We used to be neighbours of Ken Clarke. His reputation in the locale was not altogether positive, he was known as a man who never let anyone get a word in edge-ways. Bombastic was the word most often used.
Tonight on Chanel 4 there was a fascinating chance to see Clarke and Mandelson in open debate.
Whatever has happened to Ken? I am loath to admit it, but Peter Mandelson ran rings round him in terms of presentation. He spoke over him, interrupted him, used his body language to devastating effect, leaning forward at just the right angle so that Ken was permanently obscured from the camera.
Jon Snow made little attempt to control proceedings, posing questions to Clarke and then allowing Mandelson to drown out his answer with the ‘Mandy’ version.
If you listened intently to Clarke, what he was saying made sense, more sense than Mandy’s spin and froth, but in terms of the impression left on most viewers, I hate to admit it, but Mandy won that one hands down.
He completely dominated the interview – I would have put money on Ken making mincemeat of him – but have been sadly disappointed…
The video is in two parts for some reason, and very slow to load.