Information icon.svg

Campaigning for the RationalMedia Foundation 2021 board of trustees election is underway!

Diane Abbott

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Diane Abbott
Ravishing guide to
U.K. Politics
Icon politics UK.svg
God Save the Queen?
I suppose some people would judge that, on balance, Mao did more good than harm.
—Diane Abbott, "just putting the case for Mao".[1]

Diane Abbott (1953–) has been a British Labour MP since 1987 when she became the first black woman to be elected to the House of Commons.

She has been described by English nationalist blogger Gareth Young as "a left-wing race-obsessed idiot who has made a career out of winding up right-wing race-obsessed idiots."[2] Which is something of a compliment when you think about it.

On racial issues[edit]

She has argued that Britain needs more black teachers to help tackle underachievement amongst black schoolboys.[3] She also provoked controversy when she wrote in the Hackney Gazette in 1996 that she objected to the amount of "blonde, blue-eyed Finnish girls" who had "never met a black person before" working as nurses at her local hospital "in multicultural Hackney", adding that "I am sure that these young women are charming. But they are basically here to improve their English and are unlikely to give the British health service a lifetime's commitment."[4] This led the Commission for Racial EqualityWikipedia to condemn her view as one which "stirs up racial hatred, reinforces negative attitudes and stereotyping" and one which "feeds racism and xenophobia".[5] This does not seem to have affected her in the long run, and in 2016 following Britain voting to leave the European Union and a wave of mass resignations from the shadow cabinet, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appointed Abbott as Shadow Secretary of State for Health.[6][7]

In September 2010 tabloid newspaper The Daily Star stated that she had been reported to the police for inciting racial hatred after making comments about black workers avoiding job cuts.[8] Unsurprisingly, she has earned a noble place as something of a bogeywoman amongst the rabid British right, particularly ethnic nationalists.

Pro-science, pro-choice[edit]

Abbott has taken some strong pro-science positions. She supported the Science is Vital coalition and the Campaign for Science and Engineering[9] and was one of only 79 British MPs who signed Early Day Motion 377 noting the achievements of Charles Darwin, and calling for Darwin's birthday to be designated a public holiday to honour "one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain's greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds."[10] However, all is not well as she has also defended homeopathy.[11]

Abbott is also vociferously pro-choice.[12]


In a June 2010 episode of This Week Abbott was grilled by host Andrew Neil about a comment she made in regards to her decision to send her son to a private school, that "West Indian mums will go to the wall for their children." "So black mothers love their children more than white?" asked Neil. He went on to ask "supposing Michael [Portillo, also on the show] had said white mums will go to the wall for their children...?" and "isn't that a racist remark?" while an obviously embarrassed Abbott was reduced to repeatedly saying "Andrew, I've got nothing more to say" and trying to change the subject.[13]

In January 2012, Abbott tweeted that "white people love playing 'divide and rule' We should not play their game".[14] She only apologised after being ordered to by Labour leader Ed Miliband.[14]

Abbott was allegedly involved in a relationship with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn following Corbyn's separation from his first wife in the 1970s.[15] It was revealed in 2015 that Abbott, along with Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs on the Labour left, has been the subject of covert surveillance by the British police. There have been demands that the police files on these elected politicians be made public.[16]

Abuse on social media[edit]

In the run up to the 2017 general election, Abbott received almost half of all abuse sent to women MPs on Twitter, which is... fucking awful.[17]


  1. "Diane Abbott: Chairman Mao "on balance did more good than harm"". This Week. 21 February 2008 – uploaded onto YouTube on 26 November 2015 by Tom W. Huxley.
  4. Sylvester, Rachel (28 November 1996). "Black MP was 'racist' over Finnish nurses". The Daily Telegraph (554). Archived from the original on 28 Nov 2002.
  5. Rentoul, John (29 November 1996). "Diane Abbott is sorry". The Independent. 
  6. Jamie Grierson and Anushka Asthana (27 June 2016). "Jeremy Corbyn unveils new shadow cabinet after raft of resignations". The Guardian.
  7. (27 June 2016). "Diane Abbott appointed shadow health secretary in Corbyn’s cabinet reshuffle". Hackney Citizen.
  10. 200th Anniversary Of The Birth Of Charles Darwin
  12. Diane Abbott resigns from abortion counselling working group
  14. 14.0 14.1 Diane Abbott apologises over Twitter racism row The Guardian, 5 January 2012
  15. Nadeem Badshah. "How Corbyn revealed Abbott was his lover". The Times. 30 January 2016. (subscription needed for full article).
  16. Labour MPs spied on by police demand to see secret files held on them