The tragedy of Charles Clarke
There is something desperately sad about the latest attention-seeking outburst from Charles Clarke.
Sad for him because with every outburst he walks further into the wilderness when he ought to be trying to be a team player and contributing to the Party and the Government's recovery.
But infinitely sadder for the Labour Party because the stupid, stupid timing of his completely unnecessary article has knocked all the positive policy announcements this week off the headlines and given the media the chance to reprise stories about division just as most of the Party is trying to put its weight behind a relaunch.
Charles should be part of the solution but he is repeatedly making himself part of the problem.
I do not understand how such an intelligent man can behave with such lack of self-awareness.
He writes "Everyone in Labour needs to stop obsessing about the past and to start obsessing about the future" but says this in an article that is almost entirely devoted to rehearsing historical arguments about the policy divisions of the past.
He offers not one single positive policy or strategy for the future in his article.
He says "Labour is destined to disaster if we go on as we are" - but "going on as we are" includes writing coded articles that are clearly designed to undermine the Prime Minister.
He's right about one thing though - "there is no Blairite plot". I know a lot of Blairites and most of them would cringe with embarrassment to be associated with his random and damaging interventions.
Stop doing it please Charles. Just put a sock in it.
Postscript: I failed to notice at first that he also attacks the replacement of Trident in the article - i.e. about the only concrete position he takes on policy is actually to attack one of Blair's most strategically important legacies. At least this helps clarify he is nothing to do with the right of the Party.