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Iain Dale is Presenter of LBC Drive, Managing Director of Biteback Publishing, a columnist and broadcaster and a former Conservative Parliamentary candidate.

Back in 2006, John Reid, then Home Secretary, described his own department as “not fit for purpose”. Twelve years on, very little seems to have changed.

Even after eight years of Tory occupation, six of which were controlled by Theresa May, it is still the department which is most likely to embarrass the whole government. And so it was this week over the so-called Windrush children.

It’s tempting to blame incompetent and cack-handed civil servants for this situation and, to an extent, this is justified. However it is spun, though, in the end the buck has to stop with politicians – who can’t say they weren’t warned. Jeremy Corbyn even raised the issue in PMQs as recently as March 14.

Didn’t someone bother to check what was going on? I know several Tory MPs who say they had also warned that something wasn’t right, but that no-one picked up the ball. Amber Rudd has always had a reputation as a safe pair of hands. Caroline Nokes made an impressive start in her job with a very feisty interview with Sarah Smith on the Daily and Sunday Politics, but both these ministers are now on probation. If they don’t sort out this situation, and ensure that the Windrush children are treated properly and with respect, they will suffer the political consequences.

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None the less, and as if most of us didn’t know so before, the last seven days have surely proved why Jeremy Corbyn would make a disastrous Prime Minister.

As May pointed out in the Commons, he would effectively give Russia a veto over our foreign policy. Even a dolt can see that if you commit to going through the United Nations in every aspect of your foreign policy, you then give the Russian Government a de facto veto.

Corbyn denies he is a pacifist, yet has never been able to give a single example of where he thought military action was ever justified. I’d have more respect for him if he just came out and declared that he was a pacifist, after all. At least that’s an intellectually sustainable position. Sort of.

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The pound reached the dizzy heights of $1.43 this week and EUR 1.16 – the highest since the EU referendum. Just so you know, seeing as so many people seem to think it is still 20 per cdent lower than it was before.

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There are only 13 days to go until polling day in the local elections. Not that you’d know it. I haven’t seen any local activity at all, either where I live in Kent or in London.

Maybe it’s different elsewhere, but I doubt it. The consensus seems to be that the Conservatives are in for a drubbing in London, including the possibility of losing control of every single council they control already, including Westminster, Wandsworth, Kensington & Chelsea and Barnet.

However, all is not bleak. Academics seem to think that there might be some Tory gains in the Midlands. I wonder how many of us remember the local elections of 1990, when the Conservatives had a terrible night, but Ken Baker, then Party Chairman, appeared the next morning with his characteristic beaming smile outside Conservative Central Office declaring the night had been a triumph!…since against all odds his party had retained control of Wandsworth and Westminster. Amazingly, he got away with it (though admittedly Margaret Thatcher resigned six months or so later). I can see Brandon Lewis learning from history…

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I’ve been trying to think of a more queasy sight than Emmanuel Macron trying to nose his way as far up Donald Trump’s arse as he can possibly get. And I’ve succeeded: Justin Trudeau dressing him and his family in Indian clothes during their visit to the country.

Sick-making. Trudeau and Macron are two peas from the same political pod. Ghastly show-offs – but with little to show off beyond Colgate smiles, and an ability to virtue-signal.

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On Tuesday, I interviewed Neville Lawrence. Sunday will mark the 25th anniversary of his son Stephen’s murder. He told me that his rediscovered religious beliefs have given him the ability to forgive his son’s killers. He also admitted that he previously wanted revenge and was full of anger for a very long time. Who wouldn’t be?

But then he realised that anger was destructive. He also said he would meet his son’s killers if they wanted to see him. I will admit that I was nervous about doing this interview, but had no need to be. Dr Lawrence is one of those people with an inner calmness and serenity that is so impressive: you just want to listen rather than interrupt with another question. I will be thinking of him and his family on Sunday.

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I made my debut on Question Time last night. As I’m writing this a few hours before the programme: let me tell you if I had a brick in my arse, I’d be excreting it. I’ve done Any Questions quite a few times, but never Question Time. It’s always rankled in a way, but I have to say I am immensely looking forward to it. My only sorrow is that Diane Abbott has pulled out. Was it something I might have said…?

74 comments for: Iain Dale: As I prepared for my Question Time debut, I heard that Diane Abbott had pulled out. Was it something I said?

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