After the news of Bob Crow’s sudden and early death had sunk in, the politicians and pundits took their turn to pay tribute. As I noted yesterday, even adversaries like London’s occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had many kind things to say about the RMT leader. But not everybody was as adept at keeping their feet out of their mouth – with cringingly predictable results.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
Nowhere could this be seen to better effect than in the distant constituency of Manhattan Upmarket, where former Tory MP Louise Mensch enacted an “accidental Partridge” of which Armando Iannucci and Steve Coogan could be truly envious. There was no need for Ms Mensch to wade in to the commentary following Crow’s death, but as with so much else, she’s just too damn clever to keep quiet.
At first all was well, as she told “I am very sorry Bob Crow has died. 52 is horribly young. RIP”. Could she leave it there and retire with credibility undiminished? Not a chance: back she came with “In politics it is important to distinguish a person from their attitudes and political positions. Very sorry a family lost their relative”. From that point, you just knew she was about to put her foot in it.
And so it came to pass: “Yet it would be gross hypocrisy to pretend I did anything other than to oppose all Crow stood for. His politics, attitude were very damaging”. Hypocrisy? That, as the late John Smith might have observed, is a bit rich: someone who left her constituents in the lurch calling on the memory of a man who did exactly what he was elected to do, no ifs, and no buts.
Moreover, the idea that someone wanting decent standards of living, improved safety at work, and continuing investment in the industries he worked with is “damaging” really is taking the biscuit. And it must be assumed that Ms Mensch has forgotten Crow’s forthright anti-racism stance, together with all the other homework she didn’t bother with. But she knows how to deflect criticism.
“It’s par for the course; a bunch of left-wing hypocrites who demeaned Lady Thatcher when she died” she ranted. And who might that be (see my take on Mrs T’s passing HERE)? Waving away justifiable distaste at her comments by countering “Yebbut THATCHER” doesn’t cut it, although she was not alone in trying to garner click-bait by being abusive about Crow’s legacy.
Yes, James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole was at it too, sneering “Bob Crow was a leftist parasite but at least he didn’t try to claim the moral high ground”. So says a real parasite who makes no useful contribution to the economy, other than hot air. And, as to Del Boy, the pundit who likens his opponents to paedophiles and considers it funny and clever, talking about morals, the less said the better.
Some on the right have not distinguished themselves here. No surprise there, then.