Last night I went to the House of Commons for a Hansard Society meeting to mark the publication of the Palgrave Annual Review of Politics entitled When Gordon Took the Helm. Among those on the panel was Peter Riddell of The Times who is always good value.
He emphasised the significance of the return of Peter Mandelson to the Government. It had cut the legs from under the ultra Blairites. His international experience and knowledge of business was a considerable asset.
At one time there had been a sense of incoherence about the Government. It portrayed itself as different from Tony Blair, but it was not that different. Now Brown had a clear view of what he wanted to achieve as the man who would see us through the recession. As the economic problems got worse, that would be the real political test.
Philip Cowley noted that the Parliamentary session that ended recently had been the most rebellious since 1971 when Edward Heath faced problems over British membership of the European Community. There had been more revolts than in the Maastricht session, albeit smaller ones.