Sunday, August 02, 2009

Harriet: You Can't Trust Men in Power


The more I think about it, the more I think Harriet Harman has taken leave of her senses. Her suggestion that a woman should always be guaranteed a position as either leader of deputy leader of the Labour Party is so preposterous that it's almost beyond satire. To their credit, the Labour Party thinks so too. She says men can't be trusted to do the job properly. Well, by that logic she doesn't trust Gordon Brown and should have been praising Margaret Thatcher from the rooftops.

Just imagine the outcry there would be if William Hague said that a man should be guaranteed one of the top two positions in the Conservative Party. He would rightly be pilloried.

I'd be quite happy for two women to lead any political party, if they got there on merit. Just as I would be happy for two men to. Sometimes you do have to take uncomfortable measures to ensure a better representation of the sexes in politics (witness the A List), but trying to get more women into parliament is a very different thing to guaranteeing a woman one of the top two positions in the party.

Harman has already gone far in enough in dictating that if employers have two equally qualified candidates, they should choose the female candidate. If she got away with this ridiculous suggestion, there's no telling where it would lead. Well, there is actually. To Harriet Harman leading the Labour Party. Hmmmm. Perhaps I see some mischievous merit in it after all!

We're told that Harriet Harman has been told to stick to her own brief while minding the shop during Gordon Brown's holiday. Well, she's made quite a start!


Cynic said...

Sadly for poor Harriet, male voters looking at that will be put off cvvotiong Labour and femaale voytsres will look at it and say 'that's not what we want' and be put off voting Labour.

Bardirect said...

She's unhinged.

On the Andrew Marr show this am she also said that politicians couldn't interfere in the McKinnon extradition and that it was a matter for the Courts but wasn't this one-sided extradition treated supported by the Labour lobby, and doesn't it totally exclude the power of the courts to act?

Hamish said...

I agree with most of you post.
I abhor discrimination, including what is called positive discrimination, such as women only lists.
But I find myself agreeing with HH that other things being equal the job should go to the woman.
They do labour under a lot of disadvantages (cue your misogynist readers).
What would you do? Toss a coin?

Anonymous said...

Is this a coded message by HH that Maggie Thatcher was a better PM than all her succesors?

Interesting Harman for Thatcher!

I presume that Harman has given up on being Labour Leader and has deceded on a strategy to ensure defeat in the Labour leadership election after the Labour defeat!

Not a sheep said...

Maybe Harriet Harman's opposition to an all male leadership is something to do with her feeling threatened by Peter Mandelson's position at the right hand of Gordon Brown?

johnAKAmark said...

She can keep this up as much as she likes, the fool. Voters (especially the betrayed working class) will increasingly see her as the quasi-maoist lunatic that she is and we will never see New Labour or their like again. Although..Cameron's Un-Conservative Party don't look much more appealing - plenty of social engineering clap trap and twaddle there also.

DespairingLiberal said...

For me the most loathsome thing in her devious, slippery, incompetent--yet--haughty act was the way she treated the McKinnon saga - almost as if she is a helpless little creature who has no control over legislation, no government powers, no responsibility. It was a bit like the way Germans greeted Allied troops as they entered Germany - "none of us did anything, we didn't know, we were helpless, none of us were Nazis, there were no Nazis in our town!"

I wonder if there could be some sort of picket or defensive gathering at the McKinnon's when the police are sent in to carry out the deeply craven and weak NuLab extradition capitulation to a corrupt Bush administration? Legislation so bad that the US congress has simply refused to enact it. Leaving a supine British parliament to slavishly sign away our rights to any sort of British law at the whim of some bent judge in Hicksville, Illinois.

Ctesibius said...

Did Harriet say that one of these jobs should also be reserved for a man? In other words, should the top two jobs always be occupied by either two women, or one man and one woman?

And did she say anything about whether this would be affected by one of them being gay? Would it be permissable for the woman to be lesbian?

JuliaM said...

Is it even possible to 'take leave of your senses' if you never had any to begin with..?

Scouse & Proud #jft96 said...

Darlings, this is epic. This morning I vomited with rage (details on the blog), but having had time to think about her madness, I have come to realise that Mad Hatty is slowly making herself unelectable.

Oh, how I laughed.

Scouse & Proud #jft96 said...

Not a sheep, I think you are slightly wide of the mark, darling.

