Gordon made me do it

Well, if Gordon told you to jump off a bridge, would you do that too?

The childish excuse that some infraction was actually suggested by someone else hasn't worked for me since I was a child. Actually, it didn't work then, but when I was six I thought it might.

As Labour's Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, flounders for her political life, blame is flying in several directions. Harman claims the Brown's office suggested she contact Mrs Kidd, now revealed to be a conduit for donations by David Abrahams. It is not entirely clear why Harman would need suggestions from Brown's office as to possible donors, since Harman's husband, Jack Dromey, is Labour Party Treasurer, and presumably well-connected in such circles himself.

The only answer appears to be that Harman's deputy leadership campaign was the only proxy for a leadership campaign that the Labour Party actually had. No-one dared to challenge Gordon Brown, so there was no leadership vote. Brown put up Harman - a cabinet minister sacked by Tony Blair because she was plainly out of her depth - so that people could have a chance to vote against him. Harman was always Brown's candidate. Despite the availability of obviously superior and independent figures, Labour declined the opportunity to give its new leader a mild rebuke, and elected his candidate for deputy.

Brown's office, of course, denies arranging anything for Harman. She, however, claims to have a letter which supports her claim.

Remarkably, Harman does not seem to have claimed that she was ignorant of either the law or the facts of this case. Only that it was Brown's idea not hers. Claiming ignorance of the law would, in any case, be a bit rich. She was Solicitor General at the time. And another assumption we at least ought to be able to make about her husband is that he was a little au fait with party funding laws.

So she is left with an excuse that doesn't work for six year olds. Oh dear!

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