Like many decent people in the United Kingdom, I have always been puzzled, though unsurprised, by the fact that Peter Mandelson managed to get himself sacked for sleaze and then get another major Cabinet post with indecent haste, his sleaze notwithstanding, and then get the chop for a bit of chicanery over a passport for a couple of foreign johnnies, only to land a nice little earner as an EU Commissioner, notwithstanding being a sleaze bag.

The obvious question was what sort of a hold did he have over Tony Blair, liar and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, that he should have been able to avoid two blows of the stake through the heart that would have killed off almost any other career?

So I am intrigued by this little story from Spectator (here), in an interview with Barrister and Countryman’s heroine Clarissa Dickson-Wright who knew Blair at the bar at a time when young Barristers always find it hard to pay the rent at Chambers:

And then there’s Tony Blair. ‘He was a few years younger than me but I remember him well. He was very glib, a chancer and, you know, he wasn’t really respected by anyone of my generation. Everybody used to say, it’s just as well he’s going into politics because he’ll never succeed at the Bar. We used to call him Miranda.’ Because he was wet? ‘No, no, he wasn’t called Miranda because he was wet, ducky!’ Clarissa guffaws impatiently. ‘Remember that scene in The Tempest when Miranda sees the sailors? Well then. He got on conspicuously well with all the male junior clerks. Everybody knew it.’ But he’s married now, I say. ‘So are a lot of people.’

Whatever can she mean? Sniggers and answers on the back of a beer mat, real ale only, please!

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