A few days late, perhaps – but amply justified by the material – let me draw your attention to a fine confrontation on BBC1’s This Week between one of my favourite London MPs, Diane Abbott, Michael Portillo, and that twinkly old charmer, Alastair Campbell.
The former Chief Persuader produces his usual denials that he abused and bullied people (“balls… absolute bilge”) and is then told by Portillo that he’s personally heard it happen while waiting for a radio interview. Abbott joins in: “You can still see the bruises on them… Your modus operandi was about bullying.” Campbell: “I know you don’t like saying good things about the Labour government.” Abbott: “Oh, here we go.”
It’s really quite funny to see how thin-skinned Campbell is and how riled he gets. Asked later by Abbott whether he’ll be helping in the election campaign, he snaps: “I’ll probably help more than you do, Diane.” Abbot, silkily: “I’m certainly turning people out to vote in my own constituency, many of whom were worried by some aspects of what you represented in the Labour Party.”
Legendary stuff – which Alastair has curiously failed to mention in his equally-legendary blog. Never mind, you can see it here.