Quote of the Day

Sir George Young said to Ms Harman her equalities bill was…

“… dreamt up on the hockey fields of St Paul’s.”

Harriet Still Silent…

Ed Balls just said he was “getting on with the job”, which today was meeting with the Fonz.  The PM we are told was also “getting on with the job”. Mandelson unenthusiastically says “No-one should overreact to this. The Prime Minister continues to have the support of colleagues”.  Alan Johnson said “Gordon Brown is the best man to lead the Labour Party.” No word so far from the woman yet…

Harman Misleads the House

HARRIET4LEADERSir George Young put the boot in to Harman earlier in an attempt to force Gordon to correct his mistake about Spain being in the G20 and thus Britain not being the last member country in the recession. As Guido comprehensively pointed out and even the left conceded was correct, Spain is not in the G20:

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.4079075&w=480&h=340&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

How many times does this have to be said?  Yet Harman repeated the spin word for word – “Spain is in the G20+ – so the Prime Minister was absolutely right on that point.” Change the record love…

Harman Denies Charges

The CPS statement said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has decided there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute the Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP for the offences of driving without due care and attention and driving whilst using a handheld mobile telephone in relation to an incident on 3 July 2009.”

A spokesman for the Labour deputy leader said: “Ms Harman strongly refutes the allegations but is co-operating with police.”

Original story from early October was covered on the blog here.

Harman was on the mobile when she crashed into a parked car without stopping to leave her details. Under the 1988 Road Traffic Act, any driver involved in a collision with another vehicle is required by law to stop and give their name and address, as well as details of the vehicle’s owner and the vehicle’s registration. Not exactly Chappaquidick Bridge, but that she drove off telling a witness ‘I’m Harriet Harman – you know where you can get me…’ is a little high-handed…

Government of Lawyers : Equality Before the Law?

Sunday Sleaze
harriet_carAnother Labour minister and QC thinks the laws are for other people. Harman was on the mobile when she crashed into a parked car without stopping to leave her details. Under the 1988 Road Traffic Act, any driver involved in a collision with another vehicle is required by law to stop and give their name and address, as well as details of the vehicle’s owner and the vehicle’s registration.  Not exactly Chappaquidick Bridge, but that she drove off telling a witness ‘I’m Harriet Harman – you know where you can get me…’ is a little high-handed…

target-baronessThe other Labour minister and QC in legal difficulties is the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland. She is now accused of flouting the tax laws; she had no written contract of employment with Lolo, her illegally employed Tongan cleaner, there is firm evidence that no tax was paid for at least 10 weeks and Lolo wasn’t given any wage slips as required by employment protection laws.

Clear breaches of employment law which imply that for a period of time she was effectively paying Lolo cash in hand…

Lose the Loser : Harriet 4 Leader!

HARRIET4LEADERCCHQ will be all a quiver at the news that Harriet is back on maneuvers, which she will no doubt deny later today if past performance is any guide.  Her team of volunteers are polling Constituency Labour Party branches for their views on the party leader.  Guido recognises push-polling when he sees it: party activists are being asked to rank Gordon and herself as to who is the “best person to sell the Labour Party” on a scale of 0 to 5. 

It would be very, very interesting if the results “accidently” leaked…

Do you think that it might encourage the penny to drop in few places that she is better than their unelected party leader?  Guido has decided to back her hopes and has come up with a campaign slogan for Harriet. If she was being honest she would campaign to: “lose the loser”.

Harman's Response to Cameron's Plan is Pathetic

After Dave wowed even Brown nosers like Sir Michael White and Steve Richards with his crackdown on Tory grandees and shadow cabinet troughers, Harman wrote to the chairman of the Member’s Allowance Committee proposing that he should set out a procedure whereby MPs might perhaps be asked nicely to repay claims that were outside the rules. Possibly. Not exactly a decisive response from the government.

The Member’s Allowance Committee is chaired by the Labour MP Don Touhig.  It was he who  led the Labour backbench revolt last July that threw out proposals for a full external audit of MPs’ expenses and an end to the “John Lewis list”. Does that fill you full of confidence?

Green BookHarman’s proposal is that if an MP has broken the rules they will have to repay the money.   Guido’s view is that only the minimum expenses wholly necessary for the  job should be allowable, however the cry of every single troughing MP from every single party is that “it was all within the rules”So no one will have to pay anything back under Harman’s plan.

Knives are Out for Harman

Harriet is protesting that she is loyal and loudly asking “who is briefing against me?” The Brownies of course – that is their stock in trade. A little snippet appears in the FT under Sue Cameron’s byline – though the original author is undoubtedly a Brown henchman.

