Monday, 12 July 2010

Bigging up Mandy

The Times is bigging up Peter Mandelson's memoirs, no doubt hope to attract paid traffic to its new website. As a subscriber to the paper, I was offered 'exclusive' video access on Saturday. I didn't bother.

No doubt Mandy's memoirs will be essential reading for those interested in the toxic conflicts at the top of New Labour. The Brown-Blair struggle had a damaging effect on the conduct of public policy and the effectiveness of the Government. Mandy says that he has rushed his memoirs out in order to inform candidates in the titanic struggle for the Labour leadership, but some commentators think he has been motivated by getting his account ahead of the Reverend Blair who is none too pleased according to some accounts.

There is a sense in which the dysfunctional struggles at the top of New Labour are yesterday's story. We now have a new Government which appears to be functioning well, the odd slip by particular ministers aside. George Osborne's ratings have shot up and William Hague is getting deservedly favourable coverage for his pragmatic yet still strategic conduct of foreign policy.

Mandy has revealed that Nick Clegg wanted Gordon Brown to go as the price of any coalition with Labour and that Gordon, reasonably enough, thought he had been humiliated enough. But most people had worked that out for themselves.

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