The political segment of the internet is full of excited people tweeting today that you can “watch the Diane Abbott Sky News interview in full here.” No, thank you. I watched it once and I never want to see it again. The clip is hide behind the sofa embarrassing. The Shadow Home Secretary suffers one of the worst meltdowns in current affairs television history. It is much more than just a so-called “brainfade.” She drowns for four minutes.
There is a certain amount of glee in response from her opponents, but this time, after several other such incidents, it seems tinged with a realisation that it is – in simple human terms – no longer funny.
I’ll admit it. I feel sorry for Diane Abbott. She is clearly having an absolute shocker, with her confidence shot to hell. The shadow Home Secretary does not look well. Indeed, she withdrew from a Women’s Hour debate today on BBC Radion 4 citing poor health. This has been somewhat undermined by claims that she was seen on the London Underground a few minutes before that just tootling about as normal. Perhaps it was the thought, as the clock ticked, of going on air, that induced ill-health.
Doing live radio is one thing. Live telly, where Abbott has put in her very worst performances, is not really very enjoyable for anyone sensible. It is a nerve-wracking experience and those who enjoy it too much – forgetting it can go wrong and knock people sideways – tend to be either brilliant, or egomaniacs, or fluent bullshitters, or some combination of all three.
Abbott used to be able to do it, just about, by which I mean talk fluent rubbish on telly. Now, days from an election after which she seeks to ascend to running the Home office during a terrorist emergency, she cannot even do that. She looks miserable. Crushed. Defeated.
Well, ha ha, you might say. No-one forced her into the public realm, and I accept that. For decades she has expressed ridiculous views with complete certainty. But no more. Her world has crumbled and she has even fallen out with the Corbynistas. They have been trying to hide her from view when the kinder thing would have been to remove her, return her, to the backbenches ages ago. That she has been out there at all in this election is the fault of Jeremy Corbyn, also hilariously seeking to reinvent himself as someone who wants to be tough on security after a lifetime spent supporting terrorists, seeking to block anti-terror legislation, trying to menace MI5 and MI6 and dancing to a Stalinist anti-western tune played on spindoctor Seumas Milne’s flute. In this, Abbott was just a ueful idiot.
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Abbott wasn’t up to such high office before her meltdown. She’s on video defending Chairman Mao, for goodness sake. But the far-left fantasists in charge of Labour left her in place, meaning the party goes into an election with someone in a key position completely unsuited and having a shocker in public view. Make it stop, please. Retire Diane Abbott now.