Once a prince of darkness, now loving the limelight

By Estelle Shirbon
April 7, 2010

BRITAIN-ELECTION/“Enjoy it!” That was the message from Peter Mandelson to Labour supporters this morning as he launched a vitriolic attack on the Conservatives during a speech in central London, clearly relishing every minute of it. Once nicknamed the “prince of darkness” for his ability to mastermind┬áLabour’s strategy from behind the scenes, Mandelson has transformed into the party’s best public performer.

Taking Twitter’s political temperature

April 6, 2010

Britain’s first live television debates between the leaders of the three mainstream political parties are not the only new feature to add spice to the upcoming general election, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced will be held on May 6.

Political theatre unfolds according to script

By Estelle Shirbon
April 6, 2010

BRITAIN-ELECTION/There was a big fuss but no suspense this morning outside Number 10 Downing Street. In what has become a typical pattern in the world of 24-hour news, media organisations had been briefed in advance on the content and the choreography of Gordon Brown’s election announcement. This was the ultimate scripted, pre-packaged news event.

Budget for votes riskily delays UK debt pain

March 25, 2010

BRITAIN-BUDGET/– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Webcast: Gordon Brown’s speech at Thomson Reuters

March 10, 2010

Prime Minister Gordon Brown set out his economic plans during a Newsmaker event at Thomson Reuters on Wednesday. Brown said he believed Britain would maintain its coveted AAA credit rating and announced a pay freeze for senior civil servants and military officers to help reduce a record deficit.

Election TV debates or social media to have biggest impact?

March 4, 2010

There are at least two new factors in the coming election — the first-ever televised prime ministerial debates and the first full-on deployment of social media during a British election (Facebook was a year old, YouTube had just started and Twitter didn’t even exist back in 2005).

Tories could be making sterling a rod for their own back

March 3, 2010

BRITAIN-CONSERVATIVES/Talking down the pound could have some pretty bad consequences.

Ever since the debacle of sterling being forced out of the European exchange rate in September 1992, British officials and politicians have maintained a stiff upper lip when talking about the pound.

Newsmaker with David Cameron, George Osborne and Ken Clarke

March 1, 2010

BRITAIN-CONSERVATIVES/Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Shadow Secretary of State for Business Ken Clarke will join us on Tuesday March 2 to give speeches and take part in a Q&A session on the economy.

Where did the Tory lead go?

February 26, 2010

An opinion poll published today shows the Labour Party gaining ground on David Cameron’s Conservatives. The Ipsos Mori poll found support for the Conservatives on 37 percent, with Labour on 32 percent and the Liberal Democrats on 19 percent.

What is Alistair Darling up to?

February 25, 2010

darling Normally regarded as a safe pair of hands, Chancellor Alistair Darling raised hell on Tuesday night by confirming on live television what everyone in Westminster has believed for some time.