That Lord Mandelson. Sadly, not down with the kids (metaphorically speaking). And, just possibly, misjudging his moment and his audience. I refer, of course, to his (quoted) reaction to The Sun withdrawing its support for Labour. This from The Independent:
“Lord Mandelson, speaking in Brighton to publicise tomorrow’s increase in the national minimum wage, said: “The proprietor might have changed his mind but I don’t think the readers want The Sun to set on New Labour.
“The last thing Sun readers want is to see their newspaper turned into a Tory fanzine. They want a newspaper, not a propaganda sheet.”
Is it me, or do I hear the echo of a million Sun readers voices, like something out of Monty Python, “yes we do, that’s exactly what we want, a Tory fanzine!” And why? Because what they really don’t want is some urbane, pink, weaselly spin-merchant second-guessing their wishes. Even if he is accompanied by some increasingly-less-relevant union spod.
And, while I’ve got a nice head of steam worked up, here’s a few things. Peter Mandelson – looking at him, isn’t he just the archetypal – possibly sterotypical – Tory? And wouldn’t it be fair to surmise that today’s Sun reader- after the economic catastrophe of the last 18 months – actually quite fancies nothing more than a return to the Thatcher years, when everyone (apparently), on merit (so they said), had the chance to get rich, not just a few Fat Freds at the top?
And, putting these two together, would it be beyond the realms of possibility to speculate that Mandelson is actually intent upon facilitating the rise of a New Toryism, for whatever reason, at the expense of the party he professes to love?
It is truly fascinating – and it means my first paragraph is probably completely wrong. Ho-hum. Not for the first time.