31 January 2008

Charles Clarke's self-preservation society

Charles Clarke has today launched a scathing attack on Gordon Brown's Labour Party, accusing it of losing focus and issuing a warning that the current failings of the Labour Party are setting the country up for 10 years of Conservative rule (smiles all round then :-) ).

I am sure there is a strong element of self-preservation in this. As things stand he will not win Norwich South. He sits in a constituency which is suffering from the ravages of Labour control.

I have been visiting Norwich over the last few weeks. It faces the same deprivation issues that it faced 10 years ago, anti-social behaviour is a serious issue and the local Council can't even produce a decent set of accounts (it has to be said that the Chair of the Audit Comittee is the Lib Dem leader, so questions have to be asked there too). It is a City screaming out for Conservative influence and some decent regeneration (albeit it has a great City Centre).

Charles Clarke cannot distance himself from local failings because they are as much about how Labour Nationally has failed to deliver in areas that are most in need of Social justice as they are about the shortcomings of the local Party of which he is presumably a member. Nor can he distance himself from Labour's failings Nationally, he voted against his pledge at the last election for a referendum on the EU Constitution and was one of the driving forces behind ID cards, which now seems to have been kicked into the long grass because of its unpopularity.



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