"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 28 September 2009

Mandelson's Speech To Conference

Hmmm. Well, if you like shouty rhetoric, self-deprecating jokes, booming emphasis and finger-wagging admonishments you would have enjoyed this speech. The audience loved it: lots of smiley faces, spontaneous applause during it and a cheery, whistling standing ovation at the end. Brown was wreathed in smiles and almost kissed him because of this sort of thing: "Gordon, I am proud to serve you in your government as you lead the fightback against this global recession and you will have my full undivided attention and my full undivided loyalty until we win the next election and beyond."

There was lots of Cameron/Osborne/Tory-mockery and one or two policy announcements. He announced the extension of the Car Scrappage Scheme for another 100,000 vehicles with all the contrivance of Simon Cowell telling a contestant to prepare for bad news and then telling them the bad news was that they were going to have to stay for another week.

He spoke of supporting Jaguar Landrover & Vauxhall and of finding new ways to fund industry: "We're going to do more to put finance at the service of industry by building up new public channels to deliver private funds to innovative and fast-growing countries...er...companies in our countries". That sounds familiar.

He talked of how the Labour Party must think of themselves as underdogs: "insurgents not incumbents". Knowledge, science, innovation, enterprise. Creative sector, bio-sciences sector, services sector, hi-tech advanced manufacturing. "There will be no cap on talent in this country...the Tories think that more means worse. We do not agree." I don't suppose the Conservatives would agree in those terms either.

That's essentially the tenor of the speech. The majority of it was given over to Tory-bashing (they eat babies doncha'know?) and self-referential jokes with a couple of sentences on aims and policy as outlined above.  It's probably a fair indication of how a General Election campaign will be run.

It was very well-received (some of the delegates had looks of rapt admiration on their faces) and, if you like that sort of thing, it was superficially steely and just what the troops needed in order to get them to put down their daggers and rally round their red rag.

(Quick Note: The Chairwoman's response: "Thank you Peter for cheering us all up.  I haven't seen Conference so happy since we arrived on Sunday."  Mandelson was followed by Brown introducing Jose Luis Zapatero, Spanish PM so, all in all, a busy afternoon.)

If it turns up on YouTube I'll post it for you.
UPDATE: Here's the full text of the speech.


  1. Not a mention of willing to work for the Tories then?

  2. The true reason that Mandelson would work with the Tories?

    All those baby eating parties.

  3. He's getting more and more vocal of late.

    He needs another custarding to pull him down a few pegs.

  4. Whatever it was they lapped it up and they'll all go home happy tonight. Mandelson's unleashed and Cameron won't find it easy to put him back in his cage unless it's a one-to-one live tv debate (now, there's a thought!)


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