New Labour nadir: “reformers”, fund managers, and bankers

Right. More on the theme: “New Labour and the Tories? New Labour are Tories!”.

1. “Gordon Brown says there will be no going back on the public sector changes introduced by Tony Blair.

“Writing in the Financial Times, the prime minister says Wednesday’s Budget will begin a new chapter in reform.

“Although no new policies are revealed, he hints there could be more money for education with a commitment to improving 600 worst-performing schools.” [BBC]

2. “City fund manager David Pitt-Watson is to be Labour’s new general secretary.

“Mr Pitt-Watson, 51, has worked in the City since a two-year stint as Labour’s assistant general secretary, responsible for finance, ended in 1999.

“He is expected to step down as chairman of Hermes Equity Ownership Services. Hermes is a Northern Rock shareholder.

“Mr Pitt-Watson, understood to have been Gordon Brown’s favoured candidate, will replace Peter Watt, who quit in the row over Labour’s donations by proxy.

“Mr Pitt-Watson had argued publicly for the government to pursue a private sector solution to deal with Northern Rock, which has now been taken into public ownership.” [BBC]

3. “[I]t was announced that former Goldman Sachs banker Jennifer Moses is to start as a Downing Street adviser.

“Ms Moses was working as a managing director at Goldman Sachs when her personal assistant stole more than £1m from investment accounts belonging to her and her husband Ron Beller.

“Her role at Number 10 has not yet been defined, but her appointment will be seen as an attempt to beef up Mr Brown’s inner circle in the wake of last autumn’s crises and negative media coverage.” [BBC]

In summary: Brown says he’s more Blairite than Bliar, a city fund manager becomes the general secretary of the “Labour Party”, and a banker who didn’t notice an employee pilfering a million quid gets an unspecified job (a sinecure) at Number Ten.

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