sceptical ahead of Monday's crucial hearing
ahead of Monday's crucial European Parliament grilling of UK Euro
Commission nominee Peter Mandelson, Euro-MPs from the SNP and Plaid Cymru
have expressed scepticism that the controversial politician will be able
to convince MEPs he's up to the job.
nominee for a job in the new 25 member Commission has to undergo a three
hour hearing before a special European Parliament committee, before the
full parliament takes a vote to accept or reject the whole Commission
later this month. Nevertheless, a negative view on a particular candidate
could force a premature reshuffle or in exceptional circumstances a
request for a new candidate to be put forward.
candidate has been required to complete comprehensive questionnaires set
out by MEPs ahead of the hearings. But the SNP and Plaid Cymru MEPs have
expressed disappointment at apparent contradictions in Mr Mandelson's
answers and a lack of commitment to remaining independent in his role as a
expect European Commissioners to preserve their independence and remain
impartial when they have important decisions to make. My initial reaction
to Mr Mandelson's attempts to persuade us of his impartiality is one of
some scepticism. In one part of his written evidence he tells us that he
understands the need to remain independent whilst in another part
conspicuously adding the caveat that 'national experiences will shape'
tells us good communication is not about 'spin' before going on to talk
about his experience in creating not Labour but 'New Labour' - the very
epitome of spin! Many MEPs are aware of Mr Mandelson's controversial
reputation and that he's twice had to resign from the UK Government - this
combined with his unconvincing written evidence means that he needs to put
in an exceptional performance on Monday."
(Plaid Cymru) added:
was surprised to see Mr Mandelson referring so blatantly to his
experience creating 'New Labour' in his written evidence, as if this would
be in his favour. He was also less than straightforward in trying to
assure us he could be impartial when it came to a referendum on the
constitutional treaty. In one part of his evidence he says making the case
for the constitution is a job for national governments before rushing to
pledge his 'strong support' for the treaty.
that 'effective communication is not about spin' would be laughable if he
wasn't trying to be so serious - his written evidence is riddled with
'spin' and this is something that certainly won't impress MEPs."
Tony's crony in London and it looks as if nothing much will change in
Brussels. He tells us that he's going to be impartial and then tells us he
won't be resigning as Chairman of the board of Policy Network - a think
tank close to New Labour in conjunction with whom he was chairing a fringe
meeting at the Labour conference just this week. This is hardly the
behaviour of someone who wants to assert his political independence.
about his experience in Government he says 'my experience as a minister
was shorter than I would have wished' - he will need to perform very
convincingly on Monday or I fear that his experience as a Commissioner
may be even shorter."