James Forsyth

Labour’s generation game

Labour's generation game
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I see from today’s Evening Standard that the film that Peter Mandelson allowed to be made about himself during the election campaign has been pulled from the Hay Festival at his insistence. Now, in these cases there is often an innocent explanation: I would suspect that we’ll get to see the film soon enough But if Mandelson’s memoirs are going to be as frank as he is suggesting and deal with his whole career, then they are going to make comments—some unflattering—about a whole host of still active Labour politicians. There are bound to be comments in there on all three of the serious leadership challengers and the acting leader of the Labour party. What did Mandelson really think of Balls, was he surprised by how easily he persuaded David Miliband not to follow James Purnell's lead and resign and the like. 

The same applies to Tony Blair’s memoirs and Gordon Brown’s, presuming he writes one. Alastair Campbell’s full diaries, which cover the period before Labour came to power, already include assessments—not all of them favourable—on the two Eds and David Miliband.

Over the next few months and years, those involved in the New Labour project will want to get their draft of history in. But many of the people they’ll be writing about have no intention of passing into Labour history for quite a while yet. It’ll be fascinating to see how the authors square this circle.


Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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