30 July 2009

Can we kill off this PM4PM nonsense?

Three cheers for Tom Harris to post about the “Peter Mandelson for Prime Minister” silliness that is doing the rounds.  As Harris says:

WHEN Parliament isn’t sitting, journalists have to try that wee bit harder to justify their existence to their news editors. Which is why stories that wouldn’t normally make it above the crease — or, indeed, onto the front page at all — suddenly become “breaking news”.

But the silly season is well named, and its staple ingredient is the bonkers story which is clearly nonsense but which the media collude in talking up because it fills up newsprint. “PM for PM” is a typical example.

But he’s never going to be Prime Minister or Leader of the Labour Party. You know it, I know it, Peter knows it and the media know it. Michael White knows it too, and spends quite a lot of time (and a lot of newsprint) explaining why today.

As I attempted to explain after Mandy’s now famous Newsnight interview, he knows it is not going to happen and any by-election this side of an election would be silliness:

There isn't the time and to have a by-election that would dominate the news for a month is not clever, even if the polls were more favourable to Labour.  The electorate would not take kindly to Labour playing musical chairs with unelected politicians.  Mandy isn't stupid.

The PM4PM campaign is a non-starter but the AJ4PM is not, but you wouldn't expect Tom Harris to comment on that, at least not for the moment.

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