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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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... HarrietHarman​ 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 ...

Third Way, Old Hat

Ross McKibbin: Amnesia at the Top

3 September 1998
... at thinking. A more likely explanation is that he did think the unthinkable; and, when it came to the point, the Labour Party did not like what he thought, which is, presumably, one of the reasons HarrietHarman 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 ...

The Mess They’re In

Ross McKibbin: Labour’s Limited Options

20 October 2011
... Labour would support our ‘crime-fighting heroes’. The Labour Party has never understood the utter futility of all this. What good did ID cards, the now semi-illegal DNA database (about which HarrietHarman 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 ...

Look…

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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... didn’t seem that interested. Peter Mandelson was detached (‘Surely the rich have suffered enough,’ he says at one point, when Laws tries to find some common ground on progressive taxation), HarrietHarman 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 ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Anti-Socialism

25 September 2003
... Frank Field has been Birkenhead’s MP since 1979. He was, for the first year of Blair’s Administration, the Minister for Welfare Reform in HarrietHarman’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 Neighbours from ...

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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... Jardine, have climbed the academic ladder. Even so, the shortage of media stars, as opposed to commentators, remains and New Labour women have stepped in to fill the vacuum. It is more likely to be HarrietHarman, 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 ...

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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... of a student from a teacher training college despite the most flagrant breaches of natural justice (Ward v Bradford); and on this occasion too, he admitted that he might have been wrong. When HarrietHarman 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 ...

Diary

Joanna Biggs: Abortion in Northern Ireland

16 August 2017
... England from Northern Ireland will be paid for, and whether travel costs will be reimbursed. Northern Irish feminists can’t rely on Westminster: many people reminded me of the moment in 2008 when HarrietHarman 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 ...
3 March 2016
... is not a cause for celebration; whatever else it may be, this is clearly not a representative democracy. Ed Miliband resigned immediately as leader following his defeat and the caretaker leader, HarrietHarman, 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 ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: Dining Out

4 June 1998
... it 5 May 1997. Frank Field describes being rung up from Downing Street in the aftermath of the election to be asked to take the job of Minister for Welfare Reform outside the Cabinet, to serve under HarrietHarman 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 ...

Yes, we have no greater authority

Dan Hawthorn: The constraints facing the new administration for London

13 April 2000
... Blair and Kinnock were the main attractions at a question and answer session held in Brixton in December. The huge room was packed with every kind of Labour supporter, although the local MPs – HarrietHarman, 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 ...

History of a Dog’s Dinner

Keith Ewing and Conor Gearty

6 February 1997
... that the procedures in the 1989 Act fell short of the demands of the Convention were rejected by the European Commission of Human Rights. One of these complaints was brought by Patricia Hewitt and HarrietHarman, 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 ...

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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... say that it isn’t the gap between the top and the middle that matters, or even the gap between the top and the bottom, but ‘the gap between the bottom and the middle’. Labour, in the person of HarrietHarman, 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 ...

If It Weren’t for Charlotte

Alice Spawls: The Brontës

16 November 2017
... fictionalised biographical accounts, Brontë A-Zs (which one presumably needs to make sense of everything 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 ...

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