David Blackburn

Is the EU not glamorous enough for Lord Mandelson?

Is the EU not glamorous enough for Lord Mandelson?
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James Macintyre is well connected among Mandelson’s associates and he discloses that Gordon Brown agreed to back Mandelson if he chose to board the Eurotrain once more. Macintyre describes the revelation as a ‘demonstration of the supportive dynamic between what were at one time bitter enemies’, that’s true, though Brown would scarcely brand his right hand man an overrated liability.

What’s more intriguing is why Mandelson chose not to apply for the job of EU foreign minister, which he considered for a time. Baroness Ashton can only expect to exercise ‘quiet diplomacy’ at best, which is unlikely to appeal to a man of Mandelson’s tastes. As Fraser noted yesterday and Paul Waugh reports today, Red Ken expects a Mandelson onslaught on Labour’s mayoral nomination; after all, dolling out the medals to international athletes is preferable to debating wheat imports with a gaggle of Beneluxian nonentities.  I wouldn’t discount Mandelson aspiring to even higher office before retiring to his bucolic idyll.