Ex Tory MP and barrister, Jerry Hayes, has a great blog on the excellent Thinkpolitics site. He seems to know everyone, and has a fascinating take on Mandelson. He too is puzzled by The Ignoble Lord’s withdrawal of a TV hagiography of him. A snippet:
“Mandelson does everything for a purpose. He is so cautious that he would take Exlax with his All Bran. He would know that having a camera follow him for the last few months under the editorial control of an old friend, is not going to be a hatchet job. And he is certainly not going to upset a Rothschild, the gateway, to glitter, yachts, country house weekends and his obsession to become filthy rich.
I suspect that it is no coincidence that he is in the middle of a publishing war with his old foe, Alastair Campbell, whom he never forgave for his last sacking, whose diaries, the sexed up version, are to be published shortly.Prepare, preferably with a clove of garlic and a wooden stake, for Mandelson’s weapons of mass distraction to be unleashed.
If ever there is an enigma within a riddle, it is Mandelson. He delights in cloak and dagger mystery and relishes in his title of Prince of Darkness. But forget at your peril the warning of Max Hastings recently in the Mail, “he is a bad, bad, bad man.” His enemies might just see a flash of cloak, but they will never notice the knife, poisoned with malice, slip quietly into their backs. He is a dangerous and unforgiving foe. George Osborne still bears the scars of reporting a private conversation in a Taverna in Corfu. A conversation about Brown and the cabinet laced with carefully placed venom. What Osborne didn’t appreciate was that this was Mandelson’s way of giving baubles to the savages in the hope of some future opportunity if the Tories won. This, “betrayal” of a confidence very nearly destroyed Osborne. Hell was unleashed. Never go tiger shooting with Mandelson, he’d have done a deal with the tiger by teatime.”
No doubt Mandelson’s book will be the usual self-serving, faux humil censored tripe. However, the warts-and-all unauthorised biography, when it comes along, will be worth reading.
Gordon will be worried.