Guido, in his blog about Peter Mandelson being interviewed by Sophie Raworth, set me thinking.
What if Gordon Brown has not buried the hatchet with Mandelson?
What if he has not brought the twice resigned Prince of Darkness back into the Cabinet because of his desperate need to appeal to Blairites, his need to have the best talents and biggest names on board and a desire to have Mandy in place for the election campaign?
What if, instead, the move is actually part of a very clever revenge plot?
Mandelson has resigned twice from the Cabinet already, both times for 'scandals'. He is hardly in a position to resign again and keep any credibility whatsoever (yeah, I know that's what people thought last time but bear with me). And if he did resign again then he could hardly expect Brown to give him an important job overseas like his mate Tony did. And Cameron is even less likely.
So Mandelson is in a bit of a parlous position. Just the sort of position that Brown wants him to be in. Let's call that position 'The Stocks'. Why? Well what happened to people in the Stocks? People threw all sorts of shit at them. That's what. And I nominate Gordo and his proxies as those with the biggest piles of shit that they need to get rid of. So why not chuck them at the bloke in the stocks who you all detest anyway - no matter that he is supposedly on your side.
Actually, I don't think Brown is positively aiming to get Mandy to resign - at least not immediately - but he won't shed too many tears if and when he does go. 'Couldn't cut it' will be the refrain. But while Mandelson is there, then he is bound by collective responsibility and he'll have to take the flak for all that is going wrong with the business world.
Note that Brown is trying to separate the economy from business. The economy was doing perfectly fine, masterminded by the greatest brains in the world. People were enjoying the good times with their wealth (on paper) skyrocketing because of the house price inflation bubble. Why, even people north of Watford were benefitting to some degree. But those nasty business people - short sellers and bonus culture bankers, particularly in the USA - ruined it for everybody.
So the rescue plan from the world's saviour shows that our PM is back to his economic brilliant best (never mind that the rest of the world calls it the Sarkozy plan and it actually originated in Sweden). And all the continuing problems are to ba associated with 'business' and laid squarely at the door of the Business Secretary to answer.