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My Millbank

Seumas Milne, 18 April 1996

The Blair Revolution: Can New Labour Deliver? 
by Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle.
Faber, 274 pp., £7.99, February 1996, 0 571 17818 9
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... In politics, Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle explain for the benefit of their less worldly-wise readers, ‘getting your way can require a degree of intrigue and manoeuvring.’ The straight-dealing Tony Blair would, they say, prefer that this was unnecessary and does not really ‘enjoy the modus operandi ...

Labour Blues

Ross McKibbin, 11 February 1993

Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Inside Neil Kinnock’s Labour Party 
by Richard Heffernan and Mike Marqusee.
Verso, 344 pp., £9.95, November 1992, 0 86091 351 1
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... install itself in every part of the Labour machine’. The authors ‘expose the machinations of Peter Mandelson ... whose regime and methods can be rivalled only by that of Bernard Ingham’ etc. In fact, although Heffernan and Marqusee have written the book in an ‘openly partisan spirit’ (we ‘have an indictment to make and we make no apologies ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... Street nexus were confirmed by the reception of Paul Routledge’s very unauthorised biography of Peter Mandelson, the Labour Member for Hartlepool who would like to be prime minister. Routledge, an Old Labour hack, set out with an apparently impossible ambition – to do a service to the Labour movement by taking on the second most powerful man in the ...

Into the Second Term

R.W. Johnson: New Labour, 5 April 2001

Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour 
by Andrew Rawnsley.
Hamish Hamilton, 434 pp., £17.99, September 2000, 0 241 14029 3
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Mandelson and the Making of New Labour 
by Donald Macintyre.
HarperCollins, 638 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 00 653062 1
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Mo Mowlam: The Biography 
by Julia Langdon.
Little, Brown, 324 pp., £16.99, September 2000, 0 316 85304 6
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Ann Widdecombe: Right from the Beginning 
by Nicholas Kochan.
Politico’s, 302 pp., September 2000, 1 902301 55 2
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The Paymaster: Geoffrey Robinson, Maxwell and New Labour 
by Tom Bower.
Simon and Schuster, 272 pp., £17.99, March 2001, 0 7432 0689 4
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The Future of Politics 
by Charles Kennedy.
HarperCollins, 235 pp., £17.99, September 2000, 0 00 710131 7
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... rejection of Europe, there was consternation: Britain’s relations with the EU were on the line. Peter Mandelson, horrified at the implications – he styled himself Minister for Looking Ahead – was sure that this all resulted from leaving him out of the loop. Blair was alerted and asked Whelan what had happened. Whelan told him that the report merely ...

Diary

Roy Mayall: A Postman Speaks, 24 September 2009

... bought by the family ‘just in case’ – they usually have no idea how to send a text. So Peter Mandelson wasn’t referring to them when he went on TV in May to press for the part-privatisation of the Royal Mail, saying that figures were down due to competition from emails and texts.I spluttered into my tea when I heard him say that. ‘Figures ...

Mandelson’s Pleasure Dome

Iain Sinclair, 2 October 1997

... in a fitting manner by the biggest tent show in the universe. As the Minister without Portfolio, Peter Mandelson, asserts in a document issued by the Cabinet Office: ‘millenniums only come once in a thousand years.’ Or at approximately the same interval as Labour governments with a mandate to do whatever they want, with absolutely no come-back, in ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Politicians v. the press, 22 July 2004

... in opposition’. This sad shake of the head segues effortlessly into mention of poor persecuted Peter Mandelson, who has suffered so terribly at the hands of a remorseless and unforgiving press. ‘The standards of manners and courtesy have dropped,’ Mandelson told Lloyd (‘in his rooms in the ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: Kraft eats Cadbury, 7 January 2010

... havoc in the Midlands, where Cadbury is based. Hence, no doubt, the anti-Kraft intervention by Peter Mandelson, who as former commissioner of trade at the EU knows how purely hypocritical it is to protest. Second, and more interestingly, there’s something about sweets and chocolates which taps deep into people’s psyches. Our feelings about them ...

Short Cuts

James Meek: In the Ghost Library, 3 November 2011

... For voters, feelings prevail over beliefs,’ Peter Mandelson writes in The Third Man. ‘People may be torn between their head and their heart, but ultimately it is their gut feeling that is decisive: they vote for the candidate who elicits the right feelings, not necessarily the one who presents the right arguments ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: FUKd, 22 May 2014

... thinking what we’re thinking?’). Crosby’s return reminded me of the Private Eye joke about Peter Mandelson, who in 1992 masterminded ‘Labour’s brilliantly successful electoral defeat’. The whole prospect is reassuringly the-same-but-different, the way general elections always are. There is, though, one aspect of the 2015 contest which is ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: Ed Balls, 22 September 2016

... 2005 and joined the cabinet in 2008 at the head of the department for energy and climate change. Peter Mandelson, David Miliband, James Purnell and Andy Burnham were other New Labour luminaries who swapped being special advisers for being parliamentarians, all of them, like Balls, dropped into carefully selected safe seats (Balls reveals that he put ...

Diary

Chris Mullin: A report from Westminster, 25 June 2009

... days of angst the deckchairs on the Titanic have been rearranged. Alistair Darling is staying put. Peter Mandelson will henceforth be known as ‘first secretary’, which effectively means deputy prime minister. Incredibly, he has found a way of making himself indispensable again, not that his considerable talents aren’t urgently needed. Alan Johnson ...

The Stansgate Tapes

John Turner, 8 December 1994

Years of Hope: Diaries, Papers and Letters, 1940-62 
by Tony Benn, edited by Ruth Winstone.
Hutchinson, 442 pp., £25, September 1994, 0 09 178534 0
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... into close relations with Hugh Gaitskell. It would be unkind as well as inaccurate to call him the Peter Mandelson of the Gaitskell years, not least because, unlike Mandelson, he had established constituency roots before he began and also because, unlike Mandelson, he had rather ...

The Luck of the Tories

Ross McKibbin: The Debt to Kinnock, 7 March 2002

Kinnock: The Biography 
by Martin Westlake.
Little, Brown, 768 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 316 84871 9
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... other than to fawn. There are other recognisable names. Kinnock was very dependent on Peter Mandelson: when Mandelson resigned as director of communications in order to stand for Hartlepool Kinnock ‘almost literally’ hopped with rage. He thought ...

Our Guy

John Barnie: Blair’s Style, 20 January 2011

... many extended passages of high style in A Journey, but those there are make a lasting impression. Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell, he says, made a formidable political team. ‘Peter would slip into the castle through a secret passageway and, by nimble footwork and sharp and incisive thrusts of the rapier, cleave ...

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