I have always found Harriet Harman a particularly irritating politican. I think it has something to do with her patronising tone of voice that seems to say: 'I am both more intelligent and have better intentions than you. So if you disagree with what I am saying you are either a knave or a fool.' It's a quality she shares with other prominent Labour women, Margaret Jay and Patricia Hewitt being prime examples.
Ms Harman was at her worst with the announcement on Question Time last night that she thinks Parliament not the prime minister should have the power to call elections. She delivered this opinion with the aura of gravitas as if making a great concession. Yet of course we all know that in practice even if Parliament did have the final say, it would amount to a vote of no confidence by government MPs if they were to vote against a prime ministerial request for a dissolution. It's the sort of thing that might lead to them being deselected.
So Harriet Harman's proposal is just another piece of New Labour spin - designed to appear statesmanlike, but in fact signifying nothing. It's Harriet Harman letting us know she thinks we're all stupid. A pity that the BBC reported it as though it were a serious story.