05 May 2009

Will it fall to Mandy to decide Brown’s future?

Yesterday, The Times reported:

Gordon Brown has turned to Lord Mandelson and Ed Balls, his oldest and closest political allies, to beef up his internal support operation after three weeks of Labour turmoil.

The Times has learnt that the Prime Minister asked the two men jointly last week to head a weekly strategy meeting in No 10 to plan the Government’s response to future events and act as an early warning system for him.

Today, Rachel Sylvester says:

It is said that Mr Brown has retreated to his comfort zone and is these days listening more to the left-leaning Ed Balls than to the new Labour Peter Mandelson.

As usual, Brown will only listen to what he wants to hear and that is more likely to become from Balls, rather than the far more astute Mandelson at the present time.

And then:

The one to watch is Peter Mandelson. By bringing his former enemy back into the Cabinet last year Mr Brown locked in the modernisers and ensured his own survival. But if the Business Secretary were to turn on the Prime Minister (either in private or in public) no one could be more deadly.

Spot on.  If Mandy moves against Brown, with the possible support of Alastair Campbell, who has dropped hints on his blog recently that he is not that happy, then Brown is surely finished.  However, Mandy’s suggestion could be that Brown calls for a leadership election as I discussed yesterday.

Moving on:

There are rumours that a Blairite could stand as a stalking horse candidate against Mr Brown after next month's local elections. One former Cabinet minister confirmed to me that this plan was being discussed.

It is one thing to discuss a stalking horse, for a candidate to stand is quite another.  The Labour party would to descend into chaos, far worse than has been displayed to date.  The only way for Brown to be replaced is for a unity candidate to come forward.  No other option is plausible at this stage of the electoral cycle.

With Mandy being in the Lords, he is perfectly positioned to manage the transition.

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1 comment:

  1. A weekly strategy meeting in No 10

    .........Summatt like this

    “ There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know. ”