I was mistaken for Arthur Scargill thanks to top journalist, says Neil Kinnock

Written by Dods staff on 13 November 2017 in Diary

The former Labour leader has given a light-hearted interview to The House magazine.

Neil Kinnock has shown why politicians should probably never trust journalists.

In an interview with The House magazine, the former Labour leader was asked whether he still gets recognised and responded by recalling an incident in the late 1970s.

"I went to lunch with Alan Watkins, political editor of the Observer and a great journalistic figure. We came out after a lengthy lunch and a little old lady with an umbrella and said ‘hey you’re Arthur Scargill’. And I said ‘no, no, I’m not. You may have seen me around talking about miners but I’m not Scargill.’ ‘Yes, you bloody are,’ she said. ‘I’m sorry, but I’m not. For a start, he’s from Yorkshire and I’m from South Wales.’ She insisted ‘You’re bloody Scargill’, so I said ‘ask my friend,’ and Alan said ‘What’s that Arthur?’ She hit me with her umbrella. Bloody Watkins, bastard!"

It’s not the only amusing nugget in the interview. Kinnock also talks about his most embarrassing moment:

"Earlier this year, I had a new white Fiat 500. I’d had it about three or four days and there was a parking warden in the business of sticking a ticket on my screen, and I knew I’d paid. So I went up to him and fairly gently remonstrated and it turned into a blazing row. He gave it me, I gave it back to him, and this went on for about five minutes. And then I realised I was at the wrong bloody car...I had to stop mid barrage and say “this isn’t my car”. We both laughed about it but god I was embarrassed."

And he reveals the truth behind why former Labour heavyweight Robin Cook had a beard.

"My father, after I came home from university after just having been elected to the student council, said ‘you won’t be growing a beard, will you?’ And I said: ‘What the hell’s that got to do with it?’ He replied: ‘I think all politicians should shave as soon as they wake up.’ I said this to Robin Cook years later and he said ‘comrade, you are ugly, but if you were as ugly as I am, you’d have a beard too’."




Picture credit: Press Association.


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