Monday, June 25, 2007

Deputy Leadership

I voted for Johnson, but he got pipped at the post by Harman. Kudos to her for winning against the odds - not easy to pull off at all. She's also very articulate on family issues, and takes apart Tory discrimination towards single parents very well indeed. And kudos to the party organisers who managed to keep the result secret right to the very end (to the extent that Sky news ended up leading with the wrong result).

I understand that Harman will be party Chairman as a result, and am happy with this. I think she'll be a much better Chairman than Blears, who made chirpy comments from time to time, but didn't seem to engage with party members much further.

I wonder who will get the Deputy Prime Minister job - Straw? I guess we'll find out in a couple of days. I must admit to feeling more cheerful than I've done for a couple of years. The whole transition has gone really smoothly, even Michael Portillo referred to it as "elegant". And it seems like the look of the government will change too, with lots of tired faces retiring from the scene. I detect a new cheerfulness among the public too - they were tired of Blair and wanted something different. I think we've read the mood of the country well in how we've conducted this and who we selected for leader.


Hughes Views said...

Lovely isn't it? I didn't put Harriet very high on my list but I'm quite glad that a women got the job. My theory is that it's all down to the Cheltenham Litrature Festival - Gordon and Harriet were both in it last year, he promoting his book, she on a dire edition of Any Questions (that may not have been any more dire than any others for all I know because I never listen but I was in the audience trying to cheer the little that was said that was anywhere near the centre or left of British politics!)

Mark Wadsworth said...

"Tory discrimination towards single parents"

Aah ... what you mean is that any party who does not intend to massively subsidise and encourage single-parenthood 'discriminates'?

snowflake5 said...

Mark - the income tax system under Labour treats single, divorced, widowed, married, straight and gay people exactly the same - they are all adults and the exact same tax rates apply to each of them.

The Tories propose to give heterosexual married couples a tax-break (the transferable tax allowance) thereby discriminating against single, divorced, widowed and gay people.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed, tax breaks for married couples are (taken in isolation) nonsense, altho' to be fair I think the Tories said it would apply to same-sex married couples (or "civil partners" or whatever it's called).

I was not particularly talking about the income tax system (with its hideously low personal allowance), I was talking about the welfare system.

Yes, Frank Field got his numbers wrong a couple of weeks ago, because he didn't deduct nursery costs (which to my mind are no more of a benefit that is free state education), but he wasn't far off.