Do you have to be a failed politician to be allowed to make television documentaries?
After Michael Portillo, last night saw Oona King’s hour-long revelation of the startling fact that Martin Luther King was in fact a Baptist minister who appears to have believed in God and everything, and who went so far as to deploy in his speeches, not just Biblical references and images, but at times even direct quotations. Who’d have thought it? Well, not Oona, apparently. She was quite visibly astonished.
Once tipped as a future Leader of the Labour Party, she had never heard of anyone whose robustly orthodox and Biblical faith fed, and was fed by, a radical critique of poverty, injustice and war, so that that faith actually became deeper, and more robustly orthodox and Biblical, as poverty, injustice and war called ever more starkly for radical action, the resources for which neither secularism nor its theological imitations can provide.
No doubt, she just thought of Labour as what student Trots did once they grew older, grew richer, and fancied becoming MPs or lavishly remunerated hangers on. Which is exactly what New Labour is, of course. So, although she was never so much as a PPS between 1997 and 2005, she really could have been its Leader eventually, if she had kept her seat.
Thank God for George Galloway.