Saturday, January 21, 2006
In Defence of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Now, hold on to your hats, but I'm about to say something nice about Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Yasmin and I are old sparring partners on various radio & TV programmes and I've always been surprised at how different she is in private to her public image. In person she's a delight and extremely funny, yet she is viewed by many - even on the left - as rather bitter and with several chips on both shoulders. Every article she writes can't conclude without some sort of racial overtone. My partner almost comes out in a rash whenever she appears on Question Time. Sending back her MBE was a particular low point in her non existent campaign to ingratiate herself with the great British public. Peter Wilby, in this week's New Statesman has another go at her, asking: "So why does she irritate so much? I offer without further comment the first sentence of her Monday column for the Independent: "Taking a moment out from cooking a feats for friends last Saturday night, I rushed over to speak at the Fabian conference on Britishness"." Poor Yasmin, will she ever recover?! I liked her so much that I signed her up for a book a couple of years ago, which had the glorious title of SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE... Stephen Pollard seems to have a special dislike of Ms Alibhai-Brown, who he (un)affectionately dubs the 'Yazzmonster'. So cruel. She's actually surprisingly conservative in her social views - in fact, I'm probably more permissive than her. She's very pro family and anti divorce. All I can say is that now I've started doing paper reviews again on News 24 I look forward to the next Saturday night that Yasmin and I are on again together.