What exactly has Tristram Hunt got on Peter Mandelson?
The Knife couldn’t care less, in a way, who wins the Stoke Central seat, but it does seem odd that he’s getting quite as much support from Mandy. Tristram’s Dad is a lord, which may go some way to breaking the ice in Stoke, one supposes, but the following account from Andrew Pierce in today’s Mail is illuminating:
“The celebrated cartoonist Martin Rowson, writing in Tribune, reveals the first time he met Hunt at the Labour conference in autumn of 1997. It seems Hunt adored Mandy even then.
Rowson remembers: ‘A patrician youth was galumphing round the venue, telling anyone who couldn’t escape: “Peter Mandelson is the most important ******* minister in this ******* government!'”
Mandy was then a mere Minister without Portfolio, so Rowson replied: ‘What about Gordon Brown? What about Derry Irvine [the then Lord Chancellor]?’
To which he reports Hunt saying: ‘Who the **** is Derry Irvine? And who the **** are you anyway?’
When Rowson revealed his identity, he says ‘the youth sneered: “So who the **** is Martin Rowson?” ‘
Disappointing really, for those of us who still appreciate breeding in our politicians. Perhaps Mandy can teach him some manners..