Following on from Mr Eugenides’s “Reasons not to vote for Harriet Harman #12“:
Any Labour supporters who have stumbled upon this blog [by mistake, one presumes] might want to read the series of questionnaires which the Guardian put to the candidates for the deputy leadership of the party before casting your ballot.
The last question put to the six candidates, just as a bit of fun, was “Who is the best James Bond?”. Now, obviously I don’t have a vote - and just as well - but if I did, I’d go for one of the five of them who succeeded in answering the question without making me want to stave their faces in with a mallet.
Sean Connery is James Bond, but Timothy Dalton was pretty good too.
Sean Connery. Even if his political preferences are not to my taste, his acting is.
I think Daniel Craig is a fantastic Bond, and a much grittier and more realistic figure for the current age than the suave country gents who preceded him.
None of them. It’s time to let Miss Moneypenny drive the cars!
Sean Connery, despite his politics.
I’d like to commend Jackie Ashley for providing reason #13:
Is Alan Johnson really proud to claim endorsement from John Prescott? If so it’s a flawed judgment - and it won’t win back the female vote.
Huh? WTF is she on about?
The name of the game at this stage is to get your 45 MPs so that you get on the ballot paper - courting the ‘female vote’ comes later.
It’s not often that a Guardian headline makes me do not just a double take, but a triple take. But yes, there it is today: Key backing for Johnson in Labour deputy fight. Who is this key backer? None other than the current deputy prime minister John Prescott. Well, either memories are extremely short or Alan Johnson’s political judgment is deeply flawed.
Is it? Prescott for all his manifest faults, is the outgoing Deputy Leader and Deputy PM, so his backing must surely count for something. It is, after all, a matter of the guy currently doing the job indicating that he thinks that a particular candidate has the ‘right stuff’ to do the same job.
Let’s look first at Labour’s problem. Dire local and Scottish election results combined with poor polling reveal one very clear trend: that women, particularly older women, are deserting Labour. Part of David Cameron’s success has been that he has succeeded in portraying himself as a parent, a man who cares about the happiness agenda and the environment as well as the economy and defence.
Oh for fucks sake - women of the world unite, you have nothing to lose by voting for the toff, just because he seems a very nice man, than your dignity, self-esteem and any semblance of possessing the capacity to take politics seriously.
So it seems obvious that the last thing the Labour party needs is a blokeish deputy leader who is proud to claim endorsement from the party’s original male chauvinist pig. John Prescott, remember, is the man who just a short while ago was all over the newspapers with his secretary’s legs round his neck. His view of women is that they are most useful when on their knees under a desk, “servicing” an important man who can barely be bothered to look up from his papers. John Prescott is worse than a joke, he’s a disgrace, and why Alan Johnson wants to boast that he is the natural successor to Prescott mystifies me.
Let me take a guess here. Prescott is the current Deputy Leader and Deputy PM and Johnson wants to be the next Deputy Leader and Deputy PM, which is where the whole ‘natural successor; part comes in.
Unless Jackie’s seen the Deputy’s job description and it specifically includes ’shagging the secretary’ as one of duties of the post-holder, then Prescott’s personal shortcomings have precisely fuck all to do with the matter of whether Johnson can or cannot legitimately be seen to be Prescott’s natural successor.
If Labour is to mean what it says about listening to the public, and wanting to be more in touch with peoples’ lives, it goes without saying that the party needs a woman right up there at the top. The obvious candidate is Harriet Harman, who has been pushing the work-life balance agenda for years. She’s unpopular with some of her male colleagues at Westminster because, when her children were growing up, she eschewed the Commons bar to go home and see her kids. Given the constant contact children bring with schools, doctors and hospitals I suspect her decision gave her far greater insights into the problems facing public services than had she stayed drinking at Westminster.
Oh fuck off - Harriet’s unpopular with some of her male colleagues because she didn’t go drinking with the lads? What kind of half-arsed bullshit is this?
If this is the kind of fifth rate crap that Harman’s supporters are running with now, just what the fuck will they be saying if she loses..?
Ah well. We all know why Harriet lost the contest. It’s because she never could quite manage to beat John Reid and Chatshow Charlie in the member’s Christmas chug-a-lug contest and her decision to spit instead of swallow made a hell of mess of the upholstery in the Members’ Bar and seriously pissed of the Serjeant-at-Arms.
Fuck right off, Jackie. not even Iain Dale would be dumb enough to try a piss poor smear this fucking blatant… although I’d still only give you evens on Staines trying it.
It’s significant that most of the younger Brownites - Ed Miliband, Douglas Alexander, Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls - are backing Harman. That’s not because she’s one of their tight inner circle - she’s not. But these younger politicians, who don’t want to see their key years spent in opposition, recognise the new agenda that is needed. If the party wants to win back women voters, it needs to realise that John Prescott was far from a political asset, he was a political disaster.
Well yes it is significant that many of the younger Brownites are backing Harriet - although I don’t recall Ed Balls being on the list of backers… in fact a quick check shows his name to be conspicuous by its absence at the moment.
The significance of this simply that Harriet is a one shot deal as a potential deputy - she’s not and never will be a serious contender for leader, if and when Brown steps down, nor is her tenure as deputy - if she did get it - likely to last beyond Gordon’s time as leader.
In short, for the younger generation she’s a pretty good placemat, ideal for holding down the job until they’re ready to step up on the day that Gordon passes on the torch, without there ever being a threat that she’ll hang around longer than is required or get in the way of the next generation’s ambitions.