The Rt. Hon. Charles Clarke: 'How best to meet the challenges of political opposition'

Wednesday 17th June 2015 at 6pm
Venue: 55 Tufton Street, Westminster 

As the new parliament began its work, our post-election events series continued with a focus on the Labour Party, now back in opposition for a second time. We were delighted to present a talk by former Cabinet Minister Charles Clarke, who also served as Chief of Staff to Neil Kinnock in opposition from 1983-1992. He gave his reflections from his experience on the challenges facing an opposition.

An audio file of the lecture is available at our Soundcloud page at:

6801141Charles Clarke served as both Home Secretary and Education Secretary during the Labour Government of Tony Blair. Having left Westminster, he remains involved in politics, and retains a particular interest in education policy and on broader areas of long-term planning and strategy in public and private sectors.

He entered local politics in Hackney, east London before joining the office of Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, becoming Chief of Staff. A brief spell away from front-line politics as chief executive of a public affairs consultancy ended when he stood for parliament in the 1997 Labour landslide.

After entering Parliament Charles was quickly appointed a junior minister in education and then the Home Office. He joined the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio before becoming Education Secretary where, amongst other policies, he introduced the first tuition fees in the UK. He then became Home Secretary, dealing with many sensitive and controversial areas including counter-terrorism, trail by jury, ID cards and foreign prisoners. After leaving the Home Office he chose to return to the backbenches until the election of 2010.

Charles remains involved in Labour politics and regularly comments in the media on events in Westminster and beyond. His book, The Too Difficult Box refers to politics’ aversion to long-term decision-making and the necessity for a political consensus on key areas of national importance. A lesson that can just as easily apply to businesses and other organisations. Along with a number of academic and political appointments, including membership of the European Council on Foreign Relations, Charles is a non-exec director of an education technology company.



Professor Tim Bale: 'Labour under Ed Miliband, 2010-2015'

Thursday 4th June 2015 
Venue: 55 Tufton Street, Westminster SW1P 3QL

As the new parliament begins work, our post-election events series began with a focus on the Labour Party, as it returned to opposition for a second successive term.  
We were delighted to host distinguished academic and author Tim Bale, whose book on Ed Miliband's leadership of the Labour Party  has been critically acclaimed. He gave his thoughts on the last five years of Labour in opposition, a subject which is of great topical interest given the election result and the Labour leadership contest which was then underway.   The audio of the event can be found here.

844157Tim Bale 
graduated from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.  After teaching English in Spain, he did a Masters Degree at Northwestern University in the USA.  Following a few years spent working for the NHS, he returned to do a PhD at the Department of Politics at Sheffield University, where he then lectured for a year.  After Sheffield, he taught politics at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand until 2003 and then at Sussex University until 2012. For four years he was the co-editor of the European Journal of Political Research's annual Political Data Yearbook. 

​In 2008 he won the Political Studies Association's Bernard Crick Prize for Outstanding Teaching.  He was the co-founder of the PSA's specialist group on Conservatives and Conservatism.  He also provides an Internet Guide to European Politics to accompany his book, European Politics: a Comparative Introduction, the third edition of which was published in the spring of 2013. Tim's media work includes writing for the Financial Times and the Guardian, and he has appeared on various BBC radio and television programmes.  In 2011 he received the Political Studies Association's W.J.M. Mackenzie prize for his book The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron.  His latest books are The Conservatives since 1945: the Drivers of Party Change.  and Five Year Mission. The Labour Party under Ed Miliband.  He occasionally tweets @ProfTimBale
. You can find his non-academic writing on his blog.