Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why Does Ed Balls Fear Harriet Harman So Much?

Well the knives are certainly out for Harriet Harman in the press this morning. A busy little briefer has been very busy indeed briefing against her.

The Independent has the headline HARMAN ACCUSED OF PLOTTING TO SUCCEED BROWN. Nigel Morris writes...

One minister said last night: “She is trying to appeal to the party, rather than the country” and added that she should be “reined in”... In a reference to Mr Brown’s discreet support for her in the deputy leadership contest, he added: “She should remember how she got her job and who voted for her.” The accusations were strongly denied last night by a spokeswoman for Ms Harman, who insisted that her loyalty to the Prime Minister was not in doubt, saying: “She is a very loyal deputy. She always has been and she always will be.”... But one frontbench colleague said: “Harriet is being pumped up by a small clique of admirers. She isn’t exactly discouraging it and it’s not helpful.”... The consensus at Westminster is that she has little chance of victory, with one party source insisting yesterday: “The idea that she would ever be elected leader is laughable.” ... She was similarly written off in the deputy leadership election 18 months ago, but narrowly saw off Alan Johnson to win the post in the fourth round of counting.

Meanwhile, David Hencke writes in The Guardian...
It may be perfectly innocent, of course. As deputy party leader she almost has a duty of care to make sure Labour is as inclusive as possible and that women are given a prominent role. But don't forget that this is the woman who took on Alan Johnson, Jon Cruddas and Peter Hain for the deputy leadership and won.

And the Daily Mail ramps it up by comparing her to Sarah Palin.

One senior Labour figure claimed she was out of control and 'sucking up' to trades unions and party members. Another said Miss Harman, who is the party's deputy leader, was playing to the gallery on issues such as a third runway at Heathrow, bank bonuses and class war. One senior Labour insider said: 'There is a pattern of behaviour developing with Harriet that is entirely about what happens after a Labour defeat. You can see it in much of what she is doing at the moment. It is all about sucking up to the Labour party and the unions.' The source accused Miss Harman of hijacking an announcement on social mobility by Cabinet Office minister Liam Byrne.

The source added: 'There is a sense that she is out of control and no one can stop her. She thinks she can do what she likes because she has a mandate from the party.'

An finally, in the Daily Telegraph, Harriet is accused of muscling in on the G20...

A senior Labour source said: "She clearly believes her time has come. She is spreading herself around at the moment and doing some dumb things. One of those is attempting to muscle in on the G20.

"She knows what she's doing. It is brazen."

Hasn't Ed Balls been a busy bee?


Obnoxio The Clown said...

Ferrets in a sack, aren't they?

Plenty said...

This sums up the Labour Party. While on the outside they look all unified, inside, they are all a bunch of plotters and egomaniacs.

The sooner we kick them all out the better.

I wouldn't give Harman time of day running a laundrette, let alone running the country....

TheBoilingFrog said...

And the Daily Mail ramps it up by comparing her to Sarah Palin.

I think you're giving too much credit to the Mail here.

They haven't mentioned Palin, I think this comparison should attributed to Politicalbetting as it Mike's site that mentioned the Palin tag first.

Old Holborn said...

There will be plenty more Alfie, Shannon and Baby P stories - testaments not to a worsening "broken Britain" but to a low tax, weak social policy century that Labour has only started to improve.


Man in a Shed said...

Surely everyone with Balls fears Harriet ?

kenny murphy said...

How utterly depressing is it to think that this idiot is favourite to be the leader of one of our major political parties.

As a Labour supporter it amazes me that anyone within the Labour movement could look at her as leadership potential.

All she has ever achieved in every brief she has had is failure.

Prezza has the measure of her.

Anonymous said...

There was a time when I could get various soaps like Eastenders, Doctors, Holby City etc but then the BBC quite Canal+ and I can't(ye Gods, the time I've saved.)
The Westminster soap is far, far more entertaining.
Wot a total shar this lot is, innit?

davidc said...

if harman is the best nulab can come up with 'we are doomed'!!!!!

incidently sarah palin outclasses harman in all and every respect

Magic2010 said...

Ain't it bliss watching the death of New Labour? The knives *have* to come out for the big man himself soon (25% in the polls loom).

Hacked Off said...

A Cabinet full of pygmies.

The Penguin.

Conand said...

Magic2010 @ 11:17 said:

'25% in the polls loom'

Been there done that:

ComRes for Independent on Sunday (Feb 15th): C=41 Li=22 La=25

As for the issue at hand, I find fights between Balls and Harman profoundly boring. Everybody knows they are totally pathetic twisted idiots who couldn't run a bath.
I hope this exposure in the press doesn't discourage them from scratching each others eyes out. The Hattie and Blinky show is exactly what voters want to see. It will give everybody an absolutely concrete reason not to vote Labour under any circumstances. This can only be for the good.
As for Hattie's 'class war', I don't need a lecture from her about empowerment. The De Facto Deputy Leader (Senior menber of the Shadow Cabinet) of The Conservatives, unlike her, went to state school.
If she actually followed her own fascistic proscriptions she wouldn't have allowed herself to stand for Deputy Leader of her party. Let alone machinated to try and become it's nominal leader.

not an economist said...

Surely they will all be at it in the near future - reaching for pole position for when Brown vacates the leadership.

I don't quite see why Harman sbe singled out for criticism.

As for Balls he is probably just worried she will beat him to it.

Trend Shed said...


That is so transparently Ed Balls doing the briefing - that is hilarious!

On one hand Balls can look loyal to Gordon by putting Harman down, on the other hand he thinks he is killing off rivals for the top job.

Is there any evidence on what the public at large think of Ed Balls?

Personally I think he is a slippery, untrustworthy lightweight. I amazed he even considers himself as potential leadership material.

