Newspapers this morning are covering a sad story of total shame and humiliation far deeper than that following a football game in Belo Horizonte.
Labour’s Deputy leader Harriet Harman has finally exploded publicly with her rage at not having been appointed Deputy Prime Minister in 2009 by Gordon Brown when she was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Instead of respecting her election, Ms Harman says that Gordon Brown humiliated her by using her as ‘window dressing’ to entertain the wives of world leaders.
The Labour Deputy Leader has blown the whistle on rampant sexism within the Labour Party which has dogged her political life. Several of Tony Blair’s senior ministers were exposed as misogynists and Harriet Harman says it was not just institutional but personal:
“When I came back after having my first baby I was reported to the serjeant-at-arms for breaking the rules by taking my baby through the division lobby under my jacket. Of course I’d done no such thing – I was still fat from being pregnant. What made it worse was that it was obviously my own side. I told the whips I’d have to miss a vote because I was ill – with mastitis. And they put it in the papers.”
Gordon Brown’s Spin Doctor, Damien McBride, has sprung to his former boss’s defence, claiming that Harman’s being sidelined was because his former boss divided people into ”useless” and “non-useless”. This classification clearly places Harriet Harman in the category of being “more useless” than her predecessor in the Deputy Leader position, John Prescott, the former Labour parliamentary candidate for Southport. She was not given any of the top jobs in the Labour Cabinet but was appointed ‘Leader of the House of Commons’ which is generally considered as number 5 in the government minister rankings.
Ms Harman has also ‘upped the ante’ by saying publicly that she fully expects Labour’s present Leader Ed Miliband to appoint her as Deputy Prim Minister if Labour wins the next General Election.Miliband has, so far, been silent on this matter. Ms Harman has herself been accused, in the past, of pandering to sexism in the Labour Party. She supported her husband Jack Dromey in his successful campaign to become an Labour candidate in the safe seat of Birmingham Erdington in 2010 when selection in a number of seats was delayed by the organisers to avoid all-women short-lists which was official Labour policy..
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