No sympathy was shown to Diane Abbott

May 3, 2017 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , UK

BBC photo



Hazel Speed

It was by pure chance that I happened to hear the radio interview this morning with Labour MP and Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, then later on, was most surprised to see her being interviewed on the BBC’s Daily Politics show.

The radio interview had me concerned if Ms Abbott was well, as her pauses and related half-responses, followed by her miscalculations regarding the cost of employing thousands more Police Officers, just had me worried further, not with regard to the mathematical aspects, but from a human perspective. She sounded most fatigued at best, but I was anxious Ms Abbott was suffering from a stroke, to be honest, at worst.

In general terms, I have never been one to like questions reminiscent of school days, i.e. if a left handed plumber costs £5.50 per hour and a right handed one £6.03 per hour, how much would you be charged if you hired one of each for ten minutes? Who cares, just pay the bill. It is a bit something-‘ist’ to compare left and right handed plumbers, but you will get my point.

That said, but as later pointed out during Ms Abbott’s TV interview on the Daily Politics show, a Shadow Home Secretary is expected to know how much costings are in this contingency. She most likely has knowledge of so much material relevant to her political appointment, let’s face it and give her that amount of credit.

Although Ms Abbott tried her best by saying she had given seven interviews, and inferring the figures will have been referred to, she was further challenged that no, she had not given the figures in any of those interviews. In political terms, this poor lady was already wounded yet the verbal slaughter incessantly continued for far too long.

Dominic Raab, as a guest sitting next to her, and representative of the Conservative Party by the content of his spouting, also had a pop at her when Ms Abbott responded to one of his political points – he told Ms Abbott ‘you are not the one asking the questions’. So gallant of him.

My full and whole attention returned to being on Diane Abbott who, I thought, looked not far off tears by now, and further, she did not appear well. She gave the impression that perhaps the thought of leaving the interview might be going through her mind as being what she wished to do, by means of escape of the nightmare, but also realising that would damage the Labour Party.

In historical terms, Conservative MP John Nott did that during an interview at the time of the Falklands campaign, which is still remembered to this day – it was not appreciated by ‘you know who’ at the time and he suffered the consequences. One had sympathy with him, never the less. How often have we all wished to be able to make similar remarks then exit – stage left?!

Ms Abbott may have also wondered what if she just put her head on the table and cried, etc. One could almost sense these options going through her mind. What to do? We all know that Ms Abbott has always had a quietly presented timbre of voice in her political discussions – so more gentle compared to most.

No matter which political Party anyone belongs to, there is no need to berate someone in this way, almost worse than exchanges between Party Leaders who fight against each other in Parliament, but they can give as good as they get. Politics should have an emotional boxing weight classification based on those who can ‘cope’ with abuse, for that is what it was.

The feeding frenzy caused by Brexit has become vicious now, and many networks are picking up the rumours leaked by Brussels (who said what over dinner), to regurgitate it all, as it is cheap copy and yet is also almost treasonable.

My concern is with Ms Abbott and I hope she is well. She was not even thanked for appearing and ‘Mr Gallant’ told the interviewer he had been invited to speak about Brexit – so surprises all round then.

Diane Abbott has paid her dues to this country and she is respected for that – political point scoring should be targeted to others best suited to handle the same without being demolished in the process.

Diane Abbott has never been, at least to my memory of her, an aggressive politician either within debate or interview. Even Mr Corbyn was not worried about what Ms Abbott had said, and for that I respect him.

For those who are wondering, no, I am not a Labour voter, but I am a human being and we all belong to that Party, but sometimes, one or two interviewers, now and then, tend to forget that it includes them as well.










Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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