Political

Lord Peter Mandelson talks sense, again

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First there was Labour peer Peter Mandelson’s words about Liberal Democrat tax policy.

Now there is his warning to the Labour Party to prepare properly for a possible hung Parliament:

Labour must not repeat the mistake of 2010 and make only last-minute plans for the possibility of entering a coalition after the May election, Lord Mandelson has warned…

“Some of us certainly contemplated beforehand what would happen if we lost our overall majority in 2010, but we did nothing about it, and during the weekend after polling day we had to make up in 48 hours what we had failed to do in the previous three months…

“It was all too makeshift. If we had been serious the talking should have started long before, as I suspected it had informally between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories. For them, the chemistry fell into place quite quickly. We were fighting a losing battle.”…

He added he did not think it was right for Labour to try to set terms on the Lib Dem leadership. “In 2010 some senior Lib Dems said a precondition of a viable deal with Labour was Gordon Brown’s departure. Gordon did eventually agree to stand aside in the autumn, but I don’t think it would be any more appropriate to say who their leader should be than it was for them to do so in 2010.”

On that last point it’s worth remembering: leaderless parties don’t make for good partners in hung Parliaments.

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