Brown and Mandelson – what a pair

Presumably the PM wants to bind Mandelson and the Blairites into his voyage into recession for some industries. Does Mandelson want to help, or is he out to assist the Blairite cause from his new ringside seat?

Let’s assume he wants to help, as he tells us. Brown has given him the dreadful job of holding the hand of business as we enter a nasty downturn. Will Number 10 support him and take most of the blame for the poor position of business, or will there be tensions over what caused it and what to do next?

It’s certainly going to make politics more interesting, but I doubt if it will bring forward the policies we need urgently to fight recession. Don’t expect Mandelson to urge lower interest rates or better fiscal discipline anytime soon. There is still no alternative policy being advocated around the Cabinet table to try save some jobs and preserve some businesses, at a time of grave danger to our economy.

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9 Comments

  1. Tony Makara
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Mr Mandelson won't be able to improve matters because the fundamental problem that Labour faces is that the credit that fuelled its artificial boom has completely dried up. Nontheless it was nice to see the end of the desultory Caroline Flint in the vital area of housing. Mrs Beckett will, at least, have her head screwed on and not be looking for the latest photo opportunity. What, however, possessed Brown to shunt Flint off to the foreign office? What on earth can she possibly bring to the FO? When one sees the likes of Caroline Flint flying high, it just goes to show that these days any old clothes-horse can become an MP, even a minister, provided they do enough networking, say the right things and are of commensurate opinion.

  2. Eddie Allen
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Mandelson is a federalist and a globalization freak so I won't hold my breath waiting for him to have a sudden urge to consider the nationalistic needs of my country, given that for the last 5 years he made a sworn oath in Europe to NOT consider them.

    I also feel he should not be in cabinet and certainly not a minister given that no one has elected him to the government or to parliament, and as for giving him a title, this is completely unsatisfactory for to have such a man at the very top of our system of government is tantamount to lunacy.

    In fact he is as qualified for the position as any other, so I wait to see Kinnock make a comeback too to make it a complete shower of jokers saoking the taxpayers purse whilst those same taxpayers struggle to get by as a result of all their stupid actions.

    It's the cat looking after the mouse here !

  3. Ken Adams
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    So Mandelson resigns his post as EU Commissioner and returns to be made a Lord and become a member of our government.

    First he takes an oath of allegiance to the British crown, but (RESIGNS -ED) twice (amidst allegations -ed), he than takes an oath of allegiance to the EU, and now he will take an oath of allegiance to the British crown, but presumably will still be collecting his EU pension. I wonder which of his masters he will be serving, the British people or the European Union.

  4. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I think Brown has brought back Mandelson to take some of the focus off himself. He needs someone else to blame. But they cannot undo 12 years of the Labour mistakes.

    Brown will retreat back into the Bunker to control his Panzers and hope for the best.

  5. Kevin Lohse
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I may be just a silly old conspiracy theorist but-
    GB is toxic to Labour. The 10p tax fiasco finally finished off his relationship with the traditional labour heartland voter, and whatever the polls say, Gordon is (unpopular -ed) throughout the Nation. GB has sidelined/eliminated any possible rival of Cabinet rank and ability. In any case, they're all frit of Gordon, who nurses a grudge like a mother nurses a sick child.

    The Cabinet, running really scared, threaten mass resignations on top of the erosion of minor ministers and Govt. functionaries through the Autumn conference. Gordon will do anything to hang on to being PM. The price is bringing Mandy and Alistair back into the fold. These two spinmeisters (used to dislike-ed) GB . They were also the power that dreamt up the present electoral system by which a challenge to the PM is virtually impossible. They made it – they can break it.
    I fortell that the Machiavellian Duo will spend until Christmas rebuilding their Parliamentary support and finding a potential PM.
    It is quite possible that GB will be gone by May, giving time for the new man to prevent a complete meltdown in 2010.

  6. Stuart Fairney
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    JR, Can you just confirm you have never requested an £80K Maserati as your official car, paid for by the hapless taxpayer?

    The only reason I ask, is that I know someone who has, and this time it's not 'the' PM but another one!

    REPLY:Contrary to common belief MPs in Opposition get no official cars! When I was a Minister I did not request or receive a Maserati.

  7. Rose
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Very noble of you to give them the benefit of the doubt. It looks really simple to me: a conman who can't communicate needs one who can. PM may be PM yet.

  8. DennisA
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Just as bad as the Mandelson appointment is the removal of John Hutton from Energy matters. He was one of the few who had realised the hard facts of life that we are running out of capacity, particularly as our coal fired stations are already being run down to comply with the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive.

    To set up yet another department, with Ed Miliband and another coterie of "Ministers", (how many ministers does one government need?), specifically devoted to "climate change" , is a recipe for yet more stupidity and damaging taxes in return for un-measurable impact on a non-problem.

  9. ChrisD
    Posted October 5, 2008 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    This was purely a politically short term tactical reshuffle by Gordon Brown, aimed solely at shoring up his position as PM. It will end in tears.

One Trackback

  • By On Mandelson on October 4, 2008 at 1:23 am

    […] predict that this appointment will ultimately backfire on Brown.  That his job will involve “holding the hand of business as we enter a nasty downturn” the probability of his becoming a futher focus of disaffection within Labour and having […]

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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