Saturday, 4 October 2008

Mandelson's return to the Cabinet

Commentators are struggling to explain the surprise return of Peter Mandelson to the Cabinet.

This is the man who was twice previously forced to resign from the government over a loan from a ministerial colleague and then allegations of misconduct regarding a passport application for the Hinduja brothers.

Theories being bandied around include Gordon Brown's desperation to access Mandelson's 'electoral skills' (but really ... how hard was it to score a big win in the 1997 general election?).

More ridiculous is the 'all hands on deck' spin that his experience as EU Trade Commissioner is so invaluable towards easing the credit crisis that it warrants him quitting the Commission immediately and becoming Business Secretary.

So could the shock move in fact, just possibly, have anything to do with this - internal EU circles perhaps having since ascertained that its implications run wider than at first apparent from the Sunday Times piece?

Could there have emerged an urgent need to avoid a top-level scandal and damaging resignation for the EU at this delicate, treaty-faltering time - a
nd Gordon has helped the EU out of a tight spot?

Perhaps we'd better look forward to the public release of the conclusions of the promised "comprehensive and thorough" investigation into that interesting case of Mr Mandelson's corrupt official.

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