Status anxiety

What’s happened to Harriet Harman?

Watching her on Newsnight, I feared for her mental health

1 March 2014

9:00 AM

1 March 2014

9:00 AM

Watching Harriet Harman being interviewed by Laura Kuenssberg on Newsnight earlier this week was a strange experience. I felt as if I’d entered a political twilight zone where nothing was quite as it seemed. Was the deputy leader of the Labour party really saying these things? I knew she was, but it seemed so miscalculated — so unwise — it was as if Harman’s body had been taken over by someone else. A mischievous political demon, perhaps. Or Lynton Crosby. The entire interview was like a nine-minute party political broadcast for the Conservative party.

By my count, Kuenssberg gave Harman five chances to admit that it had been a mistake for the National Council of Civil Liberties to grant ‘affiliate’ status to the Paedophile Information Exchange, a notorious lobby group that campaigned for the age of consent to be lowered to the age of four, and five times she refused. Why?

Harman’s argument was that, as a matter of policy, the NCCL didn’t bother to vet any group or individual that applied to join. Indeed, there doesn’t appear to have been a formal application process. Any group willing to pay the membership fee could ‘affiliate’ with the NCCL. As the legal officer, she had no say in the matter.

But as Kuenssberg pointed out, the NCCL could have expelled the PIE once it had come to light that a group actively campaigning to legalise sex between adults and children had joined the organisation. And yet it chose not to. Wasn’t that a mistake?

Even if that wasn’t possible — Harman muttered something about policy being dictated by the ‘annual general meeting’ — couldn’t she have resigned? I like to think that if I discovered an organisation I was helping to run had been infiltrated by paedophiles, and there was no mechanism for getting rid of them, I’d resign. But Harman didn’t. Wasn’t that a mistake?

Finally, while Harman was the NCCL’s legal officer, she campaigned for sentences against convicted paedophiles to be ‘reduced’ and argued that people found in possession of pictures of naked children should only be prosecuted if it could be proved that the children in question had been ‘harmed’. Wasn’t that a ‘mistake’, given that her salary was being paid in part by a group of active paedophiles?

No, no, five times no. Je ne regrette rien.

To be fair, Harman did express ‘regret’ the following day, by which time it had dawned on her (I imagine) that this interview was an unmitigated disaster. But why was she so unapologetic in the first place? What was she thinking?

It wasn’t just me who was astonished by her performance on Newsnight. A few minutes afterwards, I got a call from a senior BBC news producer who was equally gobsmacked. And this was someone who was broadly sympathetic to the Labour deputy leader. ‘Why didn’t she just admit it was a mistake, apologise, and draw a line under the story?’ she said. ‘It was one of the most bizarre interviews I’ve ever seen.’

The best explanation we could come up with is that her judgment was clouded by her visceral hatred of the Daily Mail, which had been taunting Harman, along with her husband Jack Dromey and colleague Patricia Hewitt, with successive front-page stories on the subject. During the Newsnight interview, and the following day, Harman tried to turn the tables on the Mail, demanding that it should apologise to her and accusing it of hypocrisy when it comes to the sexualisation of children. To prove her point, she even tweeted a picture that had run in the Mail of three young girls in bikinis.

But this just compounded the error. Was Harman really suggesting that running a picture of a scantily clad 12-year-old girl was morally equivalent to the activities of a group of active paedophiles? If so, her internal compass is even more skewwhiff than the Newsnight interview suggested. It’s as though she has a moral blind spot, cannot see the full horror of the group the NCCL was linked with. Maybe some part of her won’t allow her to see it because she knows her conscience wouldn’t be able to cope.

By the time this article appears, Harman may well have issued a full apology. I hope she has because I’m genuinely concerned for her mental health. If she remains unrepentant and continues to shoot the messenger, I fear she may go completely mad. Whatever happens, she should steer well clear of Newsnight for the foreseeable future.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Toby Young is associate editor of  The Spectator.

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Show comments
  • WorthSayingAgain

    Harman had to pretend she knew nothing because she fears what’s coming next regarding PIE and the Westminster bubble and wants to be distanced from it. She can’t draw a line as she fears there is more to come.

    She expressed no personal regret. She expressed regret for an association made by NCCL.

    It is a very carefully thought out strategy using repetition of, at times, carefully precise and, at other times, carefully ambiguous language. That’s why she wont do conversational ‘sofa’ interviews and sends Jowell instead.

    But Harman is ultimately a third rate barrister promoted beyond her ability. Expect her to come unstuck.

    • realfish

      Harman has been coming unstuck for years but has managed to cling-on, gaffe after gaffe.

      Sadly she is the beneficiary of a sexual politics that she has latched on to and which has elevated her, no matter how unworthy she is, to iconic status in the Labour movement. Despite her arrogance, her sneering condescension, her appalling judgement, her hypocrisy and lack of competence, she has made herself almost untouchable.

  • Earthenware

    Nothing can change the fact that she wrote that submission to Parliament.

    This is just another case of a politician prepared to plumb the depths in order to try to save their career.

    Ghastly as the likes of Yeo and Mellor were, lining one’s pockets and committing adultery are nothing compared to defending child sexual abuse.

    What I don’t understand is how Miliband can defend her. Does he not see how dreadful this is? Is he allowing his hatred to the Daily Mail to convince him that the documentation does not exist? Even when she doesn’t deny that she wrote it?

    • sarah_13

      Miliband defends her because like many on the left (some had integrity in the labour party but they are now a dying breed) they feel themselves to be morally superior, especially to the daily mail. They don’t actually care about the consequences of giving a platform to peadophiles and the consequences for children at that time. Harman is arrogant and always has been. What shines through in this is that the left think themselves beyond reproach, whatever they do, whatever errors they make its all ok for them to make them because they are in the right and thus have no need to account for their actions. They ally themselves with all kinds of awful people and appear to have no judgement whatsoever, and when they are asked to answer a question they will only do so if they like who asks it. If anything exemplifies why the labour party are not fit for government or for any positions of responsibility this does. If they were in power today with their hacked of buddies and their anti-free press legislation, this story would not have seen the light of day; a call to the editor with a threat of litigation which, win or lose, the costs would be paid for by the paper.

      • Rex Ironsmith

        Completely agree about the Left’s mistaken belief in its moral superiority and its “the ends justify the means” attitude.

        Since Harman appears to be in complete denial here, what I would like to see is Ed Miliband put on the spot –

        “Mr Miliband, having offered your Deputy Leader your full support are you saying that if you discovered that the organisation in which you were working were actively campaigning on behalf of known paedophiles, that you would not resign from such an organisation? Yes or No?”

    • GW74

      who has been defending child sexual abuse?

  • AGL

    I wonder if some of you so close to politics and the particular ndividuals are missing something here about how various personalities appear to Jane and Joe public.

    I too watched the interview. I groaned at her performance and muttered at the TV; but I was not the least surprised . Her comments, behaviour and style seemed to me absolutely in character —as I have interpreted it observing and listening to her on TV and radio, and reading her in print, perhaps compounded with the particularly strong emotions she understandably had—the Daily Mail were undoubtedly trying to smear her and by association Labour, but she did and does have some questions to answer more cadidly and contritely than she has so far.

    I was thus particularly struck by the comments in an article by Alison Pearson in The Telegraph which I came across yesterday:

    Harriet reacted in the way so perfectly captured by Lynn Barber in her classic 1998 Observer interview. “She can’t really see why anyone has the right to ask, let alone know, any more than she chooses to tell them,” said Barber, who detected in Harman a “damn-you-for-your-impudence attitude”.

    To be dull and defensive is acceptable in a politician. To be high and mighty is not. Springing to his deputy’s defence, Ed Miliband protested: “Harriet has always been on the right side of these kind of things.”

    She hasn’t, actually. But she is of a political ilk that believes that everything you think and do is self-evidently virtuous.

    I was also struck elsewhere by the thought that she is not alone in this behaviour of those caught up in the issue. Anna Coote (ex NCCL committee meber I think) said in an interview, defending HH, “we had more important things to do”. With hindsight that is not correct.

    I regret that all this, given the way it has been handled by HH and others, directs so much attention to the old NCCL and those people, in a week when Liberty should be able to celebrate with pride its 80th anniversary. Its current director has displayed yet again the empathetic touch, humility and authentic response that makes her so sure-footed and popular, and others less so!

    • WorthSayingAgain

      ‘Its current director has displayed yet again the empathetic touch, humility and authentic response’

      Not true. Chacrabati claims that pedophiles ‘infiltrated’ the NCCL. That is not the case. Pedophiles were invited to join the NCCL. The NCCL even advertised for members in the Pedophile Information Exchanges Magpie magazine.

      • jpz70

        Perhaps such invitations in Magpie were placed as a result of infiltration, and the very existence of such invitations is proof-positive of said infiltration?

        I can’t see that your argument holds any water at all.

