Reflecting on Harriet Harman’s protestations yesterday that she wasn’t about to challenge Gordon Brown, and was certain that he was the right man to lead the Labour Party and the country (I have paraphrased what she said, but the gist is there: see the BBC’s video clip) two thoughts came to mind,
the first is that if she really thinks that, she has anyway ruled herself out of contention, were he to go, on the basis of poor judgement; and
the second is that the information that the Daily Telegraph received (and that allowed it to splash the story on its front page) could only have come from the ‘She must be stopped at all costs’ faction withing the PLP, knowing that the revelation would force her to declare her undying loyalty to Brown.
Andrew Gimson’s blog on Telegraph.co.uk on Harriet Harman is excellent, but best was his comment in his parliamentary sketch in the paper, on Nick Clegg, everybody’s arsy 6th former,
“. . . who has made a laughing stock of himself by claiming, in a moment of madness, or possibly 30 moments of madness, to have slept with 30 women.”
It has been some time since a Liberal leader has felt the urge (wait for it) to stress his heterosexual credentials. My only thought, regarding Mr Clegg, was who was having the moment of madness.
First, what exactly did Peter Hain spend over a £100,000 on? Stamps? Helicopters? Lunches for friends? Brown envelopes? Hairdressing? Fake tan? The list is endless (and the truth likely to be just as bizarre). And secondly, if he has to go (and is there any alternative, although staying may give a new meaning to brazening it out), will Harriet Harman and Wendy Alexander be forced to follow suit? (Ben Brogan thought so early this afternoon; although his take on the story this evening was that “barring a bombshell, Mr Hain will carry on while the Parliamentary investigation runs its course. Mr Brown may then take the opportunity of his first reshuffle, after the May elections, to drop him from the Cabinet before the verdict comes in.” Read the whole post).