“Well I suppose I better buy some whilst I’m here,
there won’t be any in Europe after this…”
This picture was taken in Beijing during the June 2005 trip where Peter Mandelson arranged the trade deal that has resulted in a Europe that has too much wine and not enough trousers. Which is a great strategy for a party, but a crap idea for the European economy.
Mandelson has taken a three week holiday whilst retailers and consumer groups go beserk at the prospect of knicker and bra shortages. You would have thought that Mandelson would have grasped that his job as trade commissioner was to promote international trade, not block it. His free trade credentials are now as threadbare as our worn out trousers will be next year – with Chinese trouser imports reduced to one pair of trousers per four Europeans per year – no really. His abandoned free trade rhetoric has led one pro-trade group to name him as their Protectionist of the Month.
Oh Mandy, Mandy, where did it all go wrong? Instead of strutting the stage like an international statesmen with the press waiting on your every pout, your legacy will be to be remembered as the producer-protecting, quota-chopping, bra-blocking, knicker-stopping trade commissioner.