Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mandelson the Bully

The attached article in the First Post shows another sample of Mandelson's behaviour in Government that should raise more concerns on his appointment as Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

It looks at his "misjudgement" in being associated with Russian Billionaire Oleg Deripaska, and then looks at how he was bullying the tiny state of Guyana. The First Post says

One of Mandelson's last acts as EU Trade Commissioner was to threaten Guyana, one of the poorest countries in the world, with financial penalties that could amount to €70m a year because the Guyanese government has so far refused to join an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the European Union.

Guyana has criticised various "anti-developmental" conditions of the agreement, including the relaxation of barriers on foreign investment and clauses on intellectual property rights that would make it more difficult for Caribbean countries to patent their own generic medicines.

The First Post also comments that it is
No wonder that a report commissioned by the EU's rotating president, Nicolas Sarkozy, condemned the tactics - "pressure, paternalism and threats" - used by the EU commission during these negotiations.
So here we have Mandelson doing what he does best bullying and cajoling the "little" people into doing what he wants with various threats. This is exactly what he did in his previous times in British Government and why he has been brought back in a cynical move by Gordon Brown, to be the Labour Heavy after Gordon's failed attempts.

The report in the First Post also finishes off with the following

For Mandelson, ­ like the New Labour project itself, ­ symbolises the bullying arrogance of the neo-liberal creed that has dominated the world for the last three decades.

It is a world in which powerful countries prise open the economies of the poorest so that private corporations can control their food, their water and their electricity, where governments claim to be powerless to intervene in the workings of the 'free market' and yet are suddenly able to produce undreamt-of sums of money to bail out banks when they fail - our banks, not those of Russia, Argentina or Thailand which once went to the wall without receiving any bail-outs or offers of assistance.

We may well wonder at the motives of Gordon Brown for bringing one of his former political enemies back into the government. But as we shake our heads at the cynicism and moral blankness of the "prince of darkness" we might pause to consider that these vices are not just his: ­ they are part and parcel of the system that allows such men to flourish.
Not only should we consider how Mandy can be brought back but, why and how, our system can allow this to happen to a twice disgraced politician who appears to have sucked more bonuses from the system than many of the erstwhile bankers we have seen pilloried in the press in the last few days.

How Guyana brought out the bully in Mandelson | Opinion | The First Post:

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