News Corp. In the book, Lord Mandelson, nicknamed "the Prince of Darkness" for his alleged manipulation of the press and his colleagues, lives up to the moniker with some painful revelations about the two prime ministers he served, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Lord Mandelson beat his senior colleagues into print, but they will have the opportunity to return fire in months and years to come. Brown and his wife, Sarah, are busy writing their own books, and former finance chief Alistair Darling is mulling his own version of events. Lord Mandelson's book—which will be published later in the U.
Blair and Brown. The former business minister and one of the chief architects of the political movement known as New Labour depicts an explosive and dysfunctional relationship between then-Prime Minister Blair and his Treasury chief, Mr. Blair is portrayed as at times indecisive and weak, unable to keep Mr. Brown at bay as he pressured his friend Mr. Blair to leave No. Brown could take the prime minister's job. Before Labour won power in , Messrs. Brown and Blair made a number of informal deals in which Mr. Blair would become Labour Party leader but cede swaths of domestic policy to Mr.
Brown, according to Lord Mandelson, in an account backed by other politicians; once in power, Mr. Blair would move aside at the end of the party's second term.
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These agreements—and Mr. Brown's belief that Mr.
Blair had reneged on the deal—poisoned their relationship and British politics for a decade, according to Lord Mandelson's account. Blair made way for Mr. Brown in , in the middle of Labour's third term, when Mr. Brown walked into Downing Street just as the global downturn began. According to the book, Mr. Blair likened Mr. Brown to "something out of the mafiosi" and as "mad, bad and dangerous.
Blair is quoted by Lord Mandelson as saying.
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Brown comes across in the book as paranoid and bad-tempered, a headline-obsessed politician who repeatedly clashes with his own ministers, including Mr. Labour lawmakers have been split in their reactions to Lord Mandelson's book.
Some say it merely confirms what political insiders and newspaper readers have long known; others have criticized the book for charting the party's fractious nature, which they see as an act of disloyalty. Blair's former chief spokesman, Alastair Campbell, challenged Lord Mandelson's version of events. Campbell wrote on his blog. That won't be hard to do: Immediately after the U. Campbell reissued an updated and unexpurgated version of his previously published diaries.
He is planning to release further volumes with the details he previously held back because they might have damaged the party while it was still in power. Blair's publisher, Hutchinson, promises will provide "an insight into the man, the politician and the statesman, charting successes, controversies and disappointments with an extraordinary candour. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Some have passed beyond earshot of our criticism; but some remain, pale and ineffectual ghosts of former greatness, yet still touched by that human infirmity which prefers praise to blame. It will behove me to walk warily when I reach the present day; but, in dealing with figures which are already historical, one's judgments may be comparatively untrammelled. I trace my paternal ancestry direct to a Russell who entered the House of Commons at the General Election of , and since some of us have always sat in one or other of the two Houses of Parliament; so I may be fairly said to have the Parliamentary tradition in my blood.
But I cannot profess to have taken any intelligent interest in political persons or doings before I was six years old; my retrospect, therefore, shall begin with Lord Palmerston, whom I can recall in his last Administration, We are delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public.
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