He then proceeded to assert that the NIC increase could actually create jobs (no, really) on the basis that when they did it last time in 2002 employment went up the following year. I was having none of that and pointed out to Lord M that we weren't in a recession then, and that as the only one with a mic on who actually runs a business, if my cost base was added to in this manner it was more likely to encourage me to shed staff than employ new ones. He didn't have an answer to that.
Mandelson exuded total confidence in a display of languidness, the like of which you don't often see. He dismissed Sarah Teather as if she didn't exist. Indeed, he pretended he didn't know who she was at first.
What was noticeable today was that College Green was crawling with Labour politicians plus Vince Cable, Chris Huhne and Ming Campbell. The only Shadow Cabinet members I saw in the two hours or so I was there were Messers Gove and Hague. I got a lot of airtime because there didn't seem to be many Tory politicians for the broadcasters to choose from. To be honest I wasn't comfortable with Teather and Mandelson as I felt an obligation to appear as if I were the official Tory spokesman. Fine, I can carry that off, but I'm far happier speaking for myself. Perhaps it's just as well that I'm not a candidate. If I keep telling myself that, one day I may even come to believe it!
To listen to the clip click HERE and scroll in 1 hr 24 mins. I also got a few minutes at the end 1 hr 57.