Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Mandelson Factor

Andrew Rawnsley's book "The End of the Party" is causing a minor sensation with its extraordinary stories of a prime minister virtually out of control at times. The Observer has published substantial extracts today, and I'll comment more shortly. If you get the chance, you should certainly take the time to read at least some of it. However, I have to commend that old Labour fox Lord Mandelson for a silkily superlative performance on Andrew Marr's show this morning. Gordon Brown's outbursts aren't evidence of lack of control - they're about 'passion'. This is all making good headlines because Andrew Rawnsley is such a good writer. No wonder Gordon Brown was keen to patch things up with the old fixer and have him back in government - whatever else the Rawnsley files reveal, there's little doubt about the continuing crucial role of Peter Mandelson in maintaining stability in a genuinely weird government.

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