With the greatest love and respect, Mandelson is a shit

Bugger the message Peter, it's about delivery

Mandelson confuses PR with politics

During my drive to work this morning I listened to BBC Radio 4 and heard Evan Davies interview the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Peter Mandelson. Of course Mr. Mandelson spent all his time evading and filibustering while Mr. Davies did his best to get a straight answer. Masochists may listen to the interview here

For an excerpt check out Sushiguru’s blog

At the end of the interview Mr. Mandelson said something along the lines of “A pleasure as ever”. This sounded to me very much like he considered that this had been a successful interview. Well, it depends on how you define success.

Mr. Mandelson’s definition  appears to be that it is not to answer any questions. If this is the definition, then this was a resounding success. If you think that the interview should have been an honest presentation of the governments record and plans for the future then it was a pathetic failure.

So why is it that Mr. Mandelson is completely incapable of being honest? Why is it that he appears to spend the whole time conniving to present an image rather than actually explaing the governments position?

The answer is that media manipulation is all he knows. Wikipedia gives us an interesting insight into Mr. Mandelson’s background.

Read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Catherine’s College, Oxford
Director of the British Youth Council
Three years on Lambeth Borough Council (1979 to 1982)
Worked as a television producer at London Weekend Television on Weekend World
Appointed Labour Party’s Director of Communications in 1985.
Ran Fulham by-election campaign 1986
Managed the Labour Party’s 1987 general election campaign

Do you see any evidence that Mr. Mandelson has ever built a road, for example? Has he ever turned around a failing company? Did he manage a budget? Did he raise funds? Has he ever worked on a factory floor? Has he ever managed a government department? Has he done anything in his entire life that could be deemed useful to the British people?

To my mind the answer is no.

Of course I understand that in the 21st century politicians will employ people to help them “get their message across” but New Labour have allowed these media wonks to take control of the party. When Mr. Mandelson finally pulled off an election victory, Labour supporters were so desperately grateful that they lost there sense of judgement along with their self respect. They allowed Mr. Mandelson to use his contacts to move from an advisor to become a main player in the government itself. Now that he is there it is obvious that he does not have a clue what to do. He merely continues to do what he has always done. Which is to try to convince everyone, by fair means or foul, that New Labour are doing a fantastic job. The activities of new Labour expend the energy of the political establishment while achieving nothing. Mr. Mandelson gives off heat but no light.

In the interview Mr. Evans attempts to get a point across. The point is that new Labour continually make promises and set targets which they fail to achieve but, by the time their failure is apparent, they have moved the agenda on to some new target. Mr. Mandelson ducked and weaved and eventually said:

“Evan, with the greatest love and respect, I think I’m going to have to take some time to answer your questions, would you mind?”

He then launches into a an enormous monologue which I reproduce here:

“Thank you very much indeed. I think it’s very important that the government, where appropriate enacts targets, benchmarks, by which it judges itself, but more importantly, by which the public judges its delivery. That’s why we are providing guarantees for educational entitlements that’s why we’re putting in place national health service guarantees for patients, including the right to see a cancer specialist within two weeks if their GP suspects that they have cancer, that’s why we’re going to lay the foundations for the national care service for the elderly, now, the point I’m trying to make to you is that politics is about spelling out your policies, it’s about spelling out policy differences: what they mean for the public, what they say about the party’s values and beliefs, now that may be all too detailed and too policy wonkish [sic] for the taste and appetite of the BBC, certainly Today, but this is what is important for the public, and whether it be fuel poverty and our ability and determination to drive on and meet our 2010 targets, how we want to enshrine clearer individual guarantees and entitlements, both in our schools and in the national health service, the debate, the very important provision that we have got to talk about in this country, about supporting families who are looking after elderly parents or relatives who need that care, all these things are about politics, they are about policies, they are about what the public is interested in , Even, and what in time they will judge us, and the other parties, by when the election comes.”

Of course Mr. Mandelson is Talking Bollocks. Most of this is just waffle to use up time and distance himself from the question but Mandelson reveals his deeply flawed understanding of politics. He thinks that  politics is about getting the message across and he thinks that this is what the public are interested in.

It isn’t and we aren’t.

He has confused public relations with politics and this has been the flaw in New Labour from the very beginning. Politics is not about getting the message across! That is a secondary objective. The job of politics is to set policy and deliver. Endlessly setting new policies and objectives is merely an indication of the failures of past policies.

It’s worth considering the words Mr. Mandelson used to gain some space to waffle:

“Evan, with the greatest love and respect, I think I’m going to have to take some time to answer your questions, would you mind?”

There are all sorts of people in this world with all sorts of opinions. The kind I find most objectionable are the kind who can smile in your face while they stab you in the back. The sort that can lie through their teeth.

Peter, with the greatest love and respect, you are a complete shit who should never have been allowed into British politics.

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