James Forsyth

Does Mandelson remember that Blair thought cross-dressing was a good idea?<br />

Does Mandelson remember that Blair thought cross-dressing was a good idea?<br />
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Peter Mandelson has been getting very cross, and rather personal, about George Osborne’s ‘political cross dressing”. But during the Blair era, it was New Labour politicians who were keen on cross dressing. Indeed, on his farewell tour Tony Blair went out of his way to declare it as something that was here to stay:

"Most confusingly for modern politicians, many of the policy prescriptions cross traditional left-right lines. Basic values, attitudes to the positive role of government, social objectives - these still divide among familiar party lines, but on policy cross-dressing is rampant and a feature of modern politics that will stay.

"The era of tribal political leadership is over."

As Fraser says in his column tomorrow, parties that have the momentum behind them are confident enough to cross dress, to poach on the other party’s turf. It will take more than some Mandelson barbs, to put the Tories off trying on the left’s language for size.