Friday, February 28, 2014

Harriet Harman didn't join NCCL until two years later...

Article on the LabourLeft website on Harriet Harman, the NCCL and the recent scandal (Patricia Hewitt apologised yesterday for the NCCL's connections with PIE):  http://www.labourleft.co.uk/harriet-harman-the-nccl-liberty-the-times/

One paragraph caught my eye:

"And a young newly qualified lawyer would certainly not have the voice nor the power to expel any organisation that had legally sought affiliation. Like many of us, questioning or not, she had a job to do and she had to get on with it !  Harriet Harman made it quite clear that PIE had been pushed to the margins before she even went to the NCCL.  The campaign referred to took place in 1976.  Harriet Harman didn’t join NCCL until two years later."

It is true that Ms Harman was not employed by the organisation until 1978.  But that is not the same as saying she did not join the NCCL until 1978.  The NCCL was an organisation supported by an enormous number of volunteers and campaigners.  Harriet Harman was (is) a committed leftist.  As we have heard, the NCCL had affiliates and committees and sub-committees.  It is possible, indeed quite likely, that many of the Labour activists in London in the mid to late 1970s would have had some form of relationship with NCCL, particularly if they were involved in equality rights campaigning.

I am sure that Ms Harman and Mr Dromey and Ms Hewitt must be heartily sick of all the questions about their involvement in the NCCL 35 years ago.

But these are people who have put themselves forward for high office.

Is it so unreasonable to ask, before they are allowed to lord it over us, to be completely open and transparent about their involvement with NCCL at a time when NCCL was involved with PIE?

We know about Ms Harman's employment record with NCCL, but can she also assure us that she was not involved in the organisation in a voluntary way during the time that PIE was in the ascendant.

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