Odd Couple : the Minx and the Basher

Do you remember the mini-furore over Andy Burnham’s scurrilous innuendo-rich suggestion of some kind of seduction of Basher Davis after “late-night, hand-wringing, heart-melting phone calls with” Shami Chakrabarti? In the last month they have appeared on Question Time together and Basher was coincidentally in the audience to ask Shami a question when she was on the panel at an Intelligence Squared event last week.

Last night they lingered long after everyone else at the Political Studies Association Awards at 1 Great George Street. (Clegg and Cameron jointly won politician of the year, Liberty and, errm, the Southall Black Sisters won the award for setting the political agenda. Sir David Frost got Best Political Satire – only 40 years late.)

You know how it is, you can’t bring yourself to leave the restaurant, the candles are melting low, you make small-talk about detention orders only to steal one more delicious moment of time with a soul-mate.

Basher and Shami had switched seats earlier in the night and left together only after everyone else had gone.




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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