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Daily View: Peter Mandelson's memoirs

Clare Spencer | 09:24 UK time, Monday, 12 July 2010

Peter MandelsonCommentators discuss Peter Mandelson's memoir and what it means for the future of the Labour party.

Peter Oborne says in the Daily Mail that Mr Mandelson's book affects the current Labour leadership contest:

"For the fundamental purpose of this book (besides making a huge sum of money for P Mandelson Esq) is to make sure that Gordon Brown gets the personal blame for all the disasters and mistakes of 13 years of Blair government... David Miliband and Andy Burnham are diehard loyalists of Tony Blair, while Ed Balls and Ed Miliband are longstanding courtiers of Gordon Brown.  
"This means Brown and Blair are fighting out a battle for the future of the Labour Party by proxy - hence the urgency of Peter Mandelson's brutal and vindictive assault on Gordon Brown. Mandelson's intention is to ensure that the future of Labour belongs to Tony Blair and his disciples, above all David Miliband."

Paul Staines, who writes under the name Guido Fawkes, says in his blog that if David Miliband wants to win the Labour leadership contest he should use the book to criticise Gordon Brown:

"If David Miliband wants Labour to move on, a frank, uncoded, reflection on the period of Labour brutalism is required. Brown was a disaster for the Labour Party and the country, if Miliband wants a reborn Labour Party he first has to bury Brown in the truth."

Mary Ann Sieghart argues in the Independent that Peter Mandelson is acting out of his own interests and, contrary to what the book says, he is to blame for the extent of Labour's defeat in the last election:

"The man who ensured that Labour would spend five, possibly 10, years out of power now hopes to capitalise on his tales of those torrid years in government. We are told that the book portrays Brown as 'seriously unhinged'. Some gratitude, that. If Mandelson is prepared to betray Brown for money now, perhaps he should have done so for the sake of his party two years ago."

In the blog Political Betting Mike Smithson says the sections he has read are not anything new:

"And the first 'news' is that in the post-election discussions with Labour in May Nick Clegg demanded Brown's scalp as a price for any coalition deal. But couldn't we have guessed that anyway? [...] There will be other tit-bits in the coming days but it needs to be better than this."

Jackie Ashley says in the Guardian that it is worth reserving judgement:

"Mandelson's bank-swelling memoir, The Third Man, seems to have as its cutting edge another assault on Brown, which is - at least as advertised so far - entirely familiar: the rage against Tony Blair, the contemptuous henchpeople tripping up Peter behind the scenes; the moments of self-realisation and sadness too. 
"It would be wrong to give a verdict on a book not yet available to read, but the advertising and the pre-publication interview suggest this is the theme Mandelson wants to be noticed. His book was preceded by the Campbell diaries, with a similar theme; and will be followed by Blair's own tome, which Mandelson seems to have scooped, and by others by former Labour ministers. One day, no doubt, Brown will have his own say and, if he dares to be fully honest, that may be the most fascinating of them all."

Links in full

Peter Oborne | Daily Mail | Treachery, poison, and the book Peter Mandelson will regret
Paul Staines | Guido Fawkes | Is this Labour's Khrushchev Moment of Truth?
Mary Ann Sieghart | Independent | Mandelson's vanity came before the party interest
Mike Smithson | Political Betting | Mandy: Clegg wanted Brown's scalp as price for coalition
Jackie Ashley | Guardian | Labour must now stop this self-flagellation and regroup

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