Sunday, May 07, 2006

Clarke not tough enough for Blair?

Portillo on Charles Clarke:
The wrecking of Clarke’s career makes an interesting case study. He won almost universal praise as education secretary, his first cabinet job. But after his promotion to the Home Office he never looked entirely happy. He was under intense pressure from Blair to take additional powers to detain terrorist suspects and to create new offences, such as the glorification of terrorism.

Much more than David Blunkett before him, Clarke took seriously the arguments of civil libertarians. Even if physically he resembled a round peg, Blair was clearly bashing him into a square hole. Early in Clarke’s tenure it was already rumoured that Blair was dissatisfied.
If Portillo's right, then we not only have the problem of John Reid being a bastard, it's not just the Home Office as an all-consuming monster, it's tired Tony who'll keep the pressure up for headline grabbing.

Let's hope those letter writers get through, if not to Tony himself, then to the rest of the cabinet.

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