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Peter Mandelson is a star in a lacklustre EU commission. But his emnity with Gordon Brown is weakening his position. The chancellor himself also has a lot to learn about Brussels PR

By Manneken Pis   May 2007

Mandelson’s own goal

Not for the first time, Peter Mandelson has been at his worst when handling his own publicity. In telling the BBC that he would not seek a second term as trade commissioner and would stand down in 2009, Mandelson aimed to make a pre-emptive strike against his old enemy Gordon Brown. Because he was going anyway, Mandelson said, Brown would be unable to sack him when he gets into No 10.

This intervention seems increasingly ill-judged. In Brussels, a commissioner’s political weight is linked in part to his domestic contacts, and Mandelson has drawn attention to…

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