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48 business and finance

the voice of Yorkshire

In this issue Sir David Jones takes a look at Peter Mandelson’s book The Third Man and asks why we still have a lot to smile about in the world of sport despite our World Cup collapse in South Africa.

circumstances want to add to his bank balance by buying his book, The Third Man, but the arrogance of his TV commercial coupled with the novelty of reading a book on my newly acquired iPAD got the better of me.

The truth is out there… somewhere I

am not a fan of Lord Mandelson, and therefore would

not under normal

between them was Blair apparently going back on his word to hand over to Brown in 2005 – strange, I always thought that the Political Parties or the electorate had the prerogative to select the leader of the Government not the outgoing Prime Minister. The entire sad story confirms what I

have always thought - most politicians are incapable of running the country because they have not had the experience nor the training to run anything! Of course, the same applies to Mr.

Cameron but he is trying to make up for his lack of experience by calling on successful businessmen like Sir Philip Green and Lord Simon Wolfson for their views. I managed to buy a copy of Tony Blair’s

new book. At the start he states that: “I wanted this book to be different from the traditional memoir. Most such memoirs are, I have found rather easy to put down.” This obvious swipe at Mandelson’s

book achieves nothing, other than to confirm the vanity of the author. I have met four Prime Ministers on many

I have to admit that it is a very good

read - I could not put it down and read it in less than two days – it is a well written, easy to read commentary of

the Blair/

Brown years. At the moment I believe that if the

three of them did conspire to create New Labour, Mandelson was the one who had the political heritage and the intellectual capacity to achieve it. I think that Mandelson considered it to be his destiny to create a new direction for the Labour Party whereas for Blair and Brown it was the route to achieve their political ambition. Unfortunately both Prime Ministers are

portrayed as being without character and being prepared to “throw their toys out of their pram” if anyone disagreed with them. Time and time again it is reported by Mandelson that Blair and Brown had arguments and that

instead of sorting

out their differences as grown men each of them complained to Mandelson about the other. The major cause of antagonism

occasions, usually at small breakfast meetings. Mrs Thatcher impressed me enormously when I met her in her first term, but when I met her in1987 she had changed to the extent that she stopped listening to good advice; the ill-fated Poll Tax being the best example that she believed she could not be wrong. The last time I met her was a few months after she lost the leadership, and what was so sad was that she acted and spoke as though she was still Prime Minister. Mr Blair impressed me as an actor.

In his book he comes across as a weak person who will blame everyone but himself for the difficulties he faced. His character was so flawed that he could not cope with his Chancellor and turned to drink for comfort. Mr Brown in my view never had

the character or ability to run the Government. The best Prime Minister? Undoubtedly John Major

- despite his

love life! He knew the facts and had a thorough understanding of the issues, but unfortunately lacked the devious mind that all successful politicians must have.


here has been so much good sport to watch on television over the last few months with many outstanding performances – I would like mention two – The Football World Cup in South Africa – Spain won the cup but the real winner was South Africa who hosted an almost perfect tournament with the only downside being those confounded horns!

The least said about England’s performance the better. Mr Rooney, who earns in a week what the Prime Minister earns in a year has got to realise that play well and you are cheered, play rubbish and you are jeered. The most heart warming story was about the group of England supporters who, although disappointed by our early exit stayed on to help rebuild a village. But the sporting event that impressed the most was the European Athletic Championship and Great Britain’s performance. My interest in athletics peaked in the golden era of Ovett and Coe and has been drifting downhill ever since. But in the European Championships the interest was fuelled by many terrific performances – I can’t wait for the 2012 Olympics in London! The point is, Mr.Rooney , we applaud effort even if we don’t win

– I remember the great Linford Christy disappointing his followers by coming third in the 100 meters – until it was pointed out that he had run faster in that race than he had ever done.

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