18 July 2009

James Purnell has been rather overrated


Well, yes we have all lost faith in Brown and some of us never thought he was up to the job a long time before young James.  Moving on, and following yesterday’s teaser in the Guardian , we get the full interview:

On the day of the local elections we get this fascinating insight of how quickly he can write a letter:

At 11.30am on a park bench on a former council estate in his constituency he decided to go; at 2.30pm he ducked into his constituency office and wrote the letter in five minutes; at 5pm he told three national newspapers; and at 9.50pm he spoke to Peter Mandelson ("we had a disagreement").

We move on to the simulating tasks he has been carrying out since he resigned:

In his time on the backbenches Purnell has set about arranging his thoughts, both literally and metaphorically – it took one weekend to arrange the books in his flat from A to Z (A Class Act, by his former cabinet colleague Lord Adonis, the transport secretary, to Emile Zola).

Then we move on to what Labour has to do:

I think we need to go back and clarify values which underlie new Labour and be very candid about what worked and didn't work.

If Tony was coming into politics now he would be saying we need to develop a new set of policies for what is relevant for today, not for 1994.

Blow me down, there is nothing like saying the bleeding obvious.

And this:

New Labour became "too small-c conservative" on schools policy and didn't make the case for immigration. It was terrified of swing voters….

Preciously why Blair won three elections.

Lets us keep going.  When he starts at Demos in September:

We're going to go through Labour values, match them to what we've done and then identify challenges and then organise a team around those challenges.

Are we still awake at the back? 

Then he kindly gives Brown some advice for the election:

To pledge universal childcare and a guaranteed job for every person out of work after one year.

Can't you just hear the rush to the polling stations.

On his on ambitions:

The way I feel at the moment is it's pretty unlikely I'll want to go back into frontline politics.

After this interview, that is a welcome relief to all of us.

No wonder the Guardian run a teaser yesterday to promote this rip-roaring stuff.

Nothing to see here. Move on.


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1 comment:

  1. You're right Howard, nothing to see. All part of his wish for the leadership of course.