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Paper Monitor

14:00 UK time, Tuesday, 13 July 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Phew, those Mandelson diaries eh? The vitriol, the backbiting, the dripping of pure poison... only, despite five pages of coverage* in today's Times, and plenty of talk about how their publication has sparked a bout of Labour in-fighting, Paper Monitor remains largely underwhelmed by the, er, revelations.

So in lieu of "five killer exposes", here for your delectation, are five mildly interesting things to come out of the Prince of Darkness' memoirs.

1. Alistair Darling's job was under threat - Gordon Brown had wanted to replace him with Ed Balls. But this plan fell apart when James Purnell unexpectedly quit the government, weakening Brown.

2. Alistair Darling (again) knew Labour's election fortunes were sunk thanks to his Tesco bellwether - "You can tell just by going into Tescos [sic]. People look away. They're embarrassed," he told Mandelson.

3. In the Corfugate scandal... cast your mind back folks, this is the one where Mandelson was said to have dripped "pure poison" about Gordon Brown into the ear of then shadow chancellor George Osborne - also holidaying in Corfu at the time. But how did Mandelson - who'd been invited to party by the Rothschild family - end up staying on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's yacht? Because there was no room at the Rothschild inn after Osborne took the last bedroom.

4. Mandelson wears the privileged company he keeps lightly. Still in Corfu, he remembers "The other guests - an array of yacht-borne Murdochs and friends of the Rothschilds."

5. Gordon Brown couldn't make spontaneous lunchtime appointments because - in one instance at least - he couldn't scramble his protection officers quickly enough.


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