James Forsyth James Forsyth

His life in his hands

In this week’s Economist, Bagehot has an interesting thought about the dynamics of the Mandelson Brown relationship:

“The official line is that [Peter Mandelson] and Mr Brown have buried the hatchets they once deployed against each other, and revived the understanding they shared before their falling out. Perhaps; but perhaps his succour itself contains a subtle form of vengeance. Lord Mandelson could easily have destroyed his erstwhile foe. Yet to a refined palate, the one-off rush of bringing down an old adversary might seem a crass and unsatisfying triumph. How much more gratifying to hold his fate in your hands every day—and he knowing you own it? It is a turn of events that, before he became prime minister, Mr Brown cannot have anticipated in his worst, wildest dreams.”

One thing is certain it must be galling for those who were with Brown on his long march to see Mandelson stepping in and dominating the situation. These days, there can be no doubt who Brown’s most important advisor is.

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