Hatty has given up on the top slot and is now besieging me via the media for a place at my right hand. As I have said elsewhere this morning, that position is reserved for a rather beautiful PPS that I have my eye on. Can anyone guess who it is?

Anonymous said...

i cant believe labour are on 27% of the vote with this tripe coming from the discriminatory cabal at the top of labour.

DeeDee99 said...

I can't stand Harman and her continual attempts to advance the feminist agenda - and I'm female. Everytime she opens her mouth she must alienate the male half of the population.

neil craig said...

Yet more proof that Gordon Brown is head & shoulders the best member of Labour cabinet to be PM. This is not to say that he is any good.

Also that real policy issues, let alone socialist ones, have no place in the party's politics.

Henry Rogers said...

I think people are being carried away by the subsidiary issue of biology.

Surely the whole point is that trusting any human being of either sex with power over other human beings is dangerous. We need to do this up to a point to get things done and so we have to take risks all the time if we want to progess beyond living in caves.

We also need to be much more careful than we have been about 'how much' and 'for how long'.

Anonymous said...

As a Labour Party I believe that either the Leader or the Deputy Leader should be working class. Anyone who went to a public school or who had a relative who was a member of the Lords should automatically be barred from even standing. Couldn't she join Gordon on holiday. There are some really good deals on at the moment.

Gordon Brown said...

It feels a bit like that Two Ronnies sketch of a world ruled by women and all the men are forced to wear dresses, banned from smoking pipes and drinking beer. I've been desperately trying to find it on youtube - can anyone else find it?

Elliot Kane said...

"Harriet Harman has taken leave of her senses" - you're very generous in assuming she had any senses to take leave OF, Iain. Harriet's track record appears to be one of blatant sexism at the best of times and a desire to pile more unnecessary regulations onto British businesses than would be at all reasonable, even in a time when we are not in recession.

She seems obsessed with the idea that all men are evil scum who cannot be trusted in any way, shape or form and this is just the latest admission of many that she thinks this way.

How on Earth she ever rose to the position she now enjoys in the Labour party and the govt I have no idea. No responsible party would allow a man anywhere near power if he said the things about women that she says about men, as you so rightly pointed out.

I don't care if Britain is led by a man or a woman as long as they can do the job. But people like Harriet Harman should never under any circumstances be allowed anywhere near the reigns of power - regardless of gender, ethnicity, creed or anything else!

Chris Paul said...

Sloppy cobblers Iain.

Through most layers of the LP we have arrangements to ensure women are represented. CLPs send at least half woman delegates every two years to conference. The CLP section in the NEC is 50% women.

And so it goes on at other levels in the party. We also have a certain amount of positive action in selection at parliamentary - some AWS, european - "zip", and even local level.

Representation is far far better in our party than in others. And by choosing from more than 50% of the population it is fairly logical to conclude that we have a better chance of getting better people into these roles overall. Over time. It's not instant.

Although there may be an opportunity for a great leap forward for the Tories at the next election it remains to be seen whether it will be taken.

Harriet is only following the logic through in what I suspect is a rather rhetorical way ... to set tongues wagging, in a good way.

Your assertion in para 4 that Harman has dictated preference for under-represented groups in absolutely tied recruitment situations is more sloppy bollocks.

There is a provision that employers MAY so choose. Faced with a draw they MAY choose the applicant that balances any imbalance in their workforce RATHER than flipping a coin, asking an obscure general knowledge question, or indeed running other tests on a sudden death basis.

This is going to be a rare situation.

It could just as well favour men where women are over-represented. Let's say in filling a senior nursing post. With two tied candidates the employer could pick the man!

It is not compulsory. Just not illegal to make a thoughtful rather than random choice in these circumstances.

Gordon Brown said...

Harriet's world.....

Unsworth said...

If Harman were to lead the Labour Party, where would that leave Mandelson?

Jess The Dog said...

Everytime dear Harriet opens her gob, a few thousand Labour voters - of both sexes - decide to stay at home or vote for someone else.

Keep it up Harriet! Don't desert us for the kitchen sink!

Unsworth said...

@ Chris Paul

"Representation is far far better in our party than in others."

Define 'representation'.

You see the problem I have is that NuLab seems to believe that candidates have a right to be selected on the basis of their gender, religion, race, ability/disability etc etc.

