Friday 24 October 2008

My friend's enemy is my enemy

George Osborne has got into a mess, and he has damaged his party as well.

In his favour, his father sells good wallpaper. Also:

- The only detailed analysis I have seen comparing his statement with Nat Rothschild’s suggested Osborne was broadly in the right, and that Rothschild had had to amend his earlier insinuations: the discussions were initiated by Rothschild. I suspect Osborne went along with it out of politeness and an understandable curiosity to see a mega yacht.
- Mandelson’s involvement seems a lot murkier and so far is being swept under the carpet.

However: politicians have to be lucky. And:

- Getting out of his depth in this way has allowed the heat to be taken off Mandelson and has provided evidence for the theory that “they are all as bad as each other”.
- He was not having a good “credit crunch” He has not provided any serious ideas or comments since initially not knowing what to do about Northern Rock. Keeping quiet and letting Labour mess it up is a reasonable strategy for a bit – but not if you don’t keep quiet!

So he should probably go, however unfair, although possibly to another role. This would let someone credible like Clark or Davis come back – or Hague? The trouble is it would be a Labour scalp but if done, it’s best done soon as part of a reshuffle. Then the focus can get back to Mandelson's behaviour.

And hopefully it will prompt the Tories to take a serious look at their money raising activities.

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