Labour grandee Peter Mandelson famously remarked that he was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes”. But the peer took to Newsnight to claim that one proposed levy — namely Ed Balls’ Mansion Tax — would amount to “clobbering people”:
“We don’t have an efficient system of taxing property in Britain. I don’t happen to think the mansion tax is the right policy response to that, I think it’s crude, I think it’s short-termist.
When Mandy was ennobled back in 2008, he was created ‘Baron Mandelson, of Foy in the county of Herefordshire and of Hartlepool in the county of Durham’ — references to a hamlet in which he owned a cottage and his former north eastern Commons seat.
In whose interests, then, could Mandelson — who lives in an £8 million Grade II listed Gothic Revival home in one of London’s most exclusive districts — possibly be acting?