Harriet Harman (now there’s a woman who knows how to frighten the horses) will be introducing her equalities bill next month. Word is that she has asked her officials to ensure that there are some disabled people in the Commons gallery when the bill is launched, adding: “And it would help if some of them were black.”

That is a perfect example of the kind of poison so often dripped by Damian McBride. Detailed, probably true and obtained by one of his press officer snouts to damage Harman. Expect a lot more of that sort of thing if she keeps make leadership signals.

Harman Wants Brown to Sail Off into Sunset on “Lifeboat”

Jackie Ashley set the cat amongst the pigeons yesterday with this story:In it she claimed that Gordon was being lined up for an international job as a super-regulator by Angela Merkel. Jackie said the storycomes from quite close to the inner core.” Like the Deputy-Leader’s office? From another member of the sisterhood? Ben Brogan is pointing the finger at Harriet Harman, claiming that “Brown was the victim of a botched spin operation by the party’s deputy leader amid signs that his authority is weakening.” Who better to be a caretaker leader if Gordon goes off into the sunset on a lifeboat or for ill-health reasons than the current deputy leader? She could hold the party together as it takes the inevitable punishment at the polls, performing the same role that Michael Howard did for the Tories. Labour could do worse…

He-Man V Harman

Alan Duncan is the new Shadow Leader of the House, up against Harriet Harman. Those who complain that the Tories don’t attack hard enough (they don’t) will enjoy the exchange (Hansard) he had with her this morning.

There has been a sudden delay in the Political Parties and Elections Bill. Will the right hon. and learned Lady tell the House why that has happened? Given her close personal links with the aristocracy, is she not doubly ashamed by the apparent conduct of her four Labour colleagues in the Lords? May we also have a debate on cash for influence in this House? Does not the House of Lords pale into insignificance, given that, because more than 90% of the Labour party’s battleground funding comes from the trade unions, the party remains a wholly owned subsidiary of an interest group with its own policy agenda?…

The latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund suggests that, contrary to the Government’s mantra that the United Kingdom is well prepared to deal with the downturn, the UK is actually facing the worst recession in the world. Can we therefore at last have a debate in Government time to allow the House to express its lack of confidence in the Government’s handling of the economy, or is the Leader of the House worried that this is yet another issue that would leave the Prime Minister, as reported yesterday, “tearful and dewy-eyed”?

It would appear that the Prime Minister has lost confidence in his own Cabinet and, it would seem, even in himself. He has complained that his Cabinet members are ducking interviews and leaving him to look like the Minister for the recession, yet today, curiously, we have learned that Labour MPs have been instructed by the Whips not to talk about the economy at all. So who is going to win the parliamentary BAFTAs—the “Glumdog in Despair” in Downing street or the Basil Fawltys on the Back Benches shouting, “Don’t mention the recession”? Put simply, when is this country going to get honesty from the Prime Minister about the severity of our plight?

Fighting talk…

Did Dale Bribe Labour MP Ann Moffat?

The cover of the Total Politics January edition depicts Harriet Harman as Wonder Woman. Which is ridiculous, because as any fool knows, Crash Flash Gordon’s partner was Dale Arden.

Trying to make a joke of the Prime Mentalists Freudian slip Harman has just told the house that she would “rather have Superman as our leader than their leader who is The Joker”. Immediately after that quip Ann Moffat chipped in “Wonder Woman does it again…”

So either Dale is paying for promotional product placement or the whole Labour Party is gripped with a delusion of superpowers.

Harman Attempting to Nobble Speaker

A weak Speaker is a terrible blight on parliament. In Speaker Martin we have the weakest Speaker in modern times. Harriet Harman is trying to push him around:Dale has the scoop, Harriet Harman is convening a meeting of government, party and civil service figures, Jacqui Smith and Jack Straw, as well as Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell, Jill Pay, the Serjeant at Arms and the Parliamentary Clerk, Malcolm Jack and a representative from the Speaker’s Office. Clearly they are trying to agree a fix. If it was a genuine attempt to resolve the situation honestly opposition parliamentarians would have been invited. Appropriately it leaked out.

Harriet Advocates Ageism

The chief author and advocate of the Equalities Bill has released a consultation paper recommending that MPs should continue to be allowed to employ husbands, wives and lovers, but not their children. Isn’t that ageist?

Did Harriet Panic?

Guido has been pondering Harriet’s retort to Hague’s jibe about her wanting Gordon’s job – “It wouldn’t be possible because there aren’t enough airports in the country for all the men who would want to flee…”. James Forsyth over at the CoffeeHouse has it on the nail:

she actually froze and couldn’t find a way out of the hole she was digging herself into… Harman was rather desperately searching for some witty rejoinder and ended up blurting out the first thing that came into her head. I do find it incredible–considering all the press speculation in recent days – that Harman didn’t arrive with a pre-prepared line to use if the leadership came up.

