Monday, October 06, 2008

Something you also may not have known about Mandy

Yesterday I had a very nice lunch with pal Paul Reynolds and learnt something about Peter Mandelson that I had never heard before. Now I knew a little about how he took over the Labour Party press office, displacing a wonderful woman, Veronica Crighton (Veronica was my tutor on a TUC media course, who knowing she was dying, without saying a word to anyone, gave up her weekend came and ran a course for me for a very difficult group of young people two weeks before she died). But what I didn't know was that he was very much part of the early SDP crowd, in fact was expected to join. When Paul was elected as an Alliance Councillor in Lambeth, it was Mandy who wrote his press release.

So, I was left wondering, how differently Labour and Lib Dem history may have been had he been one of our early scalps. Was it a sign of his insight, his belief that the Labour Party could change (I was one of those who followed Shirley Williams because I didn't believe it could) or that his commitment to those he would leave behind was stronger than to those he would join? And how would his influence have played in the SDP, Alliance and Lib Dems? Hmmmm, interesting idea - I am sure someone can enlighten us?!

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