Private: Booker chair expresses desire to “foster consensus”

“Chris Smith’s appointment as chairman of the judges for this year’s Man Booker Prize suggests that the prize’s administrators are anxious to avoid controversy,” Lilian Pizzichini argues.

The former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport was in full New Labour-speak mode as he deliberated on the task ahead of him: “My role will be to foster robust discussion but also to foster consensus.”

Maybe he should have chaired The Big Read, then?