The Sunday Times reported this week (here) on disgraced ex-Labour Minister Peter Mandelson who, despite the dishonourable and discreditable circumstances of both his resignations was remarkably given a fat cat job with fat cat salary and fat cat pension arrangements as EU Trade Commissioner by Vanity Blair, has achieved the singular distinction of receiving a reprimand from the EU’s Ombudsman who last week issued a formal censure after a two-year investigation into Mandelson’s refusal to name the lobbyists he had met.

The European ombudsman ruled that Mandelson’s office had been “wrongly blanking out the names of industry lobbyists” in documents released to the public. It said that “disclosure of names of individual lobbyists is essential”. The failure to reveal this information “would constitute an instance of maladministration by the commission”.

Apparently this is standard practice in the corridors of power at EuroNabobery HQ where the all-embracing let off of “data protection” is laughably used to excuse this prevalent bit of secrecy. If there was nothing wrong in any of these relationships there would be absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to be hidden from the general public. So the fact that they go so far in trying to hide the facts of who they are meeting strongly suggests that there is some discreditable reason for their so doing.

But what is worse is that Mandelson remains in post despite being censured for what must, on any view, be seen as a gross act of maladministration.

Of course New Labour apparatchiks are not gentlemen and have no concept of personal honour. Rather they seek the substance and the trappings of high office and once they have their snouts deep in the trough they are deeply unwilling to get them out again: just ask Lord Kinnock whose pension arrangements must be the envy of the age!

Hopefully this scandal will now mature into something more significant and we may yet rejoice in the spectacle of Mandelson’s third resignation for impropriety at which point perhaps the stake will finally be driven through his heart.

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