It seems to Guido that not even a disaster in Glenrothes will divert the Labour Party from its lemming instinct.
No doubt this will be attributed to LibDem propaganda and dirty tricks. Everyone else is clearly lying except Mandy…
So it isn’t hard to see that kind of market capitulation happening. In the tech bust of 1999-2000 many stocks fell 90%. Some bank stocks have already dropped 90%. There is nothing government can do to alter the reality and this has to play out. Tokyo had near zero interest rates for the best part of a decade (sorry Vince that was no panacea). The liquidity problem is/was a precursor to the solvency problem. Governments can flood markets with liquidity but that can’t fix insolvency. This is going to be painful.
Politicians who claim to have solutions to the credit crunch are infantalising the electorate. The best they can do is ameliorate the problems. They can’t alter the underlying reality. Over-priced assets are crashing and bringing down the banks – not all – some like HSBC are relatively unscathed. There are pluses as well, if you are in your twenties you will have a better chance of getting on the property ladder now…
Presumably that is the reason for the installation of the strange Sion Simon as a minister for the crown. Tom Watson also remains close to the centre of power in the Cabinet Office where he can continue to brief against internal enemies of the the Prime Mentalist. Watson will have been pleased with himself having seen off Stephen Carter. Nick Brown as chief whip is the ultimate factional enforcer.
This government intake are the second-raters who would never have prospered during New Labour’s prime. They are distinguished only in the way that Kamikaze pilots were distinguished in their loyalty to the emperor. It is going to be a heck of a lot of fun, and a dirty fight to the death.
Can Mandy save Gordon? After taking a post-conference break from politics for a day to reflect and re-charge, Guido can only see this appointment as an act of desperation. Mandelson is despised by three-quarters of his own party. He is a poisonous political operator. He repels voters and represents so much of what is wrong with politics.
The Labour loyalist pundit David Aaronovitch was asked what he made of the return of Mandelson, “I don’t think I understand anything anymore” was his reply. The only way to understand this is to put yourself inside the mind of the politically weak Prime Mentalist. He needed to buy time. Bringing back Mandelson may buy off some of the former Blairites, hugging his enemy close. (Although if there is one person Charles Clarke hates more than Gordon Brown, it is Peter Mandelson). This won’t be welcomed by the voters.
UPDATE : Have just noticed, and this must be a first, that Kevin Maguire shares Guido’s analysis: “Gordon Brown’s Bonkers Moment of Mandy Madness“. Glad to see Kevin, just like Polly did, is finally coming round…
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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:
“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”