27 Jan 2009

Clash of the political titans. Not.

Today heralded the great domestic political clash of the titans: Peter Mandelson versus Ken Clarke. Each a big beast in their own party, it would have been the first time they had collided since Clarke took over the business portfolio in opposition to Secretary of State Mandelson.

The latter has announced a rescue package for the motor industry this afternoon. Except these two Goliaths did not clash at all. They didn’t even set eyes on each other because they’re in different houses of parliament. Mandelson had to make his statement in the House of Lords; Clarke opposed it in the House of Commons.

Maybe it’s time something was done about such an arrangement. Last year, after his appointment, MPs complained to Mandelson that they wouldn’t be able to quiz him in the Commons. But if MPs wanted to do that they would have to change the law.

So the great “clash of the titans”, thanks to ancient arrangement, never took place.

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