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Back to the future again

Nick Robinson | 10:00 UK time, Friday, 3 October 2008

"Eee, I'll go to the foot of our stairs." Forgive me, for that's what they say in Macclesfield when they're gobsmacked, and I'm gobsmacked.

Peter MandelsonPeter Mandelson is back. Gordon Brown, for so long said to lack courage and to be unwilling to reach out to his enemies in the Labour Party, has now confounded his Blairite critics by putting Mandy back into the cabinet.

"He's New Labour to his core, pro-business and tough on the unions. It will light a blue touch-paper under the government", one cabinet minister told me.

Expect a lot of gloomy faces amongst those on Team Brown who saw their life's work as opposing Mandelson and all those close to him.

PS. In case you've not seen, John Hutton moves from BERR (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) to Defence.

UPDATE 12:00: The moves we know so far are:

Peter Mandelson - to Business
John Hutton - to Defence
Geoff Hoon - son and grandson of railwaymen - to Transport
Ed Miliband - to new Department of Energy & Climate Change
Margaret Beckett - to be cabinet enforcer
Nick Brown - to be Chief Whip

I expect, but have not had confirmed, that Baroness Ashton will be off to Brussels to be EU commissioner. If so, a new Leader of the Lords is needed.

In addition, Gordon Brown's party spin doctor, Damian McBride, is being pulled back into the Downing Street backrooms. He's liked by political journalists but loathed by Blairites who dubbed him Damian McNasty and blamed him for malicious briefings on behalf of his boss. His replacement is to be Justin Forsyth, former Head of Policy and Campaigns at Oxfam, who was Gordon Brown's (and before that Tony Bair's) advisor on international development. Forsyth will be less matey and less gossipy with the press than McBride, and will reassure those who had demanded this change.

So, what's behind Gordon Brown's moves? The economic challenge, the strategic challenge and the threat to his position.

Downing Street are presenting this as a strengthening of the cabinet to face the economic crisis - drawing on Peter Mandelson's global experience and contacts whilst creating a new department to handle energy.

It's also clear that the PM wants political ballast - Mandelson brings huge strategic and presentational experience whilst Margaret Beckett has long experience of government and the stature to knock ministerial heads together.

Finally, and crucially, Brown is trying to shore up his position in the Labour Party. The message to the plotters is, in effect, if Mandelson is on my side, isn't it time you were? The people that founded New Labour - Brown, Blair (who's in regular contact with him), Mandelson and Alastair Campbell - are said to have put aside their differences to work together again.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    Wow.

    So you get sacked in disgrace twice, but its ok a couple of years in the wilderness and all is forgiven.

    Talk about Sleeze!

  • Comment number 2.

    OOOh great just what the country needs Thrice sacked Mandy back, and given a place in the Lords at that, so we will never be rid of him

  • Comment number 3.

    I knew we would never get rid of him. No matter how many times that man resigned 'over a matter of principle' it was clear he didn't have any.
    What do you actually have to DO to get fired for good from new labour?

    Who elected him this time? Anyone?
    ooops same true for Brown...

  • Comment number 4.

    Just a thought, but if Mandleson returns as a Lord, nobody will be able to vote him out at the next election.
    He's one of the prime movers that deserves a 'portillo' moment and the great british public will be denied delivering it to him

  • Comment number 5.

    Hmmmmmm.....What I will say..IS...this
    Mandelson will take Cameron to the cleaners on a PR position......

  • Comment number 6.

    Well, Brown is really scraping the bottom of the barrel now (pun intended!)

    Desperate times need desperate measures.

  • Comment number 7.

    The time for safety first is over. Its bold moves or another "eighteen years" in the wilderness.

  • Comment number 8.

    If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of barrels being scraped.....

  • Comment number 9.

    GB is scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Promoting one of his bitterest enemies...

    Will this be remembered as "The day of the Long Knives"?

  • Comment number 10.

    I can only say that Brown has finally proven beyond all doubt that he is politically and morally bankrupt. Mandelson in a business enterprise role?? In any business,when you are sacked,it is terminal..no second chances in that organisation.So..the Prince of Darkness not only gets a second chance..but a third as well...it's scandalous!
    If Brown has got such a poor reservoir of talent that he has to resort to this,it speaks volumes about the state of the PM and his Government.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    This is - using Stephen Fry's famous quip - a time for Countryside

  • Comment number 13.

