COMMENT: EDITORIAL; There are no sure bets in politics

With a Government with a majority of one, an election in the offing, and all manner of lurking horrors on BSE, Europe, and Northern Ireland, we should not be too surprised when the normal political certainties start to look a little shaky.

With a Government with a majority of one, an election in the offing, and

all manner of lurking horrors on BSE, Europe, and Northern Ireland, we

should not be too surprised when the normal political certainties start

to look a little shaky.



Last week’s decision to refer bids by National Power and Powergen for

two electricity companies to the MMC came as a shock, not least to the

lobbyists involved. But the message this decision sends out is that all

bets are off, at least until the election.



It is a salutary reminder that neither lobbyists nor PR people can ever

guarantee outcomes -and they would be foolish to claim that they can.

What they can do is give their clients the best possible chance of

succeeding - even though political circumstances may eventually conspire

against them.



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