Mandelson on the peace process

Much interest today in the Guardian’s interview with Peter Mandelson, as part of its series on Tony Blair’s legacy in Northern Ireland.

I was once told by a friend of a key player in the peace process, that the way to deal with Mandelson was to let him talk. Apparently, if you let him go on for long enough he would give away what he was going to do.

Mandelson’s key impact was on policing through his decision to water down the Patten Report. As he says in the interview, he correctly anticipated that the SDLP would come on board even if Sinn Fein didn’t. What he doesn’t say is that it was immediately after this decision that Sinn Fein overtook the SDLP as the largest nationalist party. In that sense, Mandelson arguably helped to bring about the situation  where Martin McGuinness is on the verge of becoming Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *