After the cancellation of Prime Ministers Questions last week because of the death of young Ivan Cameron it was back to business as usual today. Well, not quite. With David Cameron not present as not unreasonably he is on compassionate leave and with Gordon Brown in the US it was down to the battle of the substitutes - Harriet Harman, William Hague and Vince Cable. Ms Harman has coped pretty well with Hague in previous outings but not this time. The talk of Westminster at the moment apparently is Harriet's positioning to take over from Brown whenever he steps down as leader or is eased out. Cleverly Hague waited for the moment before making reference to the ambitions of HH, he certainly had opposition members guffawing and a few Labour MPs had difficulty in trying to stay serious. Harman was really shrill and although she managed a couple of retorts they were in the glancing blow category I thought.
The other day I suggested that Sir Fred Goodwin be stripped of his title in the belief that he was knighted for "his services to banking". It was a Plaid Cymru MP who suggested at PMQs that Sir Fred lose his knighthood but Ms Harman's response was that it was his work for 'The Princes Trust' that led to him being honoured. So was I and I guess millions of others wrong in our belief about this. Answer: no we weren't. Harriet Harman made an awful gaffe and her office made a retraction a little later in the afternoon. She has been very outspoken about the Goodwin pension and surely this demonstrates that she is not on top of her brief. Or does it? Some have surmised that if she knew the real reason for bestowing the honour then this might have been highly embarrassing to state in as much as it would have reflected yet more bad judgment by G Brown. Whatever, she didn't perform at all well today.