Harriet Harman's rabid nonsense that has no regard for real needs

From The Times
August 3, 2009

Edwina Currie: analysis

The woman is mad, that is now clear. On a different planet. Leave aside that her comments (that there should never again be only a man alone as the head of the government) are hardly a ringing endorsement of Gordon Brown or that, every time she speaks, another Labour seat falls to the Tories, who are clapping her gleefully from the sidelines.

What she is spouting is rabid nonsense, and morally repugnant. Firstly, we need the best people to run the country, irrespective of gender. I’d have thought that was a statement of the obvious, but it has passed Ms Harman by. In addition, women who have experienced discrimination should be wary of applying it to others, on principle.

All-women shortlists have brought more females into the Commons, but not improved its performance. Of course, it should be illegal to promote only on the basis of colour, religion, or gender — and it is. Certainly much better than 40 years ago, when I needed a man’s signature to open a bank account. But we long since got to that point, and beyond. What’s upsetting is the gap between Harriet’s priorities and the nation’s real needs. Here we are, struggling with the mother and father of all recessions, with the worst government deficit and national debt in recorded history, in which everyone is desperately trying to hang on to their jobs and pay the mortgage. Then there’s the war in Afghanistan and the terrible toll of young soldiers sent to fight it.

So Harriet is not only barking up the wrong tree, she is making the Government look even more irrelevant than it is. Her obsessions are those of an over-educated, well-off, middle-class woman who has no worries about where her money is coming from: our pockets, of course. She should go and talk to real working women, or a mother whose school-age children carry knives for protection, or elderly women scared of contracting MRSA in hospital, or the mother of a young rifleman going to Helmand. Then tell them that she, Harriet, should be running the country.

The quicker she faces them all at the ballot box, the better.



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