The newly-ennobled Baron Mandelson of Foy and Hartlepool has questioned the reality of the world economic crisis, as it emerged that he will be receiving £234,000 in severance pay over the next three years after resigning from his EU commissioner post, together with tax concessions and a £31,000pa pension, on top of the £104,386 salary he will receive as a government minister.
“Do you like the robes?” asked Lord Mandelson, as he emerged from his investiture. “I had them tailored by Hardy Amies, you know, just before they went bust. Now, let’s stop this idle media speculation about a global recession, shall we? I’ve got a lot of respect for the press, a lot of respect - very difficult job, long hours, deadlines to meet, I do understand - but really, do they have to keep banging on about this so-called ‘economic crisis’? I mean, I can only speak as I find - and I find that I’ve never been better off in my life than I am now. So let’s put an end to all this doom and gloom, shall we? Confidence, that’s what it’s all about you see. Sorry, must dash, I’m off to look at a new flat - very stylish, good location - moving up in the world, appearances to keep up, and I’ve got quite a good deal on it. It’s not what you know, as I always say.”
The Prime Minister’s new business secretary also announced that henceforth he will be known as Lord Mandelson - well, that’s what he’d like, anyway. He certainly won’t be called Baron Hardup, that’s for sure.