'Angela Rayner's four-letter word spelled anger, and I'm glad she's not sorry'

The honesty shown by Labour’s deputy leader impressed me enough to join the party, says Polly Hudson

Deputy leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner
Angela Rayner simply tells it like it is

So many words have been spoken, and written, about Angela Rayner’s comment on the Tory party. When I heard what she’d said, my reaction was summed up in just one. FINALLY.

And her words spurred me into action – I joined the Labour Party.

Angela’s observations weren’t what we’re used to in the slick, rehearsed world of politics today. They were raw. Real. Honest.

At last, someone voiced the fiery fury and outrage I’ve been feeling for so long.

Somebody brimming with passion, and anger, at the way people in this country have been – are being – treated. At the injustice, the cruelty, the corruption. At the cuts that will only hurt those who need the most help.

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At the shambolic incompetence that cost needless lives at the height of the pandemic, and has plunged Britain into chaos this week, today, right at this very second. And the way none of it seems to make any difference, because they get away with it over and over again.

Much has been made about Angela’s use of the word ‘“scum” but we’re talking about a party that had to be shamed into feeding hungry children by a footballer. The cap is a perfect fit.

The only thing I loved more than what Angela said? Her refusal to apologise for it. At a time when cancel culture rules all, when people fall over themselves to say sorry, out of fear for the personal consequences rather than genuinely being sorry, how refreshing that someone – especially a woman – says nope, I meant that.

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Her statement has proved unpopular with many, but she’s standing by it, with her head held high. I find that inspiring.

Amidst all the criticism, Angela tweeted a few of the many examples of completely unacceptable things the PM has said. “People seem to be far more concerned with my choice of language than the fact Boris Johnson has made comments that are racist, homophobic and sexist,” she wrote.

“I’m very happy to sit down with Boris. If he withdraws his comments and apologises, I’ll be very happy to apologise to him.”

This is exactly the chutzpah I want my Labour Party to have. Precisely what I want them to be doing: standing up to the bullies.

Angela Rayner isn’t perfect, but she’s open, direct and honest… coincidentally, the exact opposite adjectives you’d use to describe Boris Johnson.

Her energy reminded me of that famous speech from 1976 film Network, where the incensed news broadcaster tells viewers, “I want you to get up right now. Sit up. Go to your windows. Open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad! You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first, get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’”

Angela Rayner is mad as hell and she’s not going to take this any more. FINALLY.

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