Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
7 October 2014updated 07 Sep 2021 10:55am

Embarrassing silence

It really is pathetic that I have taken this long to get blogging after the rather dramatic beginnin

By Martin Bright

It seems like an age has passed since the small matter of a terrorist suspect who was not deported caused maximum embarrassment to the government in the run-up to the local elections. I heard that Downing Street briefed the Sunday papers that the blog was responsible for the rise of the BNP and the Guardian credited it with the demise of Charles Clarke. It was a little difficult to follow that.

Now Charles Clarke has gone and we have a former Stalinist in the Home Office who once told me that the human rights culture should be consigned to the dustbin of history (along with his previously-held beliefs about the historical inevitability of the revolution I suppose).

The reshuffle was depressing and revealed how little strength in depth there is in this government. Is the Adrian Mole generation of younger ministers any more inspiring? Douglas Alexander and David Miliband are self-confessed swots and there are no obvious naughty boys (or girls) at the back of the class to make life more interesting.

I remember sitting opposite a man on a train last autumn who overheard me talking about the Labour Party. As he got off he turned and said in a broad Scottish accent: “Douglas Alexander and Des Browne in the Cabinet and an increased Labour majority under Gordon at the next election.” We’ll see.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy