Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Sexist Language of Harriet Harman

Imagine the outcry there would be if someone like, say, David Cameron said this about Harriet Harman...

She's the kind of woman your mother used to warn you about.

You know the kind of woman I'm talking about.

She'll promise you the world. Promise to make all your dreams come true.

But if she got her wicked way with - you in the ballot box - you'd never hear from her again."

I suspect there would be such a media outcry that in the end Cameron would be forced to issue a fulsome and humiliating public apolology. Yet replace the word she with he etc and those are the exact words used yesterday by Harriet Harman about David Cameron. As far as I am concerned it's all part of political banter, but she would be the first to complain if a Conservative used such language about her. She may need reminding of that one day.


Anonymous said...

I agree, and I hope the media is taking note. I would love nothing more than to see this thrown back in her face at a later date. This PC nonsense gets on my tits!

Richard Nabavi said...

I actually thought it was quite funny. And I don't think Cammo will be in the least bit troubled by it.

Bad Bunny said...

I agree, to me it's just banter. But there are so many double standards from the PC brigade when it comes to sexism. This reminded me of the letter in this month's Total Politics, from the woman complaining about the article on female MPs' fashion. I found it amusing she was so appalled by that article, but made no mention of the article on male MPs' dress sense in the previous issue.

Anonymous said...

When H² announced her plan to give preferential treatment to women and ethnic minorities, she would have made more impact by charismatically rendering it in a speech like this:

"I have a dream that my little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the content of their character but by the colour of their skin. Oh, and what's between their legs."

She is absurd, no question.

Given her numerous responsibilies (how many titles does she hold?) her opportunities to cause harm are frightening.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, second post.

I was saddened to see the obituary in the Independent of 'Nappy Brown'.

I'm sure many will mourn the passing of this Blues legend.

Anonymous said...

Actually Iain, she is exactly the type of woman my mum warned me about if you replace ballot box with, your cash...

Trouble is she didn't warn me against strange men promising the world then picking my pockets!

As much as I love my mum, I wish the advice she gave was the latter, sex drugs and rock n roll sounds great, being shafted by Brown and co for over 11 years isn't.

Anonymous said...

Harman is equally insulting towards women. She insists that women are pathetic dependent little creatures who need special pleading, positive discrimination to get anywhere and defence barriers between them and the wicked world.
She never stops denigrating women.
She must live in a very cloistered world if she's never met any clever, strong, resourceful women who know how to get what they want. Or does it just make her feel superior if she's got someone to patronise?

Ben said...

Think, though what's happened to Tony Benn: once a dangerous menace, now a harmless buffoon, almost a national treasure.

The reptilian Ken Livingstone is undergoing the same metamorphosis.

So keep calm. Soon enough (if she's remembered at all) Harman will still be stupid and a nuisance, but no real threat to anyone.

Null said...

I would rather Brooon stay than that cow become PM. There is something deeply unpleasant about her.

Ed said...

Andrew Gimson, writing in the DT had it spot on when he said:

"....was that it seemed to imply that Miss Harman is not entirely immune to Mr Cameron's charm"

Alan Douglas said...

Oh dear, if this post were on Guido I would not have to be careful in accurately describing that lady with a word I would ordinarily never use.

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

I shared an office with some one like Mrs Dromey, a champagne socialist always warning about Tories and their penchant for privatisation, and eulogising about Labour, shared wealth, NHS etc..
But when it came to using a networked shared resources like a printer, she wanted her own printer. She would not listen any one during those Labour Party broadcasts from her to her colleagues who asks why she owns two horses, 3 luxury cars, takes holidays in Italy and visits expensive restaurants. Harriet Harman nay Mrs Dromey reminds me about this person.

Anonymous said...

Iain, how about running a competition on what Dave will/should write in his speech responding to the 'novice'slapdown insult (Dave or Miliband?).

If an Eton education is worth its salt, then surely he will pull out a few cutting remarks in return.

One thing is for sure though, the 'novice' insult is enough of a put down to return a waiverer and win 2010.

So Dave needs to be more than funny, although the humour keeps me amused.

I bet daves little army of speech writers are briefing him full time with economy and rusty Chancellors

Tip: No cue cards, Dave,make out as though its coming completely off the top of your head. Be the 007 of the Tory Party and think on your feet.
Get the kids to introduce you (or Michael Gove)!
Do it for Britain!

Helpfully yours


Anonymous said...

Harriet knows exactly what she is doing. She is a feminist. Provided jibes like these are made by women, they are levelling a bumpy playing field. If made by men, they exacerbate inequalities.

