Sunday, 5 October 2008

On the Welcome Return of Peter Mandelson

Peter Mandelson's return is a Good Thing.

First, he is an exceptionally good departmental head in a government where there are too few. Although I look forward to a Tory victory at the next general election, it would not be a bad idea to have a few departments functioning until then.

Second, he was a genuine and well-informed grasp of the importance of international free trade and the global economy. This was demonstrable at the European Commission. To have such a person in the Cabinet would be an asset in any government, Tory or New Labour.

Third and last, he is a political counterweight to a domineering Prime Minister. This may in turn lead to more broadly-based decision making. Again, this would be useful while we put up with this (generally-speaking) shambles of a government in the meantime.

However, the main cost of this appointment is the weakening of the UK's position in Brussels and a possible dilution of the EU's free trade stance.

A weaker European Commission is usually also a Good Thing, though perhaps not in this one policy area.

To be both missed and welcome is an unexpected development in Mandelson's career. I am surprised to feel both.

1 comment:

Hlelen of Essex said...

Desperation is greater than hatred!