Am off to the RSA this evening to listen to Lord Mandy of Dodgy Mortgage give a talk about boosting the British economy and it seems that the talk is proving popular as I had an email earlier this week asking if I wasn’t going to go could I let them know as there is quite a long waiting list for any last minute tickets.

Like most politicians, he is one of those who generates mixed feelings. He certainly deserved the mantle of the Prince of Darkness when spinning for Tony Blair, but since he went to Brussels as EU Trade Commissioner, he has actually proven to be a very capable negotiator and I gather quite good at the job.

Considering how long these things can take to arrange, I would suspect that the talk was set up when he was plain Mr. Mandelson Esq. and lost in Brussels – but as he is now in government as Peter, the Lord Mandelson – I suspect that the talk might have been cleaned up a bit to make it compliant with government spin. Which will be a shame, but I do actually try to catch important political speeches when they are broadcast on the rolling news channels as the 10 second clip shown on the 6pm news is rarely the best bit.

I had another email this morning though, as it seemed that there are some last minute tickets to tomorrows recording of Have I Got News for You, and long term readers may recall that I am a huge fan of the program so replied instantly and got four tickets. Normally, I have to queue up for at least an hour to secure a decent seat – but these are “priority tickets” so I am guaranteed a decent seat this time – woo!

To add to the woo – it is being presented by Jeremy Clarkson, who is usually quite good on this show, although I personally can’t stand Top Gear since they rebranded it as a TV version of Nuts magazine.

As an aside, there is a column in The Spectator written by a Jeremy Clark about his life and for ages I misread that as Jeremy Clarkson and was convinced that behind his blokish public image is a highly cultured character who enjoys fine food and socialising. Opps!

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