    Is there so little talent left amongst Labour MPs that Dandy Mandy has to come back to shore up the cabinet defences?

    Next we'll find that Gordon has found space for the Clinton's to help run the country.

    As Southwold has said, "Gord help us"!

  • Comment number 14.

    Gordon Brown has given the Tories a boost they couldn't have wished for.

    If the Labour Government's boast of experience means the return of old failures then it proves they can only offer more of the same rubbish.

  • Comment number 15.

    Talk about scrapping the barrel....

    A government of all the grotesques.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Again...I'm surprised no has mentioned the EU.....Hmmmmmmm

  • Comment number 18.

    Him again??


  • Comment number 19.

    it wouldnt surprise me if gordon brown didnt bring back others too it shows his ineptitude and how in reality he has no idea how to proceed, talk about jobs for the boys, over paid underachievers.
    in my opinion and i know its extreem but labour seems riddled with missmanagement and ineptfools that will blindly follow the party line and chairman brown.
    it appears indemic of party politics that any party that asumes power ultimatly falls over its own feet, and shows that to be honest party politics is corupt and has had its day, and that we the people of this little island deserve a better, fairer stronger government for the people by the people.

  • Comment number 20.

    Are they getting ready for a cut and run election on a "back me as the man of experience to sort out this mess" message?

    Mandelson will the the first heavyweight cabinet member Brown has had

  • Comment number 21.

    Back for a third time like Whittington. Well at least they have the Christian name in common.

  • Comment number 22.

    Peter Mandelson's been very statesmanlike lately. His comments on leadership and presentation, and generally calm and conciliatory approach will be helpful. I’ve never voted Labour nor am I a member of the party, but I generally believe "the mission" is important. Mandelson can help secure that.

    I've always stood for sound management and helped the little guy when I can, and taken a few bullets for that over the years. I'm deeply opposed to the thuggish and smarmy Tory party that's been surfacing over the past few days, and building a better Labour will help provide that more attractive alternative people need.

    Note: It looks like my predication yesterday that Stephen Carter was going to be fired was wrong. I had been hoping Mandelson would return but that that was too bizarre a long-shot to mention. So, yeah. I'll chalk this up as a win.

  • Comment number 23.

    Why Mandy? Can we not call him by his real name, the blokey, sneering feminizing of his name says more about the writer than the written about.

  • Comment number 24.

    Brown has put the last nail in this sleazy governments coffin. How can he bring back Mandleson, as a minister,probley have to make him a lord. A big mistake has he will not have to answer to Parliament it self. It stinks its wrong and a damm disgrace.

  • Comment number 25.

    So Labour's Prince of Darkness returns for a THIRD time.

    Just shows how desparate Gordon Brown has become if "Mandy" is now seen as his saviour.

    As night follows day, two things will now happen.

    1. Mandy will stab Gordon Brown in the back.

    2. Mandy will be forced resign once more in disgrace.

  • Comment number 26.

    So let me get this straight, Brown brings Peter Mandelson a man who has TWICE had to resign because of scandals and he is couragous but when Cameron mentions Thatcher in his speach it is considered toxic?

    Can you at least try to be impartial?

    At least we can hope is Mandelson causes a split in the cabinet and then I am sure another scandal will be revealed by one of "Team Brown".

    I don't much want to see the Labour party split itself apart but hopefully that will allow the Lib Dems the chance to step up as the official opposition after the next election.

  • Comment number 27.

    Pantomine season has come early. Can't wait to laugh at their expense when the infighting starts, if it hasn't already. Funny!

  • Comment number 28.

    If Mandy comes back and Hooh is in transport, who gets the Brussels Boondoggle?

    Who is going to be the next EU lapdog to sell this country down the river?

  • Comment number 29.

    Gordon Brown's brain has officially exploded. I'd suspected as much for several years now but this has to be the final confirmation.

