… then allow me to introduce you to the man who would undoubtedly be one of Britain’s gold medal hopefuls: Keith Vaz, Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament for the Leicester East constituency.
In recent times, Mr Vaz has had rather a high media profile, taking every opportunity to voice his views on subjects as diverse as security concerns ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, passenger queues at Heathrow Airport, the NHS annual report and care objectives, and the allegations of bullying and racist remarks reported to have been made in the latest series of the reality television programme “Big Brother”.
On top of this, the right honourable member for Leicester East has managed to keep his media profile high by making comments on the Rochdale grooming trial, and by publicly stating that he would attend the Anuj Bidve murder trial. And there was his twenty-fifth anniversary in Parliament, celebrated with high profile movie star guests Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan. And there was his call for more stringent government controls on violent video games. And of course, his comments on the deportation of Abu Qatada. And his comments on the Babar Ahmad extradition case. And his comments on phone hacking. And his comments on banning junk food.
All of this gives the impression that Vaz’s media profile is akin to an exploding paint factory. Even in the most remote or unlikely corner of the news agenda, there seems to be yet another trace of Vaz splattered all over it. Rather than succumb to the temptation of simply lapsing into a coma in a desperate attempt to block it all out, I instead remembered a piece published on the blog of the comedian and author Alexei Sayle who commented, “My thoughts continue to dwell on Stephen Fry. If, as I do, you continually flip around the thirty or so Freeview TV channels he can occasionally seem to be on every single one of them. It’s as if we are living in some capitalist North Korea and he is Kim Jong Fry our glorious leader”. It would appear that even the media colossus that is Kim Jong Fry now has a worthy competitor – of sorts – in the king of the comment Kim Jong Vaz.
Vaz’s apparent lust for media attention was highlighted recently by Marina Hyde in The Guardian, who noted in her article “Why bring Russell Brand to testify to a select committee instead of an expert witness?”, “Any useful idiot even remotely tempted to begin arguing that, as a recovering addict, Brand is a worthy witness is hereby advised to stop being so bally silly. Lost in Showbiz hates to let daylight in on magic, but Brand is not there because of anything he might say. He is there because he will get Vaz and friends on the telly”.
So where could Vaz possibly pop up next? Perhaps he will be seen telling everyone the live odds on the Bet365 adverts. Or maybe he will insist on being ‘Photoshopped’ into various photographs in the style of the series of John Terry spoofs.
Or perhaps we’ll see him on the winners’ podium proudly collecting his gold medal in bandwagon jumping. At present, few deserve it more.