Voldermort's final mission
Posted by Fraser at 9 00 PM on Saturday, August 8
As Mandy knows, Labour is in grave danger. It may go bankrupt and be taken over by the trade unions. Unite, the union led by luxury-loving Derek Simpson, has already started what many fear is a creeping takeover of Labour.
I’ve been amazed at the number of senior Labour figures telling me the party may then split, like it did in 1981. “You could do worse than a social democratic party led by Vince Cable” one Blair ultra loyalist told me.
This still sounds far-fetched to me. But ministers are in despair — fearing nothing can stop a trade union takeover. The unions have the money. But Mandelson has the power. So what he does after the next election will be crucial.
His main mission is to undermine potential candidates he does NOT want to lead Labour, and support his friends.
James Purnell is out. His bushy sideburns won’t adorn Labour’s front bench for years. He’ll be planning a later comeback.
Alan Johnson would rather deliver post again than be leader of a defeated Labour party. It’s a job no sane person would want.
This leaves the field clear for devious Harriet Harman, who seems to consider madness a prerequsite for the job.
Her weird display of 70s- style feminism last week may appeal to a few Labour activists. But to real voters, it looks absurd. There are plenty of other unsuitables, oddballs and Ed Balls. But Mandelson will pick a Sane Labour candidate, and coach him.
Word is right now that his eye is on Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary. He’s a leftie, but with decency and sanity. You can bet Mandy has other candidates. He’s still close to David Miliband, our lanky foreign secretary, and others besides.
As for taking the crown himself? Forget it. He’d have to leave the Lords and fight a by-election.
He has a deep sense of Labour history, and will know the real battle starts after its election defeat.
That’s why Lord Mandelson of Foy and Everything Else has one final mission in politics: to save Labour from itself.