A FEW years ago, it wasn’t hard to find a Labour supporter in Camden, sore from the tramp of a doorknock, moaning privately over a pint or a coffee about Glenda Jackson’s apparent invisibility at times when they looked for her. There were moans that constituents didn’t see her enough as the twin threat of the Conservatives and the Lib Dems arrowed in on her constituency. The opposition tried to make great play of things like her Hansard record, but she had the last laugh and will retire unbeaten at the ballot box. And now, those criticisms about visibility, which she never really accepted herself, seem to have been all but forgotten. With one speech, (watched more than a million times on YouTube alone), her unpicking of Thatcherism at a Commons session designed to celebrate the former Prime Minister, she seems to have droves of refreshed fans in the Labour Party.
OK, so Caroline Flint on the Labour front bench looks fed up as Glenda is talking in the footage, but away from the parliamentarians from who Ed Miliband demanded respect while their rivals mourned, there seems to be delight for her contribution. Tom Copley, the London Assembly member, is a prize example. During his foaming excitement at Glenda’s speech he even suggested a Damehood. There’s more ecstasy from Bonnie Greer at the Huffington Post. Look at the comments on the Glenda vs Grant Shapps post on these pages too. There are calls for Glenda to be the Labour Party’s leader. It seems Glenda has found a popularity among the membership which she hasn’t enjoyed, perhaps since she first help bring Labour back to life in Hampstead (in parliamentary terms) in 1992.
Still, I wonder what all of those celebrating the MP for Hampstead and Kilburn as the last champion of socialism, the woman who says what needs to be said whatever the occasion… would think of her ideas for fixing the London riots in 2011.
She was pretty firm, pretty angry: “Don’t give credence to the argument that these are deprived children, they all have Blackberries. It’s time to send in the army and water cannons. It has all been too softly softly so far. And when are the parents? This is just kids having a bloody good time and it is utterly unacceptable. You don’t shit on your own doorstep. It its just disrespectful and disgusting. These kids have simply lost it. They are terribly brave as a group but they are bloody cowards”.
As her Telegraph blogging son Dan Hodges writes in his own piece on her Commons interventoon: she is a woman of conviction.
AND HE MENTIONED THE MUPPETS!