When the rump of the Labour Party and its hangers on gathered in Manchester to cheer Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman, what, exactly, were they cheering?
Brown believed everyone else in the room to be unfit to occupy what is now little more than the ceremonial position of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and he is still talking of non-Labour Ministers, who, since they cannot now be Lib Dems, must be Tories. He could have kept Britain out of the Iraq War, simply by instructing his backbench followers to vote against it; the same is true of many, many other things. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the “renewal” of Trident. And he spent much of the last few days successfully demanding that the French destroy their workers’ jobs and their public services by signing up to neoliberal economics.
As for Harman, she was the nominee of Gisela “Vote Bush” Stuart and of Denis “Vote Sarkozy” MacShane, identifying her as a member of the separate party that trades under the names of the Euston Manifesto Group, The Henry Jackson Society, and The Orange Book, among others. Those of its members who trade under the name of The Orange Book, Brown wished, and wishes, to bring into government. Those who trade under the name of The Henry Jackson Society, he undoubtedly will bring into government.
And Harman, with Patricia Hewitt, ran the old National Council for Civil Liberties when it was hand in glove with the old Paedophile Information Exchange. That powder has been kept dry up to now. It is being lit tonight...