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Author Topic: Peter Mandelson and the avocado dip
Billy Biggles
Deck the Malls


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This will mean less than sod all to anybody outside the UK, but let's give it a twirl anyway.

The story is that Peter Mandelson when he was making his face known in Hartlepool (a quaint fishing village on the banks of the river Tees in England) went to a fish and chip shop* for a meal to bolster his proletarian credentials. He pointed to the mushy peas and said "And I'll have some of the avocado dip with it."

I've never believed this story, but I tend to use it whenever Mandelson gets into the news. Mooching around this evening on tne interweb worldnet thingy, I found this site. Apparently it wasn't Mandelson who originally said it but an American businessman's daughter who was working for Jack Straw at the time of a hard-fought by-election.

quote:
Working from a disused office in what had been the industrial quarter of Kirby before recession had reduced it to a brick-strewn wasteland, thier only source of food was a chippie nearby in a small row of shops where the shutters stayed up all day as a precaution against vandals... it was so very different from the home life of Shelley Keeling, daughter of a wealthy East Coast American businessman, who was completing her studies by spending a year working in the parliamentary office of Jack Straw, who was in Knowsley North as the candidate's political advisor. One day, a party researcher named Julian Eccles.. invited her to the chippie to taste the local fare. Sunk into the counter was a large metal dish containing something green and viscous. 'That looks delicious; is it avocado?' she enquired. It was mushy peas.
Kirby is actually Kirkby, but we can overlook that for the minute,

The site goes on to say
quote:
The mushy peas make one more mysterious appearance, however. Peter Mandelson was for a time employed by the Labour Party as director of communications. He was responsible, amongst other things, for introducing the red rose symbol for the Party as a replacement for the red flag. On his departure from that post in 1990, Neil Kinnock, then Labour leader, gave a short, well-wishing speech to thank Mandelson, in which he recounted the story of the mushy peas and claimed Mandelson was the mistaken apparatchik involved. Kinnock appeared to be basing his story - not at this point generally connected to Mandelson - on an account printed in The People's political column a month before. The columnist had retold the tale, placing the peas in Hartlepool with Mandelson - whilst denying that this had ever occurred, of course, but keeping the rumour alive nontheless. The columnist's name? Peter Mandelson.
Which means, if it means anything, that Mandy appropriated the quote for himself to show his toff friends** that he really wasn't familiar with working-class culture and could be trusted not to, oh I don't know, help ban hunting with dogs for example.

As I say, this is probably unimportant to anybody oputside the UK, but if you can't be archaeological on Snopes, where are you supposed to go?


(* Eating fish and chips is a standard trick to show you're jiggy with the homies. When President Bush visited the UK last year, he had fish and chips with the beloved Tony in a pub in Durham. With nobody else present. Except the mass media. And nee fooking riffraff from the toon.)

**There are some people who believe that Mandelson, cheerily accepting money from millionaires so he can buy a pad in Notting Hill, or cosying up to Indian arms dealers who need British passports, is not quite conected enough with the working class. I am not of this party. The man is a brick.

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Cogito ergo sum, non sum qualis eram. Putting Descartes before the Horace every time.

Posts: 377 | From: East Anglia, UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Every Brit knows what mushy peas are regardless of 'class'- they are even served at Eton and I know for a fact the Queen Mother was partial to a spoonful with the Royal Pie and Mash, though I can believe a non-Brit hazarding a quick guess as to what the pot of green mush might just be [Wink]

As for Mandy, well, i'd quite like to hold his head under a mess of mushy peas until the bubbles stopped, but i've never been one for politics [Smile]

Come to think of it - Guacomole 'would' be quite nice with good chip shop chips with salt and vinegar.....

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Regina Felangie
I'm Screaming of a White Christmas


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hmm i have been in the presence of people who have thought that guacamole was mushy peas!

seems like it works both ways!

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You know my bip-bopping days are over, I hung my boots up and retired, from the disco floor.

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Kuzibah
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Well, the one about the American businessman's daughter is pretty understandable, since mushy peas are almost never served here, and she'd probably never seen them. If she was younger than 30, she'd probably seen guacamole at most parties she'd been to, so an understandable guess.

As Regina said above, it would probably go the other way with a Brit visiting the U.S.

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Billy Biggles **There are some people who believe that Mandelson, cheerily accepting money from millionaires so he can buy a pad in Notting Hill, or cosying up to Indian arms dealers who need British passports, is not quite conected enough with the working class. I am not of this party. The man is a brick.


You see, that's a word that has fallen out of usage. I once told one of my employees that they were a brick for working late, and they thought I said something else and reacted with anger. Took quite a while to smooth things out.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
As Regina said above, it would probably go the other way with a Brit visiting the U.S.
I think 'most' Brits would be aware that the bowl of cold green stuff next to the chips and other dips was not in fact mushy peas Kuzibah [Wink]

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I have been told the "guacamole" story not in relation to Mandy but as a genuine FOAF tale.

My friend, who is from the North East of England (and whose solid working class credentials are therefore unquestionable etc etc) passed on a story told to her by a friend about a night out in Newcastle with some rather posh acquaintances. The evening culminated in a visit to one of the city's chippies.

As the party wended its way homeward (towards Jesmond or some such suburb), a cry was heard: "ROSIE! Where did you get the guacaMOLE?!"

I heard that version a long while before I heard the Mandy version, but the Knowsley by-election version places it much earlier :-)

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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Kuzibah
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
quote:

As Regina said above, it would probably go the other way with a Brit visiting the U.S.

I think 'most' Brits would be aware that the bowl of cold green stuff next to the chips and other dips was not in fact mushy peas Kuzibah
Honestly, never having seen mushy peas in my life, I have no idea where they might turn up, but I do know I've seen guacamole served on plates at dinner. Usually alongside the pico de gallo and grilled corn and chipotle salad. [Smile]

But I apologize for my ignorance of what dishes have crossed the Atlantic. I didn't think Tex-Mex had migrated off the continent yet.

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Regina Felangie
I'm Screaming of a White Christmas


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haha yes its in pretty much every dip selection packs in supermarkets and you get it over nachos at most restaurants, eg. wetherspoons [Big Grin] [Razz]

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You know my bip-bopping days are over, I hung my boots up and retired, from the disco floor.

Posts: 775 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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