Saturday News Review

And so it begins

The Peter Mandelson memoirs are released this week

At times, Lord Mandelson said, Mr Brown feared that he had “killed” all three men, but, wound up by his lieutenants, was unable to stop the feud, meaning that Mr Blair was forced to devote too much energy dealing with him. The former business secretary said some of the blame for the hostilities lay with the people around Mr Brown who, he said, treated Mr Blair with “unbridled contempt”. – The Telegraph

In an interview published by Saturday’s Times newspaper, the peer said that relations between Mr Blair and Mr Brown were “awful” and “exceptionally bad” between 1994 and 2007, not least because the latter “couldn’t get over” the fact that he was not prime minister. Lord Mandelson also said he wished the pair had “behaved to me and treated me differently” – a reference to his two resignations during the Blair government. – The FT

The ‘gossipy’ memoirs, called The Third Man, hits the book shops on Thursday – six weeks before the former prime minister’s work, described as a “serious tome,” is made available to the public. Mr Blair is said to be furious that his one-time spin doctor is capitalising on the lucrative summer “beach read” market, and could end up outselling him. He is also fearful that Lord Mandelson will further steal his thunder by giving away the tastiest secrets of the New Labour era, which spanned Mr Blair’s assumption of the leadership in 1994 and lasted until Gordon Brown lost the general election in May. – The Telegraph

The future

Apart from Diane Abbott – who came in as a new MP with me in 1987 – Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and the Brothers Miliband only know what it is like to be in government. They hardly served any time on the backbenches before their first ministerial promotions beckoned. What Labour needs is a fighting Leader of the Opposition with “fire in the belly” to take on and beat David Cameron, but who can also transform these skills into the “ice in the head” qualities of statesmanship you need to be a successful Prime Minister after the next election.  – The Western Mail

So you might expect Labour to be deep in gloom. You would be wrong. The mood is surprisingly upbeat. Sixty-three of Labour’s 258 MPs are new, an unusually large injection of youth, energy and enthusiasm. They have given a tonic (no gin) to a Parliamentary Labour Party that lacked fizz. Older hands are genuinely relieved that Labour did not do even worse in May. Its chances of bouncing back to win next time have been increased by the Liberal Democrats’ decision to do a deal with the Conservatives. – The Independent

Brown to blame?

David Miliband distances himself from Gordon Brown

LABOUR’S weaknesses “intensified” once Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair, the favourite to take over the party’s leadership conceded last night. David Miliband, in Mountain Ash to deliver the annual Keir Hardie lecture, said he agreed with Mr Brown’s assessment of the need for change in 2007, but the promised renewal failed to happen. – The Western Mail

In his strongest criticism of the former prime minister, Miliband claimed Brown failed to turn his technical skill in handling the banking crisis into a moral crusade, with the result that voters did not know which side the party was on. He called for the party to rediscover morality, mutuality and an openness in the way it conducted politics. He also called for a political economy in which growth is dependent on industry rather than financial services. – The Guardian

David Miliband launched a highly critical attack on Gordon Brown’s record last night, claiming Labour’s failings had intensified under the ­former Prime Minister’s leadership. He claimed that during Brown’s reign the party lost its optimism and ability to offer aspiration and hope to voters. Instead problems deepened. – The Herald

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One Response to “Saturday News Review”

  1. AmberStar says:

    Did it never occur to Lord Mandelson that by continually trying to smooth things over, he was simply enabling the disagreements? He is casting himself as the parent of two squabbling sons. Most real parents know that if you get out of the way, the sons will resolve any disputes in a more positive & lasting way.

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