James Purnell: an ideology free zone

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Who is this?

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NOTE: AN IMAGE OF JAMES PURNELL MP WAS SHOWN HERE

ON 12-1-09 THE FOLLOWING NOTE WAS RECEIVED FROM HIS OFFICE:

Dear Sir,

It was recently drawn to my attention that you are using a copyrighted image of James Purnell MP without permission. This violates copyright law. Please remove this image from your blog.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Hamilton-Shaw

Office of James Purnell MP

THE IMAGE HAS BEEN REMOVED

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For those not familiar, it's Jame Purnell, the new minister for work and pensions. He's quoted in the Observer today as saying:

Labour is 'ideologically neutral' between the three sectors - private, public and voluntary.

If that is his real opinion (and I can of course doubt that) this says one of three things: he doesn't think, he can't think, or he doesn't engage his brain before opening his mouth. None are attractive in a person holding cabinet office.

He might, of course, like most modern neoliberal politicians, wish it to appear that he is more concerned with process than outcomes. But even that is indication of an ideology, which is unquestioning acceptance of the neoliberal position that outcomes are inevitable and are what the market dictates.

But that is not true. If it were Northern Rock would be in liquidation. Many in the UK would be without healthcare. Most of our elderly would have no meaningful pension.

In a politician this claim is so far from tenable that it can only represent denial of responsibility. Maybe that is what modern politics is. But I don't like it, I don't accept it, and if I'm honest I don't much admire people who claim themselves without a moral compass. Because that is what he seems to be saying.

Please give me some conviction, not this blandness that seems only to hide the delivery of selfish capitalism. Because that's Purnell's real agenda, I am sure. And it's the last thing I want.