Harriet Harman's comment about £10,000 handbags seems to have caused some controversy. Perhaps what she failed to realise is how people object to being told how to spend their money - whether it's on a Gucci clutch or a big expensive house in London. Either way, if people work hard, pay their taxes and go about their business honestly, what right does a politician have to judge how they spend their spare cash?
Harman may also want to consider relativity when commenting on these things. What she spends on her house, her clothes, her car, her handbag etc may be modest in her eyes but a mile away from what others, possibly even her own constituents have to spend on the same things.
Also, would she really feel comfortable berating someone for saving for a luxury item whether it's a holiday, a sound system, a new sofa? Or is it just handbags that she objects to?
Perhaps she should also pick her targets more carefully, bearing in mind that the evolution of fashion can often have a liberating effect on women. A handbag that women carried over their shoulders, made famous by Chanel, meant women could move more freely, and the trouser suit pioneered by fashion designers also allowed women more choice and freedom when choosing what to wear.
Some Iranian women recently risked the wrath of the politicians by holding a fashion show that pushed boundaries on what is considered 'decent' in Iranian society. This isn't to say that fashion can cure world poverty, but sometimes one women's shallow expense is another's political statement.
In the end, maybe Harman needs to accept that some people may choose to spend money on things she might not like. But then that's a the beauty of democracy, nearly as lovely as the new Marc Jacobs leather tote...