Sod-all to do with competence or suitability in terms of skills, of course.

Why does Harman believe that having more women at senior levels in her Party (which 'represents' a minority of the population) will be good for Great Britain? What evidence does she have for these wild and completely unfounded assertions? It's this mindless pursuit of what she seems to regard as 'equality' which demonstrates her own (and her supporters') limitations so vividly.

Man in the Street said...

She really is a nasty piece of work. If there is a case to be made against all women shortlists for anything it is she and her misandry.

To be fair, I have a temporary sense of misandry, verging on misanthropy, when I see or hear Mandelson.

Glad she's running the shop until Gordon gets back. This will run and run.

Man in the Street said...

p.s. What's with the moderation? Very boring.

Rob said...

'It feels a bit like that Two Ronnies sketch of a world ruled by women and all the men are forced to wear dresses, banned from smoking pipes and drinking beer.'

Ah, 'The worm that turned'! It was some of the funniest material The Two Ronnies ever did.

Back on topic, I think she definitely has taken leave of her senses. Surely equality means the best person for the job irrespective of their gender. And would she complain so much if two women had both top jobs? I doubt it, the bloody hypocrite.

She does seem to have an inexplicable problem with anyone who possesses a penis. Someone should have a word with her owner and tell him to sort her out! Whatever dowry he received surely wasn't enough to have to put up with this harpy!

Lola said...

Seen on a film recently:

Gushing fan "Tell Mr Jones, how do you know how to write so well about women?"
Jack Nicholson "Simple, I just think of men and take away reason and responsibility".

Anonymous said...

Harman believes in equal rights for gays and lesbians,backs the minimum wage,staying in the euro zone, loves tax credits and believes in pumping more money into the NHS for the future...just like Mr Cameron and Mr Brown..3 good people i think you will all agree with.

JuliaM said...

"Through most layers of the LP we have arrangements to ensure women are represented. "

And look how well you are doing as a resul...


JuliaM said...

For 'disillusioned Dale Blog reader':

Labour are Immoral said...

Harman is a sexist.

Iain - why do you treat her seriously?

She is also a public school toff from the top girls school.

She is such a hypocrite that she has no moral credibility.

Her opinions on everything are discredited.

Andrew F said...

As a Labour voter, I just find her embarrassing.

Gordon said...

I must have missed the statement where Harriet announced that a man and a woman were the best partnership for bringing up a child and that never again should the team be only two men.

Marcellus said...

Iain seriously, why is this woman not laughed out of the room?

Here she is talking about "equality" when what she is doing is the opposite. Real 1984 stuff.

She is not fit to be in any postion of authority - she has not got the maturity to be in charge of other people.

Why are all you Conservatives so scared of her?

Is it because you know the broadcasters will support her and you are all frightened of them?

If so, you are all pathetic.

This generation of Conservatives are wettest and most pathetic ever. You are so worried about being called names, you have no pride, no confidence. You do not seem to believe anything strongly if the broadcasters might not agree with you and might be nasty to you.

And who are the broadcasters. Just an unelected, unrepresentative clique of Labour supporters.

I completely despair of this generation of Conservatives. I had hopes of Hague.

No equality movement can possibly support any discrimination. What Harman is doing is "Female Supremacy".

Man in the Street said...

@ Blogger disillusioned Dale blog reader and other Two Ronnies fans.

You mean this worm that turned?

Fausty said...

Harpie's increasingly ridiculous pronouncements make Fondlebum's ascent to the Labour throne more likely.

Her loose gob will become the instrument of her own political demise.

Anonymous said...

@ Chris Paul

I have never read such a load of drivel in all my life. What the F**k is the point in a Labour party with this kind of nonsense. We , the working class have been shafted by Nulabour for 12 years there are now more than 5 million of us not working, you tax us to the hilt if we do get a job and the only thing you can whinge about is how many lesbians can dance on the head of a pin or whatever your qoutos call for.

How many women were there in the founders of the Labour party? How many female Labour PM's have we had so far?

Get some policies that help the working class, get shot of all the urban luvvie femminist, media eco nut, public school spin jockeys and get some real working class people in our party.

Nye B

Dave H said...

During her deputy leadership bid, Harriet's theme tune was that if the PM was a man, the deputy should be a woman. Such nonsense made perfect sense to her, and presumably to many others in the Labour Party given her success.

