Peter Mandelson says he is open to the idea of televised debates between Gordon Brown and David Cameron in the run up to the general election. Unsurprisingly, Cameron is also keen. Equally unsurprisingly, Gordon Brown is said to oppose the idea:
It has been reported that Mr Brown thinks a televised discussion is unnecessary as he confronts Conservative leader Mr Cameron regularly in Parliament.
Indeed. And nothing at all to do with the fact that he has all the personality and charisma of a mattress. Right now, Gordon Brown is about as likely to win the next election as Harry H. Corbett. Labour’s only hope is that they can somehow stop their leader repelling more voters while hoping the economy makes the most remarkable recovery since Lazarus. Not likely.
So I’m puzzled as to why Mandelson would think this a good idea. Whatever one might think of the man, there’s no denying that he’s a canny political operator and he’s probably more aware of Brown’s personality faults than anyone. Put Brown on a live televised debate against Cameron and it’d make Richard Nixon’s disastrous, sweaty, showing against JFK in 1960 look like a slick and polished performance by comparison.