    There was a lot of talk a couple of days ago about whether Cameron could ever rehabilitate Thatcher because although many of the Tory faithful think she's the best thing since sliced bread Labour has done incredible work maintaining the loathing for Lady Thatcher. So, as a means of galvanising the Tory faithful then 'fine'. But if you want to persuade a few Labour voters to jump ship or at least stay at home on poll day then parading the Iron Lady ain't the way to do it.

    Kif kif Mandelson. You might persuade a few Nu-Labour types to turn out come polling day. But it will be nothing to the hoardes of 'traditional' Labour voters who will stay at home. Or the hoardes of Tory voters incensed to get out and finally drive a stake through his heart.

    And what unique skills does Mandy bring apart from a shared experience with many of the currently shell-shocked property-owners of Nu-Labour' property bust as having quite a flamboyant approach to his own mortgage application form. Perhaps he will be uniquely placed to explain to Gordon Brown, from a personal perspective, how easy it was and how, in retrospect, his own behaviour might have given an early 'heads up' as to how this could all go wrong.

    No doubt though Mandelson will be blaming the yanks with the best of them.

  • Comment number 30.

    So Labour are up in arms when a tory gets rid of a catastrophy-prone policeman, yet they resurrect Peter meddlesome and expect everyone to welcome him with open arms. Nice.

  • Comment number 31.

    Should be good for a laugh!

  • Comment number 32.

    Margaret Thatcher famously said, "Every Prime Minister needs their Willy". She was refereing, of course, to Lord Hailsham. At the risk of this post being nuked from orbit:

    Every Blofeld needs their pussy.

    Aw, man. That's going to upset EVERYBODY.

  • Comment number 33.

    Nice work if you can get it. How much longer are we going to put up with this look after your mates pack. Gordon Brown has done nothing to promote the public,s faith in the Labour party by this move.

  • Comment number 34.

    David Cameron could not have better news.

    Mr Brown has pressed the self-destruct button twice more:

    Labour support for the incompetent Sir Ian Blair (as judged by officers in his own force)

    and

    Re-incarnation of Mr Mandelson - Britain's most hated politician by far .

    Just watch the polls!

  • Comment number 35.

    Smart move for Brown. Should kill off the Blairite push for a change of Labour leader. Enemies, tents and bodily functions spring immediately to mind.

  • Comment number 36.

    EU Trade Commissioner and UK Business - no conflict of interest there then.

    When he moves back, who is going to sign the mortgage application form THIS time?

  • Comment number 37.

    Des Browne and Ruth Kelly leaving - is the opposition to the embryo research etc. the real reason?

    No surprise in Kelly leaving Parliament - if you want to spend more time with your family in London, nursing a significant marginal in the North West doesn't equate. In addition it is almost certain she would have lost horribly!

  • Comment number 38.

    At this rate I would not be surprised if Tony Blair was brought back into the cabinet! How about Robert Mugabe for the Foreign Office?

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!....


    Ridiculous!!!


    I'm starting a campaign to bring back Ron Davies.........


  • Comment number 41.

    Oh good move there - not.

    A man who private business will not touch with a barge pole in a business role.

    I think the Labour Party is going to tear itself apart. He is an arrogant, self-centred individual with a flawed character.

    David Cameron would do well to attack Brown on his judgement.

    Wonder if Milliband will be happy.

  • Comment number 42.

    I have always liked Peter Mandelson (is that spelt right?) - perhaps this will happen to Sir Ian Blair, perhaps he will be back at a later date, particularly as Ms Smith has torn Boris off a strip for firing him, or forcing him to go. If PM is tough on unions, that's a good reason for him to be back; we also need someone who is tough on the power firms - have not had my heater on yet today, have another means of keeping warm. But PM cannot make things any worse then they are - can he?

    IllustriousFrisby

  • Comment number 43.

    Mandelson has twice resigned from the cabinet, but now he's back. Perhaps third time lucky?

    Mandy has no Mandate - as he has not been elected.

    Poor Gordon is clutching at staws.

  • Comment number 44.

    "No surprise in Kelly leaving Parliament - if you want to spend more time with your family in London, nursing a significant marginal in the North West doesn't equate. In addition it is almost certain she would have lost horribly!"

