Clarke: Labour must focus on future
Labour could be out of power for more than a decade if the party "gets it wrong" in the run-up to the general election, Charles Clarke, the former home secretary, has warned.
Mr Clarke, MP for Norwich South, said Labour had "wasted much of the first half of this parliament" on internal party squabbles and remained "very unclear" about what it had to offer voters at the next election. Predicting an election in May 2010, he insisted defeat at the hands of David Cameron's Conservatives was not inevitable, but said Gordon Brown should not delay in showing a clear sense of purpose and direction on issues such as the environment, public sector reform and Europe.
"We must all understand that rhetoric about past Conservative failures and past Labour success will not disguise a failure to face the future," he said. "It seems to me that Labour still remains very unclear about our approach, both in this parliament and the next," Mr Clarke said in an article for Progress magazine.
"Now, above all, we need clarity in each policy area. The current uncertainties are widespread and give ammunition to our opponents." He said the "uncertainty'" surrounding the comparative merits of the diploma, A-level or the international baccalaureate at 18, was "potentially debilitating".
Mr Clarke, who has been tipped for a return to front-line politics, said on BBC radio that the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, was wrong to bow to pressure to reject the police arbitration award of 2.5 per cent, and reduce their pay rise to 1.9 per cent. "The fact that there was different treatment for the police and the teachers was a misjudgement," he said.
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Nepal earthquake: Rescuers forced to dig with their bare hands in search for survivors as images show damage to historic buildings
Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson in angry clash live on BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Bali Nine executions: British grandmother on death row in Indonesia Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...