It is hardly every day that one feels compelled to defend Peter Mandelson. However, when he is accused of ignorance and obnoxiousness by a purveyor of sentimental Irish American drivel its hard not to feel a pang of sympathy for Labour’s ‘dark lord’.
Niall O’Dowd criticises Mandelson’s conduct as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, endorsing Bertie Ahern’s contention that he hampered the peace process.
If acknowledging the existence of a view which contradicted Republicans’ nationalist orthodoxies and recognising that Sinn Féin / IRA did not comprise a trustworthy group, comprised a road block to progress, then Mandelson erected that obstacle.
Actually the former Secretary of State helped build trust between unionists and the Labour administration. But no doubt the Irish American view is that he was guilty of encouraging ‘false consciousness’ by listening to two sides, rather than one.