There are three issues about interviewing Peter Mandelson that stand out, and
the possible MP could do worse than undertake any of them. First is that he
doesn’t answer the query. All politicians don’t do that, though Mandelson
doesn’t do it greater than most, you may say.
Second, when he tires of evasion, his grip on the arguments and the facts is
usually formidable, not an invariable rule in this authorities. Generally you
wonder if it’s solely Mandelson who still has a functioning political mind.
Third, and way more entertaining, is the way in which an interview with him turns,
effectively, not aggressive exactly, extra “assertive Mandelson is
audacious enough to inform his interlocutor what the rules of the game are,
what he ought to or shouldn’t be asking, “what your
readers/listeners/viewers are Really interested in that form of
thing. Yesterday he boldly told Jim Naughtie on The At the moment Programme that
there simply wasn’t enough time left within the interview to reply questions
about the general public funds, a outstanding assertion of management. But those
exchanges were comparatively nicely tempered. Much more satisfying, to the point
of changing into collectorsobjects, are Mandelson’s more and more-acrimonious
encounters with Naughtie’s co-presenter, Evan Davis. Much to Davisevident
irritation, Mandelson all the time sets the phrases of the interview, the pair of
them wasting useful airtime on whether or not or not he, Mandelson, needs to be
allowed to discuss the Toriespolices.
Davis says he can ask the the Tories about their polices; Mandelson tells
Davis that the essence of politics is the choice between the events, so
he’s going to carry on taking about George Osborne anyway. Evan sighs with
frustration; Mandelson sits for an icy second or two in unsettling silence.
Each maintain an exaggerated, faux civility ? “thank you
secretary of state”great pleasure which simply points up
the cattiness. If there may be one factor that basically winds up a journalist it is
being informed how one can do their job. Mandelson knows it. We really shouldn’t let
him get away with it.
Sean O’Grady ECONOMICS EDITOR
2. Easy methods to gown for any occasion
Just as he appears unable to amass one title and stick to it, Peter Mandelson
has hassle selecting one constant look or model. A gold-commonplace meddler
in social gathering politics, he loves to meddle with the easy Fashionable Politician
look. He has the nice taste to decide on classic British tailoring from the
Savile Row grasp Richard James, however matches it with stripy shirts from
departs from this look at his peril. For a vital assembly with the Chinese
Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming, he affected a mild-golden-brown,
double-breasted quantity with a matching gold tie, and looked pasty and
uncomfortable behind his welcoming smile. Maybe he’d learn that, to the
Chinese, gold represents joy, optimism, hope, warning and intelligence.
Away from the convention desk, Mandelson has some method to go in cracking the
leisure look. He’s been photographed strolling his canine, carrying a nondescript
gray tracksuit with a US flag on the sleeve and a pair of Hush Puppies. It’s
actually not an excellent look. (The bag of dog poo he was carrying didn’t help: I
mean, where’ll you get the sneakers to match the bag?) Would a easy
combination of jeans, trainers and The Wire T-shirt have been so arduous? Two
days ago, he and the canine graced the cover of a Sunday magazine, both trying
to look relaxed and chilled-out; Mandy wore jeans and blue suede loafers ?
but dammit, he just had to wear one in all his Jermyn Road banker’s shirts
again. Off-responsibility, Peter, assume off-duty. As for the get-up in which he
greeted the press after his August vacation in Corfu ? white chinos,
off-white shirt, blue suede loafers and unstructured, zip-fronted jacket ?
he appeared like a civil servant gingerly trying the “smart-casualbr>look for the primary time.
Here is a man who’d like to challenge a look of serious gravitas as befits his
place, only to search out little excrescences of stripes, skittishness, satin
and crushed strawberry breaking out all the time. He desires to be a beacon of
mild, but keeps turning into a candelabra. Or in his case, a mandelabra.
John Walsh COLUMNIST
3. The best way to climb up the property ladder
Just over a decade ago the Business Secretary could only afford a £475,000
home in Notting Hill by borrowing the entire quantity. Now he lives in a
mortgage-free £2.5m town house on the end of Regent’s Park. How has he executed
it? Partly, it’s luck. He purchased and sold in a rising property market. But
he was additionally ready to spend cash on improvements. Then there’s the matter
of being clever with financing, mixing customary mortgage deals with loans
from associates, plus an inheritance and cash made in a business deal.
His climb began with his Notting Hill home, purchased in October 1998 for
£475,000. The cash was made up of a £375,000 mortgage from ex-Paymaster Normal
Geoffrey Robinson plus a mortgage with the Britannia constructing society. He
then spent £50,000 on improvements earlier than selling the place for around
£725,000 ? a £200,000 revenue.
