fri 15/11/2019

Storyville: Mandelson - The Real PM?, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

Storyville: Mandelson - The Real PM?, BBC Four

Storyville: Mandelson - The Real PM?, BBC Four

The Dark Lord emerges unscathed from Hannah Rothschild's documentary

Lord Mandelson of Foy gives a masterclass in political shoelace tying

The title could have used a bit more work, I'd have thought. No, Peter Mandelson was never "the real PM", and won't be now. As for the real Peter Mandelson, there is no evidence that any such mythical beast exists. And why hadn't Lord Mandelson become prime minister, film-maker Hannah Rothschild asked him in one of her deferential voices-off moments? Because Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had entered parliament in 1983, Peter explained with exaggerated patience, while he himself had only got there in 1992. He was stuck at the back of the queue and had to wait his turn. This being the Labour party, an organisation which makes the Titanic look state-of-the-art, his chances of speedy advancement to pole position were more or less nil. And lots of people hate him of course, though he left that part out.

You could hardly expect some of these ignorant buffoons, he seemed to be saying, to appreciate my rare and precious gifts

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