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Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, member of the British Privy Council. Known as The Prince of Darkness, The Dark Lord, The Dark Prince and Mandy. While working hidden behind the scenes, he was largely responsible for his (previously losing) party's victory in '97, updating its image to appeal to the electorate, and covertly running the campaign from a 'tiny office with a three-legged chair, propped up by books'.
While the Labour government was in power he always maneuvered himself into positions of massive influence, simply by not wanting to have the top job. He was forced to resign twice for scandals that he was embroiled in, but he's such a useful figure that he always ends up coming back.
The second time he resigned, he became among the most powerful men in the EU Commission. When his tenure came to an end, the government brought him back yet again, and he ran the country behind the scenes, collecting titles and government departments to add to his power. The position he held meant nobody could question his political actions unless he allowed them.
His last title while in government was The Right Honourable the Baron Mandelson of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and of Hartlepool in the County of Durham, First Secretary of State, Lord President of the Privy Council and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Even after his party's eventual third term defeat in 2010, people are still whispering rumours of his comeback, such is the power of the myth behind the man.
As of his latest return to government, before the 2010 election, a member of the House of Lords.
Along with the more overtly belligerent Alastair Campbell (a later addition to the team), one of New Labour's most prominent spin doctors.
Interestingly, Mandelson is also the grandson of Herbert Morrison, a prominent Labour cabinet minister of the 1940s. In the Blood?
- Arguably, his memoir The Third Man in which he manages to write nearly 800 pages about the Blair years without once using the phrase "in the national interest"
- The Deal
- Mo, the Mo Mowlam biopic, notable for Julie Walters describing him to his face as a "complete shit"
Elements of his character are found in not one, not two, but three different characters on The Thick of It, with Malcolm Tucker being a combination of him and Alistair Campbell and Julius Nicholson and Steve Fleming being blends of Mandelson, Lord Adonis, and John Birt.
Examples of tropes applied to Peter Mandelson in Media:
- Ambiguously Jewish: Accused in 2003 by Tam Dalyell of being part of a "Jewish cabal" of advisors to Tony Blair. Mandelson's response:
"Apart from the fact that I am not actually Jewish, I wear my father's parentage with pride. As for Tam, he is as incorrigible as ever."
- Adam Westing: the TV ads for his memoirs, if not his entire media persona since his latest return to UK politics.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty: The guacamole/mushy peas incident. Apparently.
- The Cat Came Back: His first appointment to Cabinet was greeted with a notable chorus of "Oh no, not him"; his subsequent returns after two supposedly career-ending scandals and resignations were met with loud "Not again"s. See also Rory Bremner's version.
- The Charmer: To some
- Cozy Voice for Catastrophes
- Dark Lord: Has actually used the term himself.
- Demonization: Literally: it's become common practice among satirists to talk about him as though he were a malevolent supernatural entity. This has been completely embraced by him with his public persona.
- Dissonant Serenity: a notable feature of his new media persona, where the previous one was more prone to fits of temper.
- Elephant in the Living Room: When Mandelson was outed as gay after a housing scandal, the BBC ordered people to keep quiet about it. Naturally they didn't want to listen.
- Fan Nickname: He's pretty much embraced the "Prince of Darkness" and "Dark Lord" ones. "Mandy", not so much.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Named Peter Benjamin due to his older brother's fondness for Beatrix Potter's rabbit stories.
- Foe Yay: With rival New Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell , and with (now) Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer "Boy" George Osborne, whom he's MindGameShipped since the latter's Corfugate
- He also buried Osborne after the Leader's Debate as evidenced here and in worse quality but including another subsequent jab here . And then again over the chancellors' debate. Not forgetting his "Boy George is sailing close to the wind" jab in his speech to the Labour conference (shown here after Memetic Mutation).
- Ho Yay: Frequently portrayed as having an All Love Is Unrequited version of this towards Tony Blair during the "Cool Britannia" years.
- The Humphrey
- Kicked Upstairs: And survived.
- Lean and Mean: fits this trope to a T, and is considered by many to be partly the basis for Cicero in Robert Harris's novels, and oddly shares some traits with Lord Vetinari.
- Licked by the Dog / Pet the Dog: Ok, so you might disagree with his tactics or his politics, but if Labrador puppies love him (and vice versa), who is anyone else to argue?
- anyway, what is this with politicians and dogs? David Cameron had himself photographed with huskies, of all things. Jeremy Thorpe didn't benefot from his association with a certain rottweiler, come to that...
- The Man Behind the Man: Widely portrayed (also by himself) as this to Neil Kinnock, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.
- Magnificent Bastard: he's pretty much the modern-day reincarnation of Machiavelli.
- Manipulative Bastard
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It (a mixture of him and Alistair Campbell). Sebastian from Little Britain, on the other hand, not so much.
- Real Men Wear Pink
- Reassigned to Antarctica: The British press have tended to see his time with the European Union as either this or a sinecure, though there might be other ways of seeing it.
- Given the way Mandelson became one of the first British EU officials to seriously punch his weight enough to remain in the news, declaring and winning a trade war with the United States, it can be argued this turned into Reassignment Backfire.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness
- Sissy Villain: see Unfortunate Implications
- Smug Snake: Beginning to see a pattern?
- The Starscream: especially towards Gordon Brown, though see Ho Yay, above: this is usually mixed with some combination of Enigmatic Minion, Wild Card and Lovable Traitor.
- Straight Gay: Very much so.
- Too Clever by Half: And yes, has been known to be so sharp he cuts himself. Expect outbreaks of Break the Haughty glee on the part of British media when this happens.
- Unfortunate Implications: The "Mandy" and "Prince of Darkness" nicknames, only the latter of which he has reclaimed in any way. And good luck weaving through the various satirical depictions of him for one that doesn't have undercurrents of homophobia, anti-semitism, or more general suggestions that he's lacking in wholesome Britishness or manliness, and/or a sinister social climber who likes to pal around with dubious oligarchs.
- Once described by Guardian columnist Simon Hoggart as "the only man I know who can skulk in broad daylight", and repeatedly by conservative columnist Richard Littlejohn as resembling "Iago as played by Kenneth Williams". Repeatedly portrayed by both Spitting Image and Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell with the body of a flesh-coloured snake.
See also portrayals on: