It seems yesterday was ‘slam Pidcock Sunday’ – just as pretty much all last week was ‘whack Pidcock week’.
Labour MP – real Labour MP – Laura Pidcock’s ‘crime’? Well, twofold, really. First she talked to the SKWAWKBOX and not to one of the Establishment rags, which got some of said rags in a lather, even as they were busy, very busy, using this blog’s material. Financial Times ‘journalist’ Sebastian Payne decided that this was ‘astonishing’, but his arrogance backfired on him.
Ms Pidcock also transgressed by voicing her disdain for the cosiness and clubbiness of Parliament for some MPs who may ham up their differences in the Commons Chamber, but are all too happy to be chummy with their opponents, forgetting or not caring that political decisions are a matter of life and death for many people.
It. Is. Not. A. Game.
But some seem to think it is – and Laura Pidcock’s frank statement that she has no intention of making friends with MPs from a party that is pushing policies that are damaging lives and even killing people threatens it:
I have met a couple of Tories who were genuinely really anxious for me to see that they weren’t horrible people and really believed putting everything into private enterprise will achieve better results.
Whatever type they are, I have absolutely no intention of being friends with any of them. I have friends I choose to spend time with. I go to parliament to be a mouthpiece for my constituents and class – I’m not interested in chatting on.
I feel disgusted at the way they’re running this country, it’s visceral – I’m not interested in being cosy. I hate those Tory questions that start with ‘Does the PM agree with me..?’ – when one Tory MP stood up and asked one I told him I think those questions are disgraceful. His response was ‘you mustn’t be a very good MP‘!
For this ‘crime’, although she was widely praised by ordinary people, Ms Pidcock was the target of a massive Establishment backlash that ranged from condescending to vicious, with journalists and pundits labelling her naive, childish, immature, hateful and worse.
Some critics even stooped to making the comparison with the late Jo Cox – even so far, inexcusably, as to accuse Pidcock of making the death of another MP more likely. Scum.
On Sunday, two examples of attack stood out, one for its two-facedness and the other for its arrogant idiocy.
The first was an article in the Guardian by Labour MP Jess Phillips. Ms Phillips chose a duplicitous approach, quasi-defending Pidcock in her opening but then painting her colleague as naive with the rest of her article and descending into the inanity of ‘my gran was a racist but lovely really so can’t we all get along’, before this chestnut:
Personally, I find the decisions and actions of my Tory colleagues appalling, but I also know plenty of Labour voters who are less than perfect.
as if Ms P’s disdain for palliness with Tory MPs was hypocritical intolerance. Ms Phillips took the coward’s route, basically – condescending toward a colleague while maintaining enough cover to claim she was actually defending her. Which is exactly what she later did, when challenged:
She fooled few people. Twitter’s response to her article was frank, with these not untypical:
‘Punished Corbyn’, of course, hit the nail on the head regarding the vast majority of criticism, including that of Ms Phillips – Laura Pidcock’s comments were specifically about MPs, not about anyone else. But that was conveniently omitted – why let the facts get in the way of a good bit of faux-outrage, smearing or condescension?
Others were even more direct. A senior Labour source said to the SKWAWKBOX:
Isn’t she the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Women’s Labour Party? Not forgetting this was a position she gained after Dawn Butler was ousted last summer. Dawn’s crime? She refused to take part in a plot to oust Jeremy Corbyn. Jess gleefully boasted about telling Diane Abbott to fuck off and about stabbing Jeremy Corbyn in the front.
Now she’s writing articles that include criticism of fellow Labour women MPs for not wanting to personally befriend Tory MPs. She’s spent two years causing division. She thrives off it. Her ultimate aim is simply indulging her own hugely inflated ego and generating self-publicity. She is not Labour in any meaningful sense.
The other example today was a deeply vile piece in the Sunday Times by Kate Glass. Ms Glass took the ‘proxy attack on Corbyn’ route common to most of the right-wing press during the week, but did so explicitly:
Glass also ‘forgot’ that Ms Pidcock was talking exclusively – and clearly – about Tory MPs, and descended in her first paragraph into personal insult:
at least [Rees-Mogg]’d be a laugh and rather more charming than the Labour MP Pidcock. She informed us last week she had “absolutely no intention of being friends” with Tories because they’re “the enemy”. Which sounds like the ridiculous fighting talk of someone who’s been playing too much Call of Duty rather than the sentiments of an elected MP.
She then moved on to smearing all left-wingers as antisemitic misogynists, because don’t forget this is a proxy attack on Corbyn’s Labour and the antisemitism smear is one of the few weapons the right still thinks might work:
At its worst it means watching the hard left viciously troll the soft left on social media, particularly if their targets are female and Jewish
I have no idea of Ms Pidcock’s religion or lack of it, but considering Glass’ whole article is attacking a woman, to say this tack was contemptible doesn’t come close.
Glass then plumbed even deeper, by equating Ms Pidcock’s comments with racism:
How would Pidcock respond to someone spouting such offensive nonsense towards any other group? She’d (rightly) call it hate speech.
Utterly despicable – and utterly hypocritical. A quick look at Ms Glass’ Twitter feed reveals that, when the hapless Sebastian Payne tweeted an excerpt from her article, she had happily retweeted a racist response to it:
The racism was so deep and so ignorant that the original tweeter didn’t even bother to distinguish ‘Arab’ from ‘Pakistani’, but that didn’t stop Glass propagating it to her followers. Not to mention the inconvenient fact that Sarah Champion resigned and wasn’t sacked, with Corbyn even asking her to retain her activities on behalf of abused women in spite of her resignation.
You might not think there’s much room to go downhill from there, but Ms Glass managed it, regurgitating the Jo Cox smear in ugly terms:
After the murder of MP Jo Cox proved political rhetoric had real consequences, Pidcock should be ashamed for peddling what the Tory MP Nadine Dorries rightly calls the “politics of hate”.
This is disingenuous as well as base. Ms Pidcock’s comments were anything but ‘rhetoric’. They were a bald, factual and completely justified statement based on the actions of the Tory Party that its MPs enable – and their terrible cost.
Yet Ms Glass – rhetorically or otherwise – would rather sit by the Aga eating artisan bread with a Tory, promoting ‘cross-party collaboration and adult debate’.
Both she and Jess Phillips are seemingly happy to utterly miss the real point as long as it gets their name in print and their face in the papers: this is not two grans getting on in spite of voting for different parties – and this is not ‘debate’. It’s not a game.
This, for thousands, even millions, of people outside the Westminster bubble, is real life – and death.
People facing life and death recognise that those who are imposing poverty, pain and death on them and their class are, in every meaningful sense, their enemies.
They don’t need moral bankrupts who are prepared to ignore or twist facts for the sake of a smear. They don’t need ‘clubbable’ MP types who’ll be seduced into identifying with those who are hurting them more than with those they’re supposed to be representing.
They need representatives in Parliament who recognise there’s still a class war going on, with life-and-death consequences – and who refuse to be drawn into chumminess with those enemies.
In other words, they need people like Laura Pidcock.
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