Tara Hamilton-Miller: Mandelson has his summer fun

Having been in denial for months I have to concede Peter Mandelson's comeback is a delight - it pains me, but I think finally I get him.

Tara Hamilton-Miller
Tara Hamilton-Miller

He is becoming more like Emcee from Cabaret every day. The Labour Party currently exists in a whirl around him; he watches, he comments, he uses words such as 'razzamatazz'. He's bored and when he's bored, he's fun. The only way to make the summer interesting is to drop Gordon Brown in it for a laugh. A pre-election television debate!

Mandelson knows everyone would relish this, everyone apart from Brown. TV debates are great. If the participants fail to rile each other, there is always an audience member who will do it. There is without fail a cross granny or a smarty-pants teenager who embarrasses both individuals. Brown/Cameron will attempt to defuse the situation by suggesting a 'private meeting' afterwards. The angry questioner then has 48 hours of fame. Everyone's a winner.

When the French watched Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal debate in 2007 they were treated to a proper mind-battle. Sarkozy employed a male trait of goading Royal until she was fuming. He then capitalised by suggesting: 'You have to be calm to be President.' As Sarko smirked, Royal looked like she might leap over the desk and rip out his larynx.

For every ounce of Mandelson-given joy, Harriet Harman's summer contribution of an inane brand of feminism is just draining. This week she squawked that men cannot be left to run the country.

Of course women should be represented in politics, but not by her promotion of senseless man-allergy drivel. Harman might want to take a moment to consider a quote from one of the toughest females in the world, Chilean prime minister Michelle Bachelet.

The single mother of three was asked what she wanted in life. 'Very simple,' said Bachelet. 'To walk along the beach, holding the hand of my lover.' In one of South America's most macho societies she did not feel the need to put politics before happiness. Can you imagine Harman being as honest as Senora Bachelet?

- Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team

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