O f*!k its Harman said a party worker when Harriet Harman was elected. What does it matter compared with all the rest of the mismanagement and incompetence? asks Libby Purves. Brown’s Government has proved a flop even at cheating says Matthew Parris.
Now is a good time to recall the reaction of one party worker on the night Harriet Harman was elected deputy leader of the Labour Party.
The girl shown in the video clip Oh f*!k its Harman on Guy TV was speaking for many at the time, including, I suspect, Gordon Brown.
None of it matters very much, of course. “..a rich weirdo secretly gave money to help a couple of Labour anoraks beat each other to be the new John Prescott” said Libby Purves in the Times on 4 December (And now for the scandals that matter), before enumerating a few things (quite a few things actually) which mattered far more.
People care about daily life, their savings and the prudent spending of their taxes on services that work and are fair. So what has been really, deeply damaging to the Government has been — and continues to be — the evidence of incompetence.
She refers to the failure to count immigrant numbers, failure to plan for immigrant population growth, sloppy handling of private data and goes on
dirty hospitals, overcrowded schools that can’t afford to teach new children English, poor transport, harsh new curriculum rules, inadequate and insensitive policing and unnecessary prodnose laws concerning what three-year-olds must know, how rude we may be to one another, how many weeks we must wait for a Criminal Records Bureau “disclosure” before we can hire a playgroup assistant we have known for 20 years, and how much information about Auntie’s M&S shares we must divulge under Nolan rules before we sit on a parish council.
Beside all this – the sum total of bad government in matters big and small – Fluffikins Harman is indeed an irrelevance.
Meanwhile, in the Times on 1 December, Matthew Parris (They can’t even cook their own books) wonders at the a party which has proved a flop even at cheating.
He ends by saying
But for what noble end does Mr Brown’s Government exist? Where are those great missions in whose cause big men grow impatient of the proprieties? It isn’t, in the end, the lying and cheating I cannot forgive. It is the lying and cheating to no purpose beyond daily, weekly survival. When seized with some urgent national purpose, we may all be tempted to take short cuts. But Brown’s people are cutting corners with nowhere to go. That is the real tragedy.