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Andrew O’Hagan: Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book, 15 August 2019

... Driver, or the broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby. How exactly did Epstein come to have ten numbers for Peter Mandelson? We are all, to some extent, defined by the company we keep, and if there are things we don’t notice about our ‘friends’, it is often because we realised it was better not to look. For students of the society black book, there are some ...

Diary

Tobias Jones: Campaigning at the Ministry of Sound, 6 March 1997

... may dimly remember that it was the owner of this club, James Palumbo, who gave a car, a Rover, to Peter Mandelson MP, to help the cause. It is here, at the suitably messianic Ministry of Sound, that the Use Your Vote campaign is organised. Much of the music inside will come from Creation Records, the label which launched Oasis, whose founder, Alan ...

Spookery, Skulduggery

David Runciman: Chris Mullin, 4 April 2019

The Friends of Harry Perkins 
by Chris Mullin.
Scribner, 185 pp., £12, March 2019, 978 1 4711 8248 8
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... barons). The trouble was no one in the actual Labour Party remotely resembled him. By this point, Peter Mandelson was communications director, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were in Parliament and Neil Kinnock – scarred by having to defend unilateral disarmament in the 1987 general election – was on the long march to respectability and another defeat in ...

Look…

David Runciman: How the coalition was formed, 16 December 2010

22 Days in May: The Birth of the Lib Dem-Conservative Coalition 
by David Laws.
Biteback, 335 pp., £9.99, November 2010, 978 1 84954 080 3
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... was still keen to explore the options but the rest of them just didn’t seem that interested. Peter Mandelson was detached (‘Surely the rich have suffered enough,’ he says at one point, when Laws tries to find some common ground on progressive taxation), Harriet Harman was distracted, Ed Balls was truculent. Worst of all was Ed ...

Diary

Peter Pomerantsev: Sistema, 5 December 2013

... listed than the US, where regulations are tighter. Then there are the ‘Lords on the Boards’. Peter Mandelson, for example, was recently made an independent director of a Russian company called, with a truly Muscovite sense of irony, Sistema, whose owner, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, was part of the crowd around the former mayor of Moscow, Yuri ...

The Stamp of One Defect

David Edgar: Jeremy Thorpe, 30 July 2015

Jeremy Thorpe 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 606 pp., £25, December 2014, 978 0 316 85685 0
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Closet Queens: Some 20th-Century British Politicians 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 320 pp., £25, May 2015, 978 1 4087 0412 7
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... plot to get rid of Scott. Despite support from the militant Young Liberals (whose former chairman, Peter Hain, insisted that ‘we are with you in resisting the politics of smear and innuendo’), Thorpe resigned as Liberal leader in 1976, soon after Newton’s conviction. He lost his seat in the 1979 general election and was put on trial (along with his ...

Her Boy

R.W. Johnson: Mark Thatcher, 16 November 2006

Thatcher’s Fortunes: The Life and Times of Mark Thatcher 
by Mark Hollingsworth and Paul Halloran.
Mainstream, 415 pp., £7.99, July 2006, 1 84596 118 8
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The Wonga Coup: The British Mercenary Plot to Seize Oil Billions in Africa 
by Adam Roberts.
Profile, 304 pp., £9.99, June 2006, 1 86197 934 7
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... American oil companies since that’s ‘what gets the marines coming in’. Meanwhile, Calil knew Peter MandelsonMandelson had rented a flat from him – and questions were asked in the House of Commons as to whether ministers or officials had discussed the matter with ...

There is no alternative to becoming Leadbeater

Nick Cohen: Charles Leadbeater, 28 October 1999

Living on Thin Air: The New Economy 
by Charles Leadbeater.
Viking, 244 pp., £17.99, July 1999, 0 670 87669 0
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... effects of policy-wonking on circulation. He became a management consultant, author and adviser to Peter Mandelson. Living on Thin Air is, for the most part, a celebration of hip and chaotic capitalism. It is written in the regulation giddy style that Thomas Frank and the Baffler school in Chicago have dissected so well. Once again we are presented ...

Shtum

John Lanchester: Alastair Campbell’s Diaries, 16 August 2007

The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries 
edited by Alastair Campbell and Richard Stott.
Hutchinson, 794 pp., £25, July 2007, 978 0 09 179629 7
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... here, full of dark-haired men shouting at each other, TB and AC and PM and GB all coming to blows (Mandelson v. Campbell in the course of an argument about whether Blair should wear a tie), bursting into tears, having make-up heart-to-hearts, saying bitchy things about each other behind each others’ backs, and ruthlessly doing each other down while secretly ...
... The threat from the Alliance was the main reason for the modernisation of the Labour Party. Peter Mandelson was given a tree hand to follow where the SDP had already led. Labour remains cautious on Europe, uneasy on defence and conservative on constitutional reform. The institutional authority of the Trade Unions, enhanced in 1980-81, is ...

Diary

William Rodgers: Party Conference Jamboree, 25 October 1990

... Morecambe and other Labour Conferences down the years, the week was full of ironies. Schooled by Peter Mandelson (Herbert Morrison’s grandson), Labour had become the party of striped shirts, dark suits and tidy haircuts. It had also become a party of women, dressed brightly by Next and Benetton, confident, informed and taking a week off from their ...

What did Cook want?

Jon Lawrence: Both ‘on message’ and off, 19 February 2004

The Point of Departure 
by Robin Cook.
Simon and Schuster, 368 pp., £20, October 2003, 0 7432 5255 1
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... that his job was being lined up for one of New Labour’s rising stars such as Jack Straw or Peter Mandelson, Cook may indeed have been thinking hard about escape routes to the European Commission or the Scottish Parliament, but that doesn’t mean he was already a busted flush. He did, after all, survive another five years – and when he finally ...

More aggressive, dear!

Zachary Leader, 31 July 1997

My Aces, My Faults 
by Nick Bollettieri and Dick Schaap.
Robson, 346 pp., £17.95, June 1997, 1 86105 087 9
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... off debts, he sold out to Mark McCormack of the International Management Group, recently hired by Peter Mandelson to raise funds for Britain’s millennium celebrations. IMG runs the finances and Bollettieri runs everything else. Bollettieri emerges from the memoir as an endearing hustler, vain (about his waistline, his teeth, his muscles, his tan) but ...

I-need-to-work!

Lizzy Davies: ‘The Night Cleaner’, 3 November 2011

The Night Cleaner 
by Florence Aubenas, translated by Andrew Brown.
Polity, 184 pp., £14.99, 0 7456 5199 2
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... at the Foreign Office nursery, she clenched her teeth in fear that passing figures – including Peter Mandelson, ‘the ever elegant, sharp-suited paragon of style’ – would recognise her. She needn’t have worried: in her uniform, she was invisible. Mandy glanced, gave ‘half a nod’, then looked away. A sense that all good things were out of ...

Home Office Rules

William Davies, 3 November 2016

... after people. This is very different from the neoliberal state, whose job was characterised by Peter Mandelson, Bill Clinton and other Third Wayers in the 1990s as ‘steering not rowing’. The target political audience of the neoliberal politician was always the ‘hard-working family’. This imaginary unit had ‘aspiration’ and wanted to ‘get ...

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