Arch spin doctor Peter Mandelson, famous for pulling the strings and managing the Macchiavellian machinations of the recently-defeated New Labour government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, has stirred up a few political hornets and set the chattering classes a-chittering with the publication of his memoir 'The Third Man' just eight weeks after the general election, writes Carlo Ponzi, Rule by Fear & Bewilderment Correspondent.
And "Mandy" mania will soon scale hitherto-unconquered Himalayan peaks of hysteria, according to an expert in politics and public relations. For Peter Mandelson, having done his worst in the shadowy recesses of the UK government's corridors of power and smoke-filled, beer-and-sandwich-replete meeting rooms (stop that: you're not being paid by the cliche - Ed.), is now set to ply his dark arts in that hotbed of arcane chicaneries and medieval monstrosities, the Vatican.
It is widely thought, by those who think such widely-thought wide thoughts widely, that the Pope, increasingly dismayed by negative publicity, is seeking to 'sex up' the Vatican's lumbering public relations operation, which has seen no significant evolution since the dark ages. It is believed, by those who hold such believed beliefs, that the Vatican is beginning to realise that it needs to say 'Ciao' to the 21st century, communications-wise.
The recent furore surrounding the Vatican's declaration that the ordination of women is a "crime against sacraments" while paedophilia is a mere "crime against morals" (which would mean that an attempt to ordain a woman as a priest would be punishable by instant excommunication, whereas a perpetrator of child sex abuse would only be subject to defrocking and internal disciplines), has finally pushed the Papal Office into the modern age, as far as PR goes (not very far I take it - Ed.).
We spoke to Johannes Victor-Lustig, Visiting Professor of Malignant Narcissism at the University of Rottingdean and author of "Feeding the Malignant Narcissist: Democracy and the Free Media as Narcissistic Supply". He told us that Papal Emissaries are already likely to be in touch with Mandelson, in early attempts to woo him.
'Peter Mandelson, he will fit the profile exactly of the man that the Vatican will be seeking now', said Professor Victor-Lustig. "The Pontiff, he has seen how Mandelson was able to make the New Labour out of the old Michael Foot-tainted dinosaur hated by all. He has seen the skills of the so-called "Dark Lord", who has transformed even the socialism into something indistinguishable from the free-market capitalist conservatism. This is the very man to sell the Roman Catholic Church as a modern institution filled with lovely politically-correct fluffy things, while underneath this, the Inquisition still operates its reign of terror and mystifications.
'Further, it will not have escaped the attention of His Holiness and the Cardinals that Peter Mandelson he, how you say, "is batting for the other tennis players, or is it football" (it's cricket actually, but who's counting? - Ed.)? So he will understand the evil of women and the beauties and mystical significances of the pure masculine forms; and the sacramental satisfactions and bliss that a priest can only obtain from an innocent altar boy who gladly sacrifices his body and his psychological health and his ability to have a happy life for the sake of the sacramental urges of the priest who has shunned the devilish lures of the female form.
'The Vatican will judge that only a man such as Peter Mandleson can understand the mysteries, for he is one who, as you say, "plays his cards with the other hand", or is it the dominoes, or perhaps the shoved half pence pieces? (oh do me a favour! - Ed.)?'
If Professor Victor-Lustig is correct - and who would gain-say such an expert, in the current political and spiritual climate? - then Peter Mandelson's career is certainly far from finished. There are many who will not be surprised if the "Dark Lord" makes a comeback, though they are bound to be somewhat taken aback when they discover for whom he is working his black magic.