Friday 12 January 2018

Never Mind The Pidcocks?

I have had numerous communications about yesterday's post concerning George Galloway and Laura Pidcock.

The Constituency Labour Party here in North West Durham nominated Jeremy Corbyn for Leader in 2016, so it would have selected a left-wing parliamentary candidate of its own accord in 2017. Yet the Labour Party nationally decided that nobody in North West Durham was capable of being a parliamentary candidate, or even of having any say in the selection of one.

The hurt is real and the anger is raw. But 2017 could have been my fourth General Election, if you had done what you should have done while Laura Pidcock was still a schoolgirl of whom you had never heard. Since then, I have been trying for years and years to tell you that you would not actually die if you stepped outside the Labour Party. George Galloway is testament to that.

Yet he is desperate to get back into it, even though he has been out of it for even longer than I have. So desperate, in fact, that he will now favour Laura Pidcock, whom he has probably never even met and with whom he has probably never had any kind of communication, over me, with whom he has been co-operating for some years. And for what? Labour is never going to let you back in, George. Never. That is just a fact.

Ho, hum. By popular request, here are a few more issues on which George has very strong opinions, with some of which I agree wholeheartedly, with others to a more qualified extent, with others more in aspiration than anything else, and with others not at all. The question is, since George has joined those to whom Laura is the Heiress Presumptive, does she agree with them?

George Galloway is a stalwart supporter of Durham County Council's wronged Teaching Assistants, including the 472 who have still had their pay cut by 23 per cent. As am I. But is Laura Pidcock? Indeed, has she ever been?

George Galloway has a long and ongoing history of crossparty friendship and co-operation. As have I, albeit on a much smaller scale, but including in relation to the Teaching Assistants. What has Laura Pidcock to say to that?

George Galloway not only presents a weekly programme on RT, but he also presents a three-hour weekly radio programme on a Murdoch-owned station, he appears fairly regularly on the BBC in general and on Jeremy Vine in particular, he has written for the Mail newspapers many times over many years, and has sided, like Jeremy Corbyn, with the Daily Mail against Virgin Trains. I would, and given the opportunity I do, practise a comparable ecumenism when it came to being offered a platform. But would Laura Pidcock?

George Galloway has been unwavering in his support of me against the universally acknowledged, though technically still ongoing, attempt by the George Wallace Labour Party in Durham County Hall and by its Bull Connor accomplices in the Crown Prosecution Service to send me to prison for an offence that was never in fact committed by me or by anyone else. What is the view of Laura Pidcock, who is my MP?

George Galloway describes Winston Churchill as his hero, whereas I go to some lengths to balance the cult of him with the facts of his record, not least with respect to the miners and to racial questions. What does Laura Pidcock, the poster girl of Stand Up to Racism turned golden girl of the Durham Miners' Association, think of Winston Churchill?

George Galloway wants to abolish the monarchy (a move that Jeremy Corbyn ruled out in interview during the General Election campaign), whereas I have a republican heart but a monarchist head, since I accept that the monarchy keeps sweet certain people who need to be kept sweet, although I cannot see what it has ever done for them, and I want to transfer the powers of the Royal Prerogative to an institution that, as much as anything else, would be far more representative of those people. Does Laura Pidcock want to abolish the monarchy?

George Galloway campaigned vigorously against Scottish independence, which I also actively opposed, and he would do so again, as would I. Did Laura Pidcock oppose Scottish independence? Would she do so again?

George Galloway advocates Proportional Representation, a cause of which I have never been entirely convinced, although that was before I acquired an MP who refused to have a cup of tea with one third of her constituents, and who has presumably instructed her staff not to reply to telephone calls or to emails from the non-Labour majority of councillors for wards in her constituency. Does Laura Pidcock advocate Proportional Representation?

George Galloway wishes to establish the principle that whatever privileges were enjoyed by students in Further and Higher Education ought also to be enjoyed by their peers who were apprentices or trainees, and vice versa, and would favour all-working-class shortlists rather than all-women shortlists. In the strongest possible terms, I, too, wish to establish the principle that whatever privileges were enjoyed by students in Further and Higher Education ought also to be enjoyed by their peers who were apprentices or trainees, and vice versa. But would Laura Pidcock? At the very least, I would see all-working-class shortlists as preferable to all-women shortlists. But would Laura Pidcock?

George Galloway has always answered "No" to the question, "Are you a Marxist?" As has Jeremy Corbyn. And as have I. But what would be Laura Pidcock's answer to the question, "Are you a Marxist?"

George Galloway supports much tighter immigration controls, of the kind favoured by trade unionists such as Paul Embery. As do I. But does Laura Pidcock support much tighter immigration controls?

George Galloway has described anthropogenic global warming as "a tall tale", appearing repeatedly with Piers Corbyn. I pass no comment on the science, but I insist on an approach to climate change which protects and extends secure employment with civilised wages and working conditions, which encourages economic development around the world, which upholds the right of the working classes and of non-white people to have children, which holds down and as far as practicable reduces the fuel prices that always hit the poor hardest, and which refuses to restrict either travel opportunities or a full diet to the rich. Would Laura Pidcock describe anthropogenic global warming as "a tall tale"?

George Galloway has always said that he would not have voted either for Donald Trump or for Hillary Clinton, as have I, and, like me, he signed this response to the American Presidential Election, which was published as a letter in the Morning Star. Can Laura Pidcock say that she would not have voted either for Donald Trump or for Hillary Clinton? Would she have signed that letter?

George Galloway says that he would welcome a State Visit by President Trump, as it would be met by the largest demonstrations in British history, which would change British politics for generations to come, provided that they were led by people who had been just as opposed to Bill Clinton, to George W. Bush and to Barack Obama, and who would have been just as opposed to Hillary Clinton. That is precisely and emphatically my view. But is it the view of Laura Pidcock?

That brings us back to the origin of my apparent banishment from court, namely my journalistic audacity in publishing the concerns of other constituents that Laura Pidcock might share certain of the views of her other patron, Owen Jones. Unlike Owen Jones, George Galloway is strongly opposed to the legalisation of drugs; he is strongly opposed to prostitution and pornography, and with them to the lap-dancing clubs that have been an issue in this constituency in the past; and he rejects the idea, which is favoured by the Government, that gender is a matter of self-identification. As am I, as am I, and as do I.

But is Laura Pidcock strongly opposed to the legalisation of drugs? Is Laura Pidcock strongly opposed to prostitution, to pornography, and to lap-dancing clubs? Does Laura Pidcock reject the idea, which is favoured by the Government, that gender is a matter of self-identification? In a word, does Laura Pidcock agree with her patron, George Galloway? Or does she agree with her other patron, Owen Jones?

One could go on. But, with yesterday's, these ought to do. For now.

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