Thursday 4 May 2017

Obviously Representative, And Not

Never forget where you came from. I may speak like Nigel Havers when the need arises. But I still need a mirror to tie a bow tie. And I still vote for myself. Moreover, I cannot afford to have two houses. Nor can I afford to buy one at the drop of Theresa May's hat in order to give the impression of being local. Mercifully, I do not need to give any such impression. I have lived here for 35 years, and at my current address for 27 of them.

I am undeniably a man of the Left, but of the non-Marxist kind that is capable of co-operation across the political spectrum. I might have voted and campaigned for a mainstream left-wing Labour candidate, such as the outgoing MP. Of either sex, provided that there had been a fair and open selection process. I genuinely respect Laura Pidcock's anti-austerity, anti-war and anti-racist activism. I fully accept that the most left-wing member of the House of Commons must by definition be the MP for somewhere. But not here.

Ms Pidcock, chosen from an all-women shortlist by Labour's National Executive Committee in London, is an avowed Marxist and radical feminist whose views are not obviously representative of Derwentside or the Wear Valley. It is impossible to imagine her working with Independents, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, as I am already doing, both in support of the Teaching Assistants, and in order to bring the Volkswagen Group's production for the British market to this county after Brexit.

At the recent rally for the Teaching Assistants, Ms Pidcock walked out when a TA and activist from this constituency called for all Labour Councillors to lose their seats. That has long been my stated view.

I reject any approach to climate change which would threaten jobs, workers' rights, the right to have children, travel opportunities, or universal access to a full diet; Ms Pidcock is unlikely to echo that rejection. I seek to rescue issues such as male suicide, men's health, and fathers' rights from those whose economic and other policies have caused the problems; Ms Pidcock is unlikely to see those problems. Being both mixed-race and disabled, I refuse to recognise racists, Fascists or opportunists as the authentic voices of the accepted need to control immigration; Ms Pidcock is unlikely to accept that need.

Much as I respect Owen Temple, who most certainly did not walk out of the TAs' rally, I also remember the last time that the Liberal Democrats were in government. I am not talking about tuition fees. I am talking about every wretched thing that the Coalition did, opposed by Jeremy Corbyn even when not by the Labour front bench. Everything from the Bedroom Tax to the war in Libya. Furthermore, I could not possibly vote for a second referendum on EU membership. If neither could you, then you cannot vote Liberal Democrat this time.

I am not aware that Ms Pidcock has ever resisted the implementation of austerity by Northumberland County Council. As for wars, I have been campaigning against them since she was still in primary school. On the EU, Ms Pidcock's views and mine are probably very similar. But even if they are not, then on that, as on many social issues, she has no case against me that would not also apply to her own MP, Ronnie Campbell, for whom she is presumably intending to vote and campaign. There are persistent rumours that she wants to close our Catholic and Church of England schools.

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