Of course, government should not manage private enterprise in circumstances other than the extraordinary, but neither should it be submissive when jobs are at stake. Mandelson’s reputation as a demagogic strategist is deserved, when it comes to smooth tongued fixers he is unsurpassed. But that is his tragedy: his achievements are contained within partisan precincts. His influence is Wolseyian but Mandelson has delivered little politically. His inability to check Kraft is the latest in a list of failures – the Post Office fiasco, Vauxhall, car manufacturing in the North East, Northern Ireland, all bear his mark.