Few of the people who think they are important have such a profound and undisguised contempt for democracy as Peter Mandelson. He seems to be under investigation yet again for corruption in public office, if not actual fraud. That is only what we expect of such people, although twice being removed from the cabinet for being too corrupt even for Tony Blair’s government is quite an achievement.
A former communist who campaigned to leave Britain defenceless against the (very real) threat of annihilation by his friends in Moscow; a long time opponent of the EEC who joined the gravy train as soon as he found it expedient; a man who has built his career, and to a certain extent his life, on openly and unashamedly deceiving the people he is supposed to serve; who still tries to tell ‘ordinary people’ what to do as though he had some authority to do so; whose achievements as an EU commissioner largely consist of failing to close the Doha round of trade agreements and using overt protectionism to raise prices and damage producers, not only here but in the third world also; a man who rejoices in snooping and spying and bossing, but using deceit, force and the old boy network his privileged upbringing provided to hide information about himself; who doubtless spent his youth referring to Peers as parasitic anachronisms and was instrumental in removing many of them for not being elected, but is now happy to sit there himself, by virtue of the decision of an old friend, because it is now expedient for him to do so, and the public are never going to vote for him again.
The single most despicable, and certainly the most anti-democratic act of this man’s entire career was, I think, resigning as an MP. Having disgraced himself again and being finished in democratic politics, he realised that the only people who have ever voted for him, whose representative he was, the people of Hartlepool, had no further purpose, and he abandoned them for Brussels, where all the corrupt national politicians end up as long as they have been careful to know a lot about those they leave behind. No one to be responsible to, no electorate to please, you write your own press reports with a virtually unlimited propaganda budget, you become very wealthy at the tax-payers expense, since those who are meant to stop you don’t seem to care, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you actually do your job.
There are many like him, but most of them at least pretend to care about democracy and freedom. Mandelson makes no attempt to show anything but contempt for other people. Buy hey, one day he’ll be eaten by worms. He doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, neither do I, but you can’t have everything.