Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Europe Row-Peter Mandelson Is Right"

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Europe Row-Peter Mandelson Is Right"

Article excerpt

My old mate Martin Kettle at the Guardian is well known for his defence of our Great Leader, but he must be the last man in the comment business still backing Peter Mandelson.

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The Prince of Darkness just couldn't resist getting in on the latest Europe story, could he? Backing Britain against the shameless Jacques Chirac wouldn't get Mandy the headlines, so instead he told us to make "a change of tone and substance" over the rebate row and to stop being "neo-Thatcherite as if nothing has changed". Mandelson then briefed his media mates that the attack was really directed at Gordon Brown and Jack Straw.

"Mandelson was right," Kettle tells us, conveniently forgetting that Chirac had deliberately raised the issue of the British rebate in order to deflect attention from his humiliating Euro referendum defeat. There is also the small fact that 40 per cent of the whole European budget goes to subsidising farmers. …

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