I can’t quite work out if this is a social faux pas to admit, but I love it when Lord Mandelson is on the Today programme. He’s so cool and he brooks no nonsense from the journalists. Other politicians including the prime minister always seem to metaphorically walk away from broadcasts on this programme with their hair ruffled and their ties slightly askew from the encounter. But I imagine Lord Mandelson’s nails are as perfectly manicured at the end as they were at the start of any interview, and not a hair is displaced in his coiffure after any verbal battles he engages in.
He was on this morning, and listening to him so scathingly put down Nick Robinson and then (I imagine without the aid of a pocket Roget’s Thesaurus) avoiding saying the word ‘cuts’, was so entertaining I nearly missed my bus. Whether you like him or not, you’ve got to admit he’s got intelligence, wit, skill and style when it comes to politics that far outstrips anyone else.