Newly elected Labour MP Laura Pidcock has come under fire this week for saying that she could never "hang out" with a Tory as they are the "enemy".
Pidcock's comments caused widespread outrage, particularly with the more moderate figures within the Labour Party. But why? Why is it so shocking and surprising that a socialist trade unionist would be opposed to befriending Conservatives? The MP stated that she was "disgusted at the way they're running the country ... where lots of people live in a constant state of fear whether they even have enough to eat".
The MP's comments seem to have been taken completely out of context, like a petty school playground argument of who won't play with who. Pidcock is an MP for the opposition, it is hardly a shock to anyone that she would disagree with Conservatives to the point of not wanting to socialise with them. The suggestion that we should abandon 'personality politics' in pursuit of a kinder approach is utterly ridiculous.
We are the descendants of grandparents who, albeit barely, lived through a Thatcher government. People who survived being battered to a pulp for daring to stand up for their jobs and their heritage. We ourselves grow up in the ruined towns of the North that were crushed by Conservative policies and politicians. Pidcock is the MP for North West Durham which pre Thatcher, was one of the great industrial heartlands of the North of England. Yet she is expected to be jumping at the chance to befriend those politicians who if given the chance would cripple her beloved Durham all over again? There must be a discussion around the fact that male Labour heavyweights such as Dennis Skinner have never come under such fire for being less than complimentary about the Conservatives. Is it purely the idea that a woman would refuse the company of other women due to their politics too extreme for some to swallow? Does the twee notion of battling a Tory in the House of Commons in the morning and clinking glasses at a bar in the evening satisfy Moderates on what a 'nice' MP should be like? Who are we to dictate who Pidcock befriends in her spare time?
Our generation faces a new kind of Tory attack. We are witnessing the purposeful destruction of the National Health Service, the crippling of the welfare system and a homelessness crisis that is akin to that of Victorian Britain. Pidcock is one of the MP's who are fighting tooth and nail to ensure a safe future for us and for our children. She is tenacious in her counter attack, she has no time for niceties with those who seek to destroy our social security.
Pidcock is right, the Tories are the enemy. And some would do well to remember that.