Diary: Young communist Mandelson battles undemocratic elitist school

Following recent revelations about Peter Mandelson’s flirtation with the Young Communist League, Fleishman-Hillard’s Deborah Saw gives me a fascinating insight about life inside the YCL.

Following recent revelations about Peter Mandelson’s flirtation

with the Young Communist League, Fleishman-Hillard’s Deborah Saw gives

me a fascinating insight about life inside the YCL.



Saw, a chum of Mandelson’s at Hendon County Grammar School, recalls: ’In

the early 1970s, there was a whole group of YCL members at the school:

they were like Young Conservatives but without the checked sports

jackets.



’They gave out pamphlets, listened to interminable speeches about ’the

struggle’ and dialectic materialism, and saw loads of dreary slide-shows

about life in the Eastern Bloc - which probably explains why no-one

became a fully fledged communist.’



Revealing evidence of sedition that escaped even M15, Saw tells me

Mandelson was instrumental in bringing down the school’s prefect system

- despite, or possibly because of, being one himself.



’There was loads of agitation and sixth form meetings about the system

and how it was elitist and undemocratic,’ says Saw, who tells me she was

’too radical’ to be a prefect. And sure enough, in the highest

traditions of political fixing: ’Shortly afterwards, the headmaster

abolished it.’



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