Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Dark Lord's Fourth Coming

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Dark Lord's Fourth Coming

Article excerpt

The Prince of Darkness casting his shadow over the World Trade Organisation is, I hear, a genuine possibility. David Cameron is considering a cunning plan, giggled a No 10 snout, to back Peter Mandelson as successor to the director general, Pascal Lamy. Citizen Dave and George Osborne blocked Gordon Brown for the International a Monetary Fund partly out of spite and partly because they recognised he'd attack Tory economic policy. Osborne's holiday chum Mandy is regarded as more Conservative-friendly and his appointment would peel another Blairite away from Labour. A fourth resurrection of the Dark Lord would beat even Freddy Krueger's record. Labour tribalists sneer that it would also be Cameron's payback for Mandy running a hopeless election campaign in May 2010.

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Could it get any worse for Ed Miliband? The least successful Conservative leader in living memory, Iain Duncan Smith, was eavesdropped by a radar-lugged informant admitting that he feels sorry for Ted. The self-styled Quiet Man of British politics was silenced completely in 2003 when his party turned off the volume, Tory MPs realising after two hopeless years that he was a lost cause as opposition leader. The ousted IDS, rehabilitated at Work and Pensions, whispered that he sympathises with Ted because of the painful memory of his own ordeal. Unless his fortunes revive, Ted could end up with more support on the Tory benches than the Labour side.

Gordon Brown's one-time enforcer and former Labour chief whip Nick "Newkie" Brown walked into a "Revolt of the Dogsbodies" at a meeting of parliamentary staff. …

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