A few years ago Andrew Neil and myself exchanged a few pleasantries whilst travelling up in a lift in the Midland Hotel Manchester. I was there as a delegate to the Labour Party conference; and no doubt Neil was there to see and be seen in the hotel's rather capacious heaving bar area.
Back to the lift in which I sat awaiting arrival to the floor of my choice. On my lap was my lunch, a couple of overpriced conference sandwiches. So, slowly we climb, half-a-dozen disparate souls travelling inexorably upwards; typically we each protected our own little bit of lift space, careful not to interact; purposeful in maintaining that uncomfortable silence which lift travel demands.
As we rose so the tension in the lift grew, until Andrew Neil could no longer hold himself, and breaking with lift etiquette caught my eye and blurted out: "I see you have two sandwiches there!".
To which I responded: "Nothing much gets past you, does it Andrew? No wonder you're a leading political pundit on national TV".
Of course I disgracefully accepted the cheap desired guffaws from the other lift occupants.
However, on a more serious note, after watching Andrew Neil's attempts to interview Len McCluskey this morning I'm not so sure what exactly such a biased reporter with no sense of journalistic objectivity is doing on national TV - especially the BBC which I'm unreliably informed is a hotbed of pro-Leftist politics.
So good on you, Lennie. Andrew Neil's attempts to steer McCluskey into yet another media trap were quite pathetic. Who exactly does he think he's dealing with...Ed Miliband?
No, unlike the all-too-easily-gulled leader of our Labour Party, 'Easily Led Ed', the on-the-ball General Secretary of Unite the Union, Lennie McCluskey, was more than a match for this right-wing hack. All Neil could throw into the debate was worn-out propaganda fed to him by, as McCluskey pointed out, lazy press journalists.
Neil then claimed Stevie Deans saw the retractions of witnesses in the Falkirk investigation before they went public. McCluskey reminded Neil that as some of these witnesses were actually part of the Dean's family it was only natural that they would act as families often do...speak to one and other!
Stumped, again, Neil went on the attack by calling the goings-on in Falkirk 'a cesspit' and demanding that there should be an independent investigation. Do try to keep up, Andrew. Unite called for exactly this at the outset in the summer.
Then Neil tries to effect schlock horror when McCluskey, quite rightly, lays claim that the Tory central office, Daily Mail and Sunday times were involved in setting traps for Ed Miliband.
May I make a suggestion Andrew Neil. Stick to observing the luncheon habits of the sandwich-devouring lift-loitering conferences, for there lies your forte.