There are no women of note anywhere near Dave. Although the problem for Dave is not that he's sexist - it's just that he didn't meet any women at Eton.

Oscar Miller said...

I've noticed there's extreme one way sensitivity in Labour ranks. They feel free to dish out the most obnoxious personal insults with impunity. But if DC comes up with a clever putdown at PMQs like the 'useless' jibe, suddenly they become overcome with moral outrage - how very dare that Eton toff talk like that about our Great Leader etc etc. The media tend to follow suit. Any Conservative who attacked Harman or anyone else in the terms that she laid into DC would be torn to shreds by the press. But Harman gets away with it. Why?

Chris K said...

Society treats women very differently from men. So you shouldn't be surprised that one can talk differently about men than women.

Vilifying Harriet Harman doesn't make society any less sexist...

Anonymous said...

Gary Elsby,
The first thing Dave should do is apologise for the poor qaulity of the warm up acts provided by Gordon Brown and the Deadbeats.

Anonymous said...

Harman is a humourless bore. I really really dislike her.

I'm not a fan of Labour but Ruth Kelly, Alastair Darling and Alan Johnson for example, I don't personally dislike.

Anonymous said...

Left wing politics is very consistent, they are always correct and any one who disagrees with them is always incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Give people like Harperson enough rope and they will hang themselves, consumed by their own hypocrisy and contradictions.

Anonymous said...

Harman is a fragrant scion of the upper classes and beyond reproach or criticism.

She probably banters in the same way with her butler, chauffeur, groom or gardener.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely Iain. I'm normally very nervous about those who make "Harperson" jibes as they tend to be from the same sort of people who say "some of my best friends are black". But this was a disgraceful sexist attack which if made by a male politician about a woman, would have ended the bloke's career. I'm surprised more of a fuss isn't being made about it; as belinda has said, it's pretty damned insulting to women too.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see if Cameron has got any steel in his backbone. I would like to see less of the smile and more of a determined look.

Less of the nice talk and lots more of Fire and Thunder.

WHY are we in this mess.

WHO is to blame?

WHAT are we going to have to do?

WHAT we will need the people to do.

THIS is a fight to ensure that we remain a free society! Nothing less.

It is a war against the left and a war we will win.

Madasafish said...

Anyone who takes Harman's witterings seriously needs a humour transplant.

She's a joke.

Isn't she?

Anonymous said...

The answer....Dear Ms Harpic

At conference you said.."Have you heard the one about the Tories and the economy?" So I thought I would ask YOU a few questions, if that's OK?

Have you heard the one about all the British troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan yet not once has Gordon Brown attended Brize Norton to pay his respects?

Have you heard the one about those British troops dying because of sub standard equipment?

Have you heard the one about those British troops being degraded by having to fight for compensation for their injuries?

Have you heard the one about Harriet Harman touring the mean streets of her inner London constituency, wearing stab-proof vest and surrounded by police officers?

Have you heard the one about a Labour Minister, Robin Cook, who was Foreign Secretary and resigned because of deliberate Government lies, could not stomach them and resigned?

Have you heard the one about how this country was duped into supporting the invasion of Iraq to put beyond use some truly terrible weapons of mass destruction which did not exist?

Have you heard the one about how Brown had concurred with Blair to renege on a solemn manifesto pledge to give us a national referendum on the Merkel EU constitution?

Have you heard the one about the Whitehall papers, which the Government fought for two years to suppress, which disclose that Labour intended to force the public to sign up to the "voluntary" ID card programme?

Have you heard the one about Labour Ministers unveiling a review of the scandal in which cancer victims are charged for all their NHS care, if they dare pay for life-extending drugs banned by NICE?

Have you heard the one about Gordon Brown being mocked tonight after he failed to secure a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson during a trip to America, after Downing Street said that Mr Brown was travelling to New York and Mr Paulson would be in Washington DC [as you would!]?

Have you heard the one about when Tony Blair used a high-profile press conference to unveil the new powers to deport or exclude dangerous individuals from Britain, promising to overcome objections based on Human Rights laws, and declaring: 'Let no-one be in any doubt, the rules of the game are changing.' yet since then only one person has been deported under the 'unacceptable behaviour' rules, and just nine have been thrown out of Britain on the grounds of national security, the most recent of them a year ago?

Have you heard the one about Gordon Brown's blunder in his final Budget last year, when Brown axed the 10p rate on earnings and pensions to pay for a cut in basic rate tax, without realising that it would hit the poor hardest?

Have you heard enough to realise how utterly childish your pathetic comments were, compared to how life really is in YOUR Britain? I hope so!

