How do political careers end, and what constitutes “survival”?
Two examples: Mandy – more in a minute – and Tim Geithner, the current US Treasury Secretary. Geithner has been around a long time, and typically, can’t even pay his taxes properly. Nothing seems to get him the heave-ho, however richly deserved, as explained in a lucid and funny recent economic blog. One of The Knife’s old bosses in surgical training described success in a surgical career to me thus:
If you award +1 for every operation that helped, -1 for every one that made things worse, and zero for neither worse nor better, and if at the end of your career your net haul is positive, by whatever margin, that’s success.
Cynical maybe, but Geithner is a survivor, even though his net contribution to the US economy is a negative.
He should quit while he’s ahead, like Blair just managed and Brown didn’t.
Which brings us to Mandy. He has survived – just – so far, but his latest work has finally it seems killed him off in Labour circles. This suits, as he can pursue his showbiz/national treasure ambitions without any of the serious stuff getting in the way. Unless he turns up regularly in the Lords for reasons other than an excuse to prance about in the ermine, he has ended his own political career.
Although he has expressed a certain admiration for Dave……oh no…please…..