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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Labour never really needed Peter Mandelson

You can read my article on the truths you won’t find in Peter Mandelson’s memoirs, here.


David Lindsay said...

Labour never need Tony Blair, either. He was only ever the central character in an Ealing comedy.

Our hero is wandering aimlessly on the fringes of London society when he unexpectedly falls for the left-wing girl at work. In order to impress her, he involves himself in the Labour Party. Then, over 20 years, a series of accidents makes him Prime Minister. However, his political interests do not develop in any way at all, not even during the further 10 years of his Premiership.

Ian Carmicheal in the lead role, essentially the same character as his Stanley Windrush in I’m All Right, Jack. James Robertson Justice as Derry Irvine. Hilarious yet poignant stuff from the golden age of British cinema.

After the death of John Smith, those who seized control of the Labour Party erased the fact that the combined Labour and SDP votes had been larger than the Conservative vote both in 1983 and in 1987. Such people still deny outright that the opinion poll rating that was the 1997 result had not varied since Golden Wednesday, 16th September 1992. There were swings of 1997 proportions in the European Elections just after John Smith’s death, i.e., under the leadership of Margaret Beckett.

But do not try and tell that to these people, who include David Cameron and those around him. Instead of the verifiable facts above, they would have us believe that the 1997 “victory” was all the work of their own archetype of those who did best, ostensibly, out of both the 1960s and the 1980s.

robert said...

I'm glad John Smith is still remembered. He always seemed, on television and in the newspapers, personally decent and scrupulous as well as intelligent. His death, like that of fellow Labour Opposition leader Hugh Gaitskell more than 30 years earlier, was a British tragedy.

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Karl Naylor said...

It's difficult to not have contempt for Lord Peter Mandelson who introduced the dark art of political spin into British political life and created the Tony Blair product. There is no point buying the memoirs of this self-important fool now he's got his boring memoirs published.

In the dying days of New Labour after the debt fuelled consumer boom his regime engineered, Peter Mandelson returned in 2008 to power without even being elected and found again the Third Way. It was as much drivel then just as it is now. In his Hugo Young lecture he opined,

"...the inherent rationalism of markets makes any role for the state in industrial policy unwise".

There is no "inherent rationalism in markets" as some oracle. This is a total fantasy and Adam Smith never believed that for a moment ( though the idiot think tank named after him does )

"It is important that Britain continues to make a vigorous case for an open industrial activism that engages with globalisation and competition rather than trying to shut them out"

Eh ? How it is possible to engage with abstract nouns and what 'open industrial activism' can mean in practice is curious. For if markets are rational and the state cannot have a role, then where the 'activism' comes from is mysterious.

"Markets are extraordinary tools, but they are not possessed of unique or infallible wisdom. Innovative businesses, especially in technology and manufacturing, can require substantial investment"

So this could mean that the government does have a role to play when Mandelson wants NuLab to take credit for debt fuelled consumer booms but not when the markets go wrong as they have during the inevitable 2008 crash.

That's basically what Mandelson means in plain English. The rest is simply a warbling Orwellian corporate version of the Newspeak in 1984. When people rebranded New Labour as NuLab they knew their Orwell with English Socialism reduced to Ingsoc.

What Mandelson's brand of banal waffle also proves that politicians resort to jargon because they aren't that important other than as obfuscating intermediaries between the global money markets and a bewildered public.

Government itself has simply become part of an 'enabling state' in which large scale corporate capitalism dominates every aspect of people's lives and designer revolutionaries fake enthusiasm for impersonal transactions.

Democracy is exercised merely through what brands a consumer buys and this propaganda is merely in the marketplace for cliches lapped up by those who want buzzwords to do the thinking for them.

He was, is and remains a deeply pathetic character, a stupid perverter of a decent and open society and a total corrupter of the art of politics spouting pseudo-intellectual jargon.