        • WorthSayingAgain

          Infiltration? It was called the ‘Pedophile Information Exchange’. Hardly an undetected membership.

          • jpz70

            That’s a different argument – the usage of the word “infiltrate.”

            I can see where this is going, so I’ll leave you to it.

        • Andy

          There was no ‘infiltration’. As I understand it affiliate status was granted after approval by a Committee of the NCCL.

          • WorthSayingAgain

            Almost certain the chairman at the time was Sir Henry Hodge, husband of Margaret Hodge, of Islington care homes sex scandal fame.

          • Andy

            Go read the Daily Mail today. Article by Leo McKinstry. In this he says that there is documentary evidence that the PIE was invited to affiliate with NCCL.

          • Holly

            Ah! That is what Mr Holly has been trying to tell me about.

      • RobertC

        You mean this Chakrabarti and this ‘Liberty’?
        “On 27 July 2012, Shami Chakrabarti was one of eight Olympic Flag carriers dressed in white at the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, erroneously described as, “the founder of Liberty.”

        I suppose it continues the traditions of the Ancient Greeks in more ways than intended!

    • gelert

      Daddy was a Harley Street consultant,as was grandpa. That’s probably where the arrogance comes from.

      • GW74

        or the intelligence

  • Stuart Barstow

    Why bring this up now?

    You all know where the REAL story is and it’s all a matter for the Conservative Party and it goes to the very top.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “You all know where the REAL story is”

      We don’t, so explain.

  • granscirefusenik

    So as the legal officer what was she actually FOR?

    It’s like a Chartered Accountant working for Robert Maxwell disclaiming knowledge and reponsibility for what he did with the pension fund.

    He or she would have resigned to save their career as soon as impropriety came to light.

    She’s a barrister isn’t she? What have the Bar Council to say about this?

  • granscirefusenik

    When are the stupid left going to own up that facts are facts regardless of who reports them and they cannot just keep relying on smokescreens?

    They have used exactly the same tactics over immigration.

    If it appears in the Mail it must be “scaremongering”. They deserve a complete and utter skewering for decades of the same brand of dishonesty.

    • gelert

      The standard position with regard to the DM, from the left, is:

      You can’t believe anything you read in it. This in a country with the strictest libel laws in the world and Hacked-Off itching to bring it down.

      It’s a nasty paper and all they do is smear people.

      • Andy

        Then let the silly bitch sue. She wont because she doesn’t have a case. Everything the Daily Mail has printed is true, properly researched and sourced.

        • gelert

          Read my post again and I think you will see that we are in agreement.

          • Holly

            I reckon the disgust and anger in this nasty affair is making many reply comments appear hostlile even if in agreement.
            It also pains me to say it, but Harman will still be around this time next year, and will fight tooth & nail any attempt, by anyone, to get rid of her.
            She genuinely can not comprehend how anyone dare question her actions/behaviour, past or present, and that is why she is so unfit to hold any position of power.

          • Andy

            Go read the Daily Mail today. There is a lot more and many more implicated in all of this. But the head of the evil Harman will do very nicely.

          • Holly

            I do not buy newspapers….BUT….
            I might just peruse a few tomorrow, in the local cafe, over a full English & a mug of tea.

          • GW74

            and a pitchfork? or will you go for burning torch?

          • Holly

            I have just read the on-line version.
            I find it all quite distressing really.
            A lot of bods reached a lot of high places.
            Also a lot of trying to mix gay and lesbian issues in with child sex abuse.
            They are two completely different things.

            I can not help wondering about how the victims in all this are feeling, reading about the high profile positions many PIE ‘supporters’ hold/held.

            My head is going to blow up, got to leave this for a while as I find it all too much to take in.

            I also doubt I will be perusing any newspapers tomorrow, as it is more sickening than before.

          • Andy

            I think the article, which is very well written and very well researched, makes it clear that the PIE were INVITED to join NCCL: they didn’t divi up £50, join and there was nothing anyone could do about it. So Harman is a liar. What seems to come across is that many of these figures on the left didn’t oppose PIE but said nothing or colluded with PIE. There are huge questions to be answered here.

            And it is amazing that people like Harman seem to think this is a ‘smear’. A smear is an untruth like so many of the left did to poor old Lord McAlpine. No wonder, when he walked into The Wolsey, everyone stood up and applauded.

          • GW74

            The PIE joined the NCCL in 1976. Harman joined in 1978. OK you go.

          • Andy

            So she joined an organisation which was happy to be affiliated to, and welcomed pedophiles ? While she was employed by said organisation it continued to embrace pedophiles, and they were still there when she moved on – they remained for a year after. She never thought it was inappropriate for her to be associated with pedos ? She never objected to their presence, deluging the Executive Committee with memos demanding they be thrown out ? And now, and now all she can say this is a ‘smear’? Not one word the Daily Mail has published is a smear: it is all facts.

          • GW74

            put the pitchfork down, Holly!

          • Airey Belvoir

            Lefty thinking process at NCCL: “This PIE lot who are cosying up to us are a bit dodgy – oh, but hang on, they all seem to be gay men, so they must be supported, whatever.”

          • GW74

            “evil” LOL. WITCH WITCH BURN HER BURN HER!

        • GW74

          “silly bitch”. Yup cool, why not add sexist and misogynistic aggression to the mix and make it the full medieval-style witch-hunt.

          • gerontius

            There is no witch-hunt, Harman is simply being exposed for what she is.

          • GW74

            which is what? something you and a braying mob of other Daily Mail readers have whipped yourself up into a frenzy of certainty and vengeance that she’s A WITCH! BURN HER BURN HER!

            believing you have “exposed” someone for “what they are”. which is what? “evil”, “guilty”, based on spurious, circumstantial slivers of whispers and… nothing. oh sorry. that’s the definition of a witch-hunt. oops.

          • Ridcully

            Give it a rest, Jack.

          • GW74

            go f- yourself, Bob.

          • Ridcully

            You’re actually sitting at your pc waiting for people to comment just so you can get your rebuttal in straight away. How many hours have you sat there doing this?

          • GW74

            on you jog

          • gerontius

            I am not a Daily Mail reader: I used to be a supporter of the Labour Party when that party had high moral standards (it used to, believe it or not).
            I am not in a frenzy, though you appear to be.

          • GW74

            you’re missing the point.

          • logdon

            And you are a frothing mentalist.

          • GW74

            insulting me will not win you any argument,

          • gerontius

            What point might that be?

          • GW74

            the point I made in my previous comment. it’s right there, above.

  • General_Patten

    Well done the Daily Mail for exposing what a nasty piece of work this awful women is. The BBC have let her off lightly. Imagine if it was a UKIP politician. They would of destroyed her.

    • Shazza

      Or Conservative.

    • Aled Lumley

      It’s laughable really, if a Labour MP does anything bad, the headline will come somewhere near the bottom and usually describe them as a “Former MP”, or perhaps if you read to the very bottom of the article it will say John Doe, Labour MP.

      If it’s a conservative or UKIP member – it’s story #1 in big bold font and the very first word is usually TORY MP’s COUSIN’S WIFE SHOPLIFTED AS A CHILD. WHAT DID HE KNOW? Or UKIP RACIST RANT.

      There comes a point, where you just wonder whether it is entirely safe for such a large public organisation to be quite this biased. They’ve pretty much given Harman a free ride on this one – as if the Daily Mail should apologise for noticing the links. I imagine they’ll tokenly print a brief carefully worded apology eventually, with no wording of the Labour party.

      It makes the case whether if a public body is allowed to be so politically biased – could not the conservative party file for damages. The willingness is there, if only you study the manner and tone of how political news is reported you will definitely find a correlation. It’s a shame – relatively mild moderate centre-right candidates are given a horrendous time – while raving batshit crazy leftwingers who are no use to society are paraded as heroes. There are of course very rational moderate left leaning persons… just to balance my rant 😉

      • gelert

        The Labour Party, the BBC and the Grauniad were hijacked by the bien-pensant about forty years ago, Their pernicious idiocy keeps growing. They are against most things the British people have stood for. Scum really is an appropriate word for them.

        • GW74

          conspiracies everywhere! Meanwhile the Daily Mail is… what, precisely?

          • Holly

            The Daily Mail is…Publishing a news article, that other publications have also run as well, about a group of child abusers in cahoots with an organisation which included one of today’s top brass in the Labour party.
            Now call me whatever you like, but the sorry fact that Harman, Dromey and Hewitt did not put a million miles between themselves and these low life’s, at the time, just about sums up the character and arrogance of these Labour bods.

            I hope any of the children abused by these PIE low life’s have the courage to come forward, and explain to the un-apologetic Harman just how ‘harmful’ their abuse was.
            Maybe then this silly excuse of a woman will finally ‘get it’, and apologise PROPERLY!

