Peter Hoskin

The Lumley effect

The Lumley effect
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So Joanna Lumley continues to cast a spell over British politics, as Gurkha veterans finally - and deservedly - get the right to settle in the UK.  Standing outside Number 10, she now has kinder things to say about Gordon Brown - calling him a "brave man who has made a brave decision".  But the warm words just serve to highlight the political stupidity and moral directionlessness of Brown in the first place.  How he could have done with them a few weeks ago, when Clegg and, to a lesser extent, Cameron were basking in the Lumley glow.  But, instead, the PM needed to be strongarmed into recognising Gurkha rights.  And I imagine that the public won't look too kindly on his role in this particular U-turn.

But what, now, of Lumley herself?  Forget Esther Rantzen - if any celeb can walk into a Parliamentary seat right now, then it's this particular avenger.  The bookies have slashed the odds on her becoming an MP from 10/1 to 5/1.  And they have her at 2/1 to be made a Dame before the end of 2010.  Now that's an honour which would certainly be deserved.