Sunday, June 24, 2007

Deputy Harman

There is a rather curious non-welcome to Harriet Harman on Oliver Kamm’s site. I am not a fan of Harman but one of Kamm's indicators of her supposed incompetence was her weakness in defending Government cuts in single parent benefit for new claimants, a policy originally proposed by the previous Conservative administration. He wrote that, ‘Ms Harman's incoherent attempt to defend the measure on the Today programme was damaging for her and for the Government’.

Hold on Oliver, is defending the indefensible a sign of competence? Seeing as Labour had virulently opposed the proposed cuts in opposition, could anyone have mounted a sustained defence against their own criticisms of the previous government’s policy? It was utterly impossible to appear as anything other than hypocritical and dissembling.

He also writes that, ‘The measure had scant budgetary significance, but symbolism’. What an indicator of remoteness from ordinary people this is! I can assure you that the measure had profound ‘budgetary significance’ for poor lone parents – just the people that the Labour Party were supposed to defend.

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