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Mandy: Unauthorised Biography of Peter Mandelson Hardcover – 18 Jan 1999
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They say that a day is a long time in politics and journalist Paul Routledge, the author of Mandy, the unauthorised biography of Peter Mandelson, can testify to that. His book ought to have been the headline-maker, but little did he know that it would be "scooped" by revelations of arguably the most dramatic incident in Mandelson's career--the Geoffrey Robinson loan affair which led to the Labour Minister's resignation. Nevertheless, Routledge does an admirable job recording Mandelson's early years: his childhood in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Hendon County Grammar school, where his political interests were expressed through membership of the Young Socialists and then the Young Communist League. He spent a "gap year" in Tanzania before Oxford and his first job was with the TUC. Up to this point, Routledge's information--garnered second-hand--appears to be factual. However, when he starts recording Mandelson's parliamentary career, he seems to lose any vestiges of objectivity. He paints what appears to be a lopsided portrait of Mandelson as scheming and evil, with hints of sociopathy. The book's title alludes to the speculation about Mandelson's homosexuality, but Routledge doesn't manage to produce many new insight here, relying heavily on organisations like Outrage! for his information. It's a pity that Routledge didn't show any human side to Mandelson--the result tends to discredit rather than enhance the book's credibility.
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Routledge's book starts with Peter Mandelson's first fall from grace (after Labour were elected): the fiasco after his concealed loan from Geoffrey Robinson, then Labour's Paymaster General, was finally revealed.
Mandelson, using all his powers of spin (lies, in other words) tried to talk his way out of trouble. He claimed to have made an "error of judgement" and insisted that he had "done nothing wrong", he had only "been unwise". Was it "unwise" for a prominent Labour minister to simply "forget" about a major loan from a party (and governmental) colleague?
This was par for the course. Always using spin (lies, or anything that pops into his head) to cover over the evidence. An earlier event saw Mandelson defending one of his friends (Bernard Carr) from both corruption and "gross indecency" claiming the case was a waste of taxpayers' money. "If a case gets into court and does not stand up to scrutiny for more than a matter of minutes you are bound to ask yourself why it had been brought in the first place, how it had been handled and at what wasted cost to the tax payer."
Mandelson stated, "that someone, somewhere down the line, was going to have to ask some question". Yes, questions like: How did someone so, apparently, untrustworthy get so close to two British prime ministers?
Routledge states that Mandelson has "a desire to ensure that history is written to his taste".
Unfortunately (for Mandelson), this book will ensure that history does not always fit with Mandelson's "facts", even when you write a best-selling political memoir. Still, I get the impression that Mandelson is probably feeling that he had the last laugh, at least for now!
This book covers how Mandy was sacked for his home "loan".
Mandy was also sacked again by T Blair for dodgy passport activity.
Lord Mandy also hired a Brazilian witch doctor to cast a spell on charlie Whelan.
Recently Mandy( in the role of the British Business Secretary) had sinister motives for backing the Lisbon treaty.
He knew Labour were kaput in 2007. He saw that all of the key powers were transferred to Brussels (EU) in the Lisbon Treaty (signed by Milliband), so he has castrated the sovereign capability of a future Conservative government by having already handed over key powers to Brussels (EU)
In recent years The Sunday Times revealed how Mandelson had accepted hospitality on Oleg Deripaska's (a nice man who is banned from the USA) yacht, the Queen K, in Corfu (a statement which was initially denied by Lord Mandy).
Then in a letter to The Times, Mandelson admitted he had known Deripaska (Russian Oligarch worth £28 billion) since 2004, despite previously suggesting they had first met in 2006.
Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP, said: "Mandelson must publish all details of his meetings and make it clear where they took place and what the hospitality was. There is a vast difference between meeting someone at an office in Brussels and eating canapés and drinking champagne on an oligarch's yacht."
"It is clearly not wise for an EU trade commissioner or British minister to be associating with someone who is banned from the US."
Mandy changed tariffs on dumping Aluminium in the Eu (Mandy was EU Trade comissioner) and as a result Deripaska made an absolute fortune.
Res ipsa loquitur
There's no real insight or even desire to understand Mandelson's views and motivations, and not even much good gossip. In the end this book would only be interesting to you if you hate Mandelson (in which case why read a book about him?) and want to have your views about him confirmed in a slapped together, poorly researched and ignorant way.