IS Lord Mandelson missing the limelight? The dark prince was all over the forum like a rash yesterday, hot-footing it from one engagement to another.
Before any sign of sun was showing through the thick snowclouds covering Davos yesterday, Mandy suited and booted for a breakfast hosted by WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell.
Demonstrating the incisive political nous for which the investment bank Lazard no doubt pays him a handsome advisory fee, Mandelson offered his views on topics ranging from the Russian President Dmitri Medvedev – “weak, hasn’t really made a mark” – to the reason that German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains popular – because she has avoided giving excessive hand-outs to “garlic-eating tax-dodgers in the south of Europe”.
But there was one topic on which he was most reluctant to hold forth.
Direct as ever, Sir Martin mentioned that some commentators haven’t been so kind about Mandy’s current party leader Ed Miliband.
“Have they?” said the dark prince nonchalantly. “I’ve been travelling.”
Barclays chairman Marcus Agius doubled over with laughter.
But HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver had places to be: he was soon trying to sneak out via the kitchen.