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Mandelson slip-up confirms eurosceptics’ fears
Business minister Peter Mandelson built his reputation as a sure-footed communicator for the Labour Party, but the former EU trade commissioner suffered a rare slip-up on Friday when he confirmed many eurosceptics’ fears that the European Commission relished its lack of democratic accountability.
“The best principle of the European Commission ever invented was that it should not be elected — that it was remote, unaccountable, a major bureaucracy that could do good for Europe and can take the risks of saying things and doing things that are not as easy to do in the member states,” said Mandelson.
The remarks to French students in Paris were at least partly in jest, and prompted laughter.
Talking more about the benefits of working for the Commission, Mandelson went on: “We’re not elected, we don’t have to think: ‘Oh my God, what are we going to say and do because the public are going to turn us out of office?’”
Not, of course, that Mandelson was suggesting this is the position Labour finds itself in now, with an election due by June and the Conservatives ahead in the polls.