Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Don't Believe It

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Don't Believe It

Article excerpt

"Mandy to become London mayor"

Nice to know this column is getting noticed. An irate Andy Grice, the political editor of the Independent, challenged me in the bar of the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool. I'd upset him by teasing him last week for writing as fact that Tony Blair had written his own speech.

"I wasn't the only one who wrote it," he complained. I apologise to Grice for not making it clear that he's not the only lobby hack who writes bollocks.

It's a story about one of Grice's old mates, Peter Mandelson, that caught my eye this week. "Mandy for Mayor?" roared the Daily Mail. This headline was based on a quote from Mandelson saying: "I am not my grandfather's grandson for nothing." His grandfather, Herbert Morrison, was once leader of London County Council, so sharp hacks put on a bit of spin (no doubt encouraged by Mandelson) and had their tall tale. …

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