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Should Harriet Harman apologise?

(185 Posts)
Lilygran Tue 25-Feb-14 09:40:59 She is behaving as though she is being smeared by the DM but the facts are true. I remember the fuss at the time because the Paedophile Information Exchange was a very unsavoury and suspect bunch but the loony left defended its right to support on the grounds of free speech. You have to question HH's judgment! When I say 'loony left' I was very far over in that direction myself.

dollie Tue 25-Feb-14 09:51:26

i saw that on the news this morning and she was saying it was false allegations...i never believe anything i hear in the press as too much of it is fabricated just to sell newspapers...

penguinpaperback Tue 25-Feb-14 09:52:41

Yes, absolutely. I was watching Press Preview on Sky News last night and Kevin Maguire from the Daily Mirror thought she should have apologised days ago. Listening to him again on the Today programme and I think he hit the nail on the head when he said Miliband and Harman and others have such a deep dislike of the Daily Mail and that may have clouded their judgement.
As said last night everyone knew what the PIE group represented. Where is Patricia Hewett too?

penguinpaperback Tue 25-Feb-14 09:54:45

Apologies for spelling, Hewitt.

Ana Tue 25-Feb-14 09:55:53

Harriet Harman looked quite rattled on Newsnight last night. I think they were all hoping it would just be dismissed as DM rubbish and go away...

kittylester Tue 25-Feb-14 10:10:43


jinglbellsfrocks Tue 25-Feb-14 10:13:52

No. It's rubbish. No way would Harriet Harman sanction anything to do with paedophilia. Just the usual DM.

The world has moved on since then.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 25-Feb-14 10:20:56

She probably didn't even realise at the time that there was a link. Accept the woman as she actually is. Can you honestly think she would sanction paedophilia? Or not be as angry as the rest of us at the very thought of it?

Lilygran Tue 25-Feb-14 10:30:40

Sorry, jingle. She not only knew about them but actually wrote supporting their demand that the age of consent should be lowered. It was the kind of issue which could have been sensibly debated but HH swallowed their line because she is thick and an ideologue. Everyone else was expressing strong concern about the way they operated.

annodomini Tue 25-Feb-14 10:31:44

HH got very rattled in the Newsnight interview and made an ill-advised remark about the Mail showing titivating (sic) pictures and being in no position to criticise. Having said that, I found Laura Kuensberg's interviewing style to be far more aggressive than anything I have heard from Jeremy Paxman.

whitewave Tue 25-Feb-14 11:19:18

What we need to do is make a list of what the DM publishes day after grueling and boring day, then look later at what is actually true - we would not be surprised at the petty rubbish that is fed to us.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 25-Feb-14 11:19:35

Hmmm. Perhaps supporting the lowering of the age of consent is n't the same as actually supporting paedophilia. Some people genuinely feel that would be right.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 25-Feb-14 11:21:01

She might have been misguided, but I don't think she can be called thick.

mollie Tue 25-Feb-14 12:08:32

For once I'm in agreement with Jingle ... it was a long time ago, she worked for the organisation and didn't instigate the connection but she'd done a lot of good work since then and should be judged on that.

Mamie Tue 25-Feb-14 12:19:28

As I understand it the connection with PIE had been broken before she even joined the organisation.

JessM Tue 25-Feb-14 12:21:56

It certainly is "old news" isn't it.

annodomini Tue 25-Feb-14 12:23:13

I'm disappointed in HH. I always thought she was one of the 'good guys', but sadly past misjudgments do tend to catch up with politicians and it sounds as if, having failed to make any mud stick in their attack on the Millibands' father, the DM thinks it has struck gold this time. I hope not.

grumppa Tue 25-Feb-14 12:42:27

Not sure about the "it was a long time ago" argument, Mollie. If we allow it for HH, how about the disc jockeys accused of misdemeanours in the 1970s?

What should have been issued when the story was first resurrected was a statement regretting the PIE's link with NCCL, explaining how it happened, and setting out the degree of involvement and actions taken by Hewitt, Dromey and Harman in their respective roles. It would probably not have convinced the DM, but at least the facts would have been in the open and there would have been no suggestion of cover-up.

Unless of course the facts were unpalatable....

nannyfran Tue 25-Feb-14 12:45:09

Whatever the facts back then, I agree that she should be judged on what she has done as an MP. and I cannot believe the DM is doing anything other than muck raking with a view to the election next year.
If all MPS were exposed for youthful misjudgements, I doubt there would be many with a clean slate.The same would apply to all of us I imagine.

mollie Tue 25-Feb-14 13:34:56

Wasn't a defence but a statement of fact, Grummpa. This is like the McCarthy witchhunts in the US, guilty by association. Shouldn't she be judged on her actions? If they dig up that she actively worked on behalf of PIE, was a member of PIE and advocated their intentions I'd pile the firewood myself.

Lilygran Tue 25-Feb-14 13:42:16

The NCCL offered legal advice to affiliate members and supported them in court cases.

Mamie Tue 25-Feb-14 13:45:52

Lilygran, is there any evidence that the NCCL supported PIE in that way?

There is a good blog here from Michael White:

Ana Tue 25-Feb-14 13:53:36

I agree, it is a good blog Mamie. Of course the three involved, and especially Harriet Harman as she has the highest profile, should have addressed the matter sooner.

Mamie Tue 25-Feb-14 13:56:23

Yes, I agree Ana; they should have done.

Lilygran Tue 25-Feb-14 14:26:46 Yes, they should!