    We were just talking about this in our office - we were surpised that she didn't decide to hang around as she would very likely lose her seat at the next election.

    Still resigning as an MP would look much better then a massive swing against you :)

  • Comment number 45.

    Gosh, someone has suggested Tony Blair to be back in office - then Labour WOULD win the next election, I miss TB alot. But Robert Mugabe - forget it. (Please!)

    IllustriousFrisby

  • Comment number 46.

    32. At 10:40am on 03 Oct 2008, Charles_E_Hardwidge @32,

    Hurrah Chuck!

    Even you (previous post notwithstanding) cannot fail to see the amusingly grotesque nature of this politically bizarre move.

  • Comment number 47.

    It looks as if there has been some careful thought put to the Government cabinet reshuffle. It seems to me the split which apparently occured in the Labour Party after the election of Blair as leader has been the main cause of undermining Gordon Brown's authority over the party.
    Jackie Smith is also to be congratulated on not interfering with the choice of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to resign.
    Careful thinking seems to be sadly lacking in the news that Boris Johnson has effectively forced the resignation of the Metropolitan Police Comissioner, making it worse by insisting it is not a political decision. No?!

  • Comment number 48.

    Another blow to democracy. When will Governments learn that we want elected politicans not technocratics nor imposed leaders.

  • Comment number 49.

    #22 CEH

    "I had been hoping Mandelson would return but that that was too bizarre a long-shot to mention. So, yeah. I'll chalk this up as a win"

    Tenuous Charles, very tenuous as always.

    If Peter Mandelson is coming back, in whatever role, does this not weaken the "novices" argument? This seems to imply to me Brown has no faith in his alternative options.

    On the upside, surely Mandelson will now be whiter than whiter in his new role, having twice before been compelled to quit in disgrace. We'll see!!

  • Comment number 50.

    Mandy - should have been nuked from oribt, its the only way to be sure.

  • Comment number 51.

    This is a strange twist, and a dangerous move just as Labour are beginning to win back support from the Tories.

    The British people generally loathe Mandelson and with good reason - sacked in disgrace from the Cabinet TWICE, the man gives off an image of the sleaze of the Blair era.

    If bringing back Mandelson - the architect of Blairism - is a sign of the direction that Brown wants to move in, then I agree with Mark_WE (post 26). A Lib Dem opposition is the best we can hope for.

  • Comment number 52.

    Eek! This is the biggest scare I've had in a while! Mandelson is like a zombie you just can't kill!

    Run for your lives! He's undead!

  • Comment number 53.

    I am scratching my head over why any Labour supporter thinks this is a good thing. It's all very well pointing to Mandy's "experience", and the fact that he's a "political heavyweight". However, the public see him as a failed Blair stooge who *twice* resigned in disgrace. He's hated by Labour's core support, the very people Brown needs to turn out on polling day.

    The "sleaze" factor, such as cash for honours and dodgy donations, had died down in favour of Gord's incompetence, this move manages to dredge it back up (and make Brown look *more* incompetent into the bargain). I'm beginning to think that Gordon *wants* to lose all his colleagues their jobs, probably in a fit of pique for them not getting him the leadership position earlier.

  • Comment number 54.

    Mandelson was despised in the EU as Trade Commissioner - I doubt he would have stayed there when his term of office expired.

    Better to keep your enemies close then Gordon? Whoever next, Blair perhaps (I mean Tony of course!)

    Cameron was criticsed for mentioning Thatcher!

  • Comment number 55.

    I can only say that Brown has finally proven beyond all doubt that he is politically and morally bankrupt. Mandelson in a business enterprise role?? In any business,when you are sacked,it is terminal..no second chances in that organisation.So..the Prince of Darkness not only gets a second chance..but a third as well...it's scandalous!
    If Brown has got such a poor reservoir of talent that he has to resort to this,it speaks volumes about the state of the PM and his Government.


    The British model tends to reward macho managers and zero loyalty. Cutting training, risk aversity, asset stripping, and hiring and firing are part of that noxious mix. The Japanese model tends to appoint, demote, or redeploy as appropriate. Another plus of the Japanese model is that any position tends to have a bunch of fully trained and experienced replacements beneath it.

