Another day, another Tory diary. I thought the bitchiness of our natural born rulers was well exposed in Sacha Swire’s magnum opus (Diary of an MP’s Wife, see blog 8th January 2021) but I think former minister Sir Alan Duncan’s contribution (In The Thick Of It) caps Sacha’s. I’m still ploughing my way through it, but this entry caught my eye: (Thursday 23rd March 2017) ’Dinner at Peter Mandelson’s house off Regent’s Park with a bunch of people from Lazard. Time with Peter Mandelson is never dull.’ (They obviously meet/met often?) An earlier entry (10th January 2017) sees our hero meeting ‘former MP Archie Norman at the airport. He is now chairman of Lazards. He said Labour’s wily supremo Peter Mandelson was speaking warmly of me the other day. Oops . . worrying!’ Mandelson is a ‘senior advisor’ to Lazards, so we can guess what a part of that role entails. Given Duncan’s deep ties with Gulf oil states, one can see how a chat with him would help Lazards self-declared expertise ‘We are skilled at managing complex projects in the infrastructure sector, such as mining, oil and gas, power, transport, and other vital areas. We advise from start to finish, including investor mobilization, coordination, and monitoring, as well as all aspects of project financing.’ (Lazards website) Perhaps it is down to people like Lazards, with their ‘senior advisors’ and chums which explains why post-pandemic global fossil fuel investments continue to outstrip those in renewable energy. No doubt following their own good advice Lazards' registered HQ is in Bermuda. (‘Bermuda is world's worst corporate tax haven, says Oxfam’ Guardian, Monday 12th December 2016). Oh what a carefree life! And this is the advisor you think you need, Starmer? But at least Mandelson seems to have turned a blind eye to Duncan’s highly creditable pro-Palestinian sympathies. I wonder if that might confuse Sir Kier?
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