            Harman twisting this into a yarn about the Daily Mail trying to ‘smear’ her, and her twisted sense of injustice, just goes to show how she looks on the public, and those children in peril at the time, with utter contempt.

          • GW74

            Think more broadly. What is the Daily Mail overall? Complete the following sentence “The Daily Mail is…” “Throughout its history the Daily Mail has been shown to be…”

            Then repeat exercise, replacing “Daily Mail” with “Labour Party”

          • mandelson

            Try it with Daily Mail and Steven Lawrence.

          • GW74

            which part of “think more broadly” do you not understand?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Thinking “more broadly” to you actually means thinking more narrowly in conformity to Labour party dogma and de-legitimising anything that does not conform to your world view. You are most what you profess to despise. Narrow-minded bigots who do not and will not contemplate alternative viewpoints and who ‘Labour’ under the massive self delusion that they are always right.

          • GW74

            no, thinking more broadly means thinking more broadly. how, precisely am I a bigot? you remind me of Godfrey Bloom booming “that’s racist you’re a disgrace!” when asked by a C4 reporter why there no non-white faces in their manifesto. grow up.

          • Colonel Mustard

            You remind me of umpteen lefty bigots droning on here there and elsewhere.

            Tired of the left. Tired of the causes of the left. Tired of the clichés of the left.

          • GW74

            none of which is actual reasoned argument.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Who said anything about ‘reasoned argument’? Only you. Why should I engage with the likes of you on your terms when all you spout is the predictable bilge of presumed lefty moral superiority – a tedious cliché.

            No conservative can engage in reasoned argument with the likes of you and the ghastly left. Anything we might write or say will just be twisted, manipulated and misrepresented to reinforce your own self-delusions.

            You types, who have lied, subverted, dissembled and propagandised your way to power by the most deceitful, nefarious means possible, engage against ‘reasoned argument’. Don’t make me laugh you stupid little boy.

          • GW74

            so you don’t think reasoned argument is the only valid basis for a discussion. keep talking genius.

            “when your enemy is making a mistake, no not interrupt them”.

            insulting me and making accusations without evidence or reasoning will not win you any argument. in fact it is a good indicator you have lost.

          • Kennie

            how broad is this, just Google Labour25.
            Read it and look at the photo on the right hand side.

          • GW74

            I will not be googling anything at your behest. if you have a point to make, make it here in full.

          • logdon

            And now the girly foot stamping.

          • GW74

            excuse me?

          • logdon

            Which part of ‘think’ do you not understand?

          • GW74

            I understand all of it perfectly.

          • Colonel Mustard

            So because the Daily Mail is a “bad thing” that means any badness it draws attention to can be ignored? Isn’t that the standard prim Labour party cant whenever their many misdemeanours, crimes, lies, double standards and hypocrisies are reported?

            You people really are hilarious in your shallow one-sideness – and you complain about the Daily Mail?

          • GW74

            why is bad thing in inverted commas? you think the Daily Mail is a good thing?

            Occasionally the Daily Mail does something right. A broken clock tells the correct time twice a day. Most of the time the Daily Mail is odious, prejudiced and damaging. Most of the time Labour is a force for good.

          • Holly

            Come on then…What ‘good’ has thirteen years of Labour achieved for the country?
            Upped state hand outs and side lined the working class?
            Upped immigration so those side lined were no longer needed?… until election day,of course, when Labour would spin their tales of how the ‘evil’ Tories would cut their state hand out, and working class Brits would have to re- enter British society, and work?
            Crashed the economy?
            Wrecked working class pensions?
            Made more law abiding people law breakers?
            Corrupt officials?
            Smear campaigns against their own?
            Wrecked the education of an entire generation?
            Police questioning Blair?
            MP’s expenses system?
            Banking regulations?
            What do you honestly think Labour did that was beneficial to Britain???
            The clean-up after the last corrupt Labour lot will take at least twenty years.

          • GW74

            now open your other eye and look at the good things they did, and the damage the Tories are doing now with austerity.


          • Holly

            Increased state handouts.
            Created an underclass
            Widened the state handout ‘safety net’ to middle classes
            Lowered education standards so no one ‘failed’
            Let Campbell & Mandelson run the PR.
            Let Bozo become leader with no contest.
            Let Bozo remain Chancellor
            Let police become MORE corrupt, and simply switched the Home Secretary, to teach them a lesson….
            Closing my ‘other eye’ again now…Seen quite enough thank you.

          • GW74

            by “state handouts” you mean “welfare. Net 7.5bn less in 2010 than 1997, all progressive.


            There has always been an “underclass” (not working or seeking work). it’s size was flat from 1997-2010. Thanks to austerity, bedroom tax and VAT rise and overall regressive tax regime, it is now increasing.

            point 3 meaninglessly vague.

            education standards did not lower. grade inflation was identical before 97.

            Campbell was a PR genius, Mandelson the greatest politician of this generation. Ask any Tory.

            Calling someone “Bozo” is not an argument.

            Our police are among the least corrupt in the world. Please provide evidence that it became more corrupt under labour.

            I meant stop being myopic and biased by seeing the good Labour did and checking the actual facts to see whether you are right about the bad. You have not done this. you can’t close an eye you haven’t opened yet.

          • beeds

            Vat rise was labour
            Coalition increased income tax threshold to £10k

          • GW74

            the VAT was lowered by Labour to 15% in Dec 08. back to 17.5 Jan 2010. raised to 20% by Osborne Jan 2011.

            The threshold increases necessarily because of inflation. That was a Lib Dem thing. I am an instinctive Lib Dem.

          • beeds

            Yes I’m not good at the facts stuff as it turns out! Could’ve sworn it was Darling.
            £10k threshold is a raise in real terms, i.e. above inflation.

          • steve

            We need austerity you fool or do you suggest we keep spending money we don’t have?

          • GW74

            calling me a fool will not win you any argument. read this:


            also, “spending money we don’t have” is what the government bond market is, because tax receipts never perfectly match spending requirements. that is how every government on this planet works. the trick is to shape the economy in such a way which minimises the money it needs to borrow and provides the money it needs – in the long term. Investing in infrastructure can generate more money from jobs and tax receipt than it costs to borrow the money to build it. Not doing so can mean less jobs and tax receipts are generated in the long term. google “economics”.

          • Shazza

            Repeat the mantra – Labour – The Party of Mass Destruction.

            Never, ever, forget this.

          • GW74

            you are literally suggesting we ignore actual facts and brainwash ourselves. brilliant.

          • Tom M

            Music music. Keep telling GW74 louder louder.

          • GW74

            wtf are you on about?

          • Colonel Mustard

            “Most of the time Labour is a force for good.

            Ha ha.

          • GW74

            the second part of your comment seems to be missing. the part with the reasoning.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I have had a lifetime of reasoning to arrive at my view of Labour. Decades of which occurred before you were even born. In fact the year that you were born I had been putting myself in harm’s way for my country for many a long year.

            So no clever patronising from you, lefty. You are part of this country’s problem not any solution.

          • GW74

            good for you. I have served in the TA. that comment contains no actual reasoning, and insulting me will not win you any argument.

          • beeds

            This is irrelevant. And pompous.

          • GW74

            what is? declaring something to be irrelevant and pompous without reasoning or evidence does not make it so. How and why is it irrelevant and pompous?

          • beeds

            The nature of the Daily Mail is irrelevant to the discussion of Harman’s association with PIE.
            Repeatedly telling people to “think more broadly” is pompous.

          • GW74

            where did I say it was? I am simply weighing up net positive contribution to society of Harman vs. Mail.

            Still declaring it is pompous. still not explaining how and why it is pompous, or even why it is relevant t even discuss whether it is pompous. how about focusing on whether it is right or wrong to think more broadly?

          • beeds

            Sorry for delay in replying. Been busy.
            The nature of the discussion has nothing to do with me, it’s Toby Young’s blog.
            You’re the one who wants to change the discussion to the nature of the Daily Mail. Bit of projection perhaps?
            I can see you’re a bit upset by my saying that your manner is pompous. Sorry about that.
            No I don’t think it’s right to “think more broadly”. It’s irrelevant, it’s another discussion. I’m sure you’re right about the nature of the Daily Mail. But it has nothing to do with NCCL and PIE.

          • GW74

            The nature of the discussion is wherever I choose to take it, as long as it is not off-topic. This is not off-topic because the topic if Harriet Harman vs. the Daily Mail.

            How is telling people to think more broadly “pompous”, particularly when people are thinking extremely narrowly? it is a perfectly valid line of argument, and calling it “pompous” does not prove that it is not a valid line of argument. try standing up in court and accusing the prosecution of being “pompous” and see how far it gets you.

