The Three Musketeers* turn to writing
With comedians a sense of timing is vital, it appears to be the same with memoirs. As we see HERE Gordon Brown is still typing his and, recalling those speeches by Tony Blair, the ones he peppered with pauses for dramatic effect, perhaps his typing stops dead now-and-then too, for the great big book from Blair is rumoured to be still months away from publication. If as reports suggest Brown is typing 10,000 words a day, although the man was prone to fibbing, all eyes will be on the work by Peter Mandelson. For his book is the first to appear, first past the post if you like and no, this is not, for once, the main point. What is of real interest is the length of it and the estimated speed of typing, as the question must be-"when did he start writing it"?
Mandelson has always been a busy bee and helping Brown lose the election must have been very time consuming. Every evening showing himself off in a night club, every hour spinning on TV will have been an hour away from the keyboard. Common sense suggests that a great deal of this book was written a long time ago. It is being trailed as high octane stuff, we shall see. But if a book dishing the dirt is published now but was being written just as soon as he got back from Brussels this is highly significant. As suggested before, timing is all and loyalty, in this case, not relevant.
As always in politics 'compare and contrast' is recommended. But with the top tier of Nulabour, Blair, Brown and Mandelson, this is not easy. Nowadays even the Guardian can struggle to find a good word to say about any of them. This was not always the case. The first to fall from favour was Mandelson and a long time ago too. Hence the remark by Blair -
"We will know that Labour is truly New Labour when it has learnt to love Peter Mandelson."
Perhaps the two most outstanding features of Blair was that his mouth was so much bigger than his brain and that he talked, allowing for theatrical pauses, non stop. Umpteen cases of Blair contradicting himself are on record. He really should not have made the remark above either. For in just 17 words Blair trashes the entire 'project', what this blog has always called Nulabour, and the three architects of it at the same time. For Mandelson was never loved by Nulabour or a broad enough cross section of the country to make Nulabour more than a balancing act. The country knew this, by contrast the MSM, at the time, were oblivious. Well they are making up for it now! Let's start with the Independent. The point is made that -
Lord Mandelson can justifiably claim to have a place in British history
The article goes onto explain what a wonderful thing the creation of Nulabour was. Well up to a point yes, but what goes up must come down. Although the article generally mocks Mandelson it fails to spell out his part in Nulabour's downfall, this is ridiculous. The idea that Mandy only did the good stuff and was not, unlike Blair and Brown, equally responsible for its decline cannot be allowed. But this, on being MP for Hartlepool, is well observed -
This is a man who a long time ago began to describe himself as "exotic". A Labour man who ostentatiously enjoyed the finer things in life and talked of his party being "intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich". Accordingly, Lord Mandelson has famously been criticised for his relationships with people including the financier Nat Rothschild and the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The People's Party grandee cannot see the problem. "Do you know what I say to that?" he said yesterday. "Good for me. I mean, I'm not going to be governed by Labour Party political correctness about who I should meet or talk to or where I should spend my time. I am drawn towards people who are interesting, who are achievers, who are dynamic." And in case anyone wonders how he survived as MP for Hartlepool: "I can also mix with and perfectly happily exist with people who are not like that."
So unlike his old boss there was no 'Mrs Duffy' moment for Mandy, well not quite. It is said that when he was putting himself about a bit in Hartlepool, prior to selection, he went to a fish and chip shop, naturally the press came along too, as they do when invited; the meal would show off his proletarian credentials. He pointed to the mushy peas and said -
And I'll have some of the avocado dip with it."
No doubt what became known as 'the guacamole moment' is fully explained in the book.
And so to the Guardian, this is a little tougher on Mandy than the dear old Indy -
Lord Mandelson 'demoralised' Labour, claims Andy Burnham
But as much as we are to wonder how Mandy put up with the undynamic non-achievers of the North East of England this article does not say how Burnham, and many other people, coped with Mandy and his negative effect on the people's party all those years. It's hard to be sympathetic, they were not being stoic but stupid. Burnham says -
The losers were the party members who were demoralised by the disunity at the top of the party while they were flying the flag for Labour on doorsteps across the country. Party members are fed up to the back teeth with the arrogance of those who say and write what they like while telling members how it's going to be.
Clearly Burnham is trying to inject some badly needed fire into his bid to become the leader of 'the people's party', a campaign that is only a little better than the effort from Diane Abbott. However, Burnham misses the point, the party members will always be the losers who, unlike Mandy, are going to be governed by Labour Party political correctness. This will never change.
And now in the interests of balance to the Spectator. Their article, by Peter Hoskin, is titled - 'Mandelson and Miliband kick open the hornets' nest', and it says -
Brown is said to have told friends that "this is going to be a very difficult time for me." Yep, (says Peter Hoskin) it's just like the glory days of last summer.
Amid all this, there's a sense that Mandelson and David Miliband have coordinated their efforts to trash Brown.
It's a long journey from my home to the Westminster village in which these things are common knowledge. However, in my opinion this might not be the whole truth; is Miliband really that clever? Correction! Is he really that stupid? As long ago as June 2008 we were writing about Miliband and his leadership potential. We did not see it then, we don't now. We posted two telling comments by Miliband that are worth repeating -
1 - The caricatures that were put up about Gordon have proved to be just that. The truth is he is a man of depth - deep values, deep vision, deep sense of the future of the country, deep intellect, deep humanity.
2 - David Cameron is the perfect opponent for Gordon Brown if you're Gordon Brown. And Gordon Brown is the nightmare opponent for David Cameron if you're David Cameron.
It's clear that Miliband himself is a shallow chancer, not at all deep. To have thrown his lot in with Mandy will condemn the people's party to more of the same, more useless in-fighting. So following the three musketeers, Blair, Brown and Mandelson, or you prefer, Smuggo, Sulko and Creepo, we get Thicko. Vote for Diane Abbott?
*Footnote - So taken in by the antics of the dynamic trio, Blair, Brown and Mandelson, in the early days of Nulabour, the MSM named them "the three musketeers", after the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas that was later made into a film. Such gushing enthusiasm, couldn't happen now could it?