Mandelson was crowned Politician of the Year by the Spectator yesterday. His return from the wilderness and accumulation of power quicker than anyone could say "mortgage loan" was truly stunning. If you ever doubt Mandelson's snakelike charm and silver tongue, just read his dangerously disarming, self-deprecating, but ultimately hard hitting acceptance speech yesterday via
Left Food Forward:
“Thank you Fraser.TB hates him, but damn it, you got to respect him.
It is a great honour to be the first winner of this prestigious award to come from outside the ranks of the Bullingdon Club since 2006.
I am not sure what the collective noun for Bullingdon Club members is – I am looking for the word. I know its not chumps.
Anyway, I am sure it will come to me. On which subject, I am pleased to be following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, the Mayor of London.
Winning this award is another thing to add to the list of things I have in common with Boris.
Both of us have spent happy years working in Brussels. Both of us have come back from very public resignations. And, of course, both of us share a driving ambition to do all we can to undermine David Cameron.
And while we are on the Bullingdon Club theme, I must say it does feel odd being up here this year without George. I missed him on holiday this year as well. Was it something I did?
I have reason to be doubly grateful to The Spectator after they so kindly welcomed me back last year with the Newcomer of the Year Award.
And who would have thought a year on – I would still be in the Cabinet?
So it is with as much relief as pride that I receive the Politician of the Year award today.
I haven’t actually accumulated a new title for at least a few weeks so this is particularly welcome.
Of course, you know me. I am happy to serve in whatever capacity I can be of most use – as I was saying when I just happened to be in Brussels last Friday.
A long planned engagement.
Before I go I want to pay tribute to Matthew D’Ancona for his transformation of The Spectator. And he has a ferociously intelligent – not to say increasingly ubiquitous – successor in Fraser Nelson who I have no doubt will keep all of us on our reforming toes.
Boris and I are testament to the fact that political comebacks are possible.
Which is why I look forward to handing this award over to Gordon Brown next year rather than handing it over to yet another member of the Bullingdon Club.
Once again, many thanks. It is always good to be recognised by my friends on the centre right.”