WHO knows what Camden Labour party activist Lucy Reese asked to be captioned as when she appeared on Newsnight on Thursday night? The fact they just put ‘parent’ might have seemed innocuous, but it meant she ended up on the widely-read blogsite MediaGuido the next day as it was pointed out that her political affiliation had not been declared in a debate about government’s education policy.
The suggestion was that it was all a little too deceptive, rubbed to give the impression that all ‘parents’ – let’s face it, that vague caption could apply to half the people who appear on Newsnight – are against the coalition’s free schools.
Lucy was there arguing against headteachers of shiny new free schools, extolling Camden’s ‘family of schools’ model. It would probably just have been better to give full disclosure from the off. She has been suggested as a future Labour councillor in Camden and linked to the seat in Camden Town with Primrose Hill earlier this year.
That said, it isn’t the worst sin in the world, is it?, and maybe not even one of her own making. Most sensible people watching the programme would detect from her comments that she was unlikely to be a fan of Michael Gove and almost certainly not a Conservative or Liberal Democrat voter. The assumption, whether it should have been left to the viewers to make or not, must have been that she was a Labour bod. Fair enough to MediaGuido, which let’s just say gets a few more views than these humble pages, for making the point. It’s a valid thing to raise. But the anger in the comments it has attracted is pretty forceful; maybe just a teensy bit out of proportion and then, as it goes on, sexist. As a collection, it’s a rude awakening to the realities of sticking your ahead above the parapet, even at a local level, and offering an opinion. Below are a sample:
“That is a political and an ideological decision” should have made half a brain known she’s a commie bastard…
“Lol, Labour caught out again. Look at her shifty eyes and you can tell she is a Labour drone.
I thought twice about including the next two, but they illustrate, with a wince, what lies in wait for politicians and more widely and more worryingly, women, when they go on television…:
“She’s quite bummable.”
“Nice cheekbones, both sets. Wonder what her other lips are like.”