            Of course it is relevant. The Daily Mail is the messenger. The Daily Mail has cooked up a story about Harman due to spurious circumstantial whispers about nothing she directly did. Of course it is relevant. Think back to GCSE history: primary evidence, secondary evidence, quality of sources etc. Also, my comments are not directly about the article really. they are about the witch-hunting drivel of below-the-line bandwagon-jumpers like you standing in judgement over Harman and concluding she is evil. That is why I am asking you to think more broadly. Take a step back, look at what Harman has actually done, and compare with what the Daily Mail has actually done.

          • beeds

            Sorry but just couldn’t let “I am weighing up net positive contribution to society of Harman vs. Mail” go. This is the most pompous thing you’ve written so far. If my “declaration” of pompous confuses you, look it up in a dictionary!

          • GW74

            declaring something to be pompous without providing reasoning does not make it pompous. HOW and WHY is it pompous?

            Why would I need to look it up in a dictionary. I know the definition of pompous. the problem isn’t the definition of pompous but the nature of valid debate. look up “debate” in a dictionary!

          • beeds

            Then you should know that you’re pompous.
            An inflated sense of self-importance: telling others how they should be thinking; making grandiose statements like “I am weighing up the net positive contribution to society of Harman vs Mail”; or condescending ones like “take your medicine”. As you say, right or wrong it doesn’t add to the discussion. It would be an ad hominem I suppose.
            Speaking of which so is questioning the nature of the Mail when the point of the blog is about Harman, NCCL and PIE. As you say, the Mail is the messenger. You don’t advocate “shooting the messenger” do you?
            If you choose the topic of the discussion then of course you’re going to be on-topic. But it begs the question no?
            Getting back to an inflated sense of self-importance, how about “This is not a narrow discussion of just that, just because you say it is” vs “The nature of the discussion is wherever I choose to take it” as an example?

            No I don’t think Harman is evil. But, and although I don’t subscribe to its politics, I don’t think the Mail is evil either.
            When I said that Harman should admit the mistake I’d read the article and therefore knew that she had expressed regret. But she didn’t admit to her making a mistake. On that point I was not wrong. The genius comment was unnecessary.
            If I say ” I regret to inform you that your son is dead” does it inherently imply a mistake has been made?

          • GW74

            “I am weighing up the net positive contribution to society of Harman vs Mail” is not a grandiose statement. it is just a statement. grow up. look up “grandiose” in a dictionary.

            Who said anything about “condescending”? Condescending is different from pompous. I am condescending to you because you are attempting to lecture me about the meaning of words, while demonstrably not knowing the meaning of words yourself, because you are misusing them in the ways I explained: therefore when I correct you irrefutably, take your medicine.

            No, “This is not a narrow discussion of just that, just because you say it is” vs “The nature of the discussion is wherever I choose to take it” is not inflated self-importance, it is a statement of my rights in a free society to engage in open debate. It is inflated self-importance on your part to think you can lecture me about the terms of this free and open debate.

            Well I think the Mail is evil, for the reasons I have stated in myriad comments on this thread. what is your response to those reasons? baldly declaring you think it is not evil without justification is not an argument.

            What mistake did she make? Patricia Hewitt made a mistake for which she apologised. Harman’s organisation has made mistakes for which she has expressed regret.

            No “I regret to inform you that your son is dead” does not imply a mistake has been made and is a completely different usage of the word “regret”.

          • logdon

            ‘A broken clock tells the correct time twice a day’.

            Did you think that one up all by yourself?

          • GW74


          • Cyril Sneer


          • GW74

            thanks. you instantly lose.

          • Tom M

            We’re not talking about “most of the time” we are talking about one time in particular.
            The absolute cant of these people defies description. To a man (or woman) they waded in against Jimmy Savile et al and their activities with young girls.
            How they managed to square that with their knowledge that had they suceeded in their campaign with PIE to lower the age of consent then Savile would only have been doing what the NCCL campaigned for is a complete logical mystery to me.

          • GW74

            who is “we”? I was talking about most of the time.

          • steve

            I agree they’re good for nothing

          • David Prentice

            I wouldn’t bother arguing with it, Mustard, it’s clearly a dull-witted Labour/BBC apparatchik. Speaking of, have you seen the BBC slyly trying to hide the grants it receives from the EU? It now takes an FOI request to uncover the supranational organisations that fund the rotten thing…unbelievable!


          • Holly

            You may like to do the same when deciding whether Harman & Co should have continued being associated with a bunch of child sex offenders.
            This is NOT about how ‘mean’ the Daily Mail is being to Harman, even though she, in her lofty arrogance, would like us all to think it is, and SHAME on those also trying to take that stance!

            This IS about an organisation, (PIE) given far too much credence by another organisation, that had several of today’s top Labour bods in it’s ranks, and the disgusting way one of them…Harman…thinks she did nothing wrong by continuing to include PIE in the organisation she was VOLUNTARY! a part of.
            It is about HER judgement, and what SHE was willing to go along with or allow.

            Those who make out paedophilia was somehow ‘tolerated’ back in the ’70’s, are also defending the indefensible.

          • GW74

            That is what I am doing: thinking more broadly, thinking about what she actually did, and what good she has done overall as a politician, rather than shrieking and ululating and writing lots of words in capitals because she’s been caught out regarding somewhere she worked briefly in the 1970s which was nothing to do with anything she directly did.

            pipe down.

          • Holly

            Maybe we should all just ‘draw a line’ under it.
            No harm done eh?
            No moral issues to see here…Move along.
            That is exactly what Harman wants us to do….And YOU think it okay to allow her to take no responsibility for what she and other LABOUR bods could have stopped.

            They tried to mix child sex abuse in with legislation being mulled over for gay and lesbian issues…
            Now maybe I’m an old fuddy duddy, but I find it morally repugnant that anyone thought that would be okay, whatever year/decade it happened to be….and it was Labour who lowered the age of sexual consent, instead of raising it across the board for everyone…So maybe PIE, got a bit of what they were trying for back then, once LABOUR were in power?
            Did Labour mixed in gay issues to hide it?

          • GW74

            do you think she doesn’t know she made a mistake? don’t you think she learned the lessons of this in private? how, precisely, would you like her to pay for it? should she be in prison? fired? BURNED AS A WITCH?! what?

            and stop with this “morally repugnant” nonsense. get off your high horse. is the Daily Mail not morally repugnant on a daily basis to sell newspapers?

          • Holly

            The point is, she does not believe she has done anything wrong or that she should apologise.
            HER words.
            She should have either resigned, or…resigned.
            There was no need for any of them to give any traction to PIE, BUT THEY DID.
            I wouldn’t call being completely against child sex abuse as ‘getting on my high horse’, it is what the majority of decent people, in a decent society believes, and it is backed up by law.
            MORALLY REPUGNANT seems an adequate way of describing the issue.
            How would YOU describe it?

          • GW74

            how has Harman not always been against child sex abuse?

            using fewer capitals would make you seem more rational and less like a shrieking crazed medieval villager with a pitchfork. or, the modern equivalent, a daily mail reader. WITCH WITCH BURN HER BURN HER!

          • Cyril Sneer

            Howabout she try f cking apologising first???

          • GW74

            for what?

          • mdj

            ‘ which was nothing to do with anything she directly did.’
            ‘”NCCL proposes that the age of consent should be lowered to 14, with
            special provision for situations where the partners are close in age, or
            where consent of a child over ten can be proved.”
            Signed off by Hewitt, but almost certainly drafted by the NCCL’s legal officer.
            If doing this repelled her, she could have walked out. She didn’t.
            In addition, there is a direct quotation from Harman that can easily be found online at the moment saying that sexual relations for ten year olds can be harmless and/or rewarding.

            O’Carroll was jailed, not for sexual offences, but conspiracy to offend public morals, according to a letter he wrote from Pentonville which is also circulating. Would you not say that NCCL were actively assisting him? Are they not also in the frame?

          • GW74

            that was drafted in 1976. Harman joined in 1978. that completely destroys your entire argument against Harman? Oh. Soz.


          • Graeme S

            I agree … lets Burn Her

          • GW74

            so you agree you are identical to an idiot medieval villager?

          • beeds

            She’s a top politician and her judgement is in question. She should admit the mistake.

          • GW74

            she already has genius.

          • beeds

            Where/when? Not according to the article above. If she has then great.

          • GW74
          • beeds

            Hmm, she expressed regret? So she didn’t admit a mistake. For a while I thought I’d misread the blog. Perhaps you should apologise for your sarcastic “genius” comment?

          • GW74

            regret inherently implies she made a mistake.

            apologising implies she deliberately did something which was bad and/or which caused actual harm. she did not, so that is why she did not apologise and does not need to.

            take your medicine. I called you a “genius” deservedly because 10 seconds on google you could have found out about her expression of regret, and why are you commenting on anything when you do not even know the full facts? so, you are clearly not a genius.

