Mandelson takes the shine off

In a new Guardian feature series on the Northern Ireland peace process, Peter Mandelson has criticised Blair’s handling of the peace process, that his commitment to keep it going meant he “conceded and capitulated” to republicans. He says Blair:
“In order to keep the process in motion [Tony] would be sort of dangling carrots and possibilities in front of the republicans which I thought could never be delivered, that it was unreasonable and irresponsible to intimate that you could when you knew that you couldn’t.”
Mandelson also refused to sign a secret letter to Sinn Fein promising concessions on OTRs and other issues but Blair later conceded all these at Weston Park. However, he seems to be drawing back from his criticism, or at least unhappy with the spin put on them, quite ironic really.

  • Crataegus

    Sure sign Blair is now in his closing months.

    He reminds me of an old cat I once had, failing sight, partially deaf, had a view of the world all of his own. All that mattered to him was his cushion by the radiator and a walk round the garden when you were about. He was quite bonkers really and not in control of what was going on around him though doubtless from the continual din that he sometimes made he probably thought otherwise. Younger cats that once kept a respectful distance now made a point of getting a nose in his disk. No control, no power respect and position all gone. The problems of hanging around too long.

  • smcgiff

    Et tu, Mandy?

  • Yokel

    Seamus Mallon wasn’t any nicer in his interview.

  • páid

    excellent smcgiff

  • lorraine

    mandelson is a fool with absolutely no understanding of the dynamics of ireland, he contributed nothing to developments here and should stick to dodgy passport dealing and leave ireland alone.

  • Plum Duff

    As usual, the counter-spin is now on with Mandleson disputing the Guardian’s interpretation of his words – although the paper is adamant that’s how it was . Furthermore, it was noticeable that he struck a much more emollient tone in his interview with Radio Ulster in relation to Blair’s machinations.

    It was interesting to hear him explain that his job was to keep all sides ‘on board’. I don’t think that anyone can disagree with that basic premiss but, then again, that is *his* justification for implementing the actions he took. Nevertheless, I think it’s safe to say that he adopted a much more ‘unionist’ stance than his predecessor to the extent that he almost drove the Shinners out of the process altogether – especially the manner in which he tampered with the Patten recommendations. Mind you, there’s a school of thought that Mowlam had the same effect on the UUP.

    It makes you wonder, therefore, if the *truth* (and nothing but…) will ever surface in regard to our recent ‘Troubles’ and their aftermath. Given already established precedents with British Governments of every persuasion still sitting on many papers relating to the Treaty negotiations of 1921 (a mere 85 years ago), I won’t be holding my breath.

  • merrie

    I agree with Lorraine and Plum Duff.

    Mandelson was probably the worst Labour pro Consul for the six counties, and Blair knew it.

    Blair used the dodgy passport problem to get rid of Mandy (probably thinking the Anglican equivalent of Deo Gratias while sorrowfully telling Mandy he had to resign)

  • Is this the Peter Mandelson – the master negotiator – who is steering the World Trade Organisation’s ‘Doha Round’ to a successful conclusion….NOT?

    Even his (other) former boss at the WTO, Pascal Lamy, had to tick Mandelson off recently for doing side deals (bilateral trade deals between the EU and other blocs) and undermining the prospects for the Doha Round.

    Blair has a lot of faults; but, as the Green Party (see Irish News, circa Blair’s accession) has said from day one of his administration…he was always going to invest a considerable amount of political capital in steering the peace process here to closure.

  • Bill

    How do people see this guy as talented?