Third Rate Leader
It will take a lot to convince me that Harriet Harman, Labour's Deputy Leader and Leader of the Commons, is anything other than a third rate politician possessed of all the political intellect of a jellyfish with special needs. And that's kind, compared to the withering assessment of Quentin Letts (who, admittedly, writes for the Mail, but even so echoes the views of many more liberal observers). Harman was on Andrew Marr's show this morning. One of the questions he put to her was about Malcolm Rifkind's suggestion today of a Grand Committee in Parliament, to debate exclusively English questions, as a way of resolving the West Lothian dilemma of Scottish devolution. Harman is, of course, opposed to any attempt to correct the balance in favour of English legislation, which famously can at the moment be decisively passed or vetoed on the votes of Scottish MP's whose constituents are unaffected by any such Westminster measures. In her blathering answer, she explained how much she supported devolution, and how it was a very good thing, but then promptly undid herself when it was cleat that she was no supporter of devolution for the English. Devolution for Scotland stregthens the Union, but devolution (even in the very mild form of a Grand Committee) for England will break it up, went the bizarre argument. If this smug woman really is the best that Labour can throw up they are in serious trouble.