Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Lord Mandelson has finally broken cover, and talked to the Evening Standard, sticking a knife squarely between the shoulder blades of Labour's election strategy. He's spot on in his comments - Old Labour, the core voters, could never win after 1979. And that core vote has been (literally) dying off for 30 years, and defecting to the BNP ("The Labour Party your grandparents voted for"). It brought to mind a quote (paraphrased) from Full Metal Jacket:
In strategic terms, Brown's cut the country in half... the mainstream media are about to wet their pants and we've heard even Mandelson's going to say the election is now unwinnable

The story mentions rumours of a cabinet resignation, and both Guido and the New Statesman (h/t Iain Dale) have identified the minister as Tessa Jowell.

Iain has commented on this, pointing out that Lord Mandelson is too politically astute to have attacked Labour's election strategy without a clear intention - but what that intention is remains a mystery. I doubt he would act alone, or be fooled into thinking it was Game On if there wasn't support - but I don't put it past him to invent a resignation rumour knowing that the press will pounce on every cabinet minister and ask them awkward questions about their loyalty.

The resignation rumour is probably false - anyone quitting the cabinet at this stage would be an utter disaster, and I expect all sorts of carrots and sticks have been applied to ensure it doesn't happen, no matter how unhappy anyone is. Plus, we've all seen the last episode of The Thick of It, and Malcolm Tucker's solution is probably as good as it gets.

Or perhaps that's the intent - rock the boat and hope it forces an early election? Before the budget, before the tax rises from the last budget (and PBR), before the Tories have prepared, and before No.10 can cock it up any further?

Who knows? But speculating is fun!

- KoW

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home