After this week, I am a bit of a fan of Inayat Bunglawala (above), spokesman for the British Muslim Council. I first heard him speak about the teddy bear row on BBC Radio Manchester (his organisation are based there). He was absolutely unequivocal in condemning the prosecution of Gillian Gibbons:
There was clearly no intention on the part of the teacher to deliberately insult the Islamic faith, British Muslims are embarrassed by the actions of Sudan.
I see that there have been demonstrations in Khartoum, calling for Gillian Gibbons to be executed by firing squad.
Oh dear. But what a gulf between those sentiments expressed by some Muslims in Khartoum and the immensely sensible Mr Bunglawala!
We are constantly saying that the LibDems’ biggest problem is getting media attention.
Well, ahem, we are now being treated to a masterclass on how to get media attention from Chris Huhne.
Chris Huhne has been all over the media like a rash in the last 72 hours, taking the government to task on Donor-gate. By judiciously “bagging” the role of formally asking the police for an inquiry, he has ensured a media “pay dirt” time for the LibDems and himself.
Fraser Nelson on the Spectator Coffee House blog observes:
The ability to jump on a news issue is a key skill required for a Lib Dem leader, and (Huhne is) demonstrating his credentials here. Where on earth is Nick Clegg? Where is his campaign? If he’s not careful, winning the Spectator/Threadneedle newcomer of the year awards really will be the highlight of his year…I’ve just come out of a Radio Scotland phone-in I agreed to do ages ago. It was a good laugh, sparring with taxi drivers and MSPs. And then: “we’re now joined by Chris Huhne who joins us on his mobile from the back of a cab in London”. The man is inexhaustible.
Linked under the title “Invincible?” on BBC Online, Arif Ansari’s profile of Vince Cable reflects that he is proving remarkably successful as acting Liberal Democrat leader:
Gone are the panto-style groans that have greeted previous Lib Dem leaders when they stand to take their turn in the Commons hurly-burly of question time.
Instead this week he brought the House down, with his quip about the “prime minister’s remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean, creating chaos out of order rather than order out of chaos”.
It was the kind of ridicule politicians fear, as it might just stick.
Mr Cable reportedly wrote the line himself too.
Add to that his deft handling of questions over the Northern Rock crisis and the privatization of Qinetiq, the former defence research establishment, and it adds up to an impressive period in the hot seat for the unassuming former economist.
I mentioned the name “Vince Cable” this morning and my ten year old asked “Who’s he?”
I said “He is the chap who said Gordon Brown is like Mr Bean”.
“Ah yes”, came the response “That was on CBBC Newsround”.
So Vince Cable has sewn up the Popbitch market and the CBBC Newsround market. Well done.
I also started discussing different types of jobs and their stress levels, compared to their pay rates. I mentioned the job of Gordon Brown as an example of a very stressful job.
The response from my ten year old was priceless:
“No – it’s not stressful – he’s just rubbish at it”.
…out of the mouths of babes and sucklings.
It is spooky ! Both the Norfolk Blogger and Liberal Burblings passed the 100,000 page views mark (not visitors) yesterday. But Nich has been blogging for six months less than me, so he is getting page views at a faster rate than me. But he has a lot of Tories looking at his site. I try to discourage Tories visiting mine.
It was fascinating hearing the local TV news angle on David Abrahams here in the North (a sojourn for me).
The reporter had been talking to people who knew Abrahams. They told how he used to be a vigorous attendee of party meetings and used this leverage to try to fight his de-selection as Labour parliamentary candidate for Richmond.
Stephen Pollard backs up this story in the Spectator, and asks:
Can he really have gone from being one of the pushiest and most self-aggrandising people I came across to being so afraid of publicity that he chanelled donations through other people? I don’t think we have got remotely to the bottom of the Abrahams side of this story.
This really has all the hallmarks of a rather large open political sewer.