Being Deputy

Who would be deputy? The Washington Post is running a series of articles featuring the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney aka the most powerful VP in the history of the U.S. Yesterday (25/6/2007) it was his part in the build up to the use of torture, while today focusses on his influence on domestic policy.
What’s the likelihood of Harriet Harman, just voted in as Deputy Labour Leader, influencing the leader? During the selection she openly supported Jon Cruddas’ call for an apology on Iraq. On day one she refutes this. Other arguments she made to appeal to the left include reviewing Trident and the introduction of more city academies.


Harman beat the Blairite Alan Johnson by a narrow margin with many of Cruddas’ vote falling her way in the selection process. Prior to 1997 Harman was seen as on the left however
“Upon entering the cabinet in 1997 she turned her back on her leftist roots and while secretary of state for social security pushed through cuts in benefits for lone parents, insisting they “wanted to work”, whether their children were under five or over 10. She had shown this same lack of political touch in sending her children to distant selective secondary schools rather than local Southwark comprehensives, without clearing it with Blair.” Source Guardian.
Harman has a track record , particularly on defending rights of women and children winning the support of the likes of Joan Ruddock. It would appear though that opportunity might override principle when it comes to the crunch.
Bit of difference between power wield by Cheney and that by Harman. Cheney’s right wing backers have had their say delivering through the back door in utter secrecy an attack on human rights with the cruelty allowed, a match for Saddam and many other reviled dictators who flouted democracy. Clearly he’s not unassailable and some of his favourites have come and gone.
In some ways the mist of foreign policy is clearing more in the U.S. than they are in Britain with more exposure of what’s been going on: the extraordinary involvement of private concerns within a serious war and its role in the inhumanity dealt out to many, including innocent civilians. Harriet there’s a lot of speaking out to do. You were given that task by many who supported you. Now do it.

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