Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What Is Harriet Harman Playing At?

Harriet Harman has now made a 3rd statement in as many days attacking half the population, so it is clear that it is no gaffe on her part. So what does she hope to accomplish with these interventions?

I don't think it can be for the benefit of the Labour Party, they have won the male vote in every election since the war and jeopardising that while they are in such dire straits seems unlikely. I can't imagine that many women share Harman's views either. For the same reason I don't think she believes that Labour will adopt her ideas, even in the Labour Party her views are extreme.

She could be acting as an insurance policy for Gordon Brown- letting Labour MPs know that however bad their predicament is now it could be worsened still further if she were to succeed him. I doubt she is that selfless though.

I think she is positioning herself to remain as a key player in the Labour Party after the election. As I say her views aren't mainstream even within Labour but there is enough of a grouping of hard core 'wimmin' on the left that someone establishing herself as their champion is going to have to be incorporated in the leadership after the election.

PS. I'm probably preaching to the converted here but it is a point worth repeating anyway, when different groups of people are represented in different proportions in something it doesn't prove that there is some insidious form of discrimination going on.

The fact that there are fewer female politicians than male ones doesn't mean that women are being kept out- those claiming that it does demonstrate something is wrong ususally make no effort to discover whether the proportion of men and women interested in politics is the same or whether the willingness to make the necessary sacrifices for a political career is the same.


Matthew said...

"they have won the male vote in every election since the war"

In 1983?! That can't be right.

Ross said...

I've heard the statement repeated so often that I assume it's true, but haven't actually checked it.

It does seem unlikely but given the 3 way vote split in that election it isn't necessarily impossible.

Praguetory said...

I don't think it's true, but it appears that Harman has come out with another corker re rape review. Has she actually gone of the rails?

JuliaM said...

She just can't keep her mouth shut, can she?

Never mind - at least in one instance, she's had to take no for an answer...

Letters From A Tory said...

How is it that Harman thinks she is impressing the electorate? It just boggles the mind.

Matthew said...

I've never heard the claim, I have to say and online I can only find data back to 1992, but apparently it wasn't true in 1992 (41-37) or perhaps even 2005 (34:34).

I thought you might be getting confused with 'Labour do better among men than they do among women' although that doesn't appear to be true either (in 2005).

Ah, maybe this is it "1997 was the first general election in which Labour took a plurality of women's votes".

James Higham said...

I'm probably preaching to the converted here

You are but when will they see it?

Ross said...

"How is it that Harman thinks she is impressing the electorate? "

It's the internal Labour electorate she's going for.

Matthew- you could be right, as I can't recall where I first heard it I can't really be sure.

kensington and chelsea said...

Don't the middle classes like equality? I thought they supported it.

Ross said...

People mean different things by 'equality'. Most people don't share Harman's definition.

Anonymous said...

Harriet Harman's Lies About Rape Exposed Today