18 June 2009

Why Mandy will not move against Brown

A fascinating read in the New Statesman about the relationship between Brown and Mandy by Donald Macintyre – the much missed political commentator, who now resides in the Middle East for some reason.  He retraces the history of their relationship and considers whether Mandy will move against Brown:

This is not to say that, if an irresistible revolt materialises, it would not fall to Mandelson, as it did in 1994, to tell Brown how conditions were. Or, if Brown decided to go, to ensure that he withdrew with honour. But it looks much less likely than assumed that Mandelson would be prepared to wield the knife. And the personal reasons for this are at least as potent as the political ones: a commitment not to desert Brown twice and, at least as important, the resulting damage to his reputation if he did.

The former Labour foreign secretary and SDP founder Lord Owen is said to have reinforced this point in a recent conversation with Man­delson, as have others. Of all the twists in this melodrama of internecine strife that has so hobbled the Labour government over more than a decade, the strangest of all would be if it fell to Peter Mandelson to disprove Lloyd George’s maxim that there is no friendship at the top.

Couple this with the plotters inability to organise a coup and the lack of confidence in either Johnson or Miliband (discussed in the article), it safe to say that Brown will go on to fight the election, even if John Rentoul still thinks differently.

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