Monday, October 27, 2008

A pity that yacht didn't sink in shark-infested waters

Conventional wisdom seems to have it that Lord Mandelson, of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the County of Durham is some sort of Machiavellian genius. That latest manifestation, apparently, is the way in which he made George Osborne look like an utter prat – surely not the most difficult thing to accomplish?

And yet, look at today's headlines: by shafting Osborne, Mandelson has brought on himself a constant drip of questions about his own dealings with Oleg Deripaska. The press scents blood and the pack probably won't be called off anytime soon. Both Mandelson and Osborne will probably survive, but will be weakened and, in turn, more of a liability to their parties. A pleasing symmetry that.

It's hard to take them all too seriously:

The others picked on him. He hadn’t gone to Eton, he wasn’t really one of them. He didn’t have blue blood, that’s why he didn’t quite fit in. They were all snobs. They called his dad a ‘curtain maker’. Because he was overweight they called him Jelly Belly and Georgie Porgy. He used to wear baggy jumpers to hide the flab.

But he’s always been ambitious and he tolerated that bunch because he used them as a stepping-stone. He knew he had to hang around in the right circles to get where he wanted.

Until you realise that this is the very type of person that enters politics these days: Widmerpoolian figures have always been with us - but it is troubling that he seems a role-model for so many leading political figures in both major parties today.

That politicians should seek to curry favour with the very rich is unfortunate, but not really much of a surprise. What's far more worrying is the fact that ones doing that currying seem to be people who have lived their lives entirely in the bubble of politicking, scheming, todaying without ever having anything to do with everyday life as it is lived by most people. American politics may be a vile, stinking snakepit but at least it throws up the likes of Obama and McCain: where are the British politcos with such varied life stories?

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Blogger Mr Ink said...

A lesson learned too late for Osborne - that politicians or friendships really don't matter much in the rarified world of high, very high, finance. Rothschild thinks more of his links to an oligarch than to a possible treasurer of Little Blighty On The Down.

Mandy will have to do something really terrible to be hounded out again and there is nothing in the stuff with Deripaska - yet - that can bring him down. Gordy won't care tuppence if Mandy looks like a shit as long as he is throwing plenty at the Tories. It'll rumble on and finish up a score-draw, like Cash For Peerages and WMD, though not on the scale of either.

You're right on the money though about our Widerpoolian tribunes. Osborne more loathsome than Mandy, imho

5:35 pm  
Blogger bill said...

Oh agreed. I think Balls by far the worst of the Labour crop; Osborne his mirror image. Mandy seems mainly to harm himself, the other two seem the sort who only have friends who don't really like them.

It *might* have been a masterstroke of true cunning by Gordo: keep your enemies closer than your friends, let Mandy do the dirty on the Tories and weaken himself so much that he can't attack Gordon. But, you know, I doubt it.

11:10 am  

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