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.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. 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 newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
Why public health policy needs to refocus
The five key tech areas for the public sector in 2023
You wouldn’t give your house keys to anyone, so why do that with your computers?