Trend Shed said...

Actually........... leadership battles have been at the root of Labour's failure to deliver on it's promise over the last 11 years and also their ruining of the economy:

- Brown blocked a lot of Blair reforms

- Brown would never let Blair look at budgets until the last minute. (If Blair had visibility, maybe we would have managed our economy better)

- Blair was pushed from office and then Blairites began briefing against Brown

- Brown under threat from Miliband and not concentrating on the job

- Brown under threat from Harman.

etc... etc....

Shamik Das said...

Harriet is beneath contempt. Her flip-flopping and dilly-dallying during the deputy leadership contest in 2007 was beneath contempt.

Apparently, she was against the Iraq war all along, somehow managed to win the election - despite coming second in every round but the last - and then turned round and said she was in favour of the war!

I can't think of a worse candidate to succed Brown. Harriet is, without doubt, the most annoying woman in politics.

Unknown said...

Why do you think this is Balls

It reads perfectly like Charles Clarke to me

Paul Halsall said...

I'm a socialist, but will be glad to see the Back of Brown and New Labour. Harman looks like a reasonable choice until a better leader emerges. Personally, I would prefer Cruddas.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Frankly there isnt anyone in Labour who could even lead a herd of cows across the road for milking. Speaking of which, however, when Broon gets chopped, please please let it be Hattie Harperson...(might even briefly join em just to cast my vote for her)...can you imagine any bloke in this country, other than those in institutions and Jack Dromey voting for anything to do with her??

Would certainly mean the end for Labour.......bliss

ps wonder what Derek Draper would think of his new position as leading blogger for the THIRD party!!

Yak40 said...

Prezza has the measure of her.

What did he say ?

Foggy Drew said...

As a Labour supporter this is truely depressing but only to be expected. With the most disloyal, plotting, egocentric cabinet member ever managing to get rid of Labour's most successfull leader why not have a craic at it.

Balls and Harman aren't even popular politicians in the greater public at large. Compare there profiles to Blunkett, Ken clarke etc and they are relatively unknowns.

Only 3 months since the miracle of Barrack Obama happened while in Britain there is a shoot out between two brown nosers. Pathetic

David Lindsay said...

I can laugh, so that's what I'm doing. Remnant Labourites reading this should weep buckets. But no one should be remotely surprised that Jon Cruddas was denied the Deputy Leadership by her shamelessly dishonest splitting of the anti-war majority vote. After all, Harman was the candidate of the most hardline neocons in the House of Commons, Gisela Stuart and Denis MacShane. Hers was a Straussian deception of the common herd. Are we on the verge of another one?

Meanwhile, to matters historical, yet very contemporary: the old Paedophile Information Exchange was hand in glove with the old Campaign for Homosexual Equality (they were practically a single organisation - same address, same committee, the works), which in turn was hand in glove with the old National Council for Civil Liberties in the Hatty and Patty days. (Patty, please note, is now a key anti-Brown conspirator, having previously had overall responsibility for every social worker in England.)

This is all very well-researched and well-documented; indeed, so different were attitudes within the real ruling class at the time (I mean to publicising these views, not to the views as such, which have not changed one jot) that no secret seems to have been made of these connections.

The people who have done all the relevant (painstaking) research have of course been short of a hearing in more recent years. But with Hatty's new-found eminence, they are certainly going to get a hearing now. Aren't they?

DiscoveredJoys said...

The only reason that Balls and Harman think they are in with a chance is that Brown has set such a low standard. Almost any warm blooded bipedal mammal could do a better job.

Actually any attractive bowl of petunias is in with a chance.

The Grim Reaper said...

Unless I'm mistaken, Ed Balls and Gordon Brown are very close friends, politically and personally. I suspect that Balls has developed the same awful sense of entitlement that Brown had as Chancellor.

The country wouldn't stand for having another unelected ruler imposed on us, but New Labour don't care what we think!

Praguetory said...

The more pertinent question is why does the political lobby unquestioningly relay Balls' propaganda.

Martin S said...

But it's all going to be all right, now! Because our civil Servants are now "ready to face the economic downturn!" (Thank you, Sir Gus.)
Civil Servants ready to tackle economic downturn

Not that I want to carp, but surely this reaction is a bit of shutting the stable door in the absence of an escaped horse?

Unknown said...

Ed Balls is an absolutely appalling little man whom absolutely no-one takes seriously, for good reason: even the Conservatives didn't lunge on his 'we're all heading for a Depression and the rise of Far-Right Fascism' speech. He thought it would be a 'good' idea to get 16 year olds to teach 14 year olds in school, presumably to save on teachers' salaries and cock up education permanently. He wants loud libraries full of coffee shops and music and even more computers, thus wasting library budgets on what they're Supposed to be spent on - BOOKS; everyone's got a bloody computer at home. And to make our primary-school children even more vacuous he wants themed lessons all about sex and 'lifestyle choices', thus making it ever more unlikely that the upcoming generations will even be able to read, let alone reason from cause to effect.
However, he is so cartoonish that it is easy to write him off; no-one can take him seriously. Harman, on the other hand, is pathologically ambitious and will sacrifice both people and principles to attain her goals. In the 70s, on the NCCL, she took MI5 to task for intruding on her privacy; today, she is 100% in favour of ID cards. In 1997, she slashed the single parent's benefit, stating, coldly, 'they want to work'; this from the so-called 'Women's Minister'. I am afraid that she could win the leadership contest - though not the nation - through cold-blooded calculation and endurance.

Cadiz said...

"I wouldn't give Harman time of day running a laundrette, let alone running the country."

The gay sub-committee of the NCCL became a pedophile think tank.

So I would trust her with a laundrette either if I was being honest.