Monday, 3 August 2009


No, I am not referring to myself as "the bitch".

I am of course talking about the female Labour MP - who wakes up every morning, reaches down to her crotch, has a rummage about, finds she still has no testicles, then decides that this must be the only reason why she isn't/won't be Prime Minister - Harriet Harman.

I've recently given up swearing, so this is the toughest post I'll ever write. As you may or may not know, Harman (aka Harperson) is my least favourite living object on earth. Wayne Rooney? Nope. Nettles? Nope. Joseph Fritzel? Not even close!

Harriet Harman, to quote Edwina Currie, is "on a different planet" and "mad, that is now clear". I've posted before about this crazy lunatic, here and here for example, but yet again, I just have to sit at my keyboard and give my red mist a voice.

Any form of positive discrimination is just a bad idea. It makes one group look pathetic (like the guy who only got the job because his dad owns the business) and makes the other group resentful. Do this in a business and you do not for a happy workplace this UK wide and between the sexes (i.e. 100% of the population) and you're asking for a revolution that needs not occur and is a war against ghosts.

Women and men have the same opportunities in business, politics, sport...pretty much every area of British society. To insist upon having the two top jobs fenced in to the 'one man, one woman' split is so far removed from a) democracy and b) anything that can resemble an intelligent executive structure.

In politics, in the top jobs, I think we can all agree we want 'the best person for the job'. Well, seeing as the best people were smart enough to avoid parliamentary politics, we'll settle for the best MPs for the jobs. To then add another layer of filtering from the ability-criteria, that we must also have a crotch-check, is nothing more than gesture politics.

Would a woman be better than a man at running a Government, a bank or big organisation? No.Would a man be better than a woman? No. There's no such debate, that is what I find hilarious. There is no widespread (or even thinly-spread) field of discussion in society about a lack of rights or opportunities for women. There are no claims from inside or outside organisations that the recession was because of the hairy sacks containing sperm generators being attached to members of the boards.

Not once over the last few years (yes, she's been harping on about this for that long), have I heard her applaud, or acknowledge Thatcher being PM. Thatcher, the woman MP elected three times? Ring any belles? If she at least mentioned Thatcher in all of this, I might, just might, think she was doing this for some (albeit obscure) greater good that she thought worth fighting for. But her failure to even draw on Thatcher's achievements highlights, to many readers, that this isn't a "men/women in society" debate, it's a "Harriet/other leadership candidates in the Labour Party" debate.

And in her claims and belief that she is sticking up for the sisterhood...
Harman is picking a fight with the political ghosts of yesteryear. As in Edwina Currie's Times article, if Harman thinks she is representing woman by (in the loosest meaning of the word) "tackling" this issue, ask the women of the UK what they want a deputy PM, whatever their gender, to be focussing on? It's not this.


Caron said...

I agree with you that Harperson has got this one well and truly wrong.

However, if women have the same opportunities in business and politics, why are there so few at the top of these.

There's evidence that there is a glass ceiling and that does need tackling - unless you think it's a good thing that only 19% of the House of Commons is female.

Indy said...

Of course men and women don't have the same opportunities, that's just a silly thing to say. No-one really believes that.

If you look at the countries which have the lowest opportunity gap between men and women - the Scandinavian countries - they also have gender balanced politics using various mechanisms. If people don't want to go down that road then fair enough but they should be honest enough to say that they don't care about men and women having equal opportunities rather than pretend that they already do.

Leaving aside whether or not you support the goal of greater equality, I think the gender balance thing works very well politically - see Alex Salmond/Nicola Sturgeon for example.

My experience is that it is popular with voters - those who don't like Salmond like Sturgeon and vice versa.

Why do you think SNP publications like manifestos etc feature both of them? It's about maximising the party's appeal.

I do not expect G Brown to get this however as our 'meritocratic' system has given us a PM who is, er, somewhat divorced from reaity....