Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cameron loves Mandy

Astonishing article in the Daily Mail by Peter Oborne about the attempts by the Cameronian Tories to secure a decent defection which would prove that his Blue labour style new Conservatives are serious (I wonder if a couple of Peers count?). All right and proper in an aspirant governing party. Indeed I cannot remember the last time there was a change of Government without some high powered defections.
That being said the sort of defections that Oborne is talking about will surely frive another tranche of traditional Tories into the welcoming embrace of the UK Independence Party.
Most fascinating of all is the evolving connection between David Cameron and Peter Mandelson, European Commissioner and the architect of New Labour. Cameron has met Mandelson twice in the past two months, once for a long private meeting in Brussels and then for a brief but cheerful chat at the Davos World Economic Forum.

Relations are more than professionally cordial: they are warm and friendly. I have heard reliable accounts of Mandelson's table talk from Brussels on the subject of the Tory leader.

Although distressed by Cameron's obstinate Euroscepticism, the Commissioner is otherwise emphatic in his approval, comparing him to the young Tony Blair of 11 or 12 years ago when Labour was in opposition.

This coment more than any other should have any Eurosceptic Conservative considering their position,
But it also tells us something else of great importance for those who wish to understand the future trajectory of British politics. There is no chance at all that Gordon Brown will support Peter Mandelson when he comes up for renewal as European Commissioner in 2009. By contrast, I am told David Cameron might very well do so. (my emphasis)

Of course Oborne's points are not new, David Rennie wrote a piece in the Spectator in March 2006 in which the mutual admiration was noted,
Is it possible that a Cameron premiership could be better for Mr Mandelson? Some Conservatives hint that it might. The shadow trade secretary, Alan Duncan, is in regular touch on matters of trade policy. ‘I actually think he’s doing rather a good job, given the pressures he is under. I hate to admit it, since he has been a considerable foe to the interests of the Conservative party, but I think he’s the right man in the right place,’ Mr Duncan says.

Mr Duncan will not speculate on whether Mr Mandelson would receive formal endorsement from a Conservative government. But he says, ‘His commitment is to fair trade. I wouldn’t say there is any great clamour among Conservatives to hang him and bury him, not a hint of it.’

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