Monday, December 21, 2009

Did Mandy Change His Mind or Was He Vetoed by the French?

James Macintyre has just posted quite an astonishing story on the New Statesman website. He says that Gordon Brown gave his blessing to Peter Mandelson becoming the new EU High Representative, a job which eventually went to Baroness Ashton. Mandelson, it is alleged, decided that he didn't want the job after all. Up to now we have all believed that Brown refused to let him go, or that the EU leaders didn't fancy having him back.

You have two choices. You either accept the story as true, or you ask a few questions. Let's go down the latter route.

1. Why would Mandelson first tout himself for the job and then decide that he didn't want it after all?
2. Why would Mandelson let the previous version of the truth run in the papers for so long?
3. If Brown had given him his blessing, why would he then not want to go back to Brussels?
4. Who has got most to gain by this version of the story being released, and released now?

The answer to (4) might be Gordon Brown. It makes him look statesmanlike and appear able to cope without the services of the man who is in reality the Deputy Prime Minister. And yet the fact that the story is written by James Macintyre will lead people to think that it came directly from Peter Mandelson - someone Macintyre is known to be close to.

I am not well enough connected in these circles to differentiate truth from fiction in this matter, but I wonder if Steve Richards, Andrew Rawnsley et al will come to question this version of events.

For my part I can believe that Mandelson's name was indeed put forward ... but the embarrassing truth for him was that he was vetoed by the French, who couldn't abide him when he was previously in Brussels.

UPDATE: James Macintyre has been in touch to say that there's no conspiracy here. "According to sources, Mandelson was in a dilemma. Simple as that". Fairy nuff. Except with Mandelson we have all come to learn that things are never quite as simple as they seem!


Fenrir said...

"I am not well enough connected in these circles to differentiate truth from fiction in this matter,"

Unfortunately the circles of which you speak are unable to differentiate truth from fiction. They have lied so consistently and for so long.

Anonymous said...

LOL... since James Macintyre's 'sources' gave him an entirely fictional account of proceedings during the Bloggers' lunch at CCHQ recently, I would be disinclined to attach any credence to anything else he says.

Anonymous said...

Story from MacIntyre.

As such and on current form, it is uikely to be unrelated to the truth.

50 Calibre said...

I live in France and I can't abide him.

Malheureusement je ne dispose pas d'un droit de veto.

Oh that I did!

Jimmy said...

You forgot question 5: Why would a newspaper print something if it wasn't true?

Stepney said...

Knowing Mandelson's inability to tell the truth, Brown's aversion to anything resembling honour and MacIntyre's pathetic fallabilities as a journalist, I would concur that everything about this story is utter


Goodwin said...

So where exactly is Mandy at the moment? I don't recall him speaking about the BA strike, the postal strike or the current transport problems, all of which have a direct or indirect business impact. Or maybe I've been asleep?