          • Kennie

            And you think those three things are in a good state do you?
            1. Workers rights: did their best to cripple Britain in the 70s & 80s
            2. NHS: laughable if it weren’t seriously third-world. It is doing a good job of lowering the population count.
            3. Good Friday Agreement: with all Tony’s secret agreements with murderers/terrorists whilst at the same time undermining the army, this borders on treason.
            All three help to show just how much contempt the labour party have for the public.

          • GW74

            1. no, workers rights from 1900 onwards.
            2. you don’t like the NHS. are you aware of what poor people had before it?
            3. what’s your alternative solution to the Northern Ireland conflict?

            You simply declaring without explanation that these things demonstrate “contempt for the public” does not make it true. They helped the improve the lot of masses. They self-evidently demonstrated the diametric opposite of what you claim. HOW and WHY does it demonstrate “contempt for the public”?

          • Holly

            Workers rights have turned into union bod rights, stuff the workers, and the user.
            ‘Poor’ people died of various illnesses before the NHS, medicines & cures came along.
            Whereas the NHS under Labour, killed people through bad practice, neglect and downright cruelty. The front line staff were discarded by the unions, and I do not recall unions calling for strike action because of bad practice, targets or sheer neglect in the NHS……..Do you?
            The situation with Northern Ireland would not be happening now if Labour had not done what it got very good at, and kept stuff hidden/quiet or silenced anyone who dared speak out.
            In fact Labour do regard us all, including you, with utter contempt.
            Their only aim is to get as high up as possible, and let others, like you, pay them for the privilege.

          • GW74

            what does the “NHS under Labour” mean? The NHS is separate from Labour. It was invented by Labour though.

            you don’t seem to understand what a “union” is.

            so you are suggesting we dealt with Northern Ireland by behaving like a murderous fascist dictatorship. Brilliant.

            Just because you suddenly at the end of your comment declare that “Labour do regard us all, including you, with utter contempt. Their only aim is to get as high up as possible, and let others, like you, pay them for the privilege.” based on no evidence or reasoning does not make it true. how and why is this the case?

          • beeds

            This is also irrelevant. (see below)

          • GW74

            see below for how that is not a valid statement without evidence and reasoning.

          • Cyril Sneer

            The standard response by any left winger and apologists for pedos:

            So what if Harman was up to her neck in this – the Daily Mail supported the blackshirts so that must make Harman an innocent in all this.

            Say what??

          • GW74

            where did I say that.

            groundlessly accusing me of being a “leftie” and an “apologist for paedos” will not win you any argument

          • ButcombeMan

            I would not want to get involved in your dueling on Clapham Common , just a comment though about H.H. & The Mail..

            The most telling thing for me about the whole affair, is how she and Red Ed have handled it.

            Without any common sense at all. It does not bode well for them in government if they are this incompetent.

            As for the Mail. Put aside the anti Mail sneering campaign (started by Alistair Campbell I believe?)

            The Mail is in the business of selling newspapers, it is very successful at it, its web site is the most successful such in the world.

            The Mail is far more successful; at what it does, than HH, Red Ed, Ed Balls and the whole corrupt Labour machine (including that disgrace Brown who broke the economy and the dishonest Blair, who deceived, to take the nation to war).

            It is too convenient to blame the Mail for Labour’s cock-ups.

            I feel safer with something like the Mail about.

          • GW74

            no. the anti-Mail “sneering campaign” is led by all people with brains who aren’t prejudiced.

            “I feel safer with something like the Mail about.” Exactly. It panders to your prejudices. What you FEEL rather than, you know, actual facts. Just like the Tea Party in America. Stephen Colbert is brilliant satirising this. see the Wikipedia article on “truthiness.

          • ButcombeMan

            In your unbalanced anger you have missed the point.

            What I recognise and you in your hatred of the exposure of the looney left idiocy, fail to, is that we may all be safer if papers are able to publish and be damned when those who plan to run the country do eccentric things or evil things.

            “Looney left” as this all was was, or looney right. Whatever quarter.

            I suggest you read today’s disclosures about PH.


            And it was the supposedly right thinking Telegraph, that exposed the corruption and dishonesty among our parliamentarians.

            Remind me who went to prison.

          • GW74

            where did I say you can’t publish and be damned? I’m just doing the damning part.

            No, the expenses scandal was exposed by a whistleblower. The Telegraph bought it and published it.

            Who went to prison for what? Tory peers and Labour MPs and peers went to prison for expenses, if that’s what you mean.

          • beeds

            Harman is wrong and should admit her mistake. The Daily Mail is… doing its job.

          • GW74

            she already has, genius. The Daily Mail is indeed doing its job. pandering to lowbrow people’s baser prejudices to sell newspapers and providing them with their “daily hate”. At least, on that, we can agree.

          • Barbara Garratt

            Scum is apparently the answer you looking for !!

      • GW74

        bias is in the eye of the beholder. reality has a well-known liberal bias.

        • Colonel Mustard

          No, your ‘liberal’ viewpoint (ha!) has a bias towards presuming that is reality and anything else is to be delegitimised.

          In short not much difference between a lefty like you and a fascist.

          • GW74

            No. Reality has a liberal bias. Some examples:

            – cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy are not physically addictive and are orders of magnitude less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.

            – capital punishment should never happen because (a) whether you believe in God or not. Jesus is a good role model, even if fictional. What would Jesus do? (b) what if the jury got it wrong or new evidence emerged later or there was another type of miscarriage of justice?, (c) redemption: people change, penance etc.

            – more guns = more murder

            – higher income tax and corporation tax justly makes rich people’s broader shoulders bear more tax burden; lower VAT, and more investment in transport, infrastructure and health/education benefits poor people who rely on the basics more and narrows inequality. Lower income tax and corporation tax benefits richer people, high VAT and less investment in the above stuff hits poor people, doesn’t affect rich people as much, and increases inequality.

            – Overall, Harriet Harman has done good for this country and the Daily Mail has done bad.

            Is that “fascist”? grow up.

            I’m not a “leftie”. I am an economically literate floating voter from a Lib Dem family background. I vote on competence, economic growth and social justice. never ideology. I voted for Blair, Brown and Boris. Next time I will vote Clegg. I would have voted Churchill. I might have voted for Thatcher in 79 but I was only 5!

          • Colonel Mustard

            Liberal democracy is about as real as Liberal Democrat. Don’t make me laugh.

            And actually more guns do not mean more murder. There is a higher ratio of gun crime to gun owning population in the UK than the USA. You need to educate yourself on that one.

            God help the UK that there are pillocks like you voting at all.

          • GW74

            so completely 100% real then.

            guns in england and wales: 3.4m
            gun murders per year: 41
            12 gun murders per million guns

            guns in USA: 270m
            gun murders per year: 9,146
            (just think about those 2 numbers for a moment)
            34 gun murders per million guns.



            you were saying something about “educate” / “pillocks”?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Gun ‘murders’? Try again. The Guardian is referring to a survey with a very loose categorisation of ‘homicide/murder’ (gun deaths would be more accurate) that conflates gun owners with guns. There are only 70-80 million gun owners in the USA and the owners fire the guns not the guns themselves. Multiple ownership and the use of illegal firearms skews the Guardian figures.

            Also the statistics for the UK produced by the Guardian have consistently varied from 1.8 million to 3.4 million, again conflating gun ownership with the number of guns. Both sets of statistics ignore the illegal ownership and use of guns too.

            And you have missed out the significance of the overall population size in context too. With a population less than 20% of the size of the USA, no legal ownership of handguns and no gun culture the UK has a relatively more significant problem with gun crime. One thing you can be assured of. If you become the victim of criminal gun crime in the UK an armed citizen won’t be coming to your aid anytime soon.

          • GW74

            homicide is a synonym for murder.

            I said “more guns means more murder”, not more crime, any way you mean violent crime, and the UK classifies “violent crime” far more broadly than the US so you lose anyway.

            these figures are not conflating anything. You brought up this irrelevant gun to murder ratio in a failed attempt to defeat my point. problems with it are problems with your argument not mine, and do nothing to change the fact that more guns means more murder.

            gun murders per gun: 4 times higher in the US
            murders (all types) per capita: 5 times higher in the US

            you lose. bye.

          • logdon


            For one joyous moment there, I thought that you actually meant it.

          • GW74

            if you can’t debate with reasoning, why are you commenting?

          • logdon

            I could ask the same question.


          • GW74

            point to any part of any comment of mine which is not reasoning and we can discuss it.

          • Stuart

            If you don’t know the difference between facts and opinion (see your post above on ‘reality’, where you inform us that capital punishment is objectively wrong, and that high taxes for the wealthy are objectively right) why are you posting?

          • GW74

            What’s all this drivel about “objectively”?

            I put forward the opinion that capital punishment is *morally* wrong with reference to objective facts.

            Ditto taxes.

          • Stuart

            You don’t seem to have understood what you have written. ‘Reality has a liberal bias’ clearly implies that your view is objectively correct because it complies with reality. You can’t argue for moral issues by appealing to ‘reality’; it’s idiotic. Plus you present opinions as facts e.g. Harman better than the Mail making it unclear whether you know the difference between the two (facts and opinions).

