There is an old saying "A week is a long time in politics". A fortnight is an eternity. A couple of weeks ago, I had a quick exchange of emails about the return of Peter Mandleson. I'm a Labour supporter, but I am not a fan of Peter Mandleson. I am not really very keen on his methods, but I will concede that they are extremely effective. The one thing I know about Peter Mandleson is that he is an extremely effective politician. He plays politics like a chess grand master. You don't know why he does things until you've been check-mated.
If I was Mike Freer or Matthew Offord, our local Tory PPC's I'd be worrying. Two weeks ago, it looked like the only thing Gordon Brown would be planning was the removal vans in 2010 at no 10. All of a sudden the BBC news is comparing him to Winston Churchill, for saving the worlds financial system. In all of the hubris, we almost missed a classic bit of Mandleson manipulation. The House of Lords had rejected the 42 day terrorism bill. Gordon Brown could have overridden them using the Parliament act, but it would have cost him. This legislation that was a monumental issue for Brown a few months ago has quietly been dumped.
I expect many more unpopular issues to be dumped in the next few weeks. So long as Mandleson can survive until the next election without getting sacked for the shenanigans that cost him so dearly last time, I expect a very different election to the one I thought we'd have.
So how does that make me feel? Well as I said I'm not a fan of the Mandleson modus operandi. Is it a price worth paying to keep a Labour Government? Now that is a very hard question. I was thinking about the Tories and to be honest I don't know what David Cameron stands for. I'm not aware of his key policies. Is he a tax cutter? What is his position on Europe? What is his stance on benefit reform? I have formed the opinion that Cameron must have his own Mandleson working away behind the scenes. He's managed to undermine labour without actually announcing any policy initiatives. Think of Thatcher. break the Unions, Privatisation, get our money back from Europe.
So my answer is if I must have either a policy free Tory party or a Mandleson Spun labour party, I'd take Labour with a major dose of trepidation.