Credit where it's due
I've been fairly harsh about Charles Clarke's destructive stance on the leadership election in recent weeks.
Tonight I saw him speak about social housing policy at a Shelter seminar.
He was really good - thoughtful, progressive, arguing that councils should be given more freedom to build new social housing stock, and that housing management should be done at a level devolved nearer to tenants to make it more responsive - he talked up housing co-ops, and by implication TMOs (tenant management organisations).
It made me think that maybe he meant it when he talked about an open policy debate within the Party - and I had judged him harshly in thinking this was a coded way of attacking Brown.
And then I thought how tragic it is that this guy does have good policy ideas to contribute, but his own bitterness and intemperate outbursts about both Brown and Reid mean that almost no one is actually listening to what he has to say on policy.