Next was a flat close by bought for £251,000. He splashed £100,000 on doing it
up earlier than selling it in March 2001 for £545,000. That meant pocketing revenue
of around £250,000, as half the improvement price was met by the taxpayer for
safety causes. That left him with around £400,000 in direction of his next place.
That was a property in Earls Court purchased for £546,000 in March 2001 and offered
in November 2003 for £600,000. That added another £50,000 to his struggle chest,
which went in direction of a Penthouse in St James’s, bought for £884,000. That, in
flip, was bought for £1.2m in April 2006, that means the canny Lord had constructed up
He added to that £452,000 left to him by his mother plus an estimated £136,000
revenue from the sale of his former constituency house in Hartlepool. He then
put down a £1.65m deposit on his present house close to Regent’s Park, which value
£2.4m in August 2006.
He needed to borrow £750,000 from HSBC to buy the home, however has since paid
off the mortgage with part of the £1.2m he is estimated to have made from
shares he held in advertising firm Clemmow Hornby Inge which merged with
rival WPP in 2007.
Could you do the same? Even assuming you may get the luck of dealing in a
rising market and making improvements that really added to the value of
your properties, there would still be one essential factor lacking:
well-heeled mates. Mixing in the suitable circles has certainly helped pace
Lord Mandelson’s climb up the property ladder.
Simon Read Personal FINANCE EDITOR
4. The right way to get away with things
What sort of satanic pact he made we may not know even when he publishes his
memoirs (and what a learn these must be), however Lord Mandelson has acquired
the kind of immortality generally confined to Greek mythology and science
fiction. Politically, he can now not be harmed, not to mention killed. Like
Captain Scarlet, he’s indestructible.
He has achieved this reversal of status, having been so susceptible a decade
ago that his second “resignationwas purely on popularity,
via several factors, some deliberate and others less so.
At the beginning he is a fighter, not a quitter, and there is nothing so
admirable to the British as sticking round. Right here, as Alan Bennett mentioned, you
need solely be 90 and capable of eating a boiled egg, and people think you
deserve the Nobel Prize.
We even have a taste for brazen chutzpah (returning to Corfu while George
Osborne shivered at home) and self-parodic teasing (a pussycat forsooth!).
There an arch self-knowingness about the modern Mandy that echoes Tommy
Docherty returning to the after dinner speech circuit after being carried out for
perjury with: “Now I know you’re not being to believe a phrase I say br>and that’s almost unattainable to resist.
He is aware of we know he’s a rascal, and couldn’t care much less. There’s a legislation of
diminishing returns with moral outrage, and most individuals long ago grew bored
by what he loftily regards as petit bourgeois moralising over his private
ethics and a hands-off relationship with the literal truth.
On the eve of the Labour convention, he didn’t rule out remaining in the
limelight even under a Conservative administration. He most likely had in thoughts
some special envoy place, or a Washington job that involves first-class
travel and loads of dinners with Henry Kissinger. After all he wouldn’t
rule out a public place beneath the Tories; he wouldn’t rule out selling
the kidneys of orphan infants if he thought it will additional his
self-interest. He will get away with saying such issues because he makes no
pretence. He is brazen.
Another thing, too typically neglected. He happens to be, by a number of mild
years, the cleverest and most competent Cabinet minister of his generation.
Even those who stubbornly cling to ancient loathings acknowledge this, and
in troublesome instances any amount of naughtiness will be neglected if the
perpetrator appears to know what he’s about.
Matthew Norman COLUMNIST
5. The way to handle the media
In accordance with interviewer Bryan Appleyard, who travelled to China with him for
a profile in final weekend’s The Sunday Times Journal, Peter Mandelson has “taken
the battleto the media in a manner way more refined than the
crude approach deployed by Alastair Campbell.
“Mandelson attracts you in because you desperately want to listen to what he will
say subsequent,says Appleyard. “He all the time gives you the impression of
having huge quantities of knowledge at his disposal, so you feel you have got
to be fairly good to him or else you may miss the story./p>
Whereas Campbell confronted the media like an angry bouncer, the smiling Mandy
holds a visitor record that hints at entry to the interior sanctum. A dichotomy
results whereby reader responses to on-line press articles about the primary
Secretary of State often categorical a uniform hatred for the subject ? while
the articles themselves are invariably approving. “This interview isn’t
journalism. It’s advertising and PR,fumed one offended respondent to a
recent piece within the Guardian wherein Mandelson outlined himself as a “kindly
Journalists are charmed by him as a result of he offers good copy. “Has Peter
Mandelson taken some form of vow never to give a dull interview?br>gushed James Kirkup, political correspondent of The Each day Telegraph. “Since
his return from Brussels, the Business Secretary hasn’t opened his mouth
without committing news in some way or other.Some readers were
horrified. “Most of the intelligent amongst us cannot fathom the media
consideration given to this childish and vitriolic Machiavelli impersonator,br>said one.
