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Labour's first female Prime Minister and the Ganni banana swimsuit

MP Harriet Harman has declared the next leader of the Labour party must be a woman. Not so contentious so far, this reporter concedes, but it is the method with which Ms Harman aims to achieve this which has rocked the status quo of a heretofore WASPish Parliament.

Ms Harman believes there should be an all-female leadership election to absolutely guarantee the next leader, and also potentially, the next Prime Minister, will be a woman. This is a ground-breaking, and essentially vital, achievement for the Labour party who sit very much in the shadow of the, ironically, more prehistoric-thinking Conservatives who have 'enjoyed' two female Prime Ministers thus far.

Ms Harman reports that her all-female candidate leadership contest idea has "startled" would-be male leaders. But the 'Mother of the House' as she is called for her seemingly endless stint as MP and, at brief intervals, acting but never 'proper' Prime Minister, is unmoved in the face of challenge.

She says she is happy to see male MPs jostle amongst themselves for deputy but they must, not step aside so much as, actively help support female MPs to the top position.

It is this subtle difference in Ms Harman's use of language which, to this reporter, makes her proposal that little bit different, more palatable, to the usual positive discrimination long-lists which we have seen proposed in all sorts of workplaces across the country to boost minorities.

Rather than yet another move by "those darn-blasted feminists" to ride roughshod over long-suffering middle-aged men to steal their jobs, Ms Harman's proposal is something which suggests a commerardery between the sexes that, if implemented now, this reporter believes, could lead to that idyllic state which so many of those against the use of positive discrimination quote as their defence - that the best person for the job should get it.

The problem with this proclamation at the moment, as far as this reporter can see, is yes, the current system does essentially support the idea that the best person gets the job - as long as that best person is a man.*

As Ms Harman states, whilst discussing her own reluctance to go for the top job after Gordon Brown: "I think the world is full of men who aren't up to the job putting themselves forward and loads of women who are up to the job who don't and for that moment I was probably one of them".

What Ms Harman is asking for is for women to be given a friendly little shove up the ladder ahead of the men just for a little while, and what better person to be there to give the potential first female Labour Prime Minister a foothold, than a man.

This reporter doesn't think this idea is too bananas. Unlike this swimming costume by Ganni, which sports a whole bunch of them.

*As an aside, this reporter can give absolutely no explanation as to how the Conservatives have achieved two female Prime Ministers other than, the jury is out over the true gender of one of them and the other was up against a political clown.

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