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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Is this the most blatant lie told by a politician for absolutely weeks. I think it is. Harman won her deputy leadership to a significant extent (certainly more than the winning extent) on the grounds on her remarks on Newsnight about the need to make an apology for the war. The Guardian reports thoroughly
Newsnight, BBC2, May 29

Jeremy Paxman Is there any one of you who would say knowing what you know now ... you would have voted against the war?

Harman Yes, I would. I voted for the war because I believed there were weapons of mass destruction. If I had known that there weren't weapons of mass destruction I wouldn't have voted for the war. Clearly it was a mistake, it was made in good faith, but I think with a new leadership we have to acknowledge the bitterness and anger there has been over Iraq ... I don't think Jon [Cruddas] and I are trying to wriggle out of our responsibility. I just think if you are looking forward and trying to rebuild public confidence you've got to admit when you have got it wrong.

Paxman Do you believe the party should say sorry for what happened?

Jon Cruddas I do actually, as part of the general reconciliation with the British people over what has been a disaster in Iraq.

Harman (interjecting) Yup, I agree with that.

Cruddas And I don't think we can actually rebuild a sense of trust and a dialogue with the British people unless we fundamentally reconcile ourselves to what the situation is on the ground and our own culpability in creating it.

Harman I agree with that.

In case we are to assume that she was flustered & being a poor helpless woman, didn't know what she was saying - she followed up on her blog with
to spell out ... that we have to acknowledge that we got it wrong on Iraq because there were no weapons of mass destruction
Now it turns out she never said it.
Today, Radio 4, Monday: I've never said the government should apologise. What I've said is I actually voted for the war on the basis that there were weapons of mass destruction and I was wrong on that. How many times can I say it? I haven't asked anybody else to do anything - I've just explained what my position is.

Well this is not only an outright lie but about the fastest, most obviously bound to be discovered lie possible. Under what circumstances can anything this woman, whose job is now to convince people to join the Labour party, its membership having halved over recent years, be trusted. It probably isn't really possible to remove her now but in an ethical world she would go.

Of course politics being what it is it might be possible to justify here role if she was any good
After Labour's victory in the 1997 general election, she became Secretary of State for Social Security and was given the task of reforming the Welfare State. However, she made little progress and fell out with her junior minister, Frank Field. During this period Harman became regarded as an over-promoted 'New Labour' apparatchik, and she was called 'Harriet Harrperson' by her fellow Labour MP Austin Mitchell
according to Wikipedia (at least today)

Dammit we should aspire to a culture of government where people are at least under pressure to behave honestly. Just as a dead fish petrifies from the head down a society which does not aspire to honesty in government will end up rotten at all levels. There is not even the excuse that she is competent - in fact while I have no high opinion as to the integrity of Bliar I have no doubt that he would have found some lawyerly way out of this by bending rather than breaking the truth.

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