William Rees-Mogg and the Harperson


In the Times today, William Rees-Mogg has a piece about the state of the Labour party. He explains convincingly why nobody wants to topple Brown (because they all want to avoid blame for their coming defeat).

He predicts, therefore, that Brown will lead Labour into the next election, that Labour will lose, and that they will then need a new leader.

He explains that they will be looking for somebody with the qualities of “John Smith, the leader in whose time the fortunes of the party were turned around”. And his choice?

Harriet Harman. Apparently:

“She has an appeal for trade unionists, women and backbenchers, a solid group of supporters in each section of the party‚Äôs electorate.

She is herself middle-class, like Tony Blair. Perhaps, like Hugh Gaitskell, John Smith or William Hague, it will be her destiny to be one of those leaders of the Opposition whose job is to prepare the way for a party capable of an eventual return to power.”

Personally I would have put her firmly down as one of the chattering metropolitan elite, rather than middle class. With her emphasis on “women’s rights”, I doubt very much whether she really has any great appeal to trade unionists. And I strongly suspect that William Hague’s most glorious days are yet to come.

In any case, as one of the comments on the article says

“I would have thought that the election of Harriet Harman with her “wimin’s” agenda would kill the Labour Party stone dead.”

Has Mr Rees-Mogg gone completely bonkers, or is he just acting as a Tory agent? I think we should be told.