Saturday, 4 October 2008

The final destruction of Mandelson

If there was a politician less suited to the level of personal public thrift required of ministers during a recession it is Peter Mandelson. Oozing the bonhomie of fine wines and expensive cuisine, preening with self-love and self-importance, a man who adores all the trappings of wealth and the proximity of the wealthy, his lifestyle has largely been hidden from sight in Brussels. A cabinet minister's salary will be something of a come-down from the opulent rewards of an EU Commissioner, but Mandelson will not allow this to deter him. The fine cashmere sweaters and calfskin loafers will be at home in le Manoir or Le Pont de la Tour, but Brown must be chuckling with pleasure at the prospect of ordering Mandy to go 'on the knock' on the council estates of Glenrothes. For I am convinced that Brown has brought Mandelson back for one reason only - to destroy him.

In Brown's eye, Mandelson is the man who has ruined Gordon's 'turn'. Mandelson is the man who has consigned his reputation to the dustbin of history as Britain's worst prime minister ever. Mandelson is the man who has robbed him of his due. Brown cannot forget or forgive a man he sees as having sown the seeds of Brown's destruction. Mandelson is doubtless aware of this - his intellect is of a greater order than Gordon's - but his vanity is such that he is confident of winning this deadly game. Whilst Mandelson may be well equipped to counter Gordon's moves as they circle warily on the chess-board, he is not immune to his own ego. Hubris and the fourth estate will do for him.

Already the press is questioning the origin of funds used to buy his new home in London. Teams will be dispatched to Brussels to spread wads of cash and dig for dirt. Brown himself will release some fatal secret when the time is just right, when the public mood demands real retribution. Like Jonathan Aitken and Jeffrey Archer, public joy at the humbling of one so high as they swap the cashmere for prison denim will be irresistible.

Rarely have I looked forward to the dying days of a spent and corrupt government with such pleasure.


Yokel said...

I agree that this move by Brown is intended to be venomous.

But I fear that Brown will be outclassed in the scheming stakes. Surely no-one can beat the evil scheming conniving treacherous Mandelson in greasing his pathway to fame riches and self gratification.

In the end, it may be Brown who goes down.

Bill Quango MP said...

Did you see that story about Peter..

In February 2007, the Daily Express reported that as EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson “requested a luxury £80,000 Maserati as his official EU car”. The Express claims Louis Michel, the Belgian EU Commissioner, was the source of the story and that Jose Barroso, the President of the Commission, rejected the request saying EU taxpayers "would not understand" the justification behind an £80,000 car

I doubt that the Mercedes Ministerial cars are much less than £60,000 anyway.. but it does sound like the sort of request he would make.

There are other schools of thought rather than its a Brown plot to destroy Mandelson.

A] Draper/Campell/Mandelson...what links them? ... Blair is coming back as leader.

B] P [eter} M {andelson} the next PM

Raedwald said...

I tried to go through the options in my mind earlier; (B) I discounted because the country hates him and we're nowhere near ready for a gay PM but (A) crossed my mind - if faced with electoral wipeout even Brown might put party before self and play this last desperate move.

Blair's nauseating pious smugness if this happened would be completely unbearable.

Elby the Beserk said...

You could well be right. It does seem like an act of madness. Let us hope you are.

Nick Drew said...

I look at this somewhat differently. Brown genuinely doesn't know how to conduct himself and (in certain aspects) he even knows it and is open to suggestions. For example, if you recall, towards the start of 2006 in one of his "when are you going to f*** off and let me have my turn" moods, he was clearly told by Blair (a) it would be soon and (b) in the meantime he needed to take some advice on personal presentation - because all of a sudden he started adopting stylised, heavily-coached Blairite mannersims and sporting blue ties etc etc

to the point where he was a laughing-stock

It seems highly likely that in the depths of his flounderings someone (perhaps Blair) has said to him

look, there is no effective successor in the PLP, so never mind watching your back: come out swinging against the Tories with everything in the NuLab arsenal; Peter's at a bit of a loose end, he's truly and malignantly creative, and he plays the game for its own sake; we can square the BBC dead easy; there are still operators like Draper around who know how to make a bit of weather; Alistair hates the Tories more than you hate saying sorry, and he's always up for a bit of dirty work

Cameron has Vague Likeability on his side. You have

- Initiative;
- The Entire Contents of HM Treasury and the borrowing-power of a triple-A sovereign nation;
- Fear;
- the BBC;
- as much money as you care to ask J.K.Rowling for;
- the Black Arts;
- 18 months of Patronage;
- the Constitution of an Ox;
- the Hide of a Rhino; and
- Nothing To Lose

and, seriously, you really love this job, yeah ? and you really really don't want to go down as the worst PM in recorded history, right ?

So make the call, and let slip the dogs of war ...

And, in the depths of his flounderings, Brown simply said - OK

Bill Quango MP said...

"Alistair hates the Tories more than you hate saying sorry.."


Nick Drew said...

PS I have just read (via some link chez Guido) that Brown is "irritated by this hostile reception [to Mandy's appointment], prickly when interrogated about why he gave a Cabinet post to his worst best friend"

to me this is consistent with m'thesis: he'd been told the move would be clever (and is therefore looking for approbation)

rather than doing it for well-founded reasons-of-his-own- and-bugger-off-the-lot-of-you-I-know-what-I'm-doing-you'll-see

Mandy is just his new, ill-fitting blue tie

Raedwald said...

You could well be right on Brown's motives for this one, Nick - perhaps I credit Brown with too much.

But I still reckon Mandy will be his own downfall; he can't resist pushing the envelope of personal probity to the limit, and gloating about it. But he hasn't quite got Blair's gift for outraged innocence ("So what's wrong with rewarding party donations with peerages? It's perfectly accepted practice..")

TheFatBigot said...

They just don't get corruption: