Mandy’s ‘friends’ turn out for memoir book-signing

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    16th July 2010

    SAVE 40 – 55% AT AMAZON: Pre-order Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’. Due for release on 2nd September, 2010

    Peter Mandelson’s ‘The Third Man’ AVAILABLE NOW.  Alastair Campbell Diaries, Vol 1 – ‘Prelude to Power’ (if it’s not “out of print”)

    THE MAN IN THE SHADOWS (OF THE OTHER TWO, OR THREE, OR MORE)

    So, who exactly attended Mandy’s book launch last night, ready and willing to “pay here”?

    Britain's former Business Secretary Peter Mandelson poses for photographs with a copy of his autobiography "The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour" at a book shop in London July 15, 2010. Britain's Labour Party, ousted from power after 13 years of rule, risks seeing divisions reopened by the publication of Mandelson's memoirs, long at the heart of its internal intrigues. REUTERS/Paul Hackett (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY)

    For a start, at Mandy’s book-signing in London there was author and ‘cheeky f**ck’ Robert Harris, the erstwhile Blair colleague, who is still friendly with recently freed child-molester Roman Polanski.  Harris recently worked with Polanski on the movie – The Ghost (Writer)[If you are interested in Harris’s and Polanski’s dreams for the MAN AT THE TOP (oh yes it WAS TB) of New Labour – a bullet in the head or a suicide bombing – you might wonder why the ‘Prince of Darkness’ keeps such company.]

    Guests at the launch included former SDP leader, former Labour Defence Seretary, former politician, and former “I would have beaten Blair to lead Labour” dreamer David Owen. (See ‘Doctor, Heal Thyself‘)

    A swathe of political journalists including Jon Snow, Andrew Rawnsley, Peter Oborne and Laura Kuenssberg will no doubt be tapping away their reports right now, if they haven’t already.

    A smiling Gail Rebuck also put in an appearance at the party. [Who is Gail Rebuck?]

    Rebuck, chairman and chief executive of the Random House Group, will publish Tony Blair’s autobiography A Journey this autumn, and there has been speculation as to how publication of The Third Man will affect Blair’s sales.

    If it affects Blair’s sales at all, it will only be to increase them as has always been clear to me.

    Dr Death, aka David Owen receiving his signed copy of Peter Mandelson's book. Oh how the 'great' and hubristic have fallen.

    Here, with some clips from last night’s London launch of his book,  Mandy tells BBC Radio Wales that his party in Wales should have embraced the New Labour project.

    ‘As he publishes his memoirs, he also tells Bethan Rhys Roberts on BBC Radio Wales, just how Tony Blair and Gordon Brown got along.

    Later, former First Minister Rhodri Morgan disagreed with Lord Mandelson but said both Labour in government in Wales and in the UK had traded ideas. Mr Morgan said you “had to accept there would be divergences with devolution”.’

    Insisting that he has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth (more or less) –

    ‘Mandelson is brutal about Brown’s personality traits. “Gordon post-1994 is not the man that I knew for at least 10 years before 1994. In the aftermath of John Smith’s death and Tony becoming leader, Gordon went to a dark place that was defensive, did not make friends easily, saw people repeatedly out to do him when no such threat existed. He was backed into that corner with some poor advice given by people who surrounded him and who were too sectarian. They reinforced his defensiveness, his fears and his aggression rather than countered them to overcome them. Therefore the Gordon I saw during the period of the Labour government was more often than not an unhappy and an aggressive man, rather than the alliance builder and team player that I had worked with previously.

    “I think this left a scar … that I hoped I could remedy, and help him operate in a different way. I did so only at the margin, but I wish I could have done much more for him. There was something about Gordon – he almost had to believe you were only on his side and agree entirely with him to be seen as loyal. Sometimes true loyalty comes from disagreeing.”‘

    AND THE WORD WAS LOYALTY

    DAVID MILIBAND & BALLS & ABBOTT, OF COURSE

    FIRST, WATCH ED BALLS (‘This Week’, Andrew Neil) – No “unbridled contempt for Tony Blair”, he says

    (Oh, I HATE that Balls with a vengeance. ‘Unbridled contempt’ doesn’t come near. He’s a lying bastard.)

    Oh, sorry, where was I?

    David Miliband says that “loyalty” stopped him challenging Brown for the leadership in 2008. Nothing to do with the possibility that none of the cabinet had the guts to back him?

    The Spectator on the Balls-up Balls deterrent which stopped Labour replacing Brown also points to this Patrick Wintour Guardian interview with Mandelson. Excerpt:

    Asked why, then, he tolerated Brown’s continuation in office he says: “I felt a sense of personal loyalty. I felt a real bond between us and I was not going to be shaken on that.

    This is quite entertaining for those of us who have read Campbell’s Dairies. It is clear all the way through that Mandelson and Brown were far bigger enemies than were Blair & Brown. Saying something? Maybe.  And Mandelson is not seen by Campbell as the main cause of their ongoing bad relationship.

    I could be wrong, but I think we will find when Blair’s book is released that there was, and possibly still is, more of a love/hate relationship between Blair & Brown than there ever was between and amongts many of the other main players. From most of those around Blair, as regards Brown, there seems to have been an intermittent, reciprocated hate.

    And there’s more from Paul Waugh on David Milaband –

    The Labour leadership frontrunner, who was this week accused by Lord Mandelson of considering a challenge to Mr Brown, said he remained loyal in the interests of the party and the nation.

    Asked on BBC‘s Radio 4 Today whether he regretted not stepping down at the same time as James Purnell last year, he said: “I could’ve resigned with him and then we would have had two people out of the Cabinet.

    “That would’ve meant more damage to the Government, more damage to the party and, since we would have lost the foreign secretary, more damage to the country as well.”

    More on that nasty piece of work, Balls.

    An unrebellious Lib Dem, Im sure, Mark Reckons – “Everyone is a liar apart from Ed Balls apparently”

    Follow FTWestminster tweets here

    Ed Balls was the Labour leadership contender guest last night on BBC’s This Week programme (viewable here for the next week or so – see 24:45 onwards for 5 minutes).

    Andrew Neil gave him a grilling about his behaviour as referenced in various memoirs and political books including those by Alastair Campbell, Andrew Rawnsley and Anthony Seldon. In each case it tended to be related to how badly behaved Balls had been and also how rude and disrespectful he was alleged to have been to Tony Blair. It was also about how he was supposed to have been involved in the plot to oust Blair in 2006. Balls’ response was to flatly deny every one of the several allegations put to him by Neil and alleged by the various authors. When pressed as to whether those writing these books were lying he even said yes a few times. So effectively what Ed Balls is saying that within a number of recent memoirs/books from a number of different (in some cases very widely respected) authors allegations about him are complete lies.
    _____
    And then there’s sweet Diane

    Diane Abbott says all her four rivals for the leadership were ‘up to their necks’ in the Blair/Brown years feuds. Whereas she wasn’t.  Of course not. This bullying defender was never, repeat NEVER EVER up to the top mark politically. And now she wants to run the Labour party.

    I recall her campaigning (loyally) to remove Tony Blair, as she shared a sofa with Michael Portillo, on Andrew Neil’s  This Week programme. In full pelt against Blair. Determined he had to go. Eyes sparkling over the prospect of Gordon Brown. Until Labour got him. Then her tune changed.He was a disappointment. Like Blair.

    But then only SHE understands how to regain “the millions” (Old) Labour lost. Losing the “millions” must have been the reason NEW LABOUR won THREE historical victories under Tony Blair. She is a silly, sorry, stupid woman.

    Is revenge a dish best served cold? Watching today’s so-called leadership contenders scrapping over what remains of the Labour party as its elders remind them of what they have now lost, I begin to wonder.

    Peter Mandelson memoirs. The Third Man

    __________

    And watch Mandelson on ITV’s Good Morning yesterday (almost 15m)

    ITV video, ‘Good Morning’ – Peter Mandelson shares a personal text message with us from Tony Blair.

    When asking Mandelson back into his government, Brown said to Mandelson – “I have a problem. I can’t communicate”

    He aso said that the differences between Blair & Brown were not over personalities but over policies.

    Now, if that IS the case there is MUCH more to come.

    Don’t expect this grapple for the soul of (New) Labour to end any time soon.

    __________


    Btw, I’ve just commented as pasted below at the Guardian. A litle reminder that Mandelson AGREED with Blair on the Iraq decision.

    Since the Guardian has a habit of removing my comments – don’t know why – I’m pasting it here:

    Blair was RIGHT on Iraq. Mandelson realised it and so “agreed with him in the end.”

    The also-rans in Blair’s government and circle were slow. Blair wasn’t .

    You little hangers’n’ floggers should look elsewhere for your victim. How’s about G Galloway, who a few weeks ago – while addressing HIS natural constituency – threatened 10,000 dead bodies on the streets of London. Galloway in London recently, threatening “10,000 dead bodies on the streets”

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    Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

    A recent comment from an Albanian, Mr Leonard Dedej from Tirana – “It takes big leaders to make the hardest turns in peoples life…mr Blair is a big leader and a great man for millions of people in Balkans!!!for stopping a savage war!about Iraq I believe that the press wherever it is has not the right to judge on this issue because it simply is to small to judge!!history will judge mr Blair!as long as it is an ongoing war no one can blame mr Blair,after all he started something for a big reason..the press its often wrong because it fights for audience!!!”




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