In an interview with the Telegraph today, Charles Clarke has launched a series of attacks against the Labour leadership. He also reveals in the interview that he thinks Labour would have won the 2010 election under his leadership.
The former Home Secretary (who lost his seat at the last election) is no stranger to assaults on the Labour leadership in recent years of course. And although Clarke makes some valid points, it’s hard not to view the piece as a whole as a bit of a “look at me exercise” from a former grandee. Perhaps one who might wish to bear in mind Atlee’s famous ‘advice’ to Laski – “a period of silence on your part would be welcome”.
Then again, Clarke was often an outrider, and perhaps the most regularly mooted “stalking horse” in Labour history from 2007-2010. But if he’s an outrider now, who is he acting on behalf of?
Here are some of the quotes from the interview:
On Labour’s message
“We need to have a clear narrative of what we did right and what we did wrong. We’re not remotely near that. Also, we have to remember we are opposing as a potential future government. Simply to say what the Government is doing is a load of rubbish is absolutely not good enough. We have to say what we would do in these circumstances.”
On Ed Balls and economic strategy
“I’ve talked about this to Ed Balls [the shadow chancellor], who is a man I like, who, of course, was at the core of the Brown economic strategy. If he is going to be a credible chancellor, he has to explain what we did right and what we did wrong. I don’t think he’s able to do that.”
On perceptions of Ed Miliband
“I don’t see Ed as weird and geeky, but it is a correct reporting of the situation to say that many people do see him as weird and geeky.”
Fair criticisms? Unfair criticisms? Read the full piece here, and have your say in the comments below.