Peter Mandelson may have spun his way to becoming Tony
Blair’s right-hand man but, I hear, he wasn’t always quite so
Indeed, Deborah Saw, Fleishman-Hillard director and an old Hendon
County Grammar School chum of Mandy’s, tells me one particular PR
slip-up actually changed the course of history.
Saw and Mandelson, it seems, were chosen by their A level history
teacher to act as prosecutors in a re-enactment of the trial of
the doomed Charles I.
Dressed in periwigs and black gown - ’looking like Dr Bob in the
Muppets’,Saw recalls - the two vigorously espoused the Roundhead
cause. Unmoved by their fledgling PR skills, let alone more than
300 years of history, the king was acquitted.
’We were both so competitive,’ remembers Saw, ’that we were
absolutely outraged to have lost.’
Despite this temporary set-back, Saw tells me there was early
evidence of the future Hartlepool West MP’s political
Following his appearance in a boy scout ’gang show’, the
11-year-old Mandelson was interviewed in the Hendon and Finchley
Times. In tried and tested local paper tradition, the reporter
asked young Peter for his ambition.
It was, Tony Blair take note, to become Prime Minister.