Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Mandelson Pussycat

The radio is on and Peter Pussycat Mandelson is being interviewed by Evan Davis. I find my entire metabolism goes into shudder mode. My organs freeze up. What a repulsive, reptilean, slime the man is!

I know this is short. I know I am not arguing the case. I am just registering this in the way a thermometer registers a dip in the temperature of the room. The method is to talk over every question, patronise the interviewer (and so the listener too), talk only about what you want to talk about (which is only about the other side, nothing about your side), refuse to answer any questions, and then - having occupied 95% of the time - complain about not being able to get a word in edgeways. He is a cross between a sarcastic schoolteacher, a gangland boss and the traditional snake-oil salesman.

He is asked about the effect of the current recession on the poor. Just remind me of the place from which he has just returned on holiday?

Oh yes, Corfu with Nat Rothschild.

If anyone in the world could persuade me to vote Tory it would be Mandelson.

*Just a little further reminder of Mandelson, Rothschild, Osborne from The Guardian of 22 October last year.

Osborne, who was backed last night by his leader, David Cameron, was forced to admit he had been involved in a conversation at the villa of financier Nat Rothschild about the way a donation could be secured from Deripaska.

On a day of extreme political danger for Osborne, Rothschild, a regular fundraiser for the Conservatives, revealed he was willing to go to court to prove his claim that Osborne had not only wanted to secure a donation from the Russian, but had been party to discussions as to how this could be made legal.

Bold type courtesy of myself.


While on politics I picked this up from Norm, via Freemania. It's a How British Are You test. The questions, so it says, are from the actual British citizenship test. I failed with 71% (70.8% to be precise), the pass mark being 75%. Norm? Hah! A mere 58% Clearly a foreigner, not up to Hungaro-British standard!

On the other hand 86% of actual Brits fail. But seeing as they're Brits the failure will have been valiant.

I would be curious to know how people reading this have fared / might fare. Freemania has a very smug grin on his 87.5% face.



Kind J from Cambridge University Library, who is in fact my archivist - the man to whom I passed all those box-files of letters and who put them into order and, what is more, turned flittering bits of Szirtesiana into a very flattering exhibition at the library last year - writes to say he scored 100%, thereby blowing Freemania clear out of the water.

ps I now suspect J is a spy. It is Cambridge, after all. And it's too good, J. Too damn good. I think J is really Colley Cibber and I claim my £5.00!


Mark Granier said...

Yes, he he has the attributes of an absolute shit, a consummate player (and I would be surprised if the Conservatives didn't have a few like him in their ranks). He'd be a marvelous character for a novel or film, like Francis Urquhart in House of Cards, a plum role. I remember being utterly disgusted at his antics in the 1980s: didn't he back-stab a Labour pol (was it Peter Tatchell?) for smoking dope?

Nicole S said...

I failed with a modest 66 per cent. How are we first-generation Brits supposed to know these things? Strange there were no cricket questions, which would have helped out poor old Norm. I wonder how Mandelson would do. His sheer effrontery made me laugh out loud this morning. Not just un-British, but from another planet.

Anonymous said...

58%. Alas, I had better sling my hook.

George S said...

Mandelson seems to be almost entirely substanceless. I cannot for the life of me begin to see what his values are, what he genuinely feels or thinks about anything. He is as close to the idea of the hollow man as I have known. A repulsive outside with nothing in it. I never really thought that about Blair - I thought he had a kind of religious gleam. He believed in what he was doing some of the time. But Mandelson? The ultimate postmodern product: all code and no meaning. He is homo baudrillardianus. Pomo Mandy.

Billy C said...

70.83%. I must be Hungaro-British too. Even with that score, I have to admit that I made an educated guess at a couple of the questions.

Mandelson. An utter shit, and worthy, well worthy, of every criticism directed at him. I wouldn't let my dog sleep with him.

George S said...

Billy, you are precisely as British as I am. Now I must find a quiz that tests how Hungarian I am. Is there a test for Stokieness?

George S said...

Billy, you are precisely as British as I am. Now I must find a quiz that tests how Hungarian I am. Is there a test for Stokieness?

Billy C said...

"Is there a test for Stokieness?"

I think you'd make a great Stokie, George, if you could cast off that awful burden of supporting...(I cannot bring myself to utter the words.) It's all about ducking a diving at the right moment. You seem to have it honed to a fine art. *insert winkey smile*

thijsw said...

I passed with 91%. I am a Dutchman, spent all my 63 years in Holland, excluding a few short holidays in the UK. Admittedly I read British newspapers on the internet and of course I'm addicted to this blog. But still I wonder about the Dutchiness of Britishness.

George S said...

I think you and J at Cambridge are dangerous people, Thijs. The true test of being British is being utterly ignorant of the requirements of life in Britain. Such requirements should have to come as a happy surprise to a proper Brit.

With an unwritten constitution and almost a thousand years of unconquered history the chief problem is not to fall asleep in contemplating the grandeur of it all.

It took fifty two years of living in England for me to gain the proper degree of ignorance I am now proud to possess. I fear I am still too close to passing the test and therefore revealing myself as a foreigner or spy.