    Mandelson is able, loyal, and served a distinguished term as a European Commisioner. He's developed maturity and proven himself fit for purpose. I'm sure, the Prime Minister took a similar view, and Mandelson was gracious enough to serve when he was needed. This is very respectable and welcome.

    There's more to the world than the pork scratchings and watered down beer the CBI and their Tory pals would offer you. If folks on the trash estates or serving crunchtime in some office can get a taste of something better, I think, the false promises of the Tories will lose their appeal. Only Labour can deliver that.
  • Comment number 56.

    is this a peace offering to Sarkozy ahead of the summit?

  • Comment number 57.

    With respect, most of these comments reveal just how little people really understand what goes on in our political parties.

    Within the party, Peter Mandelson is recognised, along with Brown, Blair and Campbell as one of the creators of 'New Labour'.

    Therefore, it is not too surprising, from that perspective, that he is back in Browns team, despite any personal antipathy, which is usually over-egged by 'those jackals' of the media.

    However, what Mandelsons' appointment does reveal is the enormous gulf between the 'political professionals' and the rest of us.

    That is, the public are not really factored into these decisions at all.

  • Comment number 58.

    As an unelected EU official, Mandelson recently told elected American politicians that they "had taken leave of their senses".

    Many will take the view that Brown has just done the same.

  • Comment number 59.

    No room for Neil Kinnnock? Shame. It might be no time for a novice (sic) but surely it is no time for the old faces to come back with the old policies.

    This is like appointing Joe Kinnear to run Newcastle United. What? That's already happened. Nurse, the tablets have worn off.

  • Comment number 60.






    Just imagine the look on Blairs face when he heard the news. Smug wont even begin to describe it.



    Cameron must be laughing his head off.


    Carry on Gordon, Im starting to feel Im getting my monies worth.









  • Comment number 61.

    The sums don't add up
    and we've nurses to pay.
    So we hid in the House
    on that October Day.

    I hid there with Sarah.
    We hid there we two.
    The treasury had told us
    'We're basically screwed'.

    Too firt to go out
    Lest that protester chap
    Remind us again
    Of our war in Iraq.

    And all we could do was
    to try not to brick
    And the voters were calling
    us all 'Full of ..it'

    And then something went 'Bump'
    How that bump made us jump.

    We looked and we saw him step
    in on the mat.
    We looked and we said
    'That twit Mandelson's back!'

    And he said to us
    Why do you hide there like that?

    I know that we're stuffed
    And you've spent all the money
    So let's tax something else.
    And then squander it Sonny.

    etc etc

  • Comment number 62.

    Adopt dour Scottish accent:

    “Well you came and you gave without taking, but I sent you away, oh Mandy, well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking, I need you today, oh Mandy”


    Never more apt…

    Well, mockery aside, he's able and strong willed, so if he can keep clear of scandal he'll be an asset.

    Who's going over to the EC? Hoon? Beckett? I'd quite like Charles Clarke. Brown and Clarke detest each other, but he's talented and likes working in Brux...

  • Comment number 63.

    CEH@22. Your powers of self promotion have exceeded themselves today.so,you hoped Mandelson would return..eh! But you couldn't say so...ever heard of hindsight being a wonderful science?

    As for "thuggish and smarmy" Tories....have you ever had dealings with Mandelson?
    In the many occasions I had the misfortune to deal with him,one phrase came to mind repeatedly.."thuggish and smarmy"..although I also added "arrogant,egotistic and thoroughly out of tune with business".

    Wake up Chuckie..we all know you for what you are.

    :-)

  • Comment number 64.

    This is a disgrace. No other word. The man is proven to be corrupt.
    And to make him a lord. Where is this judgement Brown is supposed to have?

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    Spineless Nick. Calling in the thought police

    BBC thought police censoring comments again.

    --

    Has anyone actually voted for this three times failed Euro mincer?*

    How can we get rid of this greasy boomerang?

    * mincer of words

    --

    How does that break any house rules? I've gone out of my way to be pc.

  • Comment number 67.

