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Live webchat with Harriet Harman MP on Tues Nov 25th 1-2pm

(292 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 21-Nov-08 18:23:10

We're pleased to announce that, as part of our ongoing Home Front debate, we've invited Harriet Harman MP to drop by MNHQ for a live webchat on Tuesday November 25th at 1pm.

As well as being Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet is Secretary of State for Equalities and Minister for Women.

Please join us to put your questions to Harriet on anything from the Government's plans for flexible working to Gordon's performance in the present economic crisis.

And, as usual, you're welcome to post any questions here in advance if you can't make it on the day.

Swedes Tue 25-Nov-08 22:14:25

How Harriet Harman voted on key issues since 2001:

Has not voted on a freedom of information act.
Voted for introducing a smoking ban.
Voted for introducing ID cards.
Voted for introducing foundation hospitals.
Voted for introducing student top-up fees.
Voted for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
Voted for the Iraq war.
Voted against investigating the Iraq war.
Voted for replacing Trident.
Voted for the hunting ban.
Voted for equal gay rights.

policywonk Tue 25-Nov-08 22:38:31

She has also proposed/enacted legislation on the following:

criminalising men who have sex with women who have been trafficked or are otherwise controlled for another's gain
a requirement for all public sector bodies to publish their gender pay gaps
scrap the defence of 'provocation' when men have killed their wives
given local authorities greater powers to regulate lap-dancing clubs
allow employers to give preferential treatment to women and ethnic minority candidates
outlaw age discrimination in the provision of goods and services
rights for mothers to breastfeed their babies in public

Swedes Tue 25-Nov-08 23:09:45

I'm not certain the proposals currently on the way through Parliament entirely close off the defence of provocation. Provocation is replaced with "words or conduct which leave a defendant feeling seriously wronged". I can't see how infidelity or nagging or other provocation might be necesarily excluded. We don't have a European purposive approach to the interpretation of legislation so we'll have to wait and see how this new legislation is interpreted in the courts.

Quattrocento Tue 25-Nov-08 23:47:37

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Anna8888 Wed 26-Nov-08 09:18:05

Lack of brains is surely a pre-requisite for successful female socialists?

Ségolène Royal / Martine Aubry anyone? wink

Poohbah Wed 26-Nov-08 11:37:38

Swedes, that's interesting, in summary she seems to care less about our soldiers or the Iraqi's dying horrifically in Iraq than she does about fluffy cute little foxes, the word hypocrite comes to mind!!!

artichokes Wed 26-Nov-08 11:45:27

All her voting record shows is that she followed the Party whip. Had she not she would not now be a Minister.

As someone said below - you have to pick your fights as a Minister. If you are not willing to support the Party on most issues then you very quickly loose your job and the chances to change anything at all.

dittany Wed 26-Nov-08 13:28:30

Hadn't you heard? Harriet is held to a different standard from male MPs.

Once again, I didn't see Alan Johnson or David Cameron getting their voting record picked to pieces or insults made about their intelligence.

I'm glad a feminist like Harman is in government, she must have had to hang on by the skin of her teeth given the number of misogynist dinosaurs stomping about the Labour party.

Swedes Wed 26-Nov-08 13:44:17

Dittany - It sounds as though you like HH almost as much as you like Sarah Palin.

Quattrobeautiful Wed 26-Nov-08 19:06:38

I am gutted to have had a message deleted by Mumsnet. All I did was agree with what just about every serious paper has said about HH many times over.

It can't be the defamation risk - it's self-evidently true. Must be that MN think it's abusive?

Swedes Wed 26-Nov-08 21:55:42

Quattro - [grin

When i was younger I was told not to appear too bright or i would never get a husband because men would be intimidated by my brain! then as soon as i became an MP they said i was thick! Best to be thick skinned.... I did think even political life might be easier if you are a blonde with big tits.

Poohbah Thu 27-Nov-08 08:06:15

I reserve the same level of criticism for all I encounter who say one thing then do the other for their own personal gain.

Leftist beliefs surely incongruent with sending our dear sons and daughters into battle to be killed?

Schooling???? everyone should go to state school unless it's my own child whereupon I reserve the right to send them to a jolly good grammar because I wouldn't want them mixing with riff raff you know.

Feminist my arse.

policywonk Thu 27-Nov-08 09:28:27

Of course she's a feminist! How can you look at that list of legislative proposals and come to any other conclusion? You disagree with her about Iraq and about her schooling choices - fair enough. Doesn't mean she's not a feminist.

Swedes Thu 27-Nov-08 11:20:06

There's no doubt she's a feminist. And she has done some good things. But that's as it should be and it it doesn't mean she shouldn't be quizzed about the bits of her politics that are less palatable.

policywonk Thu 27-Nov-08 18:27:02

Oh yes, that's fair enough. HH does seem to be one of those politicians who draws a slightly disproportionate amount of ire, though. People seem to absolutely loathe her (more so than other senior Labour figures) and I've never really understood why - is it just that she's a middle-class female? As dittany says, plenty of senior Labour politicians backed the Iraq war.

dittany Thu 27-Nov-08 18:33:05

Swedes you don't have to like someone to think that people are treating them in a sexist manner. Do you have difficulty in recognising double standards?

Actually I do quite like Harman now - I had no strong opinion of her before but reading about what she's achieved and tried to achieve in government makes me admire her politics. She hasn't sold out women the way many female politicians have to do in order to get on.

LittleBella Thu 27-Nov-08 23:16:36

She has sold out women. She sold out single mothers when she was first a minister and her political masters told her that she had to stand by and let lone parents and their children suffer appalling hardship for a couple of years until they made it all OK again by bringing in tax credits.

Well it wasn't OK. For many of the families who saw that benefit cut, it was a horrible couple of years. And she stood by that policy, she was the minster who enacted it and she didn't resign in protest. I can't see that as anything other than selling out women and children tbh. Maybe I'm just an old harridan but for me her voting record has never erased that particularly shameful episode.

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