"I don't really see myself as a big beast. More as a kindly pussycat... Yes, a kindly pussycat. I'm a kindly pussycat, with strong views about what we need to do."
So saith Peter Mandelson. Over five years ago - yes, this blog has staggered on for THAT long now - I wrote that I admired the man. He's made some errors of judgement, but he's a fine political operator and he wasn't afraid to be at the front line in the 80s when Labour was suffering the pain and turmoil of making itself electable again. He's focussed, experienced and competent and exactly what we need at the heart of government to navigate the shoals of government. I always thought that bringing Lord Mandelson back from Europe - if not from the undead - was one of Gordon's finest strokes.
Quite the most intriguing possibility is that of Mandelson making a return to the Commons and a bid for the leadership, should a vacancy arise after the next election. A minor change in the law - already slated for inclusion in a government bill - would allow him to renounce a life peerage and it has been suggested that a seat in the North East could be found at short notice. If you accept the wisdom of crowds, then you will note that the odds on this have shortened from 16/1 to 10/1, although Alan Johnson remains the clear favourite.
This fascinating possibility would complete the Blair revolution, because as Tony once said,
my mission would be completed when the Labour Party learned to love Mandelson