So Oona King has put her media friendly hat into the London Mayoral ring as a potential challenger to Ken Livingstone for the Labour ticket. Her candidacy has been welcomed by quite a few Labour leaning folk who want to see a proper selection contest and have been concerned about the lack of diversity among the political class.
I share those concerns but, in the absence of Ms King putting forward any vision as to *why* she wants to be London's Mayor, I thought I might take a little look at her track record to see what we might glean from her past behaviour.
King was an MP from 1997 to 2005 in Bethnal Green and Bow, a reign that was cruelly cut off by 823 votes when she was beaten by George Galloway at the height of his powers. When she was first elected she was just the second black woman to be elected to Parliament, the first one being current Labour leadership challenger Diane Abbott.
I took a look at her voting record in the House for this period to see what kind of policies we might expect from her majesty.
- She voted strongly for student fees.
- Very strongly for ID cards.
- Very strongly for foundation hospitals.
- Very strongly for the Iraq War, and very strongly against an investigation into that war once it went balls up in a plastic handcart.
- She voted against measures to prevent climate change.
- Very strongly for a stricter asylum system (you know the one where we deport gay people to their deaths and lock up children - she wanted that toughened up).
If there's one thing history has shown us it's that London likes their politicians on message and loyal to the party, so a DNA New Labourite should be just the ticket, no?