Hackney Heroine intends to be Lib Dems Hitchin heroine as she joins race for Parliamentary seat
- Credit: Archant
When Pauline Pearce took rioters to task after violence ripped through London in 2011, she was dubbed the heroine of Hackney.
But now she hopes to become the heroine of Hitchin, at least for Liberal Democrat voters, as she returns to her roots to put her name on the ballot paper for May’s general election.
Pauline will be seeking to unseat longstanding Conservative MP for Hitchin & Harpenden Peter Lilley, and was confirmed as the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate last week.
She told the Comet: “I always say I’m from Hackney but my home is Hitchin.
“My mum and dad were in the first wave of Caribbean migration after the Second World War. They met in Letchworth and ended up living in Radcliffe Road and Walsworth Road.
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“I was born in North Herts Hospital, and when Shirley Williams was Hitchin’s Labour MP she helped my parents get a council house in Bradley’s Corner.
“I went to Purwell JMI School, then Hitchin Girls’ School. I’m from staunchly working-class stock. I know what it’s like to come from a poor family and the challenges and struggles faced by people who are marginalised by society.
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“I don’t think I’m a hero for standing up to the looters during the London riots – but I owe what I did to my Hitchin roots, and to my mother, who was a strong lady and made no bones about standing up for what’s right.
“My parents worked in a metal factory in Stevenage and I remember having to pick metal splinters out of my mother’s fingers.
“I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers but there are many Hitchin issues I care passionately about.
“I’m 100 per cent behind the Save Top Field campaign – a dear friend of mine had a birthday party at the club recently, and I know many different community groups use their facilities. If the club’s forced to move from Hitchin’s heart many will lose out.
“I know places like Westmill. People there feel they’re forgotten. They need some love – and interest from politicians to help give them a voice.
“I’m a passionate believer in equality and diversity. We’re all equal. It makes me sad to see UKIPs Roselle Duncan say she had a problem with ‘negroes’. “Is she for real? UKIP represents racist people and racism – we can’t afford to be spreading more poison in the world. We’ve got enough hatred going on with innocent Muslims paying for the guilty.
“I’m black and British and proud but equality is an absolute necessity because it’s community. Knowledge is wisdom and by accepting and celebrating differences communities can come together.
“I also feel strongly about mental health. I’ve four children, and one of them has been let down by the system. I’d be a supporter of improved mental health provision.
“I value Hitchin’s heritage. It’s important. I want to reduce local housing plan numbers – we don’t need the amounts suggested. There’s social cleansing in London. The fabric of Hitchin is changing, too, because of the increase in house prices. It’ll be £5 for a cappuccino in Hitchin soon.
“I’m in this to win – but if I don’t then I won’t be going anywhere. I love Hitchin.
“I’ve fought breast cancer. I was still recovering from chemo when I confronted the looters in the riots.
“But life’s a journey and everyone makes mistakes. I’ve got nothing to hide. I’ve spent time in prison. It made me a better person. Believe me, I’d give you an insight into penal reform.
“I know Hitchin far more than the other candidates. Does Peter Lilley know of the ‘hello man’?. In fact I’d love the ‘hello man’ to be on my team.
“And there’s not many people who can say they’ve met Russell Brand – or snogged Boris Johnson!”