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that, as Labour is the 'virtuous' socialist party, they are able to get away with the 'isms'

- be the subject matter class, sex, race, gender, age, nationality, etc.

Anonymous said...

How interesting of anon 11:46.

'I really dislike her' and then goes on to name opposition members who do not suffer a similar fate.

I'm hard pressed to find a politician I dislike of any party but I tend to fault those I know who don't belive a word they themselves say.

One thing about Harriet is that she truly believes in what she's saying and that must be seen as a honourable trait.

One politician I love seeing is Michael Gove. Botox,lifts,more hairstyles than Dave, contacts,sun tan, in other words, the full Anne Robinson.

How can anyone dislike someone who keeps people entertained in such a way.

Question: how can you tell when a Tory MP is telling Porkies?

Answer: They smile when they answer the question.

Check Gideon out.

Anonymous said...

Poor old Hattie. Everyone hates her. She probably goes home and has a good cry and a plain chocolate Bounty or a nice glass of Blue Nun from the bottle that Andrew Neil gave her.

She is always neatly turned out and does not flaunt herself sexually. I have never heard a crude word pass her lips and she always says nice things about the poor and deserving.

I think you should all be ashamed of yourselves. She is only doing her job in very difficult circumstances. She is also married to a bloke who must be very depressed, since he is very much "out of the loop" as you politicos say.

All in all, she deserves a break. Who knows, she could be the next Prime Minister of this great country of ours.

Lola said...

Since you started it is it now possible to call Harman a wanker?

Anonymous said...

I hate HH, she is two faced beyond belief. She shows how she has lost the argument by becoming personal -typical leftie: Goes to the lowest common denominator.

She strikes me as a nasty piece of work, who has had a gilded life but wishes to deny anyone else the opportunity for self-Imprpvement. No wonder when her Labour voters look likely to dessert the party, HH policies are centred around making Labour voters dependent on the Labour party. A nasty piece of work by all accounts!

Anonymous said...

Oh, just grow up!

Anonymous said...

Be gentle with me, Harriet!

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight

You Daily Mail, Express lovers despise the PC brigade, but then when someone makes a none PC remark you try to hang them as well.

Jesus, talk about double standards and double facing. Isn't that Harman's point, which your
debate about her comments have confirmed.

PS, loved Boris on Radio 4 Drive last night, he was arguing the case for less banking regs, and expressing his support for short sellers, and the other fat cats of the city....Oh dear.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Off topic. Completely.

Dear Iain, may I just commend your courage, your strength, your indefatagability on not letting a bad week at Upton Park leech over on to your proper blog.

I have to admit, I did something I NEVER do and take a look at your West Ham blog. I even started to get interested.

Shit, I am going to end up gay at this rate, or worse, being interested in football. Or both. Shit.

Anonymous said...

Now don't spread this around you lot, but I know a woman who followed her into the ladies toilets in Manchester last week. When she came out the seat was up! Tells you a lot about her, that does!

DiscoveredJoys said...

My entry for the 'Bon Mots for Dave' competition:

"Gordon's labours are like those of Hercules - the broken down scrap yard nag owned by the Steptoes"

Anonymous said...

Chris K. Yes and the media (mostly dominated by leftists) is the most sexist of all.

Look at the way Sarah Palin has been treated by the BBC for example, in particular the endless attacks from Emily (have my boobs fallen out of my dress AGAIN!) Maitlis about Palin having 5 kids.

The liberal left are always in denial about their sexist and racist elements. Note how the BBC continually points out that if Obama loses, it will be done to WHITE racist rednecks (they mean Republicans of course), yet the BBC ignored the fact that in the Primary vote most white Democrats voted for Hillary not Obama and in a recent US poll some 35% of Democrafts were very anti black.

Totally ignored by the BBC.

Anonymous said...

Sky News reportind LD's are in trouble over the automated telephone calls to people's houses!


Nick Clegg = Neil Kinnock!

Roger Thornhill said...

"one day"? She needs reminding of it NOW, the twisted, spiteful old prune.

Anonymous said...

Iain, this is terrible double standards..the fact the comment was made by a woman is irrelevant...this sort of "oooh, i wouldn't trust him if i were you..", was made a central campaign point by the Conservatives during the 1997 election, with the 'demon eyes' campaign.

Iain Dale said...

Ben, a good try, but not relevant. it's perfectly in order for a politician to question whether the electorate can trust someone of a rival party. But using the kind of language Harriet Harman used yesterday leaves her open to accusations of double standards. personally, i thought it quite amusing, but all I was pointing out was that if a senior male Tory politician had used this language he'd have some questions to answer. Wouldn't you agree?

Anonymous said...

