Mandelson watches as former PM’s brains are blown out

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    31st March 2010

    UPDATE: There are a few fallback phrases theatricals use when they’ve watched a friend’s work and aren’t too sure what to say. Phrases such as, “Darling, you’ve done it again!” or “Words fail me” often trip off many a double-edged tongue. I’m just wondering if Peter Mandelson used either of those after watching The Ghost? Or did he say “Technically brilliant , but factually …?” Hmmm? Perhaps Mr Harris will let us know.

    So what was Lord Peter Mandelson up to on the same day that Tony was wowing ’em at Trimdon?

    He was watching ‘The Ghost’!

    "Ghost" writer Robert Harris and Lord Peter Mandelson (R) arrive at a VIP screening of The Ghost held at The Courthouse Hotel, London on March 30. (Photo by Fergus McDonald/Getty Images Europe)

    [Caption? –  “I can laugh, Robert.  I was out of favour AGAIN while Tony made that fateful decision. Otherwise it might have been MY brains all over that screen too.  I’d have had to turn down your kind invitation tonight. After all blood is thicker than water. Well… his is.]



    Isn’t that the film where Tony Blair, sorry, I meant Adam Lang, of course, has his brains blown out?


    Which doesn’t alter the fact that on Brosnan’s first day of shooting Polanski was a pain. As a director, Brosnan says, Polanski’s ‘all-encompassing’. ‘The actors, the way the camera moves, the props, the make-up, how the blood was going on when I have my brains blown out. ”

    Now don’t get any ideas Peter, just because Tony did so well at Trimdon.

    He isn’t coming back to threaten your position after Gordon falls on his sword. Honestly, he isn’t. You wouldn’t like him dead anyway. His ghost is tough enough to deal with while he’s still inhaling.

    As if.

    As if indeed.


    No, of course not. Lord Mandelson and Harris go back a long way. Harris even dedicated a book to his old friend (see here.)

    By attending this private viewing of Polanski’s tale (“WARNING: Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely co-incidental”) Mandelson was not by any means endorsing it. It was just a night out by invitation of the parent of his godchild. The parent who has done pretty well financially on the back of ‘doing in’ their Mutual Friend.

    Neither was Peter, sometimes known as the Master of The Black Arts, checking out the legal boundaries of the film, I’m sure. After all, there is no chance, not the teensy-weensiest chance that anyone, ANYONE was expected to confuse the film’s charming, election winner of a former prime minister, newly rich but aka a ‘war criminal’ now holed-up in the USA awaiting war crimes charges with YOUR MAN, is there, Peter?

    Nah. ‘ Course not. All co-incidental.

    Ewan McGregor (The film’s ghost writer) says –

    “If the character was called Tony Blair and Pierce was asked to do an impersonation of Tony Blair and it was more of a factual account, then we would be in trouble and so would the film, probably. But it was never our intention to do that; it makes comments about politics and politicians and the fact that they in our film become accountable in that he’s charged with war crimes and will have to face the panel or the jury.”

    Methinks he doth protest too much.

    Or, as the school child said to the teacher after having the rules on double negatives explained – (“but there is no such thing as a double-positive”) – “Yeah, Right.”

    More pictures of good ol’ mates Harris and Mandelson here

    Michael White attended both the debut  and the Trimdon event. See his thoughts here

    Excerpt: “By way of exhilarating coincidence I experienced a surreal double take yesterday. Having spent the morning following Tony Blair on the campaign trail in County Durham, I came back to London to see Pierce Brosnan playing a thinly-disguised version of the former prime minister on the big screen.

    Compare and contrast, eh? The real Blair is sleek and polished, much more so than the Milky Bar Kid – his own description – who first fought Sedgefield in 1983. How much more so was the former James Bond who plays Adam Lang in Roman Polanski‘s gripping new film of Robert Harris’s thriller The Ghost?

    At one level the comparison is silly, of course. As Harris routinely tells interviewers – and did again at last night’s pre-premiere screening in a Soho viewing theatre – his story of a former British prime minister holed up on Martha’s Vineyard to write his memoirs – is mere fiction.

    But anyone who read the novel or may see the movie – which will be out on 16 April – is struck by the very obvious truth that a tall, smooth PM who took his country into a controversial war in Iraq and is now harried by allegations of war crimes is a character likely to have been inspired by Blair.”


    Simon Jeffery at The Guardian referring, btw, to the Polanski film says –


    “Unless I’ve missed something, I don’t think the former PM is seeking re-election this year. So why has he got his very own election website?

    There has been some speculation over the last few days about what Tony Blair’s role in Labour’s general election campaign will be – he made a speech yesterday, but what follows is not clear. Well, here is something else to throw into the mix – he has his own 2010 election website.

    It has been built by Blue State Digital, who worked on the Barack Obama campaign (and are generally quite happy to turn up to internet election conferences and talk about it), and other post-Downing Street Blair tech projects for his Faith Foundation and work in the Middle East.

    The site has news, videos, some social media functionality … but still, a Tony Blair election website in 2010? Anyone checked what John Major’s up to this time around? Wasn’t being the thinly disguised inspiration for the new Roman Polanski film enough?

    Perhaps you’ve missed something, Mr Jeffery.


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    3 Responses to “Mandelson watches as former PM’s brains are blown out”

    1. Forex Trading : Currency Correlation – How to Use It? | Says:

      […] Mandelson watches as former PM's brains are blown out « Tony Blair […]

    2. Adam Lang IS Tony Blair. So, will Cherie sue Polanski & Harris? « Tony Blair Says:

      […] [I too wrote about Lord Mandelson's attendance at the British preview of The Ghost.] […]

    3. The Ghost (Writer) review, by Blair Supporter « Tony Blair Says:

      […] Mandelson watches as former PM’s brains are blown out […]

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