Charles Clarke defends New Labour’s ‘patchy’ record on public service reform

Charles answered questions to an MA class on the ‘Blair Years’ taught at Kings College London. During the talk, Charles was asked about issues ranging from a graduate tax rather than contingent fees, to private and public funding in the public sector, and the private finance initiative.

He said that, overall, Labour had a “very patchy record of reform”. Tony Blair had four priorities, he said: education, health, crime and transport. “In each case, you need a Secretary of State, a Permanent Secretary, someone at the No 10 Policy Unit and someone at the Treasury to be in favour of the process. I haven’t drawn a chart to see where there was this alignment, but it didn’t happen often. Often Tony was in favour of reform and Gordon was against. And there were occasions when Tony was in favour of ‘reform’ without knowing what reform he wanted.”

The full summary in the Independent can be found here.