Readers will, no doubt be sorry to learn of an unfortunate threat to Lord Mandelson’s well-being. The annual “allowance” of £103,200 which he receives each year as a former European Commissioner (a post he held for three years) is under threat. It seems that he may earn more than that figure in royalties from his book The Third Man this year, in which case he will have to repay the allowance. Our sympathies are, of course, with him. We are deeply shocked by the cynical suggestion in the Daily Telegraph that this might explain why he hasn’t accepted any high-paying job since Labour lost the election which we know to be the result solely of his continuing commitment to the Labour movement.