Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Peter Mandelson's Honesty

Not many people are actually feeling very welcoming towards the good baron at the moment. Last October it almost seemed as if the Labour Party had really begun to love him. I'd hate to put him up in front of a Labour audience now. On the other hand, it is difficult to see why conservative commentators like Peter Oborne are so vigorously against him. Mandelson's vial of regurgitated poison is giving the coalition a further honeymoon lease.......ah, that'd be the reason then! His memoirs, though, certainly don't deserve the bile being directed towards them by those not directly implicated in his tale of treachery and deception. Unlike many memoirists, Mandelson is not making some sort of claim to higher reality in justifying his fast off the presses tome.

Mandelson has never made any claims to some spurious form of moral authority; he doesn't preach at us from some mythical pulpit; he has always been a manipulative spinner, a master of the dark arts of politics and his book is, in a sense, a vindication of that. What better time to dish the dirt - Mandelson's whole raison d'etre - than immediately following his party's defeat? It is not actually, on the strength of the Times extracts, particularly revelatory, but who would deny Lord M his last bit of fun. He's being doing this sort of stuff as a professional for years, and his book is just Mandelson being Mandelson. He is not offering us some spurious, righteous justification for his words. He is simply giving us politics in the raw. And there's a rare honesty in that!

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