I never thought I'd say this, but I stand with Angela Rayner, says Mercy Muroki
The Mail on Sunday yesterday published a hit piece on the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner
I never thought that I'd say this but – I stand with Angela Rayner.
Why do I say that?
Well, in case you missed it,
The Mail on Sunday yesterday published a hit piece on the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner.
It claimed – according to some anonymous Tory sources, at least – that The Deputy Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition was using a 'basic instinct' tactic to 'distract' the prime minister.
Some context - The 1992 thriller Basic Instict features an infamous scene where actor Sharon Stone, whilst being interrogated by police... spreads her legs... revealing well, the bare anatomy of a woman.
So some anonymous – or more fittingly, cowardly Tory source – thought it would be a good idea to tell the Mail on Sunday that Rayner deliberately crosses and uncrosses her legs in the Commons as a ploy to distract Boris Johnson. To basically put him off his stride.
Now I don't like to throw around words like 'misogynist', 'sexist'.
In my view, they're overused, they've lost much of their meaning.
But I will say this: whoever has said this is making one implication and one implication only – that Angela Rayner is so inept at her job as a female parliamentarian and so sleazy that she has to resort to using her legs as a political tactic.
Has this person considered that... women just sometimes wear skirts, or dresses, and thus their legs happen to be out sometimes?
And sometimes they cross their legs... and sometimes they EVEN uncross them, and cross them again. I mean, who'd have thought it?
It all just reeks of someone who doesn't know how to feel or behave when a woman happens to be showing a bit of ankle. In which case, I would suggest that it's very much THEM – and them only – who has a bit of a problem.
Listen, whether you like it or not. Angela Rayner is currently a force in politics, she is one of the most powerful women in Westminster, as deputy leader of the Labour party, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work. Or the future of woke if Labour's agenda is anything to go by.
Now, don't get me wrong – she has many-a-pitfall. Let us not forget she backed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Labour party in 2016. A cardinal sin, in my books.
Let's also not forget that late last year she called senior members of the Tories – and I quote - "a bunch of scum, homophobic, raist, mysogynist, absolute pile of banana republic, Etonian, piece of scum". endquote.
Hardly becoming of somebody who favours civilised political discourse... And, given that a man was actually sent to prison for targeting Her with threatening emails, she should really know better than to be carelessly targeting others with abusive, crass insults.
But she is nevertheless a force in her own right.
Raised on a council estate in Stockport caring for her mentally ill, illiterate, and suicidal mother, Rayner left school with no qualifications, and with a bun in the oven... having her first child at 16.
She was kicked out by her Dad for this - her Dad, a man she described in a Times piece last September as a "very scary, very shouty" man, who would tell her off for wetting the bed, and who would walk out on the family for days on end.
She says her childhood on the council estate was full of deprivation, and fear. She had baths once a week, she got bullied at school for having unwashed, messy hair. "there were no hugs and kisses and no bedtime stories" at night, she recalls.
Now, I'm not trying to ambush you with a sob story about the woman. I'm not one to get the tiny violins out .
And I dislike much of what Rayner stands for – not least, you know, the socialism bit.
But I also hate – desperate tabloid hit pieces dripping in snobbery, concocted by old boys with faux machismo hiding behind the cloak of annonymity.
This is the kind of thing that puts women – particularly working class women – completely off politics.
If I were ever to run as an MP – that is, if ever I was so masochist that I decided to put myself through the sheer hell of being a woman on the benches – then God Help Me.
Because I'm sure I, like any other person who happens to have two X chromosomes, would subjected to the same shameless rhetoric.
This kind of gutter politics brings our House of Commons, already dripping in scandal and shame, into further disrepute. It's petulant playground politics.
So, I repeat – for the first and perhaps last time ever – on this instance, I stand with Angela Rayner.