    This is an excellent position for Peter Mandelson...

    Partners in crime or what? For a Chancellor, now PM that has misled the British public year on year with his Budgets, to his "low" inflation rate, his 10 pence tax raid on the poor, his off balance PFI debt of £50 odd billion and rising etc, etc....

    What better than a man who "forgot" about a massive loan from Robertson on his mortgage application. This was investigated as a criminal offence by the Met police. Mandelson has falsely claimed that he was cleared. Absolute rubbish. Quite simply he was never charged. A huge difference.

    Just the man for a job in Gordon Brown's Cabinet.

  • Comment number 68.

    Out here in the countryside, Mandy is universally hated for his selling our interests down the river on the altar of the WTO. To see him back is the kind of insult we have come to expect from this government. It also shows clearly that they no longer care for their own credibility. The ennoblement is really just the final twist of the knife.

  • Comment number 69.


    So even though we are entering an extremely difficult economic times in the years to come because of the GLOBAL financial turmoil and GLOBAL recession, Labour is on the way up, while Cameron is on the way out.

    According to the BBC analysts Cameron had the perfect time and situations to come up with bold solutions to the present GLOBAL crises and not just UK.

    He did not deliver, as he has no idea of how to manage economic turmoil from abroad, he has not learnt anything from his personal mistake in dithering to advising Norman Lamont to stay in the ERM in September 1992, instead of getting out months before when it was very clear that the UK economy was yet again slipping into a deep recession.

    Cameron should stick to the QC Glossy Magazine, as he has more talent to pose in front of a camera, then coming up with economic solutions behind a desk.

  • Comment number 70.

    "For my monster from the slab began to rise, and suddenly to my surprise..."

    He became Business Secretary

    [with apologies to Boris Pickett]

  • Comment number 71.

    re Charles comment in 32

    Thatcher was referring to William Whitelaw with that statement - not Quentin Hogg.

    In general, a sensible move which will bring the experience of an extremely talented politician into the government, and also stay the knives of his Blairite critics.

  • Comment number 72.

    Aren't there minimun standards for being enobled?

    How can someone who had to resign from government in disgrace (more than once) qualify?


  • Comment number 73.

    # 49 Ilicipolero

    You are right to point out the paradox.

    Mandelson is no novice, but what does this tell us about Brown's faith in his current MPs?

    If Brown has to bring (unelected) Mandelson in from outside, clearly he is not that impressed with the 'experience' of his current (elected) MPs.

    If Brown doesn't trust his own MPs, why should we?

  • Comment number 74.

    The Japanese model tends to appoint, demote, or redeploy as appropriate. Another plus of the Japanese model is that any position tends to have a bunch of fully trained and experienced replacements beneath it.

    And the Japanese model for their economy? Oh yeah, massive housing boom followed by 20 years of housing bust. Technically insolvent banks propped up by a snowballing deficit and a demographic crisis.

    Mandelson is just another sentence in the longest political suicide note since Michael Foot's manifesto.

    Labour are sooooo doomed. Too bad they brought us all down with them.

  • Comment number 75.

    Peter Mandelson: isn't this the guy that wasted a small fortune on that white elephant on the Thames - The Dome? And with the 2012 Olympics only four years away ...Heaven help us ...we really will be bankrupt.

    Interesting though that he has recalled someone that could be a serious contender for his own job, and certainly someone who is a more effective communicator !!

    Now that is a gastly thought; bring on the election quick.

  • Comment number 76.

    Is Brown on some sort of mission to ensure total and utter meltdown at the next election?

    The rate he's going the won't be a Labour party left and he'll enter the history books as the most incompetent unelected PM (or even elcted PM for that matter) this country had the misfortune to bear.

    DC must be having his sides sewn back up this morning.

  • Comment number 77.

    You can put lipstick on a pig! But it is still a pig!! And that's the problem here.

    Whatever metaphore you want to apply to this desk-swap, the dressing changes but the core remains the same.

    Brown has a problem - Brown. And Labour is exhausted after nearly 11 years of boom and now bust plus everything else they have done wrong.

    This mess will only be sorted at the ballot box - the sooner - the better!

