Stanley's blog

Mandelsonitis

Give the man a break! Even Sophie Raworth, standing in for Andrew Marr on BBC AM yesterday morning, spoiled a good interview addressing the financial and economic crises facing us, by pounding away at him about his seeing a Russian oligarch socially.

“No, you did not behave improperly, but you could be perceived as to behaving improperly…”

Peter Mandelson has committed serious errors of judgment in his career. Gordon Brown knows him very well indeed, and in his judgment (not normally exercised without careful thought), has nevertheless recalled him to the Cabinet.

We were all flabbergasted at this, but on reflection, it makes much sense. “Our economy, like others, is facing very hard challenges as a result of the global financial crisis and in a sense it’s all hands to the deck.” said the Prime Minister. “Serious people are needed for serious times. He has got unrivalled experience as trade commissioner of the European Commission.”

No-one denies that their personal relationship was virtually non-existent after the fall-out over who was to lead the Labour party. But New Labour bound them together and still does. “We have also known each other for 20 years and originally we worked very well together.”

Finally, how many of those criticising Mandelson for accepting an EU pay-off, would themselves have rejected the payment? I would have accepted it and used all or part for a societal purpose.

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  1. Stanley, I have to agree with you about the payoff. I was in the UK this weekend and the press are covering his finances in incredible detail.

    You ask a question that people don’t seem to be asking, “Would you personally accept a large payment from an employer?”

    I think that no matter the reaction of the press or our personal position, we all would take the money. Therefore, I can’t understand why we expect a politician to do differently. Isn’t this just human nature?

    Best wishes,

    Stuart

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