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Friday, September 14, 2007

Maybe She Shouldn't Have Been So Sniffy About The Day Job

I generally think that Oona King is a good thing and certainly infinitely preferable to the odious demagogue who displaced her.

"How different things could have been if you hadn't been born Jewish"Quite unlike the idiot pretending to be me, who recently wrote: "Yet another person who ought to know better but is spouting utter tripe is Oona King. Today's article by her in the Observer wins several prizes as most trite, ill-thought-out, tokenistic and generally unhelpful contribution to the debate about Labour's future - the kind of "me-tooism" that makes lemmings look free-thinking."

Oona, you will recall, was blessed with the same handicap as Sammy Davis Jr., although of course she indulged somewhat less in alcohol, cocaine, mafiosi and women. But there can be no doubting that she was one eye short of an MP when Gorgeous George came from nowhere and outflanked her on the Islamic side.

Reviewing the Bethnal Green shortlist and Rupa Huq's eyebrows I wrote: "Labour's previous incumbent Oona King has been conspicuously absent from the constituency ever since Max Clifford told her that she was considered persona non grata in Tower Hamlets and should concentrate instead on building her career and preparing for eventual elevation to 'another place' through appearances on BBC2 light entertainment shows, lobbying parliament with a group of schoolboys on behalf of the 'Make Space' campaign and becoming chair of Coventry University's Institute of Community Cohesion."

"Just take the bloody cheque and p**s off"It certainly looks as if Oona has taken Max's advice, if The Guardian review of her newly published diary is to be believed. It reveals her sniffy attitude to the important role of being a backbench MP, quoting her complaining that "My job, from a parliamentary perspective, could not be more dull, repetitive or low-skilled. In fact, the more correct term is unskilled."

Oh dear. Sorry, Oona, most people would regard it as a privilege to be one of the nation's legislators and particularly to be representing and doing casework for a deprived community like Bethnal Green. If the Commons was such a bore, it might have made sense to spend every spare minute campaigning, as by the time the above quote was written Mr Galloway was a clear and present danger in the constituency.

Still, never mind. It's all irrelevant because, of course, Oona has been pursuing a far less dull, repetitive and unskilled career in the media, with appearances on "More4", "This Week", "The Daily Politics", "The All Star Talent Show" and "Have I Got News For You" (none of which appearances seem to have been repeated). In fact, I can't imagine why I'm sitting up writing this stuff about the woman. She's clearly a prima donna, rather than a grafter. Starring in "Have I Got News For You"! I might as well sit here and write about Boris Johnson.

5 comments:

Moishe Rosenberg said...

Oi vay. They come, look good, talk the talk and get elected. Then they have a spot of bother on account of being lazy b*****s, throw hissy fits and wander off to become media celebrities. I think I spot one or two of these on Hackney Council sitting opposite our people.

Oona King said...

Hi guys, it's Oona here in Mile End (yeah, really it is). Anyway, enjoyed reading what you wrote, cos it's always healthy to know that intelligent people think I'm a waste of time. Don't mind people misinterpreting what I say, and taking snatches of a conversation or quote out of context -that's your prerogative, and it happens about 20 times a day. But there's one misconception I'd like to put right because what you've written here is the exact opposite of what I think: you say I'm sniffy about the important role of being a backbench MP, complaining in my diaries that "My job, from a parliamentary perspective, could not be more dull, repetitive or low-skilled. In fact, the more correct term is unskilled."

You wrote, "Sorry, Oona, most people would regard it as a privilege to be one of the nation's legislators and particularly to be representing and doing casework for a deprived community like Bethnal Green." Well Have I Got News For You, I agree with you completely. I'm one of those people who thought it was a great privilege to work in Parliament on the policy issues that affect our country. When you quote me above, I wasn't talking about casework, or parliamentary scrutiny; I was talking about my parliamentary role as a PPS to a minister. As far as casework goes, even half the people dancing in the street when I lost the election admit I was a good constituency MP. I used to have people giving false addresses inside my constituency, because their relatives told them I went the extra mile, and they wanted me to be the MP working for them. Nothing was more important to me than constituency casework, and linking it to political campaigning inside Parliament (for example getting the law changed on overcrowded housing, religious discrimination, gender equality etc.).

As a parliamentarian I was privileged to be appointed to Select Committees which scrutinised Government and campaigned for change - for example, as a Select Committee member I initiated the first parliamentary inquiry into affordable housing in 2001, an issue that is finally at the top of the political agenda. But what I was not happy about, was my parliamentary role as a PPS. It meant, effectively, giving up a lot of the policy work, and swapping it for political admin:- hanging around the Members' Tearoom to find MPs willing to submit 'friendly' questions during parliamentary question times; drawing up the rotas of which PPS will sit behind ministers in debate; finding ministers to stand in for other ministers etc, etc.

In fact, it wasn't even the admin I objected to - I'm always happy to stand at a photo-copier or stuff envelopes, cos someone's gotta do it. What I objected to, and what I wrote in my diary, was that I hated having to give up the policy too. As a PPS you can't be on a Select Committee. You can't initiate any parliamentary debate on the subject you cover (and my brief covered equalities). You can't talk as freely as a backbench MP because you are an unofficial (unpaid) member of the Government. And I just don't see the point of being in politics if you can't do policy. That's what I was talking about.

Becoming an MP was one of the greatest privileges I ever had - and winning my life back when I lost the seat was another. That's what these diaries, called House Music, are about. I don't mind people taking snatches from them and putting them on the internet, but it'd be great if some of the accusations laid at my door weren't 100% the opposite of what I actually think.

But anyway, thanks for taking any interest at all!

Oona

www.oonaking.com (offline Sun 16 Sept, online again Mon 17)

ps it's a better to watch old re-runs of Have I Got News For You than to write about political prima donnas at 1am on a Saturday night. I worry about your social life...

Luke Akehurst said...

Oona King said...
"...what you've written here is the exact opposite of what I think: you say I'm sniffy about the important role of being a backbench MP, complaining in my diaries that "My job, from a parliamentary perspective, could not be more dull, repetitive or low-skilled. In fact, the more correct term is unskilled.""


What do you mean, "the exact opposite of what I think"? What I wrote here was a verbatim quote from your diary of 2005.

I suggest you check out the spoof version of me. He likes to say one thing one moment and contradict himself the next. Probably more to your liking.

Luke Akehurst said...

PS. I'm too old to be out with the 3am girls. And I have wife and child responsibilities, so by midnight I'm back home posting a quick piece on the blog before hot chocolate and bed. If you want to explain to everyone what you are normally doing at 1am on a Sunday morning, feel free.

John said...

Oona, if that is really you then can I just say shame on you. You voted for a war that has killed over a million people and instead of hanging your head in shame and begging forgiveness, all I keep hearing from you is how evil those nasty anti-war people are that ousted you. You are quite shameless.

You do not give a flying toss about your part in the utter destruction of a country and the murder on a grotesque scale that you made happen. If I had done what you did I would be so guilt-ridden and disgusted with myself, but you are so arrogant that you have convinced yourself that you are the victim, even playing the race card to explain why you were kicked out!

With your lack of a conscience or ability to see what a hideous thing you did, you certainly suited being a politician though, that's for sure.