I've been asked to write something nice and supportive about Diane Abbott after seeing her on the Andrew Marr show this morning. She truly is my favourite choice for Labour leader, but only for narrative purposes, it would make the story of British politics rather fine.
Also on Andrew Marr was Iain Duncan Smith, I though he looked very much like a 1950's statesman, which was kind of a cool anachronism, although he's pinched his body language from Tony Blair.
Anyhoo, that Diane Abbott, whilst she was being interviewed I couldn't take my eyes off her hands, the way she was constantly picking at the nail on the third finger on her right hand, all through the interview, regardless of the words coming out of her mouth, just pick pick pick.
Whilst IDS was doing Tony Blair hand gestures, Diane was just pick pick pick.
IDS's body language tutor must have said in one lesson, emphasize points by using your hand, grasping motions, open gestures, rolling gestures, gestures, gestures, gestures. Drumming in the lesson. Diane must have missed that lesson. Probably busy with diversity training.
I've listened intently, dragging my eyes away from her nail-picking and it seems the over-riding message of her leadership bid, it isn't policies or dogma, its just that she's not white or male, so my narrative reason for supporting her is entirely reasonable.
Not that her reasoning is that reasonable. She may not be male or white, but she is an Oxbridge graduate, so she's just like all the other candidates and miles away from the vast majority of Labour supporters. Not to say that an Oxbridge candidate can't represent a non-Oxbridge constituency, just that it forever cancels out any argument about who can represent the views of who.
Back to her policies, I'm not sure what they are, although when on the Marr show she was discussing public sector cuts with Iain Duncan Smith, Iain Duncan had said something along the lines of how up north public sector wages had squeezed out the private sector so factory owners were finding it difficult to employ quality staff at a price they could afford, with the subtext of if there were public sector cuts up north, the folk could easily find new employment, albeit with lower wages.
Diane Abbott's response was that in her constituency the public sector was the biggest employer, the last factory in Hackney closed twenty five years ago, if people in the public sector were made redundant they wouldn't be able to find new jobs and hence increase the burden on welfare.
To my jaundiced ears it sounded like her constituents are unemployable wastes of space who only have their jobs so that they don't show up in job seekers allowance claimant figures. And they might as well just be paid to dig holes and fill them in again, anything to keep them off the dole.
All the more reason to sack the lot of them.
That said, if what Diane said was correct, then maybe their pay could be cut drastically, as there's little private sector employment to compete with, and so Hackey could provide better value for money for the taxpayer than Iain Duncan Smith's northern masses.
But no no, Diane's line was they Hackney's public sector workers shouldn't face cuts as they're unemployable, almost as if giving them jobs is charity.
That's just Diane Abbott's portrayal of her Hackney public sector constituents. Me, I think they're probably very employable but are currently trapped in a public sector wage trap. They'd be able to fulfill their creative potential and self-actualisation far better in the private sector, but taking a hit on their wages is just too much.
Her point about the last factory in Hackney closing twenty five years ago show a contemptibly poor understanding of manufacturing. it doesn't take a factory to make a factory, give me a dozen lads, a few soldering irons and an RS Components catalog and I'll give you a world-leading cutting-edge manufacturing company.