Tycoons, yachts and MPs

In March 2007 I was covering business rather than politics. One balmy evening that month I boarded a huge luxury yacht in Cannes as the guest of a real estate billionaire (well, he was at the time).

Most of the guests were Arab investors, middle-aged British businessmen or good-time girls in their early 20s.

One, however, was a distinguished Labour MP (not Mandelson) who was conspicuously getting into the swing of things. At the time I wondered what constituency business had brought him there.

I won’t name him out of respect to my host and his generosity.

So why bother mentioning it? Well, the memory came to mind as I read Alice Miles’ column in today’s Times suggesting that Labour MPs “feel uncomfortable” mingling with the super-rich.

“Mandelson is an aberration within Labour, as was Tony Blair. Labour people do not, on the whole, hobnob with the very rich,” she wrote.

Just thought I’d mention it.

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