UK 3 May 2010 Mandelson begins to spin his way out of defeat The Business Secretary suggests making Cameron PM would be a kind of victory for New Labour. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML Regardless of the outcome of this election, Peter Mandelson is already trying to spin his way out of defeat. Here's what the silver-tongued First Secretary recently told the NS editor, Jason Cowley: The point about the Conservatives is that they believe they cannot win an election by running against New Labour. They are for the political landscape that we have created. The whole point of Cameron's Conservatives is to market his party in a way that leads people to believe they've put their past behind them, that they're a continuum of New Labour. They are not, as it happens. But the fact that they feel they can only win power by marketing themselves in that way says a lot about the strength of New Labour. You'll be able to read more from Mandelson in Jason's interview with Gordon Brown for this week's magazine (out tomorrow). As he writes, it does seem like an attempt by Mandelson "to claim a kind of victory even in defeat". He speaks with the pride of a teacher whose textbook (The Blair Revolution Revisited) has been eagerly devoured, even if not all of the lessons have been learned. Yet key figures on Labour's centre left, such as Jon Cruddas, argue that the similarities between Cameron's Conservatives and New Labour represent a defeat, not a victory for the party. It is because Labour has been insufficiently bold that the Tories have succeeded in masquerading as progressive, even while pledging to cut taxes for millionaires. We can expect this division, between those who feel flattered and those who feel enraged by Cameron's rise, to be at the centre of any future Labour leadership contest. Follow the New Statesman team on Facebook. › I’ve never been attacked from the left before . . . George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles “We need an anti-Conservative force”: Nick Clegg wants to work with Labour after the election 5 scenarios that will definitely happen in Ukip Britain Are the Conservatives trying to change the rules of politics so they never lose again?