          • GW74

            you have failed to understand what both you and I have written. Here’s why:
            – you have just repeated you previous argument, which I defeated in my response. Read my previous comment again. You are conflating my opinions and the facts I use to support them. I am presenting them as 2 separate things, not claiming my opinion to be “objectively true” or presenting my “opinions as facts”.
            – Got it? OK. now try replying again, this time to my previous comment, don’t simply repeat your previous argument which I have defeated.

            “‘Reality has a liberal bias’ clearly implies that your view is objectively correct because it complies with reality”.

            No it doesn’t. I implies that I hold the view that reality has a liberal bias. I provided objective facts to support this belief my subsequent comment. You can infer what you like, but you need to provide evidence and/or reasoning for it. You have provided none.

            “You can’t argue for moral issues by appealing to ‘reality’; it’s idiotic.”

            I can claim anything I want about whatever I want, as long as it is supported by reasoning and/or reference to objective facts. Calling something “idiotic” is not an argument.

            You have failed to understand what you have written and how it is in fact guilty of the very thing you accuse me of: you are repeatedly presenting the opinion that I believe my opinions are facts and objectively correct – without providing supporting evidence or reasoning as to how you have arrived at this conclusion. Therefore you are presenting your opinions as objectively correct and fact. Oops!

            I gave my *opinion* that reality has a liberal bias, with *reference* to objective *facts* in my subsequent examples about drugs, capital punishment and guns, etc. This is not claiming my opinion is objectively true. If it is, how and why is it?

            I presented my opinion about Harman vs. Mail as an opinion with supporting reasoning. I did not present my opinion as fact.

            Stop wasting both of our time. And stop trying to condescend to me. You have lost

          • Stuart

            The idea that you have ‘defeated my argument’ with your assertions and confused attempts at logic(using words like ‘valid’ laughably wrongly) shows your lack of understanding of what constitutes debate is even more total than first appeared. You are an arrogant, pretentious little adolescent whose confused ramblings are clearly designed to impress your school chums, given that they are incoherent, confused and have as their sole purpose displaying that you know certain words (although not their meaning.) But please deliver another treatise on how to debate, praising your ‘clear, evidenced and reasoned arguments’. (Read: assertions, commanding everyone to engage in ‘clear, reasoned debate’ because you believe people will think you’re an intellectual if you keep talking about ‘reasoned debate’ and how x ‘isn’t an argument’ despite the fact you have no idea whatsoever how to construct one yourself). I’ll even mark it if you want. Or you could p*ss off and stop embarrassing yourself.

          • GW74

            thank you for a comment which insults and berates me but contains no reasoning or evidence whatsoever in response to the points I made. for example, *how*, precisely, have I misused the word “valid”?

            you lose.

          • Stuart

            You seem to believe that saying ‘reasoned debate’ or words to that effect over and over again constitutes a point. You have come on here like an obnoxious little runt, made assertions, insulted people, childishly claimed ‘you lose’ over and over again and somehow decided that you’re the voice of reason. You’re a bigot who has demonstrated he/she is unwilling to engage in any kind of debate to challenge your muddled, confused opinions; telling people to ‘think clearly’ and throwing insults rather than engaging with a point. Again, repeatedly saying ‘reasoned/evidence/debate/’ just demonstrates this deluded fantasy you have of being ‘academic’, despite not being capable of any sort of debate whatsoever.

          • GW74

            declaring me to be arrogant and condescending and not knowing about debate over and over again, as if it constitutes a point in itself, without evidence or reasoning, does not make you right. OK you go.

          • Stuart

            Your comments, especially above are obvious signs of someone desperately trying to appear intelligent by saying something which (they think) looks on the surface quite complex and clever but which substance-wise doesn’t say anything at all and is merely a confused, incoherent stream of nothing whatsoever. Sounding clever’s the clear aim; there’s nothing of actual intelligence there. Above post is great example of it, so much so that I’m almost surprised that you didn’t just admit it at the end.

          • GW74

            thank you for a completely uncalled-for comment which insults me and addresses none of the perfectly sensible reasoning in my comments. for someone embarrassing themselves, look in the mirror.

            baldly declaring me to be wrong without reasoning or evidence does not make it so. have another go.

          • mdj

            ‘What would Jesus do?’

            Well, he was pretty robust on the topic of child protection:

            But whoso shall offend
            one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him
            that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea’

          • GW74

            Quite right. And Harriet Harman is too, and has been for every single day of her life.

          • Airey Belvoir

            But was Jesus concerned for the little ones that didn’t believe in him?

          • Cyril Sneer

            ” cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy are not physically addictive and are orders of magnitude less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.”

            Garbage, total codswallop.

            Coke, Cannabis and Ecstasy are addictive and with regards to harm, it all depends on how much you do and how often. If you drop E’s every weekend then you will find out just how much harm it will do to you – anything that stops you from eating and sleeping will do you severe harm if you regularly do it over time.

          • GW74

            please provide evidence from medical research that they are addictive.

            I agree re: ecstasy. I said orders of magnitude less harmful, not 100% harmless.

          • Shazza

            One and the same.

    • GW74

      women? let’s worry about the fact that you can’t count to 1 before we move on to more complicated things like politics.

      • Holly

        The only thing ‘complicated’ in this true story is, Harman blaming the Daily Mail for something SHE was actually involved in.

        When Harman tries to ‘deflect’ this TRUE STORY from HER to some imaginary newspaper ‘smear’ campaign against her, maybe the public have a right, and a duty to keep reminding folk, including Harman, what’s what here.

        • GW74

          so you think Harman supports paedophilia

          • mandelson

            Typical leftist ad hominem. Many tough guys/girls behind a keyboard.

          • GW74

            that is not ad hominem. it is reasoned argument in response to the point made. Look up “ad hominem” in a reference work and then explain to me how my comment fits it.

            neither is it “leftist”. my comment contains no political comment whatsoever. blurting out accusations of political bias based on no evidence loses arguments, like you have just done.

          • mandelson

            I wonder if you would use the same language to a stranger face to face?

          • GW74

            is that a threat?

          • mandelson

            Is that an answer?

          • GW74

            it is both an answer, because it was posted in response to your comment, and a question, because it ended with a question mark and seeks an answer. ask your mum if you are struggling.

            this is a debate. if you respond to a statement in a debate with a threat of physical violence do you think that signifies that you have won or lost that debate? ask your mum if you are struggling.

            does making a physical threat anonymously from behind your keyboard make you “tough”?

          • mandelson

            Tempting but no I won’t bite!

          • GW74

            so what is your response to the points I made in my comment which is not a cowardly threat of physical violence?

            really scrunch up your forehead and think.

          • mandelson

            I challenge you to a duel on Clapham Common tomorrow at dawn. Your choice of weapon.

          • GW74


          • Holly

            I would ABSOLUTELY use the same language, if I was ever face to face with Harman…..THEN…
            I would PUNCH her in the face!!!!
            With my cat, just for good measure!!!!!

          • Holly

            NO I don’t!
            I think Harman, her husband, and Hewitt, ALL belonging to the Labour movement by the way, allowed the Paedophile Information Exchange gain access to something they should NEVER have been allowed access to.
            The name of this group of child sex offenders should have been more than enough to make the three of them refuse to give them any sort of credence whatsoever, but they didn’t!!

            Now Harman is trying to justify her unjustifiable stance by claiming a Daily newspaper is trying to ‘smear her’.
            She did that ALL BY HERSELF!

            This ugly excuse for a woman goes ballistic over legal tax loop holes, yet is okay with paedophile groups trying to lower the age of sexual consent….And think on….
            It was the whiter than white, purer than pure, Labour government who lowered the age of consent for young boys to be sexually active.
            Why didn’t they raise it to seventeen across the board, to allow a bit more protection to everyone, as a safer compromise????
            Labour are absolutely UNFIT to be anywhere near any sort of power.
            They make me sick with their holier than thou bile inducing hypocrisy!

          • Kennie

            Yes she has shown that she does. Just put Labour25 into your browser, or Google.

          • GW74

            still never googling anything at your behest. still waiting for, if you have a point to make, you to make it here in full.

    • amicus

      They “would of”, would they?

    • ADORA

      She is the worst enemy of her own people and the country as well, I can only say, silly cow

  • Jingleballix

    Cum On Feel The Boize………..Harriet says it’s perfectly OK.

  • Onesize

    I have to say that what has always sickened me more than HH and PH’s association with PIE, which many of us have known about for a very long time anyway, is the way that both these two, but especially PH, once in a position of power, proceeded to dismantle the very liberties that they had both been campaigning to protect when at the NCCL. I am used to cynicism in the political class, but this goes too far. PH and HH used the NCCL as a springboard in to politics and then utterly repudiated everything they did whilst at the NCCL. I am sure I am not alone in feeling more than a little schadenfreude over this.

