John Stuart Mill once famously dubbed the Conservatives “The Stupid Party”, but surely few Tories have ever been as stupid as George Osborne. Why on earth did he take on Mandelson while knowing what he did about his activities on and offshore in Corfu? It’s almost as if he knew what he had done looked bad and, like a little boy who has done something naughty, was unconsciously desperate for the news to get out. I am told Gerorge Osborne is an honest man. Was he looking for some sort of absolution?
No rules were broken. No donations made. But it just looks so awful for a senior politician in a party attempting to rid itself of its image as the party of privilege.
My favourite detail in all this is that George Osborne broke his holiday among the super-rich to give a speech in London abour poverty.
But the Labour Party should be careful too. It isn’t great for the Prime Minister that every time this story is raised, the quote about Mandelson pouring poison in Osborne’s ear about Gordon Brown appears again. And the more reporters focus on the social networks of the Business Secretary the worse it gets.