Come ride with me

I went for a bike ride yesterday afternoon as it was such a beautiful (though very cold!) day. The camera, attached to my coat, really wasn’t facing where it should have been which resulted in rather dull footage. To try and salvage something usable, I’ve subsequently messed around while editing it (sped the video up, washed it out, etc). Next time I plan to fix the camera to the front of the handlebars. This part of town is quite pretty but you can’t see anything other than the road and cars I’m afraid!! Ah well, first attempt.

PS When playing it back, it looks better if you click the cog icon and choose HD, rather than the low quality default.

PPS The music is Electricity by OMD.

Phoenix rising

It was a modern miracle, the scene we thought we would never see. The Labour party rose, not just to applaud Peter Mandelson but to cheer him, to whoop at him, to adore him. Tony Blair famously said that his project would not be complete until the party had learned to love Mandelson…”

Source: Simon Hoggart in The Guardian

I have blogged about Peter Mandelson several times before. I also happened to see him, in person, at the station on Sunday morning, presumably on his way to Brighton for the Labour Party conference (he had an entourage in tow). He is now the most high profile individual in UK politics and by extension – the most high profile gay establishment figure we have. Having been exiled from politics on two prior occasions – it’s difficult not to be impressed by his meteoric rise to the top this time. He’s not the PM, but no one is in any doubt as to who wields the real power and influence, and it is him, rather than Gordon Brown.

I am not a New Labour supporter but Mandelson has – to me – a degree of authenticity which I connect with, even if not to the party itself (as I rate almost no one in the Labour party – they’re all self-serving untrustworthy so and sos).

The article on him in The Guardian is interesting.

There’s something about Mandy

lord peter mandy mandelson prince of darkness

The Right Honourable the Lord Mandelson aka Baron Mandelson, of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and of Hartlepool in the County of Durham.

I should state, perhaps at the outset, that I have never hidden my admiration for Lord Mandelson (aka ‘Mandy’ as he is generally known in the UK, a name conjured up by that fine institution we call the British media). My distinct lack of sympathy for the Labour party itself has also been well noted, but I don’t want to dwell on that.

Once labelled the “Prince of Darkness” – the poor swine having twice had to resign from office – I still find myself a big fan of his. I know, I know. People will say it’s because we bat for the same team, etc, but it’s not really that. I just find him… genuine. I think he has integrity in that vice den they call Westminster. It’s like he’s above all that. He is tribal and wants what is best for the party and the common people – regardless of who is at the helm. The rest of them are mostly out for themselves – backstabbing, spinny, covetous, clever, conceited ‘players’. I’d rather have a fat Tory grandee than a conceited, smarmy, clever Labour MP. The sort that come to mind would obviously include, but not be limited to: Hazel Blears, Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, etc. They’re just all so dreadfully faux, their supreme ability to hoodwink the British public being their one true skill. Don’t get me wrong – Cameron isn’t a whole lot better – though he is more palatable.

Peter Mandelson in 1992

Back on the subject of Mandy: – the way he has come to Brown’s aid and almost single handedly saved the Labour party from self-destruction is quite something; it really is. It has to be remembered that they were arch enemies once, having

suffered a titanic falling out after Mr Mandelson decided to throw his weight behind Mr Blair’s campaign for the leadership, and their relationship was soured for more than a decade.

In one infamous incident, it was reported that when Mr Mandelson asked Mr Brown if he could have 10p to call a friend, Mr Brown handed him a coin and replied: “Have 20p – then you can call them both.” (Source: The Telegraph)

His partner was quite something too, the Brazilian guy (my age) who lived with him for 10 years. I don’t think they’re together any more, however. Not sure who he is seeing these days (and frankly it’s none of my business), though I think it might be an Italian fashion designer.

Peter Mandelson and his then partner, the Brazilian Reinaldo Avila da Silva

Read more about Mandelson in a Telegraph piece titled: The Prince of Darkness returns

And see this recent piece, from The Independent, titled First Among Unequals: Meeting the most powerful person in Britain which states that:

Lord Mandelson’s power now appears absolute: many believe he is, in fact, not the deputy but the real prime minister, having rescued Gordon Brown from a coup by persuading several cabinet colleagues not to jump ship. He has accrued a Whitehall powerbase so vast it includes more ministers – 11, including himself – than in the three departments of Transport, International Development and Energy and Climate Change put together. (Source: The Independent).

Go Mandy! You are more earnest and more honest than Brown in my book. You are flawed – but less so than the others. Also, you put the party first in a way that the rest just don’t. Finally, you provide the perfect example that no matter how far into the wilderness we may be thrown – we do have the ability to rise up again and conquer all!