Of all people in the universe, whom would you most trust to pick industrial winners ? Whose incorruptible neutrality and proven judgement would most be suited to deciding which companies live, and which die ?
Yes, Peter Mandelson is on the case.
"In a series of lectures and interviews, Mandelson is trying to shape a new set of criteria for government intervention – including a firm's general viability, the strategic importance of its sector, its technological and research standing and the impact its failure would have on jobs in the supply chain, regionally and nationally.
He also suggested in a speech last night that there was a case for looking to see if government should invent a new bank or resource from which business could access risk capital"
And as the queue of supplicants winds around Whitehall, there are many months of these life-and-death judgements in prospect. Won't he be enjoying himself ?