Monday, July 19, 2010
Mandelson Vague on Key Question on Why He did not Help Depose Gordon
Then I saw his interview with Andrew Marr on Sunday and Marr asked the very question I had posed. Mandelson said he could in no way have joined in any coup attempt as: firstly there was 'no way' he could have known what other Cabinet members thought. Well, I doubt that. Mandeslon is a natural plotter and would hnave known almost intiuitively what his colleagues were thinking or would have quickly found out. Secondly he said there was no way he could have helped to bring down Gordon during an economic crisis. More credibilty to this argument but if he really wanted to defend New Labour, there was time to remove Brown and replace him with a less toxic leader. Mandelson has estimated Gordon cost the party 40 seats; that's enough to have made the coalition unformable.
The third reason, not mentioned by Mandeslon but crucial at the time, was that there was no obvious candidate. Miliband D, was up for it to a degree says Rawnsley, but lacked the cojones to break cover. This absence of a replacement- though virtually anyone would have been prefereable- was a key reason why Brown survived and an indictemnt of those now contesting the Labour leadership.
I suspect Mandelson too, had slipped back into 'courtier' mode with Gordon after October 2008, when he returned to the Cabinet. He was enjoying it too much to risk it ending: a new leader might well have deemed him unemployable. And, just maybe, he felt a little loyalty to the man who used to be a close friend and who had awarded an Indian Summer to his career.
It's no wonder DM and others were unwilling to put their heads above the ramparts, people haven't forgotten what became of Heseltine after he brought down the Iron Lady. And a failed attempt would have had even more disastrous consequences...
Links to this post: