Apologies to those who were expecting a bloodbath on Boulton when I did my first interview with Sky’s political editor since our infamous encounter on College Green last May.
Adam’s wife Anji Hunter had sent me a text – as she often did when I worked for TB – advising me to stay calm. I assume she had said the same to him. Just as I was walking into the studio I had a text from news junkie Peter Schmeichel, wattching in Denmark – ‘be nice to him this time’. So I tried.
When Adam referred to my diaries (out today) he said that often I was ‘fraught’ dealing with all the emotions and the rows. I was. And I think it was Adam who was fraught when we had our spat.
I see from twitter that there is much disappointment that we didn’t whack each other but hey ho. I thought it was a good interview – serious questions on Iraq obviously and I hope I made sense on some of the complicated questions TB will face at the Chilcot Inquiry tomorrow, a bit of Cameron and the government, and enough on the book to keep the Random House publicist happy, though she has bollocked me for saying I’m not too bothered about sales. I am I am — rush out and buy!!
I also got a bit of a scoop as I left the studio when I learned that Adam has interesting views about the issue of whether Jeremy Hunt can waive through News Corp’s buy-out of BSkyB without a referral and further investigation. But now we’re friends again, I’m keeping it for volume 7!!
Off to Burnley now. George Galloway seems to have decided what questions the audience will ask and is busy tweeting and getting his friends to retweet about his appearance on a programme he is clearly relishing.
I think a far more interesting aspect of tonight is the programme’s first pro footballer on the panel, Burnley’s Clarke Carlisle. It will be a great chance to undermine the ‘thick footballer’ image.
The venue is a brand new college planned and built under the Labour government and the Building Schools for the Future programme now being scrapped by the ‘vote Lib Dem’ Gove Tories. Caroline Spelman should go for a tour.
When it opened six months ago the head said ‘the staff are so excited and we can’t wait to get the children in. We are out of that awful soulless building and into this unique school. It is stunning.’
Soulless school buildings can stand by for a boon.
Still on schools, as Mr Galloway bones up on Iraq, he might care to mention this interesting fact. No schools were built in Basra between 1982 and 2005 (a period largely governed by Saddam’s – what was it now? – ‘strength, courage and indefatigability?) In the last five years 14 new schools were built with 70 new charter schools.
Infant mortality rates interesting too. 133 per 1000 in 2000, 44 per 1000 today. 60-70000 children living who might have died under Saddam. I’m sure Galloway will mention it.