Amidst all the fuss about George Osborne's oligarchical links, it is worth noting that his lordship, Peter Mandelson has yet to come clean about his own relationship with the sinister Deripaska. Mandelson may still be a master of the dark arts of gossip and intrigue, but he looks regularly uncomfortable in BBC interviews when they are conducted by tenacious journalists. Two stand out - Sophie Raworth, standing in for Andrew Marr a couple of weeks ago, managed to extract a very bad-tempered response from the new Business Secretary, while Richard Galpin, the BBC's Moscow correspondent (and the first BBC reporter, I recall, to file reports from South Ossetia when the Georgians invaded) kept pushing for an answer from Mandelson in this interview on News 24, but got nowhere. Nonetheless, the very fact that the questions were being asked allowed viewers to draw their own conclusions about Mandelson's evasiveness. It is worth noting that the Raworth/Galpin tenacity against a politician known for his absolute hatred at being challenged represents BBC journalism at its best - a nice contrast to that corporation's more high profile struggles at present!
Incidentally, the Evening Standard's Paul Waugh provides a first class, clinical analysis of the Galpin interview here.