Useful Notes: Peter Mandelson
Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson* PC. Known as The Prince of Darkness, The Dark Lord, The Dark Prince, Darth Mandelson and Mandy. While working hidden behind the scenes, he was largely responsible for his (previously losing) party's victory in '97, updating its image to appeal to the electorate, and covertly running the campaign from a 'tiny office with a three-legged chair, propped up by books'. While the Labour government was in power he always maneuvered himself into positions of massive influence, simply by not wanting to have the top job. He was forced to resign twice for scandals that he was embroiled in, but he's such a useful figure that he always ends up coming back. The second time he resigned, he became among the most powerful men in the EU Commission. When his tenure came to an end, the government brought him back yet again, and he ran the country behind the scenes, collecting titles and government departments to add to his power. The position he held meant nobody could question his political actions unless he allowed them. His last title while in government was The Right Honourable the Baron Mandelson of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and of Hartlepool in the County of Durham, First Secretary of State, Lord President of the Privy Council and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. He took a seat in the Lords basically because everyone realised that there was hardly a constituency in the country that could be relied upon to elect him—not even Labour safe seats. Even after his party's eventual third term defeat in 2010, people are still whispering rumours of his comeback, such is the power of the myth behind the man. As of his latest return to government, before the 2010 election, a member of the House of Lords. Along with the more overtly belligerent Alastair Campbell (a later addition to the team), one of New Labour's most prominent spin doctors. Like Boris Johnson, whom he otherwise does not much resemble, a prime example of Reality Is Unrealistic. Interestingly, Mandelson is also the grandson of Herbert Morrison, a prominent Labour cabinet minister of the 1940s. In the Blood?
Examples of Peter Mandelson in Fiction:
- Arguably, his memoir The Third Man in which he manages to write nearly 800 pages about the Blair years without once using the phrase "in the national interest".
- The Deal (2003)
- Mo, the Mo Mowlam biopic, notable for Julie Walters describing him to his face as a "complete shit".
- Steve Fleming in The Thick of It - Malcolm Tucker even references the real Mandelson's sexual orientation. 'The 'tache is a bit of a giveaway.'
Examples of tropes applied to Peter Mandelson in Media:
- Adam Westing: The TV ads for his memoirs, if not his entire media persona since his latest return to UK politics.
- Straight Gay
- Vetinari Job Security
- Have I Got News for You.
- Mock the Week, especially this bit.
- Dead Ringers.
- According to Word Of God, the Pet Shop Boys' "I Get Along" is Blair/Mandelson Real Person Fic.
- He's played by Nigel Planer in "The Hunt for Tony Blair", a spoof film from The Comic Strip Presents which frames the major controversies of the Blair government as a 1950s Ealing Studios-style Film Noir.
- The Channel 4 Drama "Coalition" (broadcast 28 March 2015) has him played by Mark Gatiss. His first scene has him appearing through a cloud of dry ice.