Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/493/2571
AS BROWN was anointed prime minister, Harriet Harman was elected to the post of deputy leader of the Labour party. Brown was shooed in with no contest at all. But all the 'excitement' of the count for deputy could not hide what a farce these elections were.
Deputy leader can be a fairly irrel-evant position in New Labour - who talked of Blair and Prescott during Blair's reign? It was all Blair and Brown.
Even amongst Labour's dwindling individual membership of 180,000, only half actually voted. Amongst the members of Labour's affiliated unions and organisations, only 8% cast their vote for deputy leader!
Harriet Harman won after she said she 'regretted' not voting against the Iraq war and that she wanted a 'review' of Labour's policies on nuclear weapons and tuition fees.
Harman is not a left-winger. She was New Labour's first Social Security secretary in 1997 and tried to steer attacks on lone parents' benefits through parliament. Some Labour MPs reflected their constituents' anger over this and Harman was dis-missed from the cabinet.
In The Socialist 28 June 2007:
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