How things have changed between Brown and Mandelson in three years….or have they?
On 23rd July 2007, Peter Mandelson (then the EU’s trade commissioner) told the Daily Telegraph:
“I hope the new British Government will look for allies and close co-operation with the commission, rather than pointing to us in a negative way.”
As if this might not be a clear enough swipe at the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mandelson added:
“I don’t know whether this is going to come as a disappointment to him, but he can’t actually fire me. So like it or not, I’m afraid he will have to accept me as commissioner until November 2009.”
But long before that date, of course, a desperate Brown recalled his arch-enemy to the UK; and by June 2009, the Guardian could report that – with large areas of the Labour movement ready to ditch its leader – Lord Mandelson was ‘resolute in his support of Gordon Brown’.
However, by October 27th of that year, one well-informed site was able to report a senior Labour figure as saying ‘Peter has always said that he’d support Gordon in public, which always struck me as a bit arch. Now he’s decided that the party’s only hope is the Milibands – which, frankly, is total bullshit.” The MP went onto say he had spoken to journalists who confirmed that Mandelson had been briefing the press against the Prime Minister – leading to a stinging article in the previous week’s Times, and threatening to undermine the Cabinet from within.
The Slog’s position remains unchanged: Mandelson began with the idea of Brown as his creature, to be manipulated through (and lose) what the Peer saw as an unwinnable election – after which he and his Miliband proteges could rebuild Blairite control…and regain power once the Tories had failed to handle the growing financial disaster faced by Britain.
With the emergence of Unite (and the interference from chubby Red Rag Doll Kirsty McNeill) Charlie Whelan has grown in stature, and thus Mandy’s plans lie in ruins. So it was that, earlier this week, Lord Meddlesome floated the idea to the press that Brown would soon be replaced even if he won – a flotation that led to a rather MacLennan-like exchange over the phone between the PM and his one-time rescuer.
You really could not make this stuff up.