The central charge is that - while Cameron and Osborne are, in Mandelson's words, "crowd-pleasers" and "good image-makers" - they have not "changed the thinking of their party". Indeed, to illustrate this spin-over-substance point, Mandy digs up another story from that Corfu dinner party last summer:
"In today’s interview [Mandelson] suggests that last August — presumably in the same Corfu conversation, although he does not confirm that — Mr Osborne had 'boasted' to him that he had just made a speech about the Tories being the party of fairness and that he had 'got away with it'."
Even knowing how Mandy & Co. operate, the viciousness of his interventions this week has still been pretty astonishing. He's allowed little to no room for policy talk; just ad hominem slurs and innuendo cast in Osborne's direction. Like James, I suspect it's a sign that Mandelson realises he doesn't have a future in government, and that his mission now is simply to wound Osborne in any way possible. If that means dredging up Corfu in every single conversation, article and interview, then so be it.