When Harriett Harman was a minister in New Labour's first government after the 1997 election she was referred to as Harriett Harmthem due to her reign over a series of spiteful and harsh policies eminating from the Department of Social Security where she was the Minister.
It is interesting to read her biog on wilipedia from this period which states
"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. Both Harman and Field were sacked in a reshuffle in 1998. Harman's decision to send one of her children to a selective school some distance from her home was also not popular with many in Labour party at the time."
But since Harriett Harman returned to the Labour front bench she has hardly set the world alight with a record of honesty, fairness and decency.
Again, the summary of events (courtesy again of wikipedia) mentions that there was controversy over her Iraq War apology when Harman has been accused of going back on a pledge to apologize for its policy on Iraq. During the deputy leadership campaign Harman had participated in a live debate on Newsnight with the other deputy leadership candidates. Jeremy Paxman asked the candidates whether, if knowing what they knew now, any of the candidates would have voted against the war. Harman responded by saying that "if I'd have known if 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 that there has been over Iraq and that we were wrong."
Later, when asked by Paxman if the Labour Party should say sorry for what happened, Jon Cruddas said that it should; Harman replied "Yep, I agree with that". When Cruddas further said that the Labour Party could "rebuild a sense of trust and a dialogue with the British people" by acknowledging its culpability in the situation in Iraq, Harman replied "and I agree with that". On June 25 , her first day in the job, Harman appeared to backtrack on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme and asked for evidence to be provided of where she had stated that the party should apologise.
On the issue of Speeding convictions, Harman has not got a record to be proud of. In 2003 Harman was fined £400 and banned from driving for seven days after being convicted of driving at 99 mph (159 km/h) on a motorway, 29 mph (47 km/h) above the speed limit.
On 7 April 2007, Harman was issued with a £60 fixed penalty notice and given three penalty pointson her license for driving at 50 mph (80 km/h) in a portion of the A14 in Suffolk which had a temporary 40 mph (64 km/h) limit. Harman paid the fine several months late and avoided appearing at Ipswich magistrates court.A Labour Party source said of her failure to pay the fine "She made an innocent mistake. She forgot to pay on time because she was spending all her time on the deputy leadership contest touring the country."
And finally, in November 2007, it emerged that property developer David Abrahams' secretary Janet Kidd had given a donation of £5,000 donor to Harman's successful deputy leadership bid. After an investigation by The Mail on Sunday newspaper into other donations made by people associated with Abrahams, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown's assertion that all such monies would be returned, Harman issued a statement saying she accepted the donation on 4 July "in good faith," had registered the monies with the Electoral Commission and the Register of Members' Interests, and that she "was not aware of any funding arrangements... between David Abrahams and Janet Kidd". Harriet Harman was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 PM programme on 27 November 2007 and was evasive when asked to confirm or deny that her campaign team had contacted Janet Kidd soliciting money and was unable to answer this question directly, preferring to change the subject. On 28 November the BBC's Nick Robinson reported on his blog that Mrs Harman had now revealed that her team "may" have asked Mrs Kidd for a donation. The blog entry goes on to wonder whether Mrs Kidd informed the campaign team at that point that she was acting as a proxy. Margaret Jay, Baroness Jay of Paddington who was working on the deputy leadership of Hilary Benn, questioned and turned down a similar donation of £5,000 by Mrs Kidd; but it was subsequently accepted by Benn's team when made under the name of Mr Abrahams. Kidd offered another donation to the leadership campaign of Gordon Brown, but was turned down as she was not a known donor.
Now Harriett Harman is urging Labour activists to remind people how "nasty" the Tory party were. Might I suggest that the Conservatives remind the electorate who Harriett Harman is if she tries to remind voters what the Tory party was.
Pots and kettles Harriett.