22 Mar 2013 at 22:44
Oh joy of joys. It’s not just ice maiden May on manoeuvres. We now have the delight of the Dark Lord (Peter Mandelson) putting the cloven hoof into Balls. Ed’s of course.By past experience if the old boy raises an exasperated eyebrow in public the poison he must be pouring in the ears of the press, let alone the parliamentary party, must be viscerally toxic.
Of course the bitch fest goes back many years. Mandy’s first choice for party leader was always Brown. But he bottled it. After that he moulded, schooled and fashioned Blair into a formidable winner.
Whatever you might think of Mandelson he is the consummate political operator. Brown recognised this, and despite their mutual loathing, he did his best to present the old Nokia thrower as more of a human being than the psychotic loon howling at the moon.
And for a while it worked.
But Mandy sniffs the political wind like a meerkat. He knew that the Gordon game was up and confided in George Osborne at the famous Taverna lunch when they were both guests of the omnipresent Nat Rothchild in Corfu. Sadly, for once in his life, George’s judgement deserted him. He thought it would be a great wheeze to leak their conversation to the press.
The wrath of Mandelson nearly destroyed him.
I suspect that the truth of the matter was that Peter was tipping his toe into blue waters. Cameron was going to win. What’s in it for me?
But that is all history.
Yet it is instructive.
If there is a political body lying dead in the ditch with eight knives protruding from the back, if it is someone who has upset the Prince of Darkness the gastropodian slime will always lead to Peter.
But there won’t be any fingerprints.
However. Give credit to the man. Whatever you might think of him (discuss) the DNA of the Labour Party courses though his veins.
His gut instinct is that the millstone around the Miliband neck is Balls. The public see him for what he is. A political bully, a chancer and a greasy little opportunist.
And that is why Mandelson wants to destroy him. Not out of spite for past wrongs (although that would be delightfully sweet), but because he wants his party to win.
The delicious irony of all of this is that I suspect that Mandelson rather approves of Cameron. He has had the courage to take on the Chekofian Practices of the NHS, and the monster of welfare spending.
All things that Blair wanted to do but was thwarted by the dark and demented machinations of Brown.
Mandelson knows the awful truth that dare not speak its name on the Labour front bench. Ed Balls is the Tory not so secret weapon
Miliband knows it too. But to have Balls pissing into the tent rather than out is not a risk that the Labour leader can afford to take.
But Mandelson on manoeuvres is a sight to behold.
Dangerous, exotic and deadlier than the Mail.