Sunday 14 January 2018

The Heiress Presumptive

To ask what the political opinions of Laura Pidcock MP are, simply that, is apparently now to engage in "personal attacks". Truly, she is the Heiress Presumptive.

To placate what is still the profoundly unconvinced Constituency Labour Party that was never asked whether it wanted her, she has been appointed to Shadow a Ministry that does not exist. Over to that CLP.

By all accounts, it is an open secret in circles in favour Scottish independence that Laura Pidcock is one of theirs, placing her at variance with both of her new patrons, Owen Jones and George Galloway, as well as with Richard Leonard, whom she was already considered important enough to be invited to endorse.

But does she agree with Galloway, and probably also with Jones, that the Falkland Islands ought to be handed over to Argentina? My own view is that no one should be taken seriously who opposes that view but who does not also support the Chagos Islanders, that the amount of money and attention paid to the Falkland Islands is obscene compared to the neglect of the larger population on St Helena such as during the recent crisis over the airport, that the pointed absence of St Helenian and other brown faces whenever the Falklands are shown on British television can only be explained as a matter of policy, and that the Falkland Islanders are among the people who need to be reminded that the people of Great Britain also have a right of self-determination, which they have exercised in order to leave behind far larger populations in the past, including after wars that were far more recent. But none of those is the same thing. What, however, is the view of Laura Pidcock?

Yes, that does mean that I disagree with Galloway. Why would I not? I do on a number of matters, as I have done from time to time with my other Campaign Patron, Councillor Alex Watson OBE. For example, while I accept that public figures do all sorts of things for charity, Galloway's appearance on Celebrity Big Brother cost him his own seat, and Respect several more, in the hung Parliament of 2010. You could expect no comparable strategic error from me. But might you from Laura Pidcock?

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