Who leaked the details of THIS conversation?
Well, like Mr Former-Lady-Deputy-Mayor Stephen on the Lib Dem Voice, I hardly think it's a THREE PIPE PROBLEM, Holmes.
So it's lovely to know that Master Gideon can, on the one fluffy foot, be SHOCKED and APPALLED that anyone might reveal a private conversation when it's the one where HE makes himself look a total NANA by telling Mr David "Liberal" Laws to defect to the Conservatories, and yet PERFECTLY HAPPY, on the other fluffy foot, to leak the all the gory details when he's doing the dirty on Mr Mandy Mandelbrot.
"Which Batman Villain Are You dot com" suggests that The Shadow Minister-for-being-less-respected-on-the-economy-than-Mr-Vince-Cable's-comb should look up Harvey TWO-FACE.
As for Mr Mandelbrot, the fractal at the heart of the NuLabour project, he's provoked a huge storm of media interest – and successfully distracted EVERYONE from the question that dominated the summer: "when will Mr Frown resign?" replacing it with a whole NEW question: "when will Mr MANDY resign?"
To be fair – and it is JOLLY DIFFICULT to be fair to Mr Mandy – the reason he's so DIVISIVE is because he is DIVIDED himself. There are really TWO Mr Mandelbrots: there's the one who is the dedicated pro-Free Trade, pro-Europe negotiator who worked enormously hard to make the Northern Ireland deal work when it had very nearly fallen to bits under the Sainted Mo, and who laboured tirelessly to try and make the Dohar Round of the World Trade Talks actually work; and then there's the one who uses his Sith Powers to get the Labour elected for no reason or purpose other than to be in power because "that's where it should be" even though it has completely sacrificed its traditional platform on the altar of a Thatcherite agenda and no longer serves any purpose other than to be the Conservatories-lite.
From Mr Frown's point of view it is PERFECT: he gets a talented operator with super-star charisma (I mean really, when the biggest names in the cabinet before this were Mr Man O'Straw and Mr Buff Hoon, you can see why they needed some of that Ol' Mandelbrot Black Magic*) who will take over the Labour's election campaign (no, Mr Mandy, we really do know that "I'm only going to give a word or two of advice" means "I'll only change one thing: the WORDS"), heal the rift with Lord Blairimort's faction and at the same time replace Mr Frown as "most hated person in the Cabinet".
From Mr Mandy's point of view, though, he gets a peerage (that robe's trimmed with real cat-monster, Mr Mandy) and a seat in the Cabinet for the price of a huge copper lightning rod strapped to his fluffy bottom.
What WAS he thinking?
Apparently he asked Lord Blairimort's advice.
"Yes, I did pray," confirmed Mr Mandy.
Lord B is reported to have said it was a "no-brainer". Presumably he meant you'd have to have NO BRAIN to join Mr Frown's Cabinet but that may have been lost in translation.
As for his OWN thoughts, well my guess is that it is a toss up between: "ooh, lovely guacamole" and "just when WAS the last time the country had a Prime Monster in the Lords?"
*Yes, Mr Sir Cliff sang "Devil Woman" while in fact it was Mr Barry Manilow who sang "Mandy". Make of that what you will.