Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Abduls - a lament

Intellectual capital with Professor Westwood
When Abduls re-opened in 2017 with comfortable furniture, a sharp new brand and the logo - "same passion, new generation", I could barely contain my glee.

Professor Andy Westwood and I were practically rattling at the door for the grand opening demanding our chicken tikka on a naan with extra chillis and chutney. When we emerged for air, barely four minutes later, we shared our own particularly fond memories from our student days three full decades ago. I think his even involved a date with a woman he was particularly keen on. It was a story with a happy ending - a marriage and two kids. I can't trump that with my recollection of ordering 8 kebabs to take home, with Dave Knights eating the first one at the counter before we transported the others home for the rest.

Last year, when we were entertaining a group of big hitters from King's College London there was only one place we were going to take them. I think we even discussed the title of Dr Jon Davis' new book over an Abduls - in that kind of fiery environment it was always going to be Heroes or Villains, the Blair Government Reconsidered, frankly.

Dr Jon Davis, big hitter from King's
When my pal Jonathan Reynolds MP (pictured, below) comes to this part of town on important parliamentary and party business, the work can be demanding and requiring of refuelling. The solution is often Abduls. It was in this very place that he and Chuka Umunna plotted their futures in politics, I believe.

Transacting important MP business
When our University hired visiting professor Ashwin Kumar, one of the benefits of joining us, I explained, was a Tuesday evening trip to Abduls with Andy Westwood. To discuss political dynamics, obviously.

I can't face the disappointment that the branch at All Saints has closed and has no plans to re-open. It is the cradle of our modern civilisation, the wellspring for co-operation and new ideas.

We are in need of a new location. These are times of genuine crisis.

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