It does say at the top of this page “rumours and conspiracy”. File this theory under conspiracy. Shriti is the most loyal of Brownies, you would expect her to remain in the bunker with the dear leader until the bitter end, so why is she going to a non-existent G20 secretariat job?
Paul Waugh’s cynical thought is: “has Shriti quit as a minister today because that allows her to continue working for Gordon without actually being covered by ministerial rules?” Thereby avoiding the six month ‘cooling off’ period before she can take up lucrative private sector jobs come the defeat. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Guido’s alternative theory derives from the knowledge that Gordon has always fancied beefing up the international financial architecture, and would crave a legacy of that kind. Given the disastrous state of the British economy, the idea that he would go to the IMF is laughable, the IMF is more likely to have to come to British shores. The OECD prefers trained economists who understand econometrics rather than merely how to fiddle the figures. The World Bank is a possible career direction for Gordon, though it has a focus on project finance and global development.
The G20, if it was beefed up, would provide Gordon with a bolt-hole. He could spin that he is off to save the world, it includes India, China and Brazil, so lots of very important travel would come with the job. He could give himself the task of setting up structures to rival the IMF and World Bank. Give the G20 a remit to review global financial regulation, or as Gordon prefers to call it, the “global financial architecture” and he could save face, busying himself saving the world.
That would solve a huge headache for Mandelson – where to put Gordon before the election – it would appeal to the vanity of the Prime Mentalist, building a global quango allowing him to tell everyone he was “getting on with a big job”.
The first step would be to send Shriti, his trusted emissary, to lay the groundwork. Does anyone really believe the Koreans are incapable of taking on the chairmanship of the G20 without the shrieking Shriti’s advice? Korea is a major developed economy. They have hosted the Olympics so surely they could organise an agenda and haute cuisine menus for a couple of conference summits and a few photo-ops on their own?
Is the loyal Shriti merely puffing the pillows for a new seat for Gordon at the G20? Do you think Gordon is mentally prepared to courageously face his biggest, in some senses first, electoral test knowing it is doomed. Will he wish to lead Labour to the greatest swing against the party in electoral history or do you think he will do his usual Macavity trick?