David Blackburn

Mandelson strikes gold

Mandelson strikes gold
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Well, sort of. Today’s offerings in the Times are as disappointing as yesterday’s. Mandelson adds to the croaking New Labour chorus that there was no deal at Granita. Blair and Brown, barely on speaking on terms in the run up to the 2005 election, cut a deal in 2004 to ease the succession.  Later, Brown and Blair re-opened hostilities over the EU Presidency, but that was already known, or at least expected. Mandelson’s adoption of the terms of corruption has ceased to shock – New Labour’s personal history has long since been prejudiced by perpetual briefing and counter-briefing, and 24 hour news.

However, hacks are pouring over the memoir, fresh off the press. Paul Waugh has disinterred one Mandelsonian indiscretion which will have government SpAds in paroxysms of joy. Writing of the baleful 2009 Pre-Budget Report, which Mandelson had opposed, he observes:

"The problem was that we were deep in a pit of debt, and still digging. The markets and the media knew it, and the country felt it."

The problem is that Labour are still digging that pit in opposition.