Steerpike

Laura Pidcock’s Gulf gaffe

Laura Pidcock's Gulf gaffe
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We don't hear much of Laura Pidcock these days. The onetime Corbynista rising star was unceremoniously dumped by her North West Durham constituency at the last election, having managed to turn it from a Labour safe seat into a Tory gain in just over two years. Denied a voice in Parliament and with media appearances drying up, the Momentum heroine has been reduced to opining from her Twitter account on the issues of the day.

Now out of the Commons and safely installed in the more comradely surroundings of the CLASS think tank and the People’s Assembly, Pidcock can wage virtual proletarian struggle to her heart's content. Today her choice of target was a gas leak off the Gulf of Mexico, causing a fire on the ocean surface west of the Yucatan peninsula. For Pidcock, the answer was clear: somehow, the dastardly free markets were to blame, prompting her to tweet: 'The sea is on fire but some people *still* think capitalism can be managed.'

Unfortunately, as numerous accounts have since pointed out to to Pidcock, the underwater pipeline from which the leak sprang belonged to the state oil company Pemex, nationalised by a socialist government in Mexico more than 80 years ago. The numerous ecological disasters which plagued the workers' paradise of the Soviet Union would moreover suggest that the elimination of boss-eyed capitalists is not the complete solution to all the world's environmental ills. 

While of course Mr S could direct Pidcock to refer to such incidents as the Ufa train disaster, the drying up of the Aral Sea, the Mayak nuclear waste storage tank explosion and, errr, Chernobyl, perhaps the most damning rejoinder of all comes from the testimony of Pidcock's own comrades. 

The conclusion of one such Socialist Alliance paper published in 2011 contrasted 'the grossly irresponsible clique' of Soviet bureaucracy which 'pursued its corporate advantage with little regard for damage to nature' unlike the 'human rights and elements of democracy' which 'have often forced capitalism to concede impose certain constraints.'

Let's hope in her new role at CLASS Pidcock does a bit more thinking and a bit less tanking.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk

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