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The Angry Men

Jean McNicol: Harriet Harman, 14 December 2017

A Woman’s Work 
by Harriet Harman.
Allen Lane, 405 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 0 241 27494 1
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The Women Who Shaped Politics 
by Sophy Ridge.
Coronet, 295 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 4736 3876 1
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... Harriet Harman​ doesn’t make being a female MP sound very appealing. She was first elected in 1982, long before that distant nirvana of ‘fifteen, ten years ago’ described by Michael Fallon, when trying to touch up young female researchers, lobby correspondents or political activists was ‘acceptable’, just harmless ‘flirtation ...


David Runciman: How the coalition was formed, 16 December 2010

22 Days in May: The Birth of the Lib Dem-Conservative Coalition 
by David Laws.
Biteback, 335 pp., £9.99, November 2010, 978 1 84954 080 3
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... he says at one point, when Laws tries to find some common ground on progressive taxation), Harriet Harman was distracted, Ed Balls was truculent. Worst of all was Ed Miliband, portrayed here as someone who seemed to think that the Labour Party should be above this sort of thing. 22 Days in May is a highly partisan account from an ardent supporter ...

Third Way, Old Hat

Ross McKibbin: Amnesia at the Top, 3 September 1998

... the point, the Labour Party did not like what he thought, which is, presumably, one of the reasons Harriet Harman was dismissed since she also was associated in the public mind with unthinkable policies. How far Field’s resignation means the end of the policies he was known to favour is uncertain, but it cannot have advanced them, or what purport to be ...

The Mess They’re In

Ross McKibbin: Labour’s Limited Options, 20 October 2011

... utter futility of all this. What good did ID cards, the now semi-illegal DNA database (about which Harriet Harman continued to dilate at the end of the Labour conference), the cameras and the whole paraphernalia of the security state do it? None: it darkened its good name. And I’d guess that to a large part of the public, the police today (or at any ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Anti-Socialism, 25 September 2003

... 1979. He was, for the first year of Blair’s Administration, the Minister for Welfare Reform in Harriet Harman’s DSS. Harman and Field didn’t get on very well, and both were anyway sacked after 15 months. Not being a minister has given the former Young Conservative more time for writing. His 24th book is ...

That Man Griffith

John Griffith, 25 October 1990

Lord Denning: A Biography 
by Edmund Heward.
Weidenfeld, 243 pp., £15, September 1990, 9780297811381
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... v Bradford); and on this occasion too, he admitted that he might have been wrong. When Harriet Harman of the NCCL allowed a reporter to see documents which had been read out in open court, Denning held that she was guilty of contempt of court. Subsequently the European Commission of Human Rights forced the Government into a retraction. Denning ...


Joanna Biggs: Abortion in Northern Ireland, 17 August 2017

... Irish feminists can’t rely on Westminster: many people reminded me of the moment in 2008 when Harriet Harman blocked a move to extend the 1967 act to Northern Ireland in order to gain votes from the DUP for 42-day detention of terrorism suspects. If it makes travel to England harder, Brexit will make access to abortion harder too. Irish customs ...


W.G. Runciman: Dining Out, 4 June 1998

... to be asked to take the job of Minister for Welfare Reform outside the Cabinet, to serve under Harriet Harman as Secretary of State. Frank is surely right to accept on that basis, even though he’s by now forgotten more about the details of the system than Harriet will ever learn, rather than consign himself to the ...

Making It

Melissa Benn: New Feminism?, 5 February 1998

Different for Girls: How Culture Creates Women 
by Joan Smith.
Chatto, 176 pp., £10.99, September 1997, 9780701165123
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The New Feminism 
by Natasha Walter.
Little, Brown, 278 pp., £17.50, January 1998, 0 316 88234 8
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A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States 
by Sheila Rowbotham.
Penguin, 752 pp., £20, June 1997, 0 670 87420 5
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... remains and New Labour women have stepped in to fill the vacuum. It is more likely to be Harriet Harman, Clare Short, Barbara Follett, the recently ennobled Helena Kennedy or even Cherie Booth, of whom the ‘ordinary woman’ will have heard and whom she will admire. As Joan Smith notes in Different for Girls, a collection of writings on women ...

Corbyn’s Progress

Tariq Ali, 3 March 2016

... Ed Miliband resigned immediately as leader following his defeat and the caretaker leader, Harriet Harman, decided not to oppose the Tories on the basic tenets of their austerity policies: she knew that a post-2015 Labour government would have done the same. The Labour Party that lost the election was conformist and visionless: it had forgotten ...

Yes, we have no greater authority

Dan Hawthorn: The constraints facing the new administration for London, 13 April 2000

... December. The huge room was packed with every kind of Labour supporter, although the local MPs – Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, Kate Hoey – were of the kind we’ve come to expect to reach the top ranks: well dressed, well spoken, university educated. The guests of honour were more than half an hour late – the school choir was forced to sing ‘Sloop ...

History of a Dog’s Dinner

Keith Ewing and Conor Gearty, 6 February 1997

... European Commission of Human Rights. One of these complaints was brought by Patricia Hewitt and Harriet Harman, and on that occasion the Government ‘without admitting as much, accepted ... a reasonable likelihood that the Security Service had compiled and retained information concerning their private lives’. In the absence of any evidence or ...

Don’t Look Down

Nicholas Spice: Dull Britannia, 8 April 2010

Family Britain 1951-57 
by David Kynaston.
Bloomsbury, 776 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 0 7475 8385 1
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... top and the bottom, but ‘the gap between the bottom and the middle’. Labour, in the person of Harriet Harman, expresses this slightly differently: we must not, she says, ‘return to the days when inequality was spiralling and where a tiny minority of the population got all the rewards’ (‘return’?); we must urgently address the ...

If It Weren’t for Charlotte

Alice Spawls: The Brontës, 16 November 2017

... else).The most significant book published to mark Charlotte’s 200th birthday was Claire Harman’s Life, the first serious new biography since Lyndall Gordon’s Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life in 1994 and Juliet Barker’s The Brontës from the same year (biographies seem to come in generational bursts). All writers on the Brontës now benefit ...

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