Charles Clarke May Have Courage and Conviction, but If He Is to Sort out the Many Problems That Await Him at Education, He Will Have to Do Something about "The Interpersonals". (Politics)

By Kampfner, John | New Statesman (1996), November 4, 2002 | Go to article overview

Charles Clarke May Have Courage and Conviction, but If He Is to Sort out the Many Problems That Await Him at Education, He Will Have to Do Something about "The Interpersonals". (Politics)


Kampfner, John, New Statesman (1996)


Close to two years ago, I went to see Charles Clarke in his lair in the Home Office. We had a garrulous early evening chat, alternating between his views on criminal justice, lawyers, the role of society and the media, what it means to be a Blairite and whether or not he should shave off his beard.

His candour and his willingness to take people on impressed me. Political journalism, he said, was corrupting open discussion. A media that sought only controversy was traducing difficult policy decisions.

My interview was given front-page treatment by the Guardian, under a headline "Tip for the top". This man, I felt, was different. Politics and fashion go in cycles. Squeaky-clean Blair represented an end of millennium obsession with youth and modernity. There would in time be something appealing about someone like Clarke as prime minister.

That was then. He isn't quite a household name now, but Clarke is finally getting the profile he deserves as the new Education Secretary. This is, as one Downing Street official puts it, "Charles's big chance--if he can sort out the inter-personals then he's got a good chance of making it work".

But the inter-personals are the trouble. They will count for a lot in Clarke's new job. Whatever it might think of public-sector workers, the government now concedes that it has to take them with it as it reforms. Over the next month, Clarke and his team will put the finishing touches to reforms of higher education, having to settle the highly contentious questions of top-up fees and graduate taxes versus student loans. The bigger challenge is to determine just what "the post-comprehensive" era in secondary schools means.

Clarke will need to add charm to his customary courage and conviction if he is to win the battles with Downing Street over selection, with the Treasury over future funding--and with the teaching profession. His record over the past few months begs the question: can he do it?

Tony Blair's people believe he did a good job as party chairman, rejuvenating morale, encouraging local organisations to engage more in debate. When it came, however, to the desperately difficult balancing act of relations with the unions, the picture is mixed.

Clarke and David Triesman, the soft-spoken general secretary, played a "good cop, bad cop" routine, but a five-year deal guaranteeing funding from the unions continues to elude them. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Charles Clarke May Have Courage and Conviction, but If He Is to Sort out the Many Problems That Await Him at Education, He Will Have to Do Something about "The Interpersonals". (Politics)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.