In the best New Labour tradition of reannouncement, Hilary Armstrong has once again informed the world of her intention to retire. Actually, I have always liked Hilary personally. It was politically that I disagreed with her profoundly, more than anything (and a lot of people feel like this where she is concerned) because I knew perfectly well that she didn’t really believe a word of what she was saying.
To me, it is irrelevant precisely who the New Labour candidate is. But all those who said that I was too middle-class, or that I was not properly local because I wasn’t born here and didn’t have a mining background, are about to see exactly how working-class or local is any candidate produced by the New Labour machine. And Hilary’s own remarks make it clear what can be expected by those who said that I was too young (and have now been saying that for ten years…). A seat as safe as this can expect a North London princess straight out of Oxbridge.
Her Royal Highness will hold few political opinions. That will be the point of her. But she will certainly hold one. For there is one that must be held by anyone on an all-women shortlist, such as Hilary Armstrong’s seat is bound to be given. That one and only political opinion is support for abortion absolutely on demand, up to and including partial birth. So we know, even at this stage, that that will be the declared position of the New Labour candidate, no matter who she may be.