Lord Mandelson is one of those politicians I find, instantly irritating in a Cecil Parkinson sort of way, none more so than this weekend when it was suggested that he’s (again) easily influenced by wealthy businessmen.
I really don’t get too interested in national politics, not since David Blunkett in 1997, ended free adult education, trampling on social mobility and effectively saying goodbye to Labour claims to support working people.
Peter Mandelson at that time, struck me as the sort of Tory Toff, one would expect, in Blair’s conservative New Labour, an opinion not changed, when he jacked his job, after a bit of misunderstanding in 1998 on a £373,000 interest free loan, then in 2001 again had to make an unscheduled exit from government after a misunderstood attempt to sort out a passport for a foreign businessman.
Since then Peter Mandelson has had more than a few more misinterpreted situations, as European commissioner for trade being a guest on Paul Allen’s (co-founder of Microsoft) yacht at the time the EU were investigating Microsoft, a relationship with Russian Oligarch, Oleg Deripaska whose company Rusal is the worlds largest aluminium producer, made difficult by the fact Mandelson, promoted a plan to cut tariffs saving Rusal upto £117 million a year according to Times newspapers.
Yesterdays Sunday Times, carried news that Lord Mandelson, as he is known these days, met recently with David Geffen co-founder of Dreamworks studio and Asylum records, who is not unnaturally critical of file sharing and piracy, according to their report Mandelson has got back from holiday and has issued instructions that proposed new regulations on internet piracy need to be tougher.
Myself I’m thinking of maybe inviting Lord Mandelson down to Flaig Mansions for the weekend to be entertained by myself and a few of my millionaire pals admittedly I don’t think I’ll be able to rustle up any Rothschilds or Russian Oligarchs unless Mrs Me could ask Roman Abramovich next Chelsea home game, anyhow I could just see Mandelson arriving back in Whitehall refreshed after a weekend of me not talking about work or the plight of us proles and transforming the Labour party into a popular movement for the advancement of the ordinary citizen.
Now coming back to the No 2 issue, this was a reference made by Denis Macshane MP for Rotherham on Saturday's Radio 4 Today programme suggesting that Madelson was brilliant at supporting a leader but not suited to leadership “one of the best number two’s anywhere in the political world”.
I’ve always thought of Mandelson, as a number two but not in quiet the same way. It’s my opinion but I think Mandelson spends too much time with rich people maybe if Labour politicians were to hobnob with the masses once in a while we might live in a more equitable society, as it is we live in a country in which Labour MP’s are at ease with selling its own people short and happy to bludge every last penny they can from paying their food bills to lavish pensions.
PS Since writing this I see that Mandelson is not just one for hobnobbing with the rich it also seems is happy to chit chat with Colonel Gaddafi son.