While Peter Mandelson follows the rigidly of defending Gordon Brown in the wake of the Norwich North by-election, the problem is that Labour just don't get what is is that Norwich North tells us.
Labour's line is that due to the circumstances in which Ian Gibson stood down, this election was all about expenses, and was a special circumstance unrelated to normal politics. What Labour fail to recognise this that this is a self inflicted wound, and these self inflicted wounds are the sign of a government that is not only unable to control events outside of its control, but those it can control are done wrongly, in this case effectively sacking Ian Gibson whilst doing nothing about the likes of Hoon, Blears and others.
I seem to recall the last Tory government going through a similar episode of self harm over things like "back to basics" and the sleaze that was endemic in the period from 1992-97.
Whilst it might seem like a good defence for Gordon Brown to claim Norwich North was different, the electorate know otherwise and this makes Labour seems even more out of touch.