As the Labour and Conservative parties continue singing the same tune about the horrors of a 'hung parliament', I remain as baffled as ever by their shared willingness to spend decades in opposition in exchange for an occasional few stints in power (HERE).
And, having suggested (HERE) that one of the reasons for Nick Clegg's success in the first TV debate was that the other two parties misjudged just how different a three-cornered debate would be from a straight duel between two parties, I was fascinated over the weekend to stumble across this YouTube clip from nine months ago in which Labour's master of spin confirms exactly what I suspected.
On 29th July last year, Lord Mandelson told ITN that Gordon Brown would be up a televised debate - between two parties (full video HERE).
As I said in a post after the first debate, 'I should think that the Labour and Conservative negotiators are kicking themselves for (the rules) they agreed as much as the Liberal Democrats are patting themselves on their backs'.
And I don't expect the Mandelson of nine months ago expected that he'd be putting out memos like this one half way through the campaign.
Other posts on the election:
- Will the 2010 UK general election be the first one to leave us speechless?
- Televised debates about televised debates really would be worth watching
- Vince Cable shows how 'Yah-boo' politics can win victories for the LibDems
- Blair speaks and the BBC tells you what he says
- Before we watch the debates, has anyone seen or heard any proper speeches yet?
- The 76 rules of engagement for the TV debates: and a competition to keep you awake
- Did the TV debaters tell too many stories?
- What's wrong with a 'hung parliament' if that's what the electorate votes for?
- The problem for two opponents in three sided TV debates
- The UK general election of 2010: a play in three acts
- Silent speeches by party leaders: the wallpaper of television news coverage
- Will the first leader to break down the 'ban' on applause be declared the night's winner?
- Is the TV debate ban on applause holding firm because we're obsessed with following rules?
And from the BBC website magazine: