As I've written about before, one of the major challenges of standing as a non-Labour candidate in Hackney North is that Diane Abbott has a strong reputation as a radical MP. In some ways, that is deserved - she is certainly not a generic Blairite or Brownite, that's for sure. However, much of her reputation seems to be based on her politics in the late 80s and early 90s - and the more research I do, the more examples I turn up of her voting in ways that one would never have expected, given her history.
I've already covered her recent, surprising vote against a transparent Iraq inquiry - and now there is this article in the Guardian, which points out her vote against the campaign towards a fair trial for Gary McKinnon. It's made worse because she has spoken out about the unfairness of the US-UK Extradition Treaty before, and yet when it comes to doing something about this test case, she votes with the government. Very odd.
Of course, I'm not saying that just because Gary McKinnon is clearly a confused person his actions should not be investigated. Just that they should be investigated in a court that is unbiased, and with proceedings that will not destroy his life, whether he is proven guilty or innocent.
So, I seem to be building up a list of things I would have done differently from Diane if I had been the MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington over the last couple of months. I would have voted for a transparent inquiry into Iraq, not against one. I would have voted for an immediate inquiry into the workings of the US-UK Extradition Treaty, not against one. I would have spoken out actively and strongly in support of the Vestas occupation. And your MP would have been campaigning in the borough against further privatisation of the NHS over the last couple of weeks - not being a member of the Party doing the privatising.
I suspect this list will get longer and longer over the next few months!