Sunday, March 25, 2007
Mandelson and Blair want to Scupper Gordon's Chances
Last Week Peter Mandelson seemed to revivememories of some harsh criticisms of Gordon Brown. On Friday he warned that a contest for the leadership was desirable and today on the World this Weekend, we heard him amplifying his case by pointing out that when Michael Howard received a 'coronation', the public shrugged and voted him down; when Cameron won, he came from behind to win a lively contest along with considerable public support. What does all this mean? Two things.
Firstly, that emnities die hard in politics and Mandelson has clearly not forgiven Brown for the hostility born against him by the Scot following Mandelson's change of sides for Blair in the mid nineties. Mandelson dropped Gordon once he considered Blair the better bet and, under the code name 'Bobby' went on to advise Tony on his successful campaign.
Secondly, I think the briefings given by Blair's intimates to the Observer are not unconnected with the silky Commissioner's warnings- and suggest both Tony and Peter are seeking to scupper Gordon's chances. We read that Blair has said Miliband could beat Brown. From the article linked above it seems clear Blair is seeking to encourage his tyro Environment Secretary to enter the field and that he has no warm feelings about the prospect of Gordon succeeding him. Does any of this matter? Yes, I think it does. A dished Gordon would possibly make Tony cavort with the schadenfreude of it but I wonder if the elimination from the contest of Labour's most successful post 97 politician can do anything but extreme harm to the party.
Apropos of Blair I thought his performance with Catherine Tate revealing. Whatever damage his feud with Brown causes, he really "ain't bovvered"
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