'Lord' Peter Mandelson was spotted by a sharp-eyed reader standing crestfallen on Brussels station beside his neatly labelled luggage.
A porter, wearing the new EU uniform of stars round his hat and large gold epaulettes, said that le Petit Twerp, as he called him in Euroenglsh, was to be found sitting there most days. Says he is waiting for a gravy train. 'We told 'im they're all filled up at the moment, but 'e won't listen. Just says 'e wants 'is old gravy train back.'
Last week Baroness Ashton the EU spokesperson on Foreign Affairs waved to him from the opposite platform as she waited for the Eurotrain to take her back to her family for the week-end. He just lifted a desultory finger in salutation, then was heard to mumble over the Ode to Joy pumping out of the station speakers 24/7, something sounding like 'bloody woman'.
A spokesman at 'Lord' Mandelson's office would only say that he was in Brussels looking for business, 'as a befits a former Business Minister'.
'His Lordship really knows his business, and if he thinks Brussels station is good for trade then I expect that's why he was there.'