A is for Diane Abbott

For those of you who don’t know, Diane Abbott is currently the Shadow Home Secretary, a role she was appointed to in October 2016 and is the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington. In 1987, just a year after I was born, she was also the first black woman ever to be elected to Parliament. I’m not saying my birth played a role in this but you can’t help but note the coincidence in timing. Diane Abbott is one of my sheroes.

Intelligent – Diane Abbott is a Cambridge University Masters graduate. #enoughsaid

Noble – Ms Abbott is often seen to be on the left of Labour, and she has remained unwavering in her morals and principles. Her speech on civil liberties in the debate on the Counter-Terrorism Bill 2008 won The Spectator magazine’s “Parliamentary Speech of the Year” award and further recognition at the 2008 Human Rights awards.

Compassionate – She founded the London Schools and Black Child initiative which aims to raise achievements of black children in schools in London and nationwide.

Resilient – I recently read an article about an African American elected representative in the States who has unfortunately made the decision to resign from her position due to the number of threats and abusive messages she has received. It’s saddening that in 2018 after so much hard work and sacrifice she was left with no choice but to resign. Diane has experienced huge amounts of vile racist abuse and death threats throughout her career, and it isn’t since the dawn of social media, because before social media the racists knew about good ole Royal Mail. This has never stopped Diane from holding her post, being vocal on issues that matter and being a beacon to those of us who admire her.

A picture of a young Diane Abbott at Newnham College
A young Diane Abbott at Newnham College

Extraordinary – In 2017, according to the Cambridge Tab only 2.2% of Cambridge University’s intake was black. In 1973, Diane Abbott made history as the first black person to study at Newnham College, Cambridge University.

Dedicated – Diane Abbott has served as an MP since 1987. Throughout that time she has remained unwavering in her representation of her constituents.

Invaluable – She has without a doubt paved the way for the next generation: Without Diane there would probably be no Oona, no Dawn, no Janet.

Brave – Diane Abbott has never been scared to tell the truth. In a 1984 interview with the journal of the Labour Committee on Ireland Diane was asked if she saw herself as Black British, a question I actually don’t hear that much but used to as a child. Diane Abbott replied “No – I would self-define myself just as Black. Though I was born here in London, I couldn’t identify as British and anyway most British people don’t accept us as British. God! British people can be so racist”. God I love her.

Loyal – A lot of people don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. I do. I don’t agree with everything he does, and I am 100% anti-Brexit, but I love that he and his crew are principled, and I love his and Diane’s friendship. I love that Diane has remained a loyal friend to him when other MPs have jumped on the Corbyn bandwagon to get elected and then swiftly jumped off to attack his leadership. It’s something you don’t see a lot of in politics and I love that I see it in her.

Eloquent – When I was younger I used to love listening to Diane Abbott speak, I mean her speeches win awards (see above).

So there you have it, all my reasons why Diane Abbott is incredible. If you want to read more about her you can do so on her website.

A is for Abbott, Diane Abbott.

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