Harriet Harman and Liz Kendall would both like that to come true…
Odd outing on This Week from the usually right-on Harriet Harman as she made a off-colour joke live on air. Brillo was not impressed:
What was wrong was 1) Even to tell that so called joke on live TV. 2) Claim I would like the joke. Appalling on both counts. https://t.co/0RJVTVAX2U
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) 3 November 2017
Inexplicable. Inexcusable. Dismayed. https://t.co/ZayhciCphU
— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) October 20, 2017
Just seen the Clive Lewis video. Obviously I am appalled, just listened to 7 teenage girls speak up about gender inequality. Perhaps I’ll bring them to work on monday
— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) October 20, 2017
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) October 20, 2017
Agree w Jess. No excuse for saying this, whatever context. https://t.co/Sq0krWTeBx
— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) October 20, 2017
Clive still hasn’t said sorry for this. Looks pretty bad…
— SophyRidge On Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) February 5, 2017
She says it is not an existential crisis for Labour. Yet…
She also regrets not challenging Ed Miliband for the party leadership:
— SophyRidge On Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) February 5, 2017
Would history be different if she had lead Labour rather than Miliband? Perhaps…
Leave message: Stay and we’ll be paying for the Eurozone’s failure.
Remain message: Cameron, Farron, Harman and Bennett united: Leave must make plans clear.
Cut through: Polls changing drastically in Leave’s favour.
Odds: Remain 4/9, Leave between 11/5
Latest poll: Remain 43% (-1), Leave 48% (+1) (ICM, online). Poll of Polls is now Remain 51%, Leave 49%.
Since Guido started looking at Labour’s battle bus spending, readers have been in touch to ask where Harriet Harman’s famous pink bus fits in. Well, it’s a very good question. Electoral Commission data shows that 13 Labour MPs who claimed they spent nothing on transport benefitted from activists transported into their constituencies in Hattie’s pink van. Among those who didn’t declare are the new London mayor Sadiq Khan, five shadow ministers – Gloria De Piero, Judith Cummins, Jo Stevens, Clive Lewis and Mike Kane – as well as Paula Sherriff, Naz Shah, Rupa Huq, Joan Ryan, Tulip Siddiq, Margaret Greenwood, Clive Efford and Ruth Cadbury. Oooops…
Now, Labour listed the pink bus as a national expense costing £5,000. Yet if it carried anyone who did any campaigning in local seats, as Labour boasted it did at the time, Electoral Commission guidance suggests some of the cost should have been declared by individual candidates. Jo Stevens had £10 left over to spend in the short campaign before reaching the legal limit, if she’d declared the pink bus she’d have gone over…
How much did Harriet Harman’s infamous pink bus cost the Labour Party? Service Graphics invoiced them £4,742 “to produce and install Pink graphics” on the “Woman to Woman Bus”. That ends the debate about whether it was pink, magenta or cerise.
Despite him barely ever turning up, Labour blew £223,572 on David Axelrod’s firm AKPD. They spent another £563,973 on polling from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and £184,609 on Michael Sheehan’s debate coaching. There’s no price on laughter.
Just in time for the reshuffle, two of Labour’s most high profile women have come out and blasted Corbyn for giving jobs to the boys. Harriet Harman tells Newsnight: “We can’t have a men-only leadership when we are party for women and equality”, while Jess Phillips blasts: “some people in the Labour Party are accepting low-level non-violent misogyny because it’s Jeremy doing it”. Will there be a woman in one of the shadow great offices of state by tomorrow morning?
Harriet Harman is looking to take on a new Parliamentary Assistant. Fresh-faced, budding bag-carriers have however been disappointed by the paltry salary on offer. IPSA decree that the minimum salary for a London-based Parliamentary Assistant – a mid-ranking job which is senior to a secretary or even a senior caseworker – should be £23,000-a-year. Penny pinching Hattie is offering just £19,000, a wage more typical of a junior caseworker or junior secretary. At last Labour embrace “the cuts”…
UPDATE: As has been pointed out by many of our right-on readers, assuming a 40-hour week, that is less than the “Living Wage”.
Hattie has remained resoutely impartial during the leadership election, alas she couldn’t resist a parting dig at Comrade Corbyn on her final day on the frontbench:
“It was quite surprising to discover that I’m not old enough or posh enough to be the frontrunner of this current leadership election.”
A personal attack from the acting leader on the last day of voting. She’ll be on the list when the purge comes…
Of course, as this footage of young posh totty Hattie shows, the St Paul’s old girl certainly fulfils the posh criteria:
Close observers will note that her accent went a bit Estuary sometime in the late nineties…
Harriet Harman, 18 May:
“We will allow people who are not party members or who are not affiliated supporters to have a vote. Anyone – providing they are on the electoral register – can become a registered supporter, pay £3 and have a vote to decide our next leader.”
Harriet Harman, 25 August:
“If they don’t support the Labour Party’s aims and values, they don’t get a vote.”
Guido did try to warn her…
Guido was having a Friday afternoon peruse of the Southwark News when he suddenly crossed his legs and winced:
Southwark council leader Peter John recalls the time Harriet Harman visited the Ayelsbury council estate with a local councillor:
“They were in a lift and a man was injecting drugs into his penis. That’s not a sign of a successful community. That’s not the kind of community we want to see.”
