Saturday, October 09, 2010

Gisela Stuart Should Replace Diane Abbott on THIS WEEK?

So, Diane Abbott has accepted a front bench job as Shadow Minister for Public Health. It's quite an expensive decision for her, as I understand from sources close to THIS WEEK that she will no longer be allowed to share the sofa with Michael Portillo and that she did her last show this week.

So that begs the question as to who should now replace her. It won't be an easy decision for the THIS WEEK production team to make as few of her 'deputies' have made much of an impact. I quite liked the Hazel Blears/DD combination but I doubt whether there will be much appetite to axe Michael Portillo too.

Tessa Jowell would have been great, but she's in the Shadow Cabinet, as is Caroline Flint who was quite entertaining when she took over. Oona King is a possibility, as she was also good when she appeared one week.

I think they key thing is that whoever takes over has a sense of humour and has an incisive insight into Labour politics. Diane met the first criteria but not the second.

The only names from the Labour Party I can suggest are Ann Clywd, Fiona Mactaggart, Dawn Primarolo (No, really)*, Kate Hoey and... Gisela Stuart. Gisela would be my tip if they want an MP. She's funny, quite non conformist and transparently nice.

Of course, it doesn't have to be a serving MP. It could be an ex MP or a peer.

Who would you suggest?

* UPDATE: Dawn Primarolo is a deputy speaker, a fact which I had forgotten!

22 comments:

PJH said...

Tony Blair? Michael Foot?

Does it have to be female/human?

Líam said...

Dawn is a Deputy Speaker so guess that rules her out.

Think Giesla would be a great choice - she has the fiesty and honest side in addition to the against-the-party-line reputation which works on This Week.

There are few other high (enough) profile Labour women who spring to mind to be fair..

johnpaul said...

charles Clarke

Dan Sullivan said...

Oona King was on and was fine though a little too on message to be as free-wheeling as Diane could be on occasion.

Unsworth said...

"Of course, it doesn't have to be a serving MP. It could be an ex MP or a peer."

Or even Muffin the Mule would be an adequate candidate. Abbott didn't add very much to the political insights, but maybe that's not what This Week is about anyway.

As to Abbott's Shadow appointment, frankly that's astonishing, in the light of her comments about blonde blue-eyed Finnish nurses - vociferously supported by that pillar of racial tolerance and harmony, Bernie Grant. Maybe she'll make a point of reassuring the Caucasian staff in our hospitals that this was all a merry quip - then again, maybe not.

Kate Hoey or Glenda Jackson might fun choices - but what is the likelihood of the BBC appointing anyone quite so Right Wing?

lillispad said...

I think you (or your sources) are far to sanguine about her leaving. If Ken Livingston could keep his show for four months until he was the "official" candidate why couldn't Diane Abbott stay on THIS WEEK? I'm certain some pretext could be found to make it journalistically sound - how about "first-hand insight into the opposition benches".

Paul said...

Mandy + Portillo.

MikeyP said...

John Prescott

Thomas Hobbes said...

Peter Mandleson would appear to be available.

sinosimon said...

Iain...you are indeed firmly ensconced in the bubble......Blears? a self admitted tax evader who was shown on live tv by Neil only this week to still be an habitual liar? and you think it might be nice for cutesie little Hazel to grub our licence fee as well as our taxes. get a bloody grip man. she should be inside.

trevorsden said...

A tub of lard?

Terry said...

Kate Hoey without a doubt. Independent. Talks common sense. Probably rules her out as far as Labour is concerned then, Shame.

Atanu said...

Got to be Mandelson..if they can afford him

Johnny Norfolk said...

The BBC would NEVER have Kate Hoey. She is no on the left of the Labour party, so you can rule her out regretably.

john in cheshire said...

It would be a refreshing change to have no socialists on a political programme, since they already have far too much influence on what is broadcast.

Twig said...

David Starkey please.
I'd love to watch him cross examine some of the "right on" trendy guests.

Unsworth said...

@ Atanu

Nobody can afford Mandelson, least of all the UK. He's cost us all far too much already.

Mick Turatian said...

The show is tired and should be dropped.

Ditto Newsnight.

If it comes to that, why not axe the BBC entirely and let its overpaid and cosseted managers and presenters try and find a billet elsewhere in our over-catered broadcast media?

ps my word verification is bleras so supernatural cyberforces may favour the chipmunk.

Tom Greeves said...

It must NOT be an MP.

It gave Diane Abbott a wholly undeserved regular platform and was inimical to balance.

jojoko said...

Of the names mentioned, my preference is for Kate Hoey. Don't think Brillo will want Oona King as he became very irritated with her flagwaving performance last time, as did I.

Tapestry said...

Anyone who voted against Lisbon would do. Hooey, Gisela are good examples.

warelane said...

A role for Chris Mullin?