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BBC broadcasts Peter Mandelson’s 1998 ‘outing’

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  1. Bit of a slime-ball me thinks.
    Not a good role model.

  2. Matthew Parris was surprised that so much fuss was made over his remarks – and rightly so. As Mandelson says, he had already been outed years before. His homosexuality was also confirmed by Bryan Gould in his memoirs, which anyone could have purchased at their local branch of Waterstones long before Parris’ statement. I remember being surprised myself by the reaction, since even *I* had known that Mandelson was gay.

    The BBC ban was idiotic. Why would saying someone was gay be an ‘allegation’?

  3. All we have really learned is that gay folk and straight folk are as ordinary as each other. Mandelson is unspecial, uninspiring even, and his sexuality is uninteresting. I suppose it’s news of a sort, but this looks more like journalists making up the news on a slow news day than anything else. Perhaps we should simply rejoice that his sexuality, like that of so many folk, is one of the many shades of ordinary and normal, and bask in our own ordinariness.

  4. Ian – It’s certainly an interesting news item when someone is outed or says they are gay and confrms that ,low and behold, gays exist in the UK at all levels of society ,and some you like and some you don’t, but are they really supposed to be our role models? I hope not…..

  5. Blimey the BBC do love their bloomin repeats!

  6. One of the only things I respect Mandelson for is the fact he never made his sexuality an issue in his political career.

  7. Ive just finished reading his book (on my new iPad – yay!!) and actually to my surprise I find that I really like him and I do think he is inspiring and smart and clever and a good role model.

  8. I beg to differ.

  9. Jess Conrad 18 Aug 2010, 7:22am

    I Saw Matthew Parris (Who Is Also Gay) Say To The NEWSNIGHT Presenter That Mandelson Was Gay…..Total Non-Event!

  10. Sorry Jess, but it wasn’t a “total non-event”.
    When the Tories proposed Section 28 to stop local authorities “promoting” homosexuality, gay journalists (household names from Fleet Street, TV, radio as well as the much less well known gay press corps) met privately each week in Heaven, early in the evening before the club opened to the public thanks to the kindness of David Inches, its manager, to devise a campaign against the scape-goating of gay people. The idea of the group came from Nicky de Jongh of The Guardian. One of the outcomes was a striking full page ad in The Guardian signed by leading public figures in the arts, sciences, politics, sport, and the media to coincide with the House of Lords debate on the amendment. Its effect on the debate was significant even though the Tories’ majority (particularly in the Lords) managed to railroad the obscene law through.
    Peter, even in those days a power behind the throne in the Labour Party, kindly came to one of those meetings to give us good tactical advice on the directions in which the Parliamentary side of the campaign might consider going.
    The meeting he attended was no different from any of the others we held. It took place on the basis of confidentiality. No-one was to be named as having taken part. In this way it attracted prominent journalists who might otherwise have felt their editorial positions to have been compromised if they were publicly identified as campaigning against section 28.
    If Peter was frightened of his homosexuality being known, he would hardly have attended a meeting packed with national journalists.
    Much as I like Matthew, it was wrong of him to breach confidentiality as he did in print by reporting those meetings and Peter’s part in them.
    I for one was rather grateful that Peter, a sophisticated campaigner, took the time and trouble to advise us on how our campaign against section 28 might be made more effective. It’s easy to sneer at him, but how many of your correspondents have stood up to be counted in the way he did? I can name several gay politicians who simply ducked their heads when it came to resisting the Tories’ section 28 and connived in letting that fiercely anti-gay law onto the statute book.
    I wonder whether it has occurred to your readers that Peter might have “hate status” for John Prescott and journalists on the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and other Tory organs because he is gay, and that we may not have been given the full story about the man? How many politicians can you name who have resigned not because they have done anything wrong but because they have been perceived as having done wrong and did not want to damage their party? I think it is possible for a gay man to behave well in public life. Many other people don’t. you can choose for yourself which side you’re on.

  11. I’m afraid I’d have to disagree there Reb. My mother has met the man several times through work and he is rude, nasty and arrogant. He won’t speak to anyone unless a camera is on him and, despite my mother being stood 3 feet away, he once called over one of his security people (from the other side of the room!) and said ‘ask her if she has any whiskey’. He is a really slimey, nasty piece of work unfortunately and a dreadful example

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