James Forsyth

The thinking behind Mandelson’s double-dip warning

The thinking behind Mandelson's double-dip warning
Text settings

Peter Mandelson’s warning of a double-dip recession is in pretty much all the papers today. There’s no doubt that there is a risk the recession could turn into a W shaped one because the underlying problems in the financial sector have not been properly dealt with. But it also plays into Labour’s political strategy which is to argue that the situation is still so serious that it remains no time for a novice. ‘Don’t let the Tories ruin it’ or ‘Don’t let the Tories throw it away’ are both being mooted as possible Labour election lines. Brown apparently believes that Churchill’s fate shows that the people must not think the danger has passed if he is to win re-election. However, this approach makes it more difficult for Labour to try and claim that the recession is over and take credit for that.