Such preposterous beliefs have always been part of the underpinning of her mind. If this is evidence that she has taken leave of her senses, then I'm afraid it happened a very long time ago, and the grassroots of the Labour Party suffer from a similar affliction.

I always used to think that despite party dogma, professional politicians would retain a sense of, well, objective professionalism, so that they would refrain from behaviour that was palpably absurd. How silly of me.

Her plan to make race discrimination legal take insanity to new heights. To be fair, perhaps she's not mad at all, rather a perfectly sane deep cover BNP mole.

Hamish said...

Point well made.

Man in a Shed said...

Harman is beyond parody.

She's the very epitamy of a token politician.

Even Peter Mandelson is reported as having to bang his head on the cabinet table to try to survive her attempts and reasoning things out ( see Patrick Hennsey here )

Ian Thorpe said...

Gender quotas, race quotas, where does it end? I want the best people leading the nation.

But when Hattie talks of "future Labour cabinets that reveals, does it not, that she's just having a laugh?

Mike said...

War is peace, freedom is slavery etc.
Misandry is misogyny. Harman is a horrible bigot . We are all equal are we not regardless of race, creed, colour, sexual orientation? Obviously not according to XaNuLabour.

Barbazenzero said...

Gender quotas are indeed as stupid as racial or any other kind of quota, but you "official" unionists fail to realise what, in desperation, the NuLan unionists are coming round to. The solution is simple - STV as the last coalition introduced for Scotland.

Remove deposits but keep a requirement for local nominations and let any party member in good standing stand. Letting the people decide which one they want would at least be a novelty.

AP said...

What is wrong with that woman? She really is the utmost example of 'do as I say not as I do'

She has enjoyed every privilege and used every advantage to get ahead, she mortgaged her home to throw enough cash at getting the deputy leadership (using one's personal wealth to secure advantage is not very equal in Harriet's 'book for the people'), she privately educated her own children when considering their life options and yet she cry's foul when anyone else does the same.

She clearly hates men, it would be interesting to know why.

She wants women at the top of politics but ignores the fact that the traditional establishment party (you know the one full of old boys and misogynists) voted a woman their leader decades ago and the British public elected her Prime Minister three times. No quota required.

And now she want's men excluded from half the opportunities in the Labour Party.

How very convenient.

Anonymous said...


Yes semi blogged on this myself . Harriet needs to rethink her strategy - how many labour activists really support her sexist views let alone Joe Public ?

if labour loose power next year they are going back to the Days of Healey and Foot - can't wait to sit back and watch to blood letting.

Now if you excuse me I am going back to the beverage the duchess has just poured for me , I think it is a bottle of Château Lafit(Birthday and all) .

wapping boy said...

Harriet "public school educated toff" Harman voices the true intent of New Labour: that every single aspect of life is run according to quotas, not merit. No wonder that social mobility in the UK has collapsed, when your ability to progress is determined solely by which quota you belong to and what box your employer can tick when the time comes to file its government-monitored "diversity" record. It is the Orwellian nightmare come true.

Harman's a thoroughly nasty individual whose own sexism is legendary. She was the one who said that fathers are not necessary to bring up children and that kids are better off without them. The fact that she's deputy leader only shows what utter imbeciles Labour supporters are. God, I hate them all so much.

Elby the Beserk said...

The only way to achieve Mad Hattie's dream of "equality" is to drag everyone down to the same level. The lowest common denominator.

It's the only way to do it. Indeed, it worked perfectly in the Eastern Bloc, and still does in North Korea. Except, that is, for the ruling elite.

Sounds familiar.

I will say that this cabinet is the most useless, deranged, rabid and oleaginous bunch of useless fuckwits as you could wish never to meet, and Harperson is up there just after Brown and Straw in the utterly fucking revolting stakes.
(disclaimer. Voted Labour for 32 years, man and boy, until Iraq. I apologise unreservedly)

What did we do to deserve this lot?

Anonymous said...

Harriet is in tune with the EU's Equality and Diversity directives -it's just that she's a couple of years ahead of the game. Watch this space (regardless of the next general election).

Anonymous said...

