Saturday, October 04, 2008

Brown "too clever by half" (again)

Politaholic has not had time to mull over the reshuffle but my immediate reaction is that bringing back Mandelson - which certainly took me by surprise - is typical Brown: "too clever by half". The calculation is obvious, I think: (i) it looks bold, decisive, etc; (2) it is intended to defuse the incipient Blairite revolt; (iii) Brown probably intends Mandelson to run the election campaign. The trouble is Brown's calculations are always so transparent, and what is intended to be clever just looks devious. I don't think this will unify the party; it is more the cohabitation of rival factions, and my guess is that warfare will break out between them eventually. Personally if I were Brown I would not trust Mandelson as far as I can spit. He represents everything sleazy and small about the Blair era (dodgy mortgages; the infatuation with the moneyied classes; the contempt - even, I think, the hatred - of Labour's traditional working-class core voters; the dirty politics - remember the Saddleworth by-election?; the infatuation with spin). And of course Mandelson is unelected (I rather think the Tories will on occasion remind us of this). Actually the return of this reptile to the cabinet just makes me want to puke.


Blogger skipper said...

I don't like Mandelson but you are a bit hard on him. In his own slightly twisted way, he is genuinely Labour- his gradnfather's role meant a lot to him. I think he'd see himself as more Labour than most in the Cabinet, but I think his soul has been sold as surely as Ramsay MacDonald's was by the time he said his dearest wish was to be a 'country gentleman' and, when he became PM, 'every duchess in London will want to kiss me!'

9:21 pm  
Blogger Politaholic said...

I don't know what it is about Mandelson but I find him utterly repellant. He has the same effect on me as Thatcher (that voice was like screeching chalk on a blackboard) especially when she unconvincingly feigned compassion about the unemployed: it just made my skin crawl (ditto Mandelson). He is said to be very arrogant: I suspect when in the company of the Murdochs and Rothchilds Uriah Heap deference is the order of the day; the arrogance is for the little people. It is a peculiarly unattractive combination. Talking to others I find this "Mandelson effect" not universal but quite widespread. And in case anyone thinks it's because he is gay it isn't that: Nick Brown doesn't have the same effect. And it isn't his politics - they are no different from Tony Blair's politics, and although I am not a great admirer of Blair he does not repel in the same way. There just is something about Mandelson - it would probably take a psychologist to explain it.

12:29 pm  

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