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.

Diane Abbott gets stuck into Esther Rantzen

Well, somebody had to. The This Week programme last night had deliciously barbed exchanges from Diane Abbott MP, to hopefully for her, soon to be MP, Esther Rantzen.

Direct attacks are far less frequent than you imagine. So Diane’s full-frontal attack on Esther Rantzen’s motives and attempt to say all MP’s are mired in sleaze, is a must watch TV clash. Here are a few of Diane’s comments to Esther,

“… celebrities parachuted in from outside, that isn’t going to change anythting.”

“My argument is you shouldn’t be a z-list celebrity before you become a politician, because it’s the wrong way round.”

“You’re parachuted in, you’re not local.”

“But you, knowning better, shouldn’t smear all MP’s.”

Teasing Diane Abbott on This Week tonight?

Diane AbbottLabour MP, Keith Vaz, is thought a touch oleaginous by many in the House of Commons. In this video, Diane Abbott makes a ‘slurping’ sound, while Keith Vaz congratulates Alan Johnson on becoming the new Home Secretary.

All very amusing for Diane, though Keith Vaz, as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Scrutiny Committee, was doing what any wise chairman would do.

It’s the choice of words, and the way that you say it that counts.

I wonder what Andrew Neil and Michael Portillo, on tonight’s BBC This Week programme, will say tonight to Diane about her performance.

UPDATE: Friday 12th

In a fit of giggles when Andrew Neil mentioned it, she admitted it was a comment on Keith Vaz’s ‘sucking up’ to Alan Johnson. The video of the event can be seen HERE.