If Peter Mandelson has an historical parallel, it is Robespierre, the architect of the Terror. Without his zeal and cool passion for the right of the French people, the ancien regime would almost certainly have reasserted itself in some way. His defence of the ideals of the revolution was absolute and unmoving. It won him no friends, and eventually swallowed him. It would be a tragedy for Labour if it were to do the same to the architect of its own revolution.