No-one seems to have picked up on the latest mantra as parroted by this extremely shallow stupid woman. Last weel on the Today programme and again today on the Stephanie 'I love Labour' Flanders version of the Andrew Maqrr show, HH went unchallenged on her statement that the Conservatives are going around arrogantly stating that they are going to win the next election, and so are treating voters with contempt. Yes, she has sid this quite clearly. As far as I am aware, the most that has been said is to the effect that the Conservatives will be working hard in the run up to the election. They have never claimed that they know what will happen when the votes have been counted. But Labour MPs have said that Labour are going to lose. So have many other commentators. Arrogant? Treating us like fools? Saying how wonderful G Brown is? ... Does that not sound like HH? Deluded? More like a cuckoo flying up there in the clouds.

Jabba the Cat said...

Lol...just looking at Harman is enough to make one lose interest in women...

binqu said...

"Stephanie 'I love Labour' Flanders version of the Andrew Maqrr show"

BBc's lefty nepotism - Red Steph is the grandaughter of Claud Cockburn, by far the loudest pro Soviet journalist of the 1930s. He remained unrepentant to his last days and was still rooting for Uncle Joe in his New Statesman articles of the early 70s.


peter_dtm said...

there is NO such thing as positive discrimination.

because it MUST lead to some one being discriminated AGAINST.

Idiots. Apartheid was merely positive discrimination after all; it discriminated in FAVOUR of a minority group (the Afrikaaners).

And these idiots opposed it ?

Say no to discrimination of ANY kind

Maria said...

Well really! How sexist! Oh, I forgot. Women can't be sexist, can they? How does that work again?!!! She makes me ashamed to be a feminist. Gives the whole equality struggle a bad name.

Jacqueline said...

I agree that Harriet Harman says some totally ridiculous things. And when Dawn Primarolo is on the radio I have to resist the urge to throw things at it. But as a female reader of this blog, many of these comments (not Iain's blog itself) make me feel very uncomfortable. That yours is a cosy, exclusive male club I really wouldn't want to join.

There is a problem with lack of female representation in politics. There are not that many outstanding female MPs and I don't agree that female-only shortlists are the answer. But while women are prepared to fight tooth and nail for individual political causes (Gary McKinnon's mother is a current example, and Esther Rantzen, with Childline, is another) there is a difficulty with getting women to commit not only to a particular (and exlusive) set of political beliefs but also to the total commitment that being a politician - and more particularly, a Member of Parliament, requires. And I think that the failure to bring more women into the political process, despite all the parties' best intentions, demonstrates this.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why she has focused on the leader and deputy leader posts. Deputy anythings never have any real power. Perhaps she has been a bit slow to notice this.

J H Holloway said...

'But while women are prepared to fight tooth and nail for individual political causes (Gary McKinnon's mother is a current example, and Esther Rantzen, with Childline, is another) there is a difficulty with getting women to commit not only to a particular (and exlusive) set of political beliefs but also to the total commitment that being a politician - and more particularly, a Member of Parliament, requires.'

Jacqueline. that's one of the most interesting points I've read on the issue of the female political mind v the male.

This line of thought might also explain HH's car-crash politics. According to a lot of Labour people, she's actually quite thick and is just reading aloud off the feminist crib sheet, the one subject that really engages her.

HH's dimness explains her inability to approach hard-core feminism with anything approaching sophistication. A bright female MP might be similarly one-tracked politcally, but she'd probably do a infinitely better job than HH at advancing undiluted feminism.

Mmm. Perhaps this ability to drive single-issues explains Maggie's achievement in ending the industrial disease in Britain, when everybody else said it couldn't be done.

Anonymous said...

She's Pandering to the Wimmins lobby in the "N"ulabour,st"AZI" party.
Just does to show how much power wimmins groups have there.

AndyC said...

The NZ Green party has had co-leaders for some time. In their particular brand of watermellon politics (green on the outside and red to the core) its worked for them.

Unsworth said...

@ Lord Lavendon

If it's 'Château Lafit' you really need to have a stern word with Catering. What you ought to be drinking is Chateau Lafite (Rothschild). Pour the other stuff away, it's probably been produced in China from some ghastly and lethal chemical by-product.

Bath plugs for the many, not the few said...

Poor woman. Such a pity that she's in no position to exemplify her thesis that things can be run much more ably by a woman, being so risibly hopeless and incompetent herself.

In any case, everyone apart from her realises that the person who is really in charge in Brown's absence is none other than Lord Mandelblot of Hartlefoy.