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The Tories appear to have the centre ground. Labour need to take it back—by coming out in favour of free schools and GP commissioning

By James Purnell   March 2011

I did a strange thing the other day. I read Hansard, the parliamentary record. I’m not an MP any more, but I’m still a policy wonk. And it’s hard to find out about policy from the newspapers. Not because they don’t cover policy, but because it’s almost always editorialised—seen only through its political implications or the prism of a columnist.

To get to the raw material of policy, the best place to go is parliament. Weird, I know. When I first worked for Tony Blair as a researcher in the early 1990s, he used to read Hansard the whole time.…

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