A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

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.


Blogger Chris Paul said...

Clarke may be full of ideas. Some good, some bad, some indifferent. But he's not a good listener and it's a case of my way or the highway ... often enough for himself. He's blown it and he knows it. Perhaps they would offer him the Northern Ireland job now that's sorted?

He should take it without any tantrums and work his way back or make a cntribution without bitterness from the back benches. He has made himself virtually unemployable as a minister and not a prospect as either a candidate or a sponsor of a candidate.

9:06 am, April 26, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Charles Clarke has always been a forward thinker and his site to encourage debate reflects this. He is known to have a fierce intellect and will not be bullied - a reason why he has clashed so often with Gordon Brown? He does have many supporters and many of us share his views on the Chancellor. I have always read his speeches - he raises the most difficult policy issues that we must face.

10:32 am, April 26, 2007


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