Mr Mordon wrote:
I'm more puzzled how its somehow 'politically valid'...
Happy to help you fill in another gap in your (from past experience, slightly flawed) appreciation of the political landscape in the UK in 2010.
Danny Alexander is the Liberal Democrat MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey. As an MP sitting for a Scottish constituency, and a little more significantly, a key figure in the Tory/LibDem coalition government as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he is therefore a legitimate political target for the official opposition (that's the Labour Party, Mr Mordon), and in respect of the Scottish dimension, even more so at Labour's Scottish conference.
Harman made a partly jocular reference to Alexander in her speech, saying :
"Many of us in the Labour Party are conservationists - and we all love the red squirrel. But there's one ginger rodent which we never want to see again in the Highlands of Scotland - Danny Alexander."
In my view, I think that this is completely fair comment. Harman is indicating that she finds the supine compliance of Alexander and his Lib Dem colleagues with the Tories' savage assault on the less well off in society abhorrent (so far, so unsurprising), and also going a little further in suggesting that Alexander, representing as he does (by dint of his willing aquiesence in implementing Osborne's attacks) is the very essence of Liberal Democrat complicity in the Tories' assault on ordinary people, and a fitting object for the disapproval of decent people. Alexander is actually at the heart of an agenda that leads on fucking over ordinary decent people. She's suggesting that the people of Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey would therefore do well to ditch Alexander as their MP and elect someone possessed of a measure of human empathy, at the very least. In particular, she is asserting that "we" (ie Labour supporters) never want to see Alexander again in the Scottish Highlands - something which is inarguably true, self-evident, and totally un-surprising. And in particular, exactly what it says on the "Labour Oppposition" tin.
Alexander happens to be ginger. So what. So does Charlie Kennedy, and he still manages to make a fair fist of being a paid-up member of the human race, possessed of a measure of compassion.
Alexander, however, doesn't even manage this - which is just one reason why Harman was absolutely right in the first place. Alexander is a completely legitimate target for official opposition politicians, which is why I'm a little disappointed that Harman rowed back from her remarks and furnished Alexander with an apology he did not deserve.