  • ohforheavensake

    Erm… coming to this from your Telegraph blog: & I’m a bit baffled- don’t you realise that sentences like-

    But this just compounded the error. Was Harman really suggesting that running a picture of a scantily clad 12-year-old girl was morally equivalent to the activities of a group of active paedophiles?

    – is pretty much a textbook case of how to shoot yourself in the foot?

    Oh, and by the way: Hewitt’s apologised (and we’ve head from the man who ran PIE that she didn’t exactly like him); Dromey is on record as speaking out against the organisation from 1976, the year he joined the NCCL; and Harman was a junior legal officer, who would have had nothing to do with executive decisions.

    So I’m really struggling to see what the issue is here. An appalling organisation tried to piggyback on the work of other people who were interested in freedom and equality; they didn’t get very far; and they were eventually rejected- and this happened in public (there were news stories about this in the 1970s). Whereas the activities of Jimmy Saville and Cyril Smith- both more prominent and important cultural figures- were kept secret, even though it seems that at least some people knew about them. Surely there’s a difference, Toby?

    • peteswordz

      “running a picture of a scantily clad 12-year-old girl”
      You have a problem with this??
      Our regional paper, Sur in Andalucia, regularly prints photos of scantily dressed young girls. What do you expect them to be wearing on the beach? A burka? if you have a problem with pictures of scantily dressed young girls, then it sounds like you have a problem with young girls, period.. if i were you i’d get counseling.. Quickly.

    • realfish

      ‘Dromey is on record as speaking out against the organisation from 1976, the year he joined the NCCL’

      I understand that Dromey has said that he spoke out. But where ‘on record’ is the evidence of this? The minutes of a meeting held at which the NCCL agreed to propose that sex with children be legalised, a meeting attended by Dromey, seems to suggest otherwise.

      • Andy

        I agree. The minutes of the meetings and the policy papers and submissions give a rather different story.

        And lets face facts here. If Dromey was so against the PIE being affiliated to NCCL, which it was throughout his period of office as I recall, and was affiliated throughout Harman’s employment with NCCL, why didn’t he resign ? Has the man no principles ? No sense of honour ? Obviously not.

        The problem with all of this for the ghastly Harman is that she was employed by an organisation and used it for her advancement which was perfectly happy to have the PIE affiliated to it. And never once, not once, did Harman say ‘Up with this I will not put’. Silence condones consent.

      • mdj

        IN A Birmingham paper Dromey claimed that he campaigned so hard against PIE they produced a leaflet attacking him.
        He didn’t produce the leaflet, which many of us would have kept as a badge of honour. Perhaps it’s in Liberty’s archives?

    • Airey Belvoir

      Possibly the reason Hewitt apologised (after watching silently for days to see if it would blow over) is that she holds lucrative Directorships in the healthcare sector, and needs to protect them.

  • roma1950

    .to print that picture on that tweet was it now when not if she resigns?

  • wd

    I think people are forgetting who Harriet Harman is, and how she has been treated, over and over again. She is a prominent woman who is constantly attacked, seemingly for her every action. Sometimes the blatant misogyny is laughable, but often it is merely deeply worrying. She faces this endless barrage of unjustified rubbish that her male colleagues escape. She must have learned to shrug it off because a new topic will usually come up tomorrow or the day after.

    I believe Harriet Harman is so unused to justified criticism that she has merely gone into her usual defensive mode without thinking. “Don’t get involved, it will blow over” has been the best way to deal with what for most of us is an unbelievable avalanche of often deeply nasty comments.

    • Mazzzz

      Pull the other one!

  • HD2

    It’s been clear for many years that having been a paid employee of the NCCL (or its current incarnation, Liberty) should be a permanent disbarment from taxpayer-funded office.

  • bwlch

    I can’t get my head round any of it, these people aren’t fit for office or anything else really and that includes Milliband for defending the indefensible.
    If they knew this PIE organisation existed and knew its aims they should have done what any decent person would – not just expel them but report them to the police.
    But no, they let them continue as affiliates and even took advice from them!

    • Holly

      It is impossible for loads of people to get their heads round any of this, but you have it bang on that Harman, Dromey and Hewitt are quite unfit for top end jobs.
      The other thing unfathomable is, they will be in top end jobs until they croak, or get too old.

      Maybe today’s top end employers/boards could ‘think twice’ when hiring these people, and the bad publicity for the company/boards that in my opinion, should quite rightly follow, for it employing these arrogant toffs, who live off the taxpayer.
      These same bods screamed blue murder at big companies using tax loop-holes, so I think they should therefore find it only right & proper they are being shunned for future jobs for, being involved in a ‘group’, who was involved with another group, supporting child sex abusers.

  • TRAV1S

    Harriet Harman should eat some humble PIE.

  • GraveDave

    Why do you carry on writing for a blog like the DT when it’s too gutless to even allow comments nowadays.

  • Harman’s not mad, she’s stupid. Her career has depended on her being a very thick, but very loyal woman, there to be pointed to as a party stalwart, and nothing else. She is the ultimate token female. Addicted to groupthink, unable to step outside doctrine, always keen to side with majority – typical Lefty. Her sort endorsed gulags and deathcamps. Nodded sagely at the need for eugenics. She’ll endorse any evil if it’s “in a good cause”. Well here you are Hattie, here’s where it’s got you.

    I can’t help but find it amusing that her shortened name is Ha Ha. Haha Hattie.


    • Holly

      Harman is neither mad, or stupid….
      It’s her soul that is UGLY!

  • J Wright

    Gelert was partly right about Harmans inherited arrogance. Her farther was John Bishop Harman not just a Harley street consultant,but the Senior Physician at St Thomas in the days before the NHS, when such a position gave him enormous power of patronage. He was not dim as Hat was and passed exams effortlessly He even passed all the exams of the Royal College of Surgeons without doing a single operation. He also ran the very important Medical Defense Union as his personal feif. During the trial of John Bodkin Adams in 1948 for murdering his wealthy widows in order to inherit their Rolls Royces, Harman presented himself to the court as an expert witness on General Practice. Having pontificated about the case he was forced under cross examination by the defense barrister, to admit that his total experience of General Practice was a whole two weeks!!!!!!!

    On the other side of her family there is Frank Packenham aka Lord Longford aka Lord Porn who married mummies sister. Perhaps she inherited from him complete indifference to both deserved criticism and intense ridicule. It really is a pity that he didn’t take little Hattie with him to meet the innocent angel Myra Hindley when he went visiting her in prison, and appearing every five minutes on the BBC to tell us how he had reformed her. Perhaps if he turned his back for a few minutes dear Myra might have done something useful for the nation.


    • Julieann Carter

      That is interesting. Do we know for sure that he never did take Harmon with him to visit Myra Hindley?

      Does seem to be a family history of successfully blagging it, on the one side; and perverse morals, on the other.

    • Andy

      In Harman’s attitude I hear the voice of Lord Longford and his dismissal of poor Winnie Johnson.

    • Doggie Roussel

      Brilliant summary, J Wright….encapsulates the monstrous fraud these awful people have inflicted upon us …

  • JohnInCambridge

    The worst I had recently accused Labour of was adopting the policies of the Monster Raving Loony Party. If only I had known about this paedophile thing. I abjectly apologise for my ignorance.

  • Julieann Carter

    The always erudite Frank Fisher says it for me. It is exactly what David Cameron could of, and should of, confronted her with in response to her sneering about his “woman problem”, during PMQ’s.

    The Left successfully invalidated the opinions of the right wing press, and the DM in particular, using the very smear campaign they accuse the DM of.
    By extension, they smeared it’s readers as ‘knuckle draggers’, and more.
    Quite ingenious really, to win an argument not by reason/rationale/fact; but by simply dismissing a news source from the ‘Daily Fail’ or ‘Torygraph’, as laughable.
    Gentle-minded people tend to feel more secure ‘on the right side’ of the argument. The gentle formed a frightening, daunting, and tragic collective after more than a decade of Labour education and propaganda.
    Harriet Harmon felt secure enough, snuggled in this feathered nest she was at the forefront of creating. Predictably, the first twit to become ‘enraged’ was Owen Jones. He launched a petition against the DM. And all his young and ‘angry’ adulators fell in line.

    Well done Daily Mail! True Grit, in my opinion.

  • 1498

    I find it interesting that apart from the ‘Daily Mail’ – the rest of the British media were very slow to cover this story. The BBC seemed almost reluctant to do so.
    I am not normally a reader of the ‘Mail’ but well done to them for covering this story. Labour spin doctors, may wish to spin it as a ‘smear campaign’, but the reality is this story needed to be in the public domain.
    The British public deserve an explanation, some clarity and some answers.