Funnily enough not an anecdote ever repeated in one of Hattie’s speeches. She’ll never be able to hear the words ‘lift shaft’ the same way…
If the Labour leadership contest wasn’t already a spiralling descent into insanity, Diane Abbott has now accused Harriet Harman of “voicing a Tory agenda“:
The increasing use of the “Tory” smear is becoming a hysterical, McCluskeyite witch hunt, rooting out any sign of moderation among the leadership candidates. The language and rhetoric of the Unite-Zombie-Socialist tendency is becoming prevalent…
Yvette used it in a barely disguised attack on Kendall:
“I will set out ideas for the future that don’t just involve swallowing the Tory manifesto and set out a Labour vision for the future.”
Then Burnham used the same line in a direct slap at Liz:
“This doesn’t mean copying the Tories. Labour wins when we are better than they are.”
It’s clearly cutting through to the Labour grassroots, providing Kendall’s tensest moment at this morning’s hustings:
Her comeback was a zinger:
“If you believe that a strong economy, sound public finances and backing businesses are simply Tory values, the Tories will be in power for ever.”
The blue menace is real, report all suspected Tory activity…
Were they tails that the Speaker was wearing, and a waistcoat? Is he finally dressing the part? It’s cruellest trick he’s playing on his critics. He’s turning himself into a decent Speaker. Acting the part, dressing the part, sounding the part. He doesn’t even intervene with his tortured Macaulay-isms to kick things along (and as a result, for the first time ever he didn’t get through the order paper). He’s obviously settling in for the duration. He will die in office and even then he will not quit.
Harriet played a pleasant, polite and perfectly charming game of ladies’ tennis with the prime minister. In their exchanges, they mused about Heathrow, the death of tourists, the Prevent program and how it hadn’t succeeded in preventing anything. So now, it appears there is “a statutory duty on public bodies to challenge radicalisation.”
For politicians the first tactic is to manipulate the language. Continue reading
Harriet Harman, at her pious worst today, declared in a speech about Human Rights:
“Labour values are about social and economic rights. And they are also about the civil and political rights embodied in the Human Rights Act. But these are not just Labour values – they are British values and universal human values. Simple but powerful, enshrining: The right to life, liberty and security…The right to a fair trial.”
Harman must have forgotten that when she was last in government. Here is a flavour of her voting record:
“Harriet Harman voted very strongly for introducing ID cards.”
“Harriet Harman voted yes on Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill — Indefinite detention of suspected terrorists.”
“Harriet Harman voted against giving a greater role to the courts in relation to the imposition of control orders.”
After previously voting for ID cards, detention without trial and house arrest for enemies of the state, today she says:
“What an irony that yesterday the Prime Minister was presiding over the celebration of Magna Carta at the same time he’s planning to undermine the Human Rights Act. No wonder that though he mentioned human rights in South Africa – and preyed in aid Nelson Mandela – and mentioned human rights in India – and preyed in aid Ghandi – he could not bring himself to mention Europe and our Convention.
But we believe that, together, we can prevent the government eroding human rights. Their policy is intellectually incoherent and, worse, it’s wrong in principle. Though Labour is in opposition, not in government, we believe that in this case, on an issue of such profound importance, they can and should be held back.”
Labour will stand up against the erosion of Human Rights?
Let us rewind to 1999 when Labour tried to scrap trail by jury for thousands of people every year:
“Plans to limit access to trial by jury are being criticised by the legal profession and human rights groups. Unveiling the plans, Home Secretary Jack Straw said he intends to stop people accused of theft, burglary and assault from opting to be tried in a crown court, rather than by magistrates. The home secretary unveiled the move during a speech to the Police Federation Conference in Blackpool on Wednesday.”
There is certainly a case against the reform of the Human Rights Act, but Labour are in no position to make it or lecture on the erosion of rights.
Harriet was always going to use that line about gloating.
The PM is back to his easy, lordly form. He deflected hostile questions (“It’s an important point she raises.”) He congratulated opposition MPs. He made a pretty decent UKIP joke that made Douglas Carswell laugh – “He has made political history. As a party of one he’s had a backbench rebellion.”
He has all the characteristics the country expects from a decent, moderate Conservative. So Harriet had her work cut out to make a sow’s ear out of the silk purse that is our prime minister.
She had it all worked out. She was going to define him in the public mind before he could define himself.
At the outset he had made laughing reference to Labour MPs voting for an EU referendum. He called the occasion “the biggest mass conversion since that Chinese general baptised his troops with a hosepipe.” He could have said anything. It didn’t matter what it was. In defiance of what was happening in front of her, Harriet came back with the one she had already prepared: She said: “He won the election. He’s the prime minister.” (Huge Tory cheers. So far, so accurate.) “He doesn’t need to be ranting and sneering and gloating . . .”
As ranting, it didn’t qualify. The sneering was absent. And the Eton Gloating Song hadn’t even got to the humming stage.
But it was very Labour.
Setting out to fit facts to theory, no matter what the reality. Continue reading
“We must let the public in,” said Harriet Harman this morning as she announced plans to allow the hoi polloi a vote in the Labour leadership contest:
“We will allow people who are not party members or who are not affiliated supporters through a trade union or Labour linked organisation like the Fabian society to have a vote. Anyone – providing they are on the electoral register – can become a registered supporter, pay £3 and have a vote to decide our next leader.”
There are one or two examples from recent history which suggest this idea is about as good as Hattie’s pink bus.
Millwall FC recently allowed the general public – including opposition fans – to choose the colour of their away kit for next season. With somewhat predictable results:
While Liverpool’s player of the season competition was opened up to the public too, leading to mischievous Man United and Arsenal supporters voting en masse for Mario Balotelli, who, well, certainly wasn’t their player of the year.
All it would take is a generous Tory donor and a few thousand Tory activists and Tristram Hunt is the new Labour leader…