Sunday, June 24, 2007


A surprise result in the Labour deputy leadership ballot and one that is, as these things go, more positive than negative.

Not only has Harriet Harman won after making highly critical remarks on Labour's policy on Iraq and more coded statements implying that Labour should pay more attention to its working class base (she was first choice among members and second choice among MPs) it seems that she was given the edge over bookies' favourite Alan Johnson in the final round when the supporters of the most staunchly pro-union candidate Jon Cruddas (who came in at an impressive third place) gave the majority of their second preferences to Harman.

It's also nice to see the two candidates seen as most firmly of Blair's camp, Hain and Blears, come in in the last two places (although, God help me, I always quite like Hain on a personal level when I see him TV).

Of course the result makes little difference above signifying the mood of the party. Harman's record as Secretary of State for Social Security was one, as I recall, that was hardly covered in glory or left feminist policies and Brown has made it clear that the deputy leader has to be "clear what the policy is" and have "discipline" so we're unlikely to have a rogue wild eyed lefty stalking the corridors of power just yet.

It's still reasonably good news though - unless you're Blair or Brown that is.


weggis said...

Ms Harman is a prime example of the difference between being "educated" and being "intelligent". She will fit into the Nulab machine nicely.

a very public sociologist said...

Worryingly, I know what you mean about Hain.