    One final thing to remember is that eclipsed by the current economic problems are other items - for example the forthcoming hike in car tax!

  • Comment number 78.

    "oh Mandy, you came and you took without giving, but I sent you away, oh Mandy"

    Talk about handing the Tories a gift. HA!

  • Comment number 79.

    Having listened to the World Tonight last night and heard the grotesque Ken Livingston accusing Boris's advisors of being anti islamic we now have a man who has resigned twice ( sacked) being brought back. Once again the labour party and Gordon Brown show just how unprincipalled and morally bankrupt they are. As another post mentioned, Labour are happy to defend an inept policeman who carried the new labour flag but when it comes to a man Mandelson all is OK

    Roll on the election

  • Comment number 80.

    I am deeply dismayed by his appointment. All I can think of is that Gordon knows that the nation hate him, so he's taking his revenge by appointing even more people the nation hates. Gordon is really just taking the mickey now :(

    Has dear Peter had any prior experience of business? And is there really no-one else that Gordon could have called on?

    Mandelson used to hoover up all the freebies going when he was a Member of Parliament - no doubt he'll do the same in his new role.

    Desperate, Gordon, really desperate.

  • Comment number 81.

    Well it's perhaps good to have the old slug Mandelson back, he does after all have some experience of the EU wide problems facing finance. Rather than the usually overly British centric view of many on the Tory benches who have probably never set foot in Europe for fear of experiencing foreigners and excellent food and wine.

    I never liked Mandy but desperate times and all that, plus atleast he didn't go to the school of hard knocks that is Eton. Which seems to be what that Tories mistake for real life experience.

  • Comment number 82.

    Erm, hang on. How does that work? he's not even an MP!

  • Comment number 83.

    Oh my God, they are desperate. Mandeldome??? Maybe they've got some plan for him to sort out the mess that is the Olympics funding. Anyway, it hardly matters what they do now they're done for. It's still a shock though, I really thought we'd seen the back of him, he's got to be one of the most despised former New Labour ministers that ever prowled the squalid corridors of Westminster. To think I'm gonna have to put up with his face on the box until the election. It'll be difficult for me, how about you Nick? You might have to interview the scallywag. Rather you than me. I need a drink.

  • Comment number 84.

    Chuckie@55..
    Thanks for the lecture on British and Japanese business models..not.
    However,you failed to address my postulation that once sacked in a business ..you stay sacked.
    Actually..that is most important in the Japanese model,as loyalty to the organisation is paramount.

    I think you read too many textbooks.

  • Comment number 85.

    Dracula lives!!

    Has Brown completely lost the plot?
    Here is a man who's had to resign twice, with an aura of corruption surrounding him and Jonah brings him back.

    It's enough to make a rocking horse weep!

  • Comment number 86.

    Nick

    It is now obvious -- this is a long term play.

    Imagine how much Gordons popularity will leap when Mandleson goes!

    Put him in now, then when it is at its very worse - ditch him and get a bit of a bounce!


    I assume his peerage will only last for the duration of the job?

  • Comment number 87.

    Third time lucky for me getting a comment published and third time lucky for Mr Mandelson too.

    Has anyone anywhere voted for Mr Mandelson?

    Would anyone anywhere vote for MR Mandelson?

    What do we have to do to get rid of MR Mandelson?

  • Comment number 88.

    Well at least he won't have to tap anyone up for a loan to buy a house. A couple of years in Brussels has ensured a healthy bank balance and a gold plated pension no doubt.

    How about a nice house in Holland Park or possibly even Eaton Square? Arise Sir Mandy of Hartlepool.
    Now that's whats called upward mobility.

  • Comment number 89.

    This is October, and it is the 3rd, isn't it!!

    Or have I time travelled forward by 2 days short of six months??

  • Comment number 90.

    The PM is just rewarding sleaze. Is this the fair and just society he wants? The more you abuse your power the higher office you get?

    What a great role model for younger generations.

  • Comment number 91.

    "He's New Labour to his core, pro-business and tough on the unions. It will light a blue touch-paper under the government".

    Not a very well thought out comment for a
    cabinet minister.

