article:

“Which raises interesting questions about civic portraiture. … Most of us would pay good money not to see Gordon Brown disrobe, but I know several matrons of the shires who would fork out a fiver to see David Cameron strike the same pose as his namesake by Michelangelo. But why stop there? I propose Jacqui Smith as Manet’s Olympia and Caroline Flint as Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus.”

The image that caught my imagination was the one about Caroline Flint.

Low and behold, by happy coincidence she was on the BBC’s Newsnight programme last night. Unworried by having other guests share her interview with Gavin Esler, she veritably sparkled in front of Gavin. Big smiles, rich red lips, long flowing dark black hair ….. oh, must stop.

But I simply couldn’t get the image of her as the Rokeby Venus out of my mind. I wonder, had she read Rowan’s article, and was she playing up to it. Just a thought.