Matthew Parris is right on Harriet Harman. Labour needs a clean skin - someone unassociated with the more deceitful and incompetent (and largely economic) aspects of Gordon Brown and New Labour. Someone like Harriet Harman in fact. Big on equality; small on the economy.
She of course has suggested that half the shadow cabinet should be women. But as Chris Dillow points out in his excellent blog, '...women are only one group of many which is under-represented in government. So too are: single people; ethnic minorities; people without degrees; people educated at state school; the under-30s, the over-60s; and, of course, the 95% of people with lower incomes than MPs. Ms Harman is not calling for quotas for these groups. So why single out women?'
And while were on that agenda, why not go the whole nine yards? Since men have been unfairly over-represented for the last 50 years, why not introduce a women-only shadow cabinet for the next 50 years? That way Harriet Harman and Diane Abbott could both be leader. One after the other.