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Useful Notes / Peter Mandelson

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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. This led to Frankie Boyle's memorable remark, "Who made him a Lord, the Sith?!"

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.'

None are entirely flattering - as pointed out at some length in this review, which suggests he tends to come out badly by comparison with Judas Iscariot.

Elements of his character are found in not one, not two, but three different characters on The Thick of It, with Malcolm Tucker being a combination of him and Alastair Campbell and Julius Nicholson and Steve Fleming being blends of Mandelson, Lord Adonis, and John Birt.

Examples of tropes applied to Peter Mandelson in Media:

See also portrayals on: