Peter Mandelson is to provide political bloggers with exclusive access to archive source material used for his book The Third Man. Those attending a breakfast briefing this Friday will be provided with copies of the documents under a Creative Commons license. These will only be offered to other media after a period of three days.
A source at publishers HarperCollins told Scrapbook:
The material will be a selection of diary entries, letters and memos to and from Peter Mandelson. Some of this material is referenced in the book directly, though not all of it. The papers relate to key points in Peter’s career from the late 1980’s through to the eve of the 1997 election. This material will be released exclusively to a selection of political bloggers at the breakfast on Friday and then to wider media on Monday, along with more material relating to Peter’s career post 1997.
The Times’ serialisation TV spots kicked off at the weekend, casting Mandy as a rather sinister storyteller. Shorter adverts on the Blair/Brown pact and coalition talks are set to run during the week.
Borrowing its title from a screenplay and novella of the same name, similarities with Graham Greene’s “Third Man” take the reference beyond a simple one to Mandelson’s stature within New Labour. A shadowy and ruthless figure who seemed to come back from the dead, the fictional Harry Lime was also given to threatening junior ministers and journalists those who crossed his path.
Remind you of anyone?
UPDATE: The book’s introduction backs up our little theory:
“Through much of our time in government, my influence was exercised largely behind the scenes, sometimes in the shadows – another reason why the title’s echo of Graham Greene’s story of post-war Vienna seemed appropriate.” – The Third Man, p. xvii