Alex Massie

Mandy, Gordon and The Thick of It

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Hannah Rothschild's BBC4 programme following Peter Mandelson during the months running-up to the election was, like almost everything involving the Prince of Darkness, a hoot. But, blimey, there were parts of it that seemed to come straight from The Thick of It. I mean, here's the voice of frustrated image-makers and strategists the world over:

If he [Gordon] can be normal and human with people as he walks through a railway station then let him do it.

I want him both to be brainy - he can have his braininess, he can have all the braininess he wants -  but i also want him to be sufficiently relaxed and approachable so people can feel that, as well as everything else, he is a human being."

Best of all:

I've given up. I'd settle for the tie being straight. I'd give up on the hair as long as the tie was sort of centred. i just cannot understand why he can't tie a tie like anyone else and centre it like anyone else and have it remain there, you know, in the middle between the two collars. I just don't understand it.

I don't know if Steve Hilton can beat this.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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