Looking at the video she was stumped by Hague’s head-on jibe. She floundered and put her foot in her mouth using a suggestion first made by co-conspirators here. Perhaps she will support a third runway for Heathrow after all…

Sun Says : Harriet Definitely Plotting

The insider panel on Politics Home agrees – two-thirds reckon she is positioning herself. Lets see if she does well at PMQs today. If she cheers the Labour benches it will put some oomph in her covert campaign. Guido’s top tip to those briefing Dave William today – every now and then even a Grand National winning champion jockey holds back, today would be a good day. Gordon will not be amused when he finds out…

UPDATE : Fathers4Justice campaigners are back on the roof of her house again.

Jump on the Harriet Bandwagon

A co-conspirator reminds Guido that it was the Fink himself who foresaw the potential for Harriet back in May. Elsewhere in pundit land Jackie Ashley makes a pretty uncoded call on the sisterhood in the Guardian:

In nine decades, we’ve seen just one female prime minister, one female foreign secretary and one female home secretary…. It’s easy to dismiss the presence of more than 100 women MPs on those green benches for the last 11 years…Only this week we have seen the new equalities bill in parliament, piloted by Harriet Harman…it’s quite normal to see women up there at the centre of power without batting an eye…

Yes, but Guido gets the wink and the nod Jackie. Andrew Gimson in the Labourgraph urges her on subtly Harriet Harman should go for Labour leadership. The Mail paints her as a “stand in” PM. The great she-pundit Polly ominously says “face-change at the top” may be coming. Wonder which face she has in mind…?

Tomorrow is Harriet’s chance to shine at PMQs. C’mon Harriet…

UPDATE : Comrade Dale has spotted her lunching with Jack Straw.

C’mon Harriet, Your Country Needs You!

It has really come to something when Harriet Harman taking control of the country seems like a good idea. Guido really does believe we have a psychologically flawed prime minister lacking a strong grasp of reality. Gordon is an embarrassing disaster, the government is paralysed, ministers basically just want him to go, backbench MPs want him to go, Labour Party activists want him to go, Labour voters think he is a crap PM. He has led his party to its lowest point in history. He is the most despised PM since polling began. Gordon Brown is just no good. Harriet can’t be worse. Can she?

Mike Smithson has put money on her, The Times and the Daily Mail say she is discreetly taking soundings. If Glasgow falls can she find the support of 70 MPs or perhaps a majority of Labour Party members at the September party conference? She might, the situation is that dire…

How to Hack Harriet Harman

As the government contemplates a law to criminalise “reckless” losses of data it is worth reflecting on the sophisticated data security employed by Harriet Harman to prevent hacking of her blog:
username : harriet
password : harman
The hacker also tells Guido that he used “log-less multiple proxies” – which are the internet equivalents of dead drops. Apparently.

UPDATE Sunday : Adam Boulton asked Harman on Sky if the story above was true (Adam, how could you doubt?) she sheepishly confirmed it to be the case.

Harman Backing Boris on Her Blog

click to enlarge

Her website is also currently announcing her defection to the Conservatives. Guido thought it was a spoof site at first. In fact it appears she has been taking online security lessons from Grant Shapps. Her real website appears to have been “improved” overnight. Nice touch thanking Guido for knocking Hain out of the race…

This is the spoof site. They seem to be remarkably well informed about the hack of the real site. Maybe they swapped Harriet some chocolate for her password

UPDATE 09.05 : Guido called Harman’s parliamentary office for a comment. No answer. Well they do keep public sector hours so perhaps someone will get back to Guido before lunch. Meantime you can leave a comment, and many of you have already…

UPDATE 09.10 : The hacker has contacted Guido to tell him that the passwords have been changed. Harman is now locked out of her own website.

Never Mind Seal Clubbing, What is Hague Going to Do to Harman?

Recess Monkey admits that Labour MPs and activists are resigned to witnessing horrific and possibly brutal cruelty at PMQs today.

So let’s get the popcorn in and sit back and enjoy the show…

UPDATE : Fantastic comedy value and very entertaining.

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Ruth Davidson on working with PM Boris

“I have worked with him when he was Foreign Secretary. I will work with whoever the Prime Minister is. I haven’t had a phone call yet to ask me to run his campaign in Scotland. I am not expecting the call. But I will genuinely judge him on the same criteria as I judge any of the candidates.”

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