Saturday, October 04, 2008

Third time lucky: Mandelson brought into Brown's economic war cabinet

What the Hell did we do to deserve this?

Gordon Brown yesterday sought to bring fresh purpose to his premiership and tackle the global economic crisis by bringing Peter Mandelson into the government for the third time, and unveiling an economic war cabinet of businessmen and politicians at the heart of Whitehall.

Brown made his dramatic act of reconciliation to the arch-Blairite as a Guardian/ICM poll showed that the Conservatives had secured a post-conference fillip, boosting their lead over Labour by three points to 12 points.

The papers are saying that he's doing this to show that a reconciliation has taken place between the Brownites and the Blairites, but the truth is actually that Labour is tanking in the polls and that the Prince of Darkness is very good at spin.

Evidently astonished by the offer, Mandelson, who was only asked to return to the cabinet on Thursday, said he hoped to make it "third time lucky". He added that the serious economic crisis required "all hands to the pump".

Although he has been a divisive figure throughout his career, cabinet ministers recognise that Mandelson's appointment may pay off. One said: "It is a bold masterstroke politically and might even work electorally."

Even Mandelson has the good grace to admit that he's flabbergasted that Brown has asked him back.

I'm speechless. I had hoped that Brown was going to find his own voice and am amazed that he's reached back into Blair's old broom cupboard and found himself talking through Blair's.

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