Anorak News | Home (Secretary) Truths

Home (Secretary) Truths

by | 27th, June 2006

“TONY has lost his sense of purpose and direction,” says the Times’s front-page headline.

These are the words of former Home Secretary Chares Clarke, who tells the paper his thoughts on the Blair regime and things governmental.

Before we go on, we should note that Clarke’s words do not in any way stem from a sense of bitterness that he was sacked from one of the top jobs in British politics, so losing his company car, high salary and assorted other perks. What he says is rooted in his strong sense of duty, a need to speak out lest Tony Blair be the ruin of us all.

So in what the Times bills as Clarke’s first national newspaper interview since his dismissal for the foreign prisoners debacle, the man himself speaks out.

The paper says Clarke gives a “devastating critique” of Blair’s government. He tells of a meeting after the election. “The central theme was a sense of being becalmed, a desire to get some kind of purpose and direction about what we ought to achieve.”

He perceives a “sense of uncertainty in the Labour Party”.
He wants Tony Blair to “recover that sense of purpose and direction”. He wants Tony to “recover that reforming leadership and style”. Recover. Recover. Recover.

And Gordon Brown is no better. The ambitious Chancellor “needs that sense of leadership and direction”. Clarke says: “What we are lacking at the moment is a sense of leadership and direction.”

And then there is John Reid. The paper says Clarke and the new Home Secretary have been great pals since 1974, which is why Clarke feels able to tell him a few home truths without causing offence. It is what the Times calls a “ferocious onslaught” on his old mucker.

John Reid has said his new department’s immigration operation is "not fit for purpose" with "inadequate" leadership and management systems.

Clarke wants to “defend” his reputation as Home Secretary (note: none of it was his fault) and is upset with Reid for putting the “spotlight on what our enemies would claim is the failure of nine years of Tony Blair’s leadership — tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime”.

Perhaps. But what else can Labour do? If they admit to having failed to tackle crime, they can no longer be the party tough on it – they can no loner steal the Tories’ thunder.

So they get a new man in the job. He says how tough he will be. Mistakes have been made. And he will deal with them. Just give him time.

Which leaves yesterday’s man on the sidelines. Problem is, how long will it be before Labour run out of individuals to blame. How long before the electorate work out that they are all at fault?

Posted: 27th, June 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink