As Zelo Street observed yesterday, the right-wing gaslighting of shadow home secretary Diane Abbott has continued, the pretence that she didn’t experience what she did experience on last Thursday’s edition of BBC Question Time being reinforced by a particularly sniffy post on Conservative Home by one Steven Edginton, tame gofer to mercenary hack, paid lobbyist, and propagandist Isabel Oakeshott.
Steven Edginton - and another totally unbiased pundit
Edginton gave the clear and, one suspects, very deliberate impression that he and Ms Abbott had not met previously, as he told “My opportunity to introduce myself to the Shadow Home Secretary came sooner than I anticipated last Thursday, when Isabel and I found ourselves sitting almost next to her on the train taking us to the show in Derby”. The idea that they had no previous was central to his attack on her.
Ms Oakeshott enthusiastically joined in with this conceit, Tweeting “‘If that’s racism, I’m a jellybean.’ @HackneyAbbott was rude and embarrassing off-air before @bbcquestiontime. Called out by the teenager she treated like dirt”. Edginton whined “she mistakenly assumed I was just another privileged Tory public school boy, to whom she did not need to bother giving the time of day”. It looked too good to be true. Because that’s what it was.
Whether Isabel Oakeshott knew what her gofer had been up to in the recent past cannot be confirmed, but Edginton’s claim “I first contacted Isabel three years ago … asking if I could interview her for my YouTube channel, Politics UK. Soon after, she offered to mentor me” suggests she was mentoring him at the time of the 2017 Labour Party Conference, which that year took place in Brighton. And Edginton was there.
At that Conference, or rather, outside on the street, Edginton did indeed previously meet Ms Abbott, and his Twitter feed still has the evidence there for all to see: “I just bumped into Diane Abbott at Labour Conference. I asked how much John McDonnell's PFI policy cost. She didn't want to answer”. Except he didn’t “bump into” her. Edginton chased after Ms Abbott and harangued her, despite being told to desist by an aide.
“You’re a Labour spokesperson … you should know how much your policies cost” whined someone who has spent time at the so-called Taxpeyers’ Alliance, for whom honesty and accuracy are occasional incidentals. “Come on Diane, come on - how much will it cost? How much will it cost, Diane?” he sneered at her. She saw him then. She knew who he was. And he knew, too. Yet he led his audience to believe otherwise.
Someone having trouble smelling his worms here
Moreover, it’s not as if Edginton posted that video and forgot about it - he reposted the same video last March, telling his followers “Last year at Labour conference @HackneyAbbott refused to talk to the press. So I caught up with her instead, that day Labour announced a new policy (nationalise PFI) but oddly forgot to cost it”. His tone during the encounter was patronising and aggressive.
So Steven Edginton can have no complaints when Ms Abbott figured out who was accompanying Isabel Oakeshott to Derby, and declined to make small talk with him. He can also have no complaints when he is called out for having his pants on fire.
He should have listened to Gordon Brown’s advice - “Don’t. It’s the lie that gets you”.
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