For me, the most interesting narrative – the only interesting narrative – of the story concerning George Osborne, Peter Mandelson, Oleg Deripaska and Nat Rothschild is this: Don’t mess with Mandelson.
It appears to be his revenge for the leaked private conversation from a Corfu taverna that caused embarrassment when he was recalled to the UK government. That’s certainly the angle taken by the Daily Mail. In revenge, Mandelson – through friends – has turned the news spotlight on George Osborne.
I don’t expect this story to run and run, though the BBC’s Nick Robinson thinks it may still have legs. At times in the last 24 hours, it has seemed this is the biggest story on the BBC since the Large Bank-run Collider.
For students who may not recall his earlier role in the creation of New Labour, the noble lord is sometimes viewed as a ‘prince of darkness’ – a modern Machiavelli.