    I presume BLUE touch paper is a reference to the Conservatives being set alight by this gaff of all gaffs (bringing back Mandy) and opening the door of No 10 to David Cameron. Please God, let it be soon.

  • Comment number 92.

    In my brief experience, Mandelson is a very effective minister (he's intelligent, and gets through a heck of a lot of work), but his liking for intrigue often gets the better of him. I hope he's learned his lesson (twice).

    PS - I never knew you were from Macclesfield, Nick. That explains a lot. "Altrincham FC - hating Macc since 1903"

  • Comment number 93.

    Morally bankrupt appointment of a repugnant individual. Quit now Brown.

  • Comment number 94.

    Oh dear oh dear. Unlike many on here and even though I have 'vote Conservative' written through me like a stick of rock I do not hate or despise Peter Mandelson. The man has some good in him, he worked tirelessly to try and bring some justice to the Omagh victims and I think that says a lot for him. I also think he is highly intelligent and could well be helpful in dealing with the current disasters. Having said that, his appointment is....ludicrous. It is a total kick in the teeth for democracy. I thought the House of Lords was supposed to be reformed? The idea that even now it is being used as a dumping ground so that the Prime Minister can bring unelected people into cabinet should be anathema to anybody with a shred of decency. GB has shot himself in the foot AGAIN.

  • Comment number 95.

    Handy Mandy comes to the aid of the grumpy Brown bear...

    Fat Cat Eurocrat Mandy must be on a good deal - perhaps he gets Prezza's old flat as part of the package to prize him out of Europe.

    Grumpy Brown bear must be losing his marbles in the latter days of his control of the cave - but maybe this new cub will make Captain Cameron smile; a ministerial resignation in the pipeline - just depends what Mandy does wrong next.

    Brown gets points for creativity and headlines, but Cameron will seize the day.

  • Comment number 96.

    Poor old Gordon must be desperate. The BBC reported him in these terms when he became Prime Minister:

    "Posing outside 10 Downing Street with his wife Sarah, the man who has been Mr Blair's chancellor since 1997 said: "Let the work of change begin."

    He said his priorities were education, health and restoring trust in politics and promised to "try my utmost". "

    And so, to "restore trust in politics" he brings back Mandelson!

    This is the last act (or one of them, I hope) of a desperate man.

  • Comment number 97.

    I have always liked Peter Mandelson (is that spelt right?) - perhaps this will happen to Sir Ian Blair, perhaps he will be back at a later date, particularly as Ms Smith has torn Boris off a strip for firing him, or forcing him to go.


    I'm sure this story hasn't finished yet. Boris Johnson abused his office. Toughing it out was possible but taking a dive helps show the Tories for what they are. If Boris doesn't get impeached more abuse like this will help the Tories dig a deeper hole.

    Even you (previous post notwithstanding) cannot fail to see the amusingly grotesque nature of this politically bizarre move.


    It was a joke.

    Your powers of self promotion have exceeded themselves today.so,you hoped Mandelson would return..eh! But you couldn't say so...ever heard of hindsight being a wonderful science?


    I called it yesterday based on reasoning that policy and presentation needed sharpening. It might not have hit the exact target but the underlying prediction was correct. Nobody else in here even commented on the issue.
  • Comment number 98.

    If we did'nt know it already we do now.

    Labour embraces and rewards corruption and sleaze.

    How could a man who had to resign from the cabinet twice, for good reasons, be rewarded with a) the EU gravy train plum job and b) a return to cabinet.

    I did not think Brown could sink any further in my estimation but I was wrong. His judgment and character are flawed. He has done great harm to our country and we are not safe in his hands.

  • Comment number 99.

    Does Gordon Brown have the number for Michael Foot?

  • Comment number 100.

    Brown's finally lost the plot.The man who epitomises all that was sleazy,nasty and unpleasant about the Blair years returns again like a bad smell.
    It was rumoured years ago that Mandy's apparent "get out of jail free" card was because of what he knew about certain members of New Labour,I honestly can't think of any other reason why anyone in Government would think this is a good idea.
    I wish it had been me who just e-mailed 5 Live with "We've had the Pantomime for 12 months,finally the villain has appeared".

 

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