In 1963, the entertainer Nat King Cole was happily singing about "Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer" and life in the summer, generally, was very agreeable. Earlier that year I had entered the work force, and was involved in my spare time in helping to establish a Folk Club in a nearby town, while somewhere in London an unknown 9 year old boy who was to have a career in politics was just about to get going seriously on his early education, never expecting to be the unwitting star of what is rapidly turning into this summer's entertainment.
I am not sure how you could have missed it, of course, but then affairs of interest to the resident British public is often of only passing interest elsewhere in the globe.
News in the summer months is often scarce. Without any financial crisis to report, the cricket matches involving England are largely over, Wimbledon tennis and Henley rowing, the British Open Golf and the F1 at Silverstone fill the sports pages, and then go. Repeat programmes appear on the TV channels while hot and lethargic paparazzi look for something, anything, to report. And it's all a bit ... slow.
But this year might be an exception - and maybe give someone in Hong Kong an idea as well.
This last week, much to the amusement of large swathes of the British public and certainly the current Government, saw the publication - with almost indecent haste - of the memoirs of one Lord Mandelson. Of course any delay in releasing his book - and particularly after the publication of a set of memoirs from former Prime Minister Blair due to be released in September 2010 - would have significantly reduced the impact of Lord Mandelson's stories. Many senior people, who provided support and encouragement to Mandelson, must now be thinking along the lines of "with you for a friend, who needs enemies?". Lord Mandelson has written a book that will certainly be a best seller - revealing his true feelings towards the leadership of the Labour Party he has so staunchly supported all his life - including quoting phrases from Tony Blair who reportedly described former Prime Minister Gordon Brown as "mad, bad, dangerous and beyond redemption".
Ouch! I suppose one has to ask why he has been so open, so dramatic. Forcing comments from senior party leaders who firmly believe he has overstepped the mark.
Of course he could still be irritated by the fact that as a "Lord" he cannot stand for the role of leader of the Labour Party - perhaps a job he craves - and there are restrictions in place that would prevent, or delay, him being able to relinquish his Peerage. And don't think it is going to end there. I am sure there is going to be indignant retaliation, which is already underway as today's headlines are proclaiming "Millionaire French fixer paid Mandelson £85,000 a year", and another report has focused on Mandelson's role in the release of the "dying" Libyan involved in the Lockerbie bombing, whilst he appears to have angered members of the Royal Family.
The British summer brings with it many opportunities from the stresses and strains of daily life. Entertainment in the shape of elegant opera in places like Glyndbourne, rock concerts at Glastonbury and the ever popular BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. But 2010 has seen the debut of a new light entertainment "soap opera" starring "The Prince of Poison" - as one commentator has dubbed Lord Mandelson as the "baddy" against just about everybody else!
Now, Hong Kong! Elections for a new Chief Executive are coming up in 2012. Who is going to write the "tell all - elect me" tale before the event?