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Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 15:16 UK

Politics... shaken and stirred

Jon Sopel
Jon Sopel
The Politics Show

Donkeys on a beach
Some reliable old holiday friends...

Privyet! (as a Russian oligarch would say)

The Westminster village sniggered a bit when Gordon Brown announced he'd be holidaying in Southwold last summer.

Rolling up your trousers for a cold paddle on a Suffolk beach somehow seemed rather un-prime ministerial.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Looking back, it seems nothing short of a political masterstroke. And oh how George Osborne must be wishing he'd joined him.

After a donkey ride and a cornetto, Mr Osborne could have curled up on his deckchair and leafed through a nice James Bond novel.

The heat of Corfu has returned to British politics

Instead he went to Corfu and lived one.

Luxury yachts and Russian billionaires, Martinis and Mediterranean sunsets sound like a scene from the Quantum of Solace.

It's the sort of opulence to make a Bond villain's scar throb with envy.

Shaken and stirred

But unlike Daniel Craig's Martini, Mr Osborne emerges both shaken and stirred.

For amongst the glittering beau-monde he spied Peter Mandelson.

Fatefully, they gossiped as politicians do. Apparently some harsh words were said about Gordon Brown (no doubt enjoying his fish and chips on the prom a thousand miles away). And somehow it all ended up in the Sunday papers.

This spoiled Mr Mandelson's return to the Cabinet. And if you do that, you'd better be prepared. It's the political equivalent of spilling Goldfinger's drink. Or stepping carelessly on Rosa Clebb's stilettos.

George Osborne
The controversy lingers around George Osborne

Mr Osborne has been reaping the whirlwind ever since. For in politics, just as in MI6, it's Live and Let Die.

George Osborne will not be appearing on the Politics Show this Sunday.

The Conservative Party have buried him deeper than a baddies underground laboratory from which global domination is planned.

So we'll be concentrating on subjects much closer to home than Corfu.

John Hutton
John Hutton will be giving Jon Sopel his assessment of the situation

The things that matter to the fish and chip sellers and donkey ride kings of Southwold rather than the denizens of Greek Islands or Russian dachas.

Hutton returns

We'll be talking to the new Defence Secretary, John Hutton. His first interview in his new job.

He's just off the plane from Iraq and Afghanistan. When will he bring our boys home?

We've got an interesting story about how electric cars might help solve climate change - ahead of a big government announcement next week.

And we're working on something about the Scottish Government and its plans for a Local Income Tax.

Doh voskressenya!

Or 'see you on Sunday' for those of you with fewer than a few hundred billion roubles in your bank accounts.

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