"But if she got her wicked way with - you in the ballot box - you'd never hear from her again."

Here the analogy breaks down. Wicked way had without committment? What's not to like

Anonymous said...

HH's comment may have backfired if people just got the message "HH thinks DC is sexy".

I can't see how young pasty face could be thought of as sexy, but since he's so in vogue, anything is possible. And when she sets charming DC against embittered Harridan the humourless, she may end up just reinforcing the Tory vote.

Anonymous said...

alex 12:42. See anon 11:47. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Gary 11:14

Dave can do a Mark Antony and talk up Brown's experience.

In particular, his economic experience.


his experience of "diversifying into gold" i.e. giving it away before the price rose ?4-fold,

his experience of ending the boom (house prices up so far that everyone lives with their parents),

his experience of ending the bust (Northern Rock etc),

his experience at off-balance sheet liabilities (PFI, unfunded public sector pensions, PAYG state pension)

etc etc

Anonymous said...

When I see or hear HH i think of her husband Jack Dromey. When I see or hear Jack Dromey I think of his wife HH.

Then it all becomes clear, these two and the Labour party deserve each other !

The truth of this will be apparent at the next election or sooner, if Dromey is selected for any bye election.

People have little trouble in recognising hypocrits.


Chris Paul said...

I'm not sure you new Tories actually understand sexism do you Iain?

Dave Cameron is certainly the sort of man my mother warned me against. And Maggie was the sort of woman ditto.

I wouldn't allow myself to be bedded by either of them; whatever sweet nothings they whispered.

Anonymous said...


Cyril Smith can tan my arse any day however. Free of charge. But hands off the ball bag. And put that wet sponge away. In joke. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Oi Harman, love, put your knickers on a make me a cup'a'tea.

Anonymous said...

chris paul 3:43.

No need to explain.

Anon 11:47 has covered it.

Anonymous said...

From now on, the word "sexism" may only be uttered by a Labour Government Minister, or suitable licenced delegate.

Since it will always be necessary that sexism be controlled (not eradicated, but controlled), a Labour Government will also always be necessary.

This is no time for a novice in the war on sexism. Nor may the war ever end.

Anonymous said...

whatever sweet nothings they whispered.

Dream on

Anonymous said...

Charis Paul, So your mother was stupid as well. That explains everything.

Anonymous said...

Kerrist! Dolly Draper's Cheka blog patrol's already here - the gifted Elsby and Paul on one blog. CPaul @ 3.46 - get over yourself, you prat.

................................. said...

She's a man hater. Fortunately the sentiment is mutual.

Anonymous said...

She said Cameron was the sort of woman my mother warned me about? Ooer.

Catosays said...

Blimey, Gary Elsby's here. My word it took you a long time..was your SatNav not working or couldn't you figure out how to switch it on?
And dear old Chris Paul....the man of whom it has often been said........

Dolly Draper must be getting paid handsomely if you two have managed to find the keyboard and work out what the letters mean.

Man in a Shed said...

So no comment about Ruth Kelly hitting the glass ceiling then ?

Nope just the usual Labour hypocrisy and hate.

Anonymous said...

1. Better a 'novice' than a busted flush

2. What HH is saying is spiteful nonesense; if she actually believes it, that may be seen to compound the offense.

Anonymous said...

a central campaign point by the Conservatives during the 1997 election, with the 'demon eyes' campaign.

And they were so right ...

Anonymous said...

even for the mouth-breathers you usually get here, this is priceless. congratulations on reaching new heights.

the gamut is beatifully run from 'what about the menz?', 'i don't fancy her and i think she's a lezzer', via 'feminists hate men' to 'how dare she descend to mindless personal abuse? - the bitch!'. i haven't seen some of these for ages!
special thanks to can't-spell-hippocrits.
bottle it and nobody need read the daily mail again.

Anonymous said...

@simply wondered 1128: working late for Dolly Draper's blog polizei, or time on your hands in the Grauniad news room?

Anonymous said...

These damn women.
They already get to vote, make 79p in the pound and have 1/6 of MPs parliament. Now they think, following years of sexism at the hands of men, they should be allowed to use euphamisms to criticise a man.

What next? I ask you!

Anonymous said...

Lola said...

"Since you started it is it now possible to call Harman a wanker?"

If it is, I'm sure you will take every opportunity to hurl abuse. Hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

ian: 'working'??? god no! i abuse tories for fun. if anyone were to pay me to do it, that would represent nirvana.
tho of course as some damn commie pinko faggot subversive i can't quite work out why i am not actually running the entire media conspiracy against right-thinking people everywhere. still, a boy can dream, eh?