    • Marky_D

      Telegraph article from 2009:

      Unfortunately, unless one of the red tops or the Mail runs with a story it gets ‘lost’. Not much chance of the BBC headlining with a story that could embarrass Labour.

    • Holly

      There are NO standards in parts of our media, and I absolutely resent being FORCED to pay for the BBC!….Oh and, because it concerns Labour bods.

      Labour were all over Murdoch, for a decade, and when he rightly turned his back on Bozo, Labour flew into a vindictive rage, many blaming Murdoch for ‘corrupting’ our police & other public officials, yet I believe it was our police who were the corrupt one’s, for failing to uphold the laws we pay them to uphold…If the information was not been made available by the police/public officials in the first place, there would not have been anything to pay for Murdoch, or anyone else to pay for.

  • uberwest

    Nothing’s happened to her, she’s always been that stupid and complacent.

  • mdj

    A blog from a few years ago names an NCCL committee member who was a known member of a paedophile organisation in 1975, plus other interesting chapter and verse:

    It’s easy to find sites on the web, often from the extreme right, alleging that British politics has been considerably steered by sexual blackmail for many years. Some of these claims seem incredible, some have disturbing cores of detail.
    The issues covered by Pie-and- Mash films also need to be confronted and openly investigated
    One needs to be approaching 60 to recall this NCCL issue when it was current. It was not widely reported, but its lack of impact was probably due to the reluctance of any mainstream medium in those days to dwell on such a distasteful topic.
    For some of us it was the clock that struck thirteen as regards assuming that the agenda of the left was broadly benign and progressive.
    This has been a very slow-burning fuse, but the explosion is well-deserved.

    • Daniel Maris

      I think following the Norman Scott/Thorpe affair with its allegations of sexual blackmail, a murder plot and a jammed gun after Scott’s dog had been shot, we can possibly believe anything. But it’s good for one’s mental faculties to retain a modicum of scepticism.

  • mandelson

    I agree that her performance on Newsnight was bizarre but revealing. HH is obviously a woman who has a real problem with the word “sorry” in any circumstances. The problem is that you only have to scream “Daily Mail” or “Racist” or “Homophobe” to get out of jail with the liberal establishment and its media arm.

    • Daniel Maris

      I think she’s a lawyer first and a woman second. She doesn’t want to create any personal liability.

  • Slicer

    Harriet Harman the militant feminist wanted to legalise child porn but is currently campaigning for the banning of Page 3. What an absurd woman.

  • franknowzad

    Hattie actively promoted Paedo legislative amendments, she was in their pay.
    Hattie was expecting the Ministry of Truth to be actively protecting her as she is a bit thick. Trouble is how do you deny the public record?

  • foxoles

    And yet, despite all the documentary evidence which just keeps on piling up, Alan Johnson was still saying (on This Week on Thursday night) ‘of course’ it was all just a smear.

  • Worth looking at just how Harman, Hewitt and Dromey got involved with this crusade by PIE.
    I think this shows the psychological make-up of what we call left-wingers.
    They truly lack the vision to think things through and see what impact their policies will have on our society. Subconsciously aware of their limited thinking process, their inferiority complex drives them to prove themselves as visionaries. So they will support anybody who presents their case as ‘progressive’, regardless of genuine merit. If a group of burglars came to them and said that they were in fact ‘wealth re-distributors’, the left-wingers would campaign to make them legitimate.

    The first thing that should be done to get these type of minds out of power is to privatise their propaganda brainwashing machine – the BBC. Once free thought and debate is encouraged again the hitherto sleepwalking public might wake up.

    • Daniel Maris

      The same applies to right-wingers – the people who oppose minimum wage, support mass immigration, and promote free trade across the globe. They have no thought for the effects on our society…or perhaps they do, but choose to ignore them, for the sake of personal profit. Remember how Mrs Thatcher said she was going to set up her children in a foreign country? They aren’t patriots.

      • I wasn’t aware that right-wingers supported mass immigration. My understanding has been that they opposed it. I also don’t see a problem with free trade across the globe.
        However if you want to say that there are also poor thinkers who adopt various right wing agendas I would agree with that.

        The key is seeing ‘the likely effects on society’ before promoting any change, so that harmony can be maintained. What we have instead now is harm inflicted on society.

  • roma1950

    she,and dromey should resign.

  • HookesLaw

    ‘…senior BBC news producer who was … broadly sympathetic to the Labour deputy leader’ I’m gobsmacked.

  • aurila

    I thought if one supported something that is illegal or generally regarded as disgusting that one was supposed to be punished, and that saying sorry was not enough.
    if one said something that HH regarded as illegal and you said sorry she would not accept that

  • The_greyhound

    So if the NCCL had already allowed PIE to affiliate, and had already submitted its notorious rubbish excusing sex with minors, why did Harman chose to join?

    She’s even stupider, and even more arrogant, than I took her for.

  • Doggie Roussel

    Harman is the bitch who after a car crash in which she was involved, while using a mobile phone, told the other party, “you know who I am, do get in touch.”

    Needless to say she did not even lose her license.

    This creature is beyond mockery…. A socialist… pull the other one … she’s highly visible in Burke’s Peerage… along with all her gaga Longford relations.

    • Daniel Maris

      Licence with a c please.

      • Doggie Roussel

        Quite correct, Danial… i have been reading too many books by Americans.

    • Retired Nurse

      I’d quite forgotten she was lord longford’s niece and momentarily thought she got on in politics because of her own efforts……

      • Terry Field

        And Snow was a big mate of Longford after he was kicked out of Liverpool University.
        It’s who you know…………………………..

    • Terry Field

      I heard her rabble rousing in Welwyn garden City decades ago when she was a nothing. what a nasty piece of work, I thought. I have had no cause to change my view of her.

  • anyfool

    Harman, Dromey and Hewitt put their careers before the prevention of child sex abuse or they put the feelings and mores of paedophiles before child rape.
    no ifs no buts.

    • Terry Field

      Irrespective of paedophile diversions, they have put their careers first.
      They are what they are.
      Only tribal socialists will be taken in by them.
      That tribe is declining in numbers as the state vote-buying moneys run out.
      Not before time.

  • Liberty

    What she was thinking was that the proles who vote Labour won’t get to know about this because Labour supporting media [especially the BBC] won’t cover it much. As an an example, the BBC only dealt with it late at night on a programme hardly anyone watches – especially proles. And even if they did get to know about it it won’t make much difference to how they vote, they are too tribal.

    That is just has it has turned out if polls are to be believed. Harman won’t resign and as it has little traction the Tories will probably ignore it from now on. Harman is safe.

  • Retired Nurse

    wasnt julia neuberger a leading light in the NCCL as well…

  • Terry Field

    The BBC is in danger of so alienating a naturally conservative English constituency, that the New Zeeland solution to the TV licence moneys will be applied in Britain one of these days – and that would be a good thing.
    Its news coverage is often quite blatant propaganda.
    The Newsnght effort – on a program few people watch – was a joke – but Harman was her miserable self.
    More stupidly, the BBC coverage of UKIP and the Farage conversation re Neil Hamilton was cretinous. The focus on the non-story of Hamilton being a back-room or front-of-stage person was a travesty of good reporting.The BBC was desperate to not report UKIP honestly and seriously; so they manufactured news garbage.
    I do not support UKIP; I am a disinterested observer, but the Guardian mentality of the BBC female coterie of leftie liberal illiberals is as extreme in its way as Goebbels – at least he was honest and called it the Propaganda ministry – the BBC simply lies and says it delivers unbiased news.
    Yeah, right.

  • The_greyhound

    According to Mehdi Hasan (spit) on the Huffington Post (spit) Hattie’s got nothing to apologise for, and is determined not to apologise.

    All of which has to be just what her political opponents would have advised her to do.

    Dumb, or what?

  • anneteak

    The problem with Harriet Harman is that she kept her eyes averted from PIE – in order to progress her political career, then kept her head down when the link became widely public.

    It’s her weakness in dealing with difficult decisions – to maintain her political profile – that has got her exactly where she is.

  • bwims

    Given that she was part and parcel of the lowering of age of consent for homosexuals, one has to assume that she fully agreed with the policies of the time, and probably still does.

  • Algernon the Sceptic

    Newsnight, along with most other BBC output, is bad for your mental health. I’d advise going for a good walk, whenever the temptation to watch BBC output arises.

  • Chris Kimberley

    and now a top Tory advisor and close ally of Cameron who was actually involved in setting up camerons online porn filter has been arrested for possessing child abuse imagese, not so much fuss about him is there?

  • J Wright

    ppeared to be whar we had called Sodomy and pederasts.I hope this background will help some contributors to take a more mature view. Finally GW47 yet another manifestation of Telemackus.and thanks to those who made lind comments on my previous piece

  • greenacre

    There is another possibility for Harman’s reluctance to issue a full apology and resign: she’s an utter cnut.