This week, Laura Pidcock made a name for herself after the new MP declared that she would never (ever) be friends with a Tory. The Labour politician said she would not ‘hang out with Tory women’ as they were ‘no friends of mine’ and ‘an enemy to lots of women’. Although her comments provoked much criticism, her Labour comrade Richard Burgon did at least come to her defence. The Labour frontbencher said it was a fair enough outlook – after all, it never did Dennis Skinner any harm. However, is the real issue here that Pidcock didn’t go far enough?
The Grauniad have published an article titled: is it OK to be friends with a Tory?
In the piece, the Guardian’s deputy opinion editor Joseph Harker says he salutes Pidcock for her brave stand against the Tories:
‘Laura Pidcock, I salute you! The recently elected Labour MP for North West Durham says she has “absolutely no intention of being friends” with Tory MPs because she feels “disgusted at the way they’re running this country”.
It’s not the kind of language we are used to hearing from our politicians, who for years have happily supped with each other, referred to each other as “honourable members” and in all seem to have attended the same Oxbridge colleges. So it’s heartening to hear a Labour MP say that.’
However, there’s a problem: she did not go far enough. On top of avoiding befriending Conservatives, Lib Dems and Blairites should also be avoided where possible:
‘In fact, I’d go further than Pidcock, and try to avoid all those who have cemented the Torification of Britain since Thatcher: the Blairites who embedded her policies in their 13 years in power, allowed inequality to grow and let the banks get off scot-free when they almost bankrupted the country, and the Lib Dems, who propped up Cameron’s government for five years and gave austerity the green light.
It may leave me with a smaller social circle, but then, it’s always good to know who your friends really are.’
So much for a kinder, gentler politics…