They say that those who write history define it and this morning the news that Lord Mandelson is to pip former Prime Minister Tony Blair with his memoirs is likely to strengthen the maxim.
The timing of Mandelson’s tale (for it will be), The Third Man, has incensed Blair so much that he is rumoured to have called up Rupert Murdoch who owns HarperCollins the publisher of the book to get it delayed. Murdoch has refused.
Blair knows that Mandelson’s book will be more engaging and will hit the shelves in time for the ‘beach read’ purchase. Mandelson, perversely, will probably write the more truthful account. Blair will attempt to shore up the artifice that was one of the most shoddy premierships in recent times and in so doing will produce a book destined for the coffee table and not for the beach bag.
Despite his many flaws Mandelson is an object lesson in first mover advantage. Cunning like a fox. Moving quickly. Always one step ahead of the story.
Extracts start soon with publication next Thursday.