Move on? Let’s not!

Before the government sets about redefining extremism, maybe they should first get their heads around a smaller word – RACISM.

The Government has a habit when faced with trying to defend the indefensible of redirecting the narrative with a “what the nation is really interested in is…” or sounding like a stuck record with the words “wrong” and “inappropriate” on repeat, but for none other than Kemi Badenoch to dismiss Tory donor Frank Hester’s comments about Diane Abbott as “trivial” in an interview with Nick Ferrari on LBC is beyond cynical, it’s utterly disgraceful.

She even went on to claim that Hester wasn’t really talking about the veteran Hackney MP when he said that she makes him want to hate all black women (that includes you, Kemi) and that she should be shot.

With two members of Parliament already having been murdered in their constituencies, including our own Sir David Amess, this was a dreadful, irresponsible thing to say and for Dobby the Hogwarts elf to say during PMQs that Hester had apologised and so we should just move on (by the way we’re not handing back the £10million quid), when the only thing he has actually admitted to is being “rude” and meanwhile Diane is bobbing up and down on the backbench like a cork in a rough sea trying in vain to make her felings known, says everything about the sorry state of party politics.

As editor of the Hackney Gaztte for seven years from 2003, I met Diane quite a few times and we always got on pretty well from a strategic distance.

Yes, she said something really stupid last year which got her suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party (along with the fact that as the last of the high profile Corbynistas, Sir Smear wanted her out of his eye-line), but to be put in such a horrific situation by someone with more cash than sense is abhorrent.

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On Sunday I will walk on stage in Bedford for the first time since before the pandemic with my bandmates after rehearsing a two-hour plus progressive rock set for what seems like forever.

After 51 years of performing in front of audiences of anywhere from two to 20,000, playing live has been second nature for most of my life and I haven’t felt remotely nervous about it since I was a stage-shy 16-year old.

But since the beginning of the month I’ve been absolutely bricking it. I love that the material requires concentration to play and is even a bit intimidating in places (which meant I actually had to, what’s that word again? Practice! That’s it. I remember that) – goodness knows some of the stuff I’ve played over the years I could have done in my sleep (and on occasion in places like Barrow-in-Furness probably did) – but having just turned 67, I’m suffering from a bad case of use it or lose it syndrome and the hardest part of the evening is going to be before that first song kicks in. Then I’ll be OK.

A 1,2,3,4…

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A determined widow queued outside the Russian embassy in Berlin last week, waiting to cast her vote in an election that had only one candidate.

When she got in, she wrote the name Navalny on her voting slip and left.

This was not a case of someone exercising their right, it was a statement of intent that Yulia Navalnaya will be the new thorn in Vladimir Putin’s side.

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$464million? Fingers crossed Trump Tower gets seized next week.

Idiots corner

Tipping Point – all on one show

Q: The red diagonal cross on the Union Jack is named after which saint?

A: Jack

Q: According to superstition, which part of a rabbit is said to bring good luck?

A: Ears

Q: Which flightless bird is the fastest land animal on two legs?

A: Flamingo or penguin

Special mention to the woman on LBC at the weekend who spoke about throwing glass stones at houses.

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Edward Case

Columnist