Yes, it's okay to have friends who are Tories
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A Labour MP set the internet alight last week when she declared that she wouldn’t have Conservatives as friends because they were, in her view, ‘the enemy.’ Laura Pidcock was elected as the member of parliament for North West Durham in June and has already been awarded a reputation by the press as a left-wing firebrand. The comments regarding her relationship with supporters of ‘the enemy’ came from an interview she did with a left-wing blog, The Skawkbox, which styles itself as equally radical and edgy. Although the interview was generally very soft, Pidcock came across well, showing a clear commitment to her constituency as well as wider problems, such as the mental health crisis and the shortcomings of foreign aid. She also talked about Westminster’s intimidating and archaic nature, although it is hardly an original observation for a new MP. The controversy arose from her answer to a question about her opponents, the dreaded Tories. Her definition of the governing party seems rather narrow, Pidcock arguing that there are only two types – the high-profile, privileged twats such as Boris Johnson, and the ideologues who are blind to the problems of their constituents. She then mentioned a rather weird incident in which ‘a couple of Tories’ (because they always hunt in pairs) tried desperately to ‘show how nice they were,’ like nervous courtiers trying to please a bad-tempered king. But for all their attempts to bridge the political divide, Pidcock remained firm. 'Whatever type they are, I have absolutely no intention of being friends with any of them,’ she said. ‘I have friends I choose to spend time with. I go to parliament to be a mouthpiece for my constituents and class – I’m not interested in chatting on.' In one sense she is perfectly right to be disgusted at a party which threw away an election once believed to be unlosable, undermining their ability to deliver Brexit, in one of the most complicated narratives in British history. And recognising when something is truly an ‘enemy,’ and accepting it must be defeated, is an important skill in politics.
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