Harriet Harman’s diary: the joys of being a former acting leader

A piece published on the website of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the political party of which I’m the chairman, in November 2015:

I’ve just started a subscription to The Spectator, and the hard copy arrived this morning. I opened it at random, and was aghast to find this on p.11. Excerpts:

Mornings are transformed now that I am no longer acting leader. I lie in bed listening to Today — hoping Labour’s argument will triumph, but glad not to be the one to make it. Instead of sweating over preparation for Prime Minister’s Questions, I tweet pictures of my kittens…

Off to the Southwark remembrance service in Borough High Street. Like most MPs I go to our local ceremony every year and value highly the moment of reflection and contemplation. But one particularly freezing November when we were standing there before the silence, with an icy wind whipping round, I moaned to Tessa Jowell, my fellow Southwark MP, that my feet and hands were numb with the cold. ‘But think,’ she said, ‘how much colder it was for the soldiers in the trenches.’ [No comment from Harman on Jowell’s statement. She can’t even bring herself to write one sentence expressing sympathy for those courageous men.]

She left the Commons in May and this Sunday was the first time in over 20 years that we didn’t stand next to each other during the silence. I really miss her. People still muddle us up, but I’m happy to have well-wishers come up and congratulate me on bringing the Olympics to London. [Typical of Harman – when she’s not accepting responsibility for her mistakes, she’s happy to take credit for others’ work.]

After the service, there is a meeting of Camberwell and Peckham Labour party women members. [We can safely assume there’s no equivalent meeting of ‘men members’, even on Remembrance Day]. Nationally, there’s a clean sweep of men in the top positions now: Labour leader, deputy leader, general secretary, NEC chair, London mayoral candidate… Once again, time to step up our efforts to insist women get an equal say. [Yes, because all-women shortlists aren’t enough of an assault on meritocracy. Surprisingly, the daft bat isn’t complaining about all the parties in Scotland being led by women today. A ‘clean sweep of women’ is perfectly acceptable, clearly…].

On p.45 we find Julie Burchill’s contribution to the ‘Books of the Year’ section.

Why is Fraser Nelson, the Editor, assaulting a new subscriber in this manner? Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

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