So picture aware is Mandelson that he corrected The Telegraph’s diarist Tim
Walker, who falsely associated him with a Louis Vuitton bag which he was
standing subsequent to in a photograph. As he well understands, fashionable political
journalism is character-driven and ? as pussycat or Machiavelli ? 200,000 tons of methanol installation he
excites the public sufficiently to generate air-time, column inches and page
views. That’s why PM for PM is such an excellent story.
Ian Burrell MEDIA EDITOR
6. How to remain in form
4 years as shadow Chancellor have taken their toll on George Osborne. The
lean, hungry Tory boy of 2005 should be present, however in his face, too, is
the jowly grandee of the long run. The man being marketed as his reverse
quantity, nevertheless, is as svelte as ever. Junior ministers even describe him as “super-fit
So how does Mandy keep in form?
Again in 2001, Peter Mandelson revealed his free membership of Soho’s Third
House gym, which costs £1,180 monthly to common punters. Nowadays he
retains trim on a weight-reduction plan, he lately instructed an interviewer, that “chiefly
involves being hungry He subsists on granola and green tea for
breakfast (as recommended to him by lifestylist Carole Caplin), eats nothing
for lunch besides a tiffin bar from Pret A Manger (fetched by an aide), and
solely eats within the evening when he’s invited to dinners. He sometimes
filches an apple from considered one of his fellow friends.
According to nutrition experts, the calorie intake Mandelson describes is less
than a 3rd of that suggested for a man in his mid-50s. He has, nonetheless,
recovered sufficiently from a recent spat over the state of the UK economy
with StarbucksCEO to be photographed drinking from one in all their coffee
cups. Should it include the espresso shop’s signature tall latte, it could
characterize a further 180 classes of the required daily 2,500.
Mandelson did briefly hit the headlines as a result of sick well being last October ? the
day after his appointment as enterprise secretary, no much less ? when he was
rushed to hospital at 3am to bear an emergency kidney stones operation.
Fortunately, well being minister and surgeon Lord Darzi was available to offer him a
raise. Final month he had a routine operation on his (benignly) enlarged
prostate ? a standard situation in males over forty (Mandelson is fifty five) ? and took
the chance to praise the NHS for his remedy.
When Mandelson was sacked from the cabinet in 2001, psychologist Oliver James
questioned Mandelson’s mental well being and suggested he was a suicide risk.
Let’s hope James isn’t on a weight-reduction plan; he’s going to have to eat his phrases.
Tim Walker Characteristic Author
7. How to make buddies with the wealthy and highly effective
To start with, you’ll need to share with him a special gift: the secret of
Peter Mandelson’s success as a supreme networker, mover and shaker would possibly
properly be his elephantine memory. He possesses nearly whole recall when it
comes to names, faces, conferences, people’s children, which frequently surprises
and charms the person to whom he is speaking.
How does he woo the “filthy rich a gaggle he once said he was “profoundly
relaxedabout? He has all the time felt profoundly relaxed amongst them. Even
before he certified as “filthy richhimself ? he has no mortgage
on his £2.5m London house ? he banked at Coutts. The key most likely lies in his
relaxed confidence, razor-sharp intellect and wit and, after all, in his
connections. Though an homme serieux, he is also a gossip, a combine which
appeals to the wealthy and highly effective.
Lengthy earlier than becoming a European Commissioner ? wrongly believing he would have
no future in British politics when Gordon Brown succeeded Tony Blair ?
Mandelson had gone international. An avid attender of conferences, he even
set up his personal assume tank, appropriately referred to as Policy Network, so that
centre left parties world wide may swap ideas.
He felt instantly at residence amongst businessmen in his first stint as Enterprise
Secretary in 1998. His contacts book bought even fatter when he travelled the
world because the EU’s Trade Commissioner. He has met many businessmen hungry for
titbits to present them an insight right into a political world they do not likely
Having wealthy and powerful friends is dangerous for a politician. His links with
a wealthy fellow minister Geoffrey Robinson and the multimillionaire Indian
businessmen the Hinduja brothers forced his two spectacular resignations
from the Cabinet (although accused of serving to Srichand Hinduja acquire a
passport, he was later cleared of any impropriety). Nowadays Mandelson is
extraordinarily careful. Each meeting with a businessman, even on his holidays,
is logged with his Permanent Secretary to make sure no battle of interest
The one-time Prince of Darkness is loving his unexpected spell within the
limelight. As the unofficial Deputy Prime Minister, he doesn’t need to drop
names or persuade anybody of his clout. Older and wiser than in his first two
spells in government, he does a pleasant line in self-deprecating humour about
his previous flaws. His charm offensive has gained over some previous enemies and a
once-hostile media offers him the benefit of the doubt. For now, no less than.
