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Thursday, 11 June 2009

Snooping on the Red Baron

It’s all gone quiet. On the news front, I mean: a quick check of the BBC website reveals no stories in the “top six” about government crises, ministerial resignations, or other horrors for Pa Broon. So what is calming the waters, so soon after two bouts of less than ideal election results for Labour?

Anyone needing to know that one was probably not watching last Sunday’s Andy Marr Show. For here, in an extended interview, was the new mainstay of the Brown camp. The Darth Vader-like presence, of course, belongs to Baron Mandelson of Indeterminate Guacamole, returned from Euroland and stepping, duly refreshed and reinvented, into his third incarnation at Westminster.

And a very assured performance it was, barring the unfortunate slip at the very end when he said unintentionally that the Cabinet was united against Pa Broon. So will he make any difference? Can he?

Well, nothing should surprise anyone about modern politics, and certainly not when it comes to Mandelson. But Labour have a mountain to climb, whoever they bring on board. Even so, consider this: in the local elections recently, Labour polled badly, getting around 22% of the vote, but the Tories, although getting their hands on several councils, managed just 38%. If Labour were to put on enough support to get them back through the 30% mark, that would signal hung parliament territory at a General Election, provided the Lib Dems hold on to their sixty plus seats.

And, as Sir Tel might have put it, every little helps.

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