I wasted an inordinate amount of time transcribing bits from yesterday’s Home Affairs Committee hearing, starring Jeremy Corbyn and Shami Chakrabarti; stupid really because I knew that if I just hung on for a day or so there would be an official transcript.
Of course, when you’re looking at print you can examine every syllable at your leisure, but in black and white you don’t get the nuances of the actual
The visuals and the audio add that extra something. You don’t get to hear Keith Vaz’s peculiar delivery in a transcript. He sounds as though he’s doing a half-hearted impression of Brian Sewell. I suppose it gives him an air of authority; part disdain, part superciliousness, part pomposity, and all the more oleaginous when used to pay a compliment, and in this instance to express profuse gratitude to Jeremy Corbyn for attending.
(So he didn’t have to attend if he didn’t want to?)
There are several other media responses worth looking at if anyone’s interested. Patrick Kidd has made it the topic of his Political Sketch. Times (£) “A masterclass in ducking the question”
The Spectator’s Katy Balls noticed that Chuka Umunna “Has started to make a habit of using the Home Affairs Select Committee to grandstand about his party’s woes.”
The Today programme also mentioned it: Susan Hulme. 44:10
“It’s believed to be the first time an opposition leader has been questioned by a commons committee. But-- they certainly weren’t deferential.”
She played a handful of sound clips from the hearing. I think both Sarah Montague (who had introduced the item) and the presenter, Ms Hulme, found the whole thing rather amusing. More amusing than absolutely necessary. Somehow I don’t mind anyone else finding it amusing, but I strongly object to the BBC doing so.
Harry’s Place has it of course.
Keith Vaz said:
Many regard this inquiry as a whitewash because it does not contain any facts and figures, and it did not take evidence from some of the principal people accused of antisemitism. Why did you think this inquiry was relevant when it really doesn’t come to any conclusions?
Other people might be wondering this as well. It now transpires that Naz Shah’s suspension has been lifted. Exquisite timing.