Andrew Grice political editor
eight. Methods to be perfectly groomed
Compared to among the unkempt male specimens lurking in Westminster, Peter
Mandelson is a smoothie. In truth, his good look has attracted virtually
as a lot sneering as his various scandals over the years, as a result of in
politics, apparent ‘groomingseems to be like vanity.
Nevertheless, whereas in the hoary world of Parliament merely washing your face might
be sufficient to make you Minister for Moisturiser, in the milieu of male
grooming the consultants aren’t so simply impressed and even have just a few ideas.
Deborah Gayle, the Marketing Director at men’s salon The Refinery, says: “My
crew and I feel he isn’t truly doing much maintenance at all, though
he in all probability has a daily routine of types./p>
Really? However what of hypothesis that he dyes his hair? “Well, we think
there may very well be some colour in his hair and his eyebrows could have been tinted.br>Mandelson has denied having his eyebrows plucked, however, saying: “What,
pay somebody to rip my eyebrows out? Is that some type of sexual factor?br>That clear complexion? Gayle says: “He seems as if he looks after his
skin to a degree, but he wants to pay attention to the attention area, which
seems drained. He may do with using a watch gel or serum, and a facial
would assist to clear his congested forehead.Gayle thinks images of the
Enterprise Secretary with a suspicious glow to his pores and skin, only days after
returning pasty-white from Corfu, look more like make-up for a Television or public
look than a wag-fashion faux tan.
So what is Mandy doing right? “Well he’s fairly well shaven,br>observes Gayle. Compared to the Anchorman meets Magnum PI moustache that he
properly shaved off when he arrived at the Commons, anything is properly-shaven.
Carola Lengthy DEPUTY Trend EDITOR
9. How have pleasant holidays ? totally free
Politicians as of late don’t actually take holidays. In the age of the
Blackberry, they just transplant their physical, non-web-based mostly being to
a sunny isle, and let the memos and telephone briefings observe. And Mandy,
extra clean than a basking lizard in a safari swimsuit, has redefined the character
of the politico venturing abroad. For starters, how assured do it’s important to
be to effectively cover for Gordon Brown (as happened with Mandelson in
August) whereas chillaxing pool-aspect in Corfu, throwing souvlaki and Ouzo into
your mouth as quickly as ministerial stagecraft leaves it?
For sure, our nation’s great enterprise czar and protector of commerce is
one thing of a moonlighting maestro. Take his pronouncements, earlier within the
12 months, that he would “not go on holidayuntil uncertainty over
jobs at Vauxhall’s Luton and Ellesmere Port plants was secured (he went
anyway, but was never pulled up on it).
Then there’s his ability to skulk off for a fortnight, indulge in all method
of political skulduggery, and once more, come off blemish-free. Final year, he
proved it: he badmouthed Gordon Brown to George Osborne whereas staying at
their mutual hedge fund supervisor mate Nat Rothchild’s in Corfu. Osborne
leaked the story to the press, but ended up the loser. An unnamed supply,
whose initials happened to be “PM revealed Osborne was
soliciting funds for his occasion from a Russian billionaire at the identical time.
Rob Sharp Characteristic Author
10. How to maintain your private life underneath wraps
From dodgy mortgages to high-profile holidays, the primary Secretary is used to
the media scrutinising his life. But there is one space of Peter Mandelson’s
existence which has tended to remain strikingly above the clamour of
Westminster gossip: his personal life. For a few years, he made clear his
reluctance to debate his sexuality. Following two high-profile incidents in
which he was “outed(once by Matthew Parris and the other by
Diane Abbott) reside on air, the BBC blocked any point out of his non-public life.
Unusually in politics, Mandelson has all the time refused to affirm his
homosexuality, letting it become something of a taboo.
After the BBC’s embargo, the impression was created that to debate the matter
was disrespectful ? homophobic, even. As such, it grew to become a relatively powerful
privateness-protection tool. In 2000, when he made his first “public
appearancewith long-term accomplice Reinaldo Avila da Silva at a West
End performance of the The Graduate, even essentially the most salacious of gossip
columns handled the occasion with decorum. Since then, Mandelson has had
little need to “protectthe relationship.
Certainly, aside from a short blip in 2007 when it was reported that the
relationship had ended, there has been little to say. As an alternative, he has taken
to offering controlled insights into his life, in the form of witty,
slightly camp, asides; he lately entertained a press gallery lunch with
tales of being woken by “Jack tugging at my duvet only
clarifying after a deliberate pause that Jack was “my dog, of course
Such soundbites are too good to disregard, and Mandelson knows it, so he makes use of
them to satisfy the press’s appetite. Relatively like Boris Johnson, Mandelson
himself makes such good copy that it may be tough to trump his personal work,
irrespective of how much digging one does.
Alice-Azania Jarvis DIARY EDITOR
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