What exquisite inner point was touched upon so sharply that Nathaniel Rothschild (the putative Fifth Baron, if one cares for such things) decided to blow his old Bullingdon Club chum George Osborne clean out of the water? A letter to the London Times, good lord! Talk about a swift slosh to the upper maxillary. And from Klosters, no less, just to blow some more rarefied air into these vexed exchanges of which us riff-raff have become such eager eavesdroppers.
This, as the Times has cheerily sought to remind us since, is a ‘spectacular falling-out’ between a Conservative Shadow Chancellor and a dynasty with, let’s say, a fair bit of form in Conservative circles.
When I was in Birmingham for the Tory conference earlier this month – Jesus, was it only three weeks ago? – I spent a bit of one early evening in a hotel lobby, torn between two tellies, one offering live reporting of the collapsed US bank bailout, the other the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary that was trying to hammer Cameron’s fundraising endeavours: not that these sounded much more than over-zealous in the standard manner, and entirely as one would expect from Lord Ashcroft – but then I may have got distracted by Washington, specifically Barney Frank and his bring-me-coffee-and-doughnuts style of rhetoric.
I suppose one thing we can say for sure about the Putative Fifth Baron’s intervention is that it proves that Peter Mandelson really has got friends. I can’t yet say the same for Oleg Deripaska based on what little I know of him, but one can say he certainly has allies, which is just as important in his line of work.