Peter Hoskin

John Hutton: a good man for the job

John Hutton: a good man for the job
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While we're enjoying a burst of optimism about the coalition, it's worth highlighting the news that John Hutton has been put in charge of a review into public sector pensions.  As I've said before, Hutton was one of the most quietly impressive figures of the New Labour era, and someone who impressed during his time at work and pensions. Even the Tories' current welfare agenda owes a lot to Hutton: he commission the Freud Review which set the parameters for welfare reform in this country, and he fought on its behalf against a reluctant Gordon Brown. In a wonkish sort of way, it will be exciting to see what happens when he turns his mind to the crucial issue of public sector pensions.

As Tim Montgomerie says, there are also plenty of people on the right who deserve to be co-opted into government.  But there's no reason to be perturbed by the dashes of red currently being added to the coalition mix.  All signs are that the government is jettisoning much of the bad intellectual baggage from the Labour years  – while, with Hutton and Frank Field, retaining some of the best bits.