Saturday, January 27, 2001

Excellent article by Hywel Williams [presumably not this Hywel Williams] about Mandelson's downfall in today's Guardian:
It's a gay thing
It takes one to know one, and believe me, Mandelson's behaviour has been recognisable. I'm afraid he could not have been queenier if he tried. The tousled locks, the quivering lower lip, the nostrils poised to flare: all signalled a gay at bay....
What Peter Mandelson did was the political equivalent of bare-backing. And as with all such discovered episodes of unprotected sex, it's the presumption of further unrevealed audacity which thrills both voyeur and victim. How many other times did he do it?...
This is a gay thing - the story of a man who politically was once one man's bitch and then became another's...
As the most famous gay man in Britain he was a cardboard cut-out figure, the political Village People's Machiavelli, a parody of the gay man as the shifty fudge-packer in the corner...
Chris Smith and Nick Brown show how in New Labour even the gay men are strait-laced. Old Labour had a brave stab at it all with Tom Driberg ¡V a cruiser of ocean-going capacity but there have been no worthy successors to that prodigy of the cottage epiphanies. That Tories are camper is a law of British politics...
When it comes to gay identity there's a double discharge of drama. Here the sexual is the political. Hence the flight to the common and the race to the heath. At some level there is actually a desire to be found out. Mandelson's call was both exploitation of office and a challenge to be discovered in an amoral world. He was gagging for it.

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