Campbell: So, Prime Minister do you pray before going to bed?
Prime Minister: Yes I do, Nicky. In fact, as someone who has always championed diversity, I pray to a number of deities - although normally just God and the Devil.
Nicky Campbell: (Shocked) The Devil, Prime Minister? You're kidding?
Prime Minister: No, I'm not. I am the Prime Minister and my task is important enough to justify it. Every night I pray to God and the Devil. I ask: Help me destroy my enemies and rule this nation with a rod of iron.
Nicky Campbell: I see...
Lord Mandelson: (Looks worried) If I can just step in... Gordon was not saying that he prays to the Devil as such. More that he has some tough calls to make in this job. Sometimes he must be merciless. Put it another way: The end justifies the means. Isn't that right, Gordon?
Prime Minister: Yes, indeed. Matters not to me whether it is God or the Devil. Just that they crush my enemies. And of course, they both have form in this area.
Nicky Campbell: Perhaps. But people will be a little shocked that you pray to the Devil, won't they?
Lord Mandelson: Listen, we shouldn't be getting hung up on this Devil business.
Nicky Campbell: Frankly, Lord Mandelson, I think that most Christians might get hung up.
Lord Mandelson: Gordon was simply using a turn of phrase.
Nicky Campbell: Were you, Prime Minister? Sounded like more than that.
Lord Mandelson: (Interrupting) Look, Gordon has a tough job running this country. Sometimes you have to crack eggs to make that omelette, yeah? Fine, so we know that God can be pretty mean, when he wants to be. But Gordon just wants to make sure that he has every weapon he can in his armoury. In other words, every possible er,... contender. Understood?
Prime Minister: Right, Peter. Absolutely. I will, if needs be, slash and pulverise those who stand in my way, I will torch the opposition front benches, I will grind down those politicians and journalists who brief against me and scorch the earth on which they tread. I'll show no mercy as I flatten and...
Lord Mandelson: OK Gordon, that's fine for now. (Whispers) Some of those tasks are mine, remember.
Prime Minister: Yes, of course, Peter.
Lord Mandelson: (Still whispering) Why don't you try accentuating the positive? You know, dish out a bit of positive spin, positive gloss. Tell how you saved the banks, why don't you?
Prime Minister: Saved the world, Peter. Saved the world.
Lord Mandelson: (Wearily) Yes, Gordon. Saved the world.
Prime Minister: Yes, Nicky, on the positive side, I scraped together what little wealth this country still had and with all my courage and determination, I chucked it all on red.
Lord Mandelson: You bailed out the banks, Gordon, don't you mean?
Prime Minister: Yes, of course. I bailed out the banks. And in doing so I saved the world. Now, on that particular occasion, I prayed to the Devil and to Mammon. I'm not saying, by the way, that bankers do the Devil's work. Or Mammon's for that matter.
Nicky Campbell: Even though in fact they probably do.
Prime Minister: Yes, even though they probably do. And yes, as a Labour Prime Minister I had reservations about the bail-out, I can tell you. But then I had a revelation: Bankers were also doing my, I mean, God's work.
Nicky Cambell: How so?
Prime Minister: The banks were in a position to prop up an ailing Labour government, create the illusion of wealth, the semblance of activity, and, most important of all, they could redefine, rebrand, hide our debt. They reinvented the balance sheet for New Labour. They let Labour achieve goals that once seemed impossible. We could spend, spend, spend like there was no tomorrow, whilst appearing to be prudent. And that is why I prayed to the Devil and Mammon... and, as always, God. All three of us working together in harmony.
Lord Mandelson: And if that isn't synergy, if that isn't win-win, what is?
Nicky Campbell: But, isn't that really a case of the ends and the means becoming indistinguishable?
Prime Minister and Lord Mandelson: (Together) We'll worry about that kind of detail. Nicky. You ask the ethical questions.
Nicky Campbell: I thought I was, actually, gents... Anyway, I must say, this is a revelation. We'll have to see how our viewers respond. Praying to the Devil... (Pauses, then addressing Lord Mandelson again) And turning to you Lord Mandelson. You kindly agreed to come on this programme alongside the PM. You're clearly interested in the ethical dimensions of politics. So... Who do you pray to, to help you perform your vanquishings, or conversely, your win-wins? (Chuckles) Do you also pray to the same Pantheon, to God and the Devil?
Lord Mandelson: Nicky, you've seen me making things happen, both in Westminster and, before that, in the European parliament? You have seen the respect that I command both here and abroad, have not you?
Nicky Campbell: Of course.
Lord Mandelson: So, don't you think that it is a bit of a strange question to be asking me? WHO do I pray TO?
Nicky Campbell: I'm sorry, I'll re-phrase it. To whom do you pray?
Lord Mandelson: (Shaking his head) Oh dear, oh dear. Nicky. Wakey, wakey? Do I pray? To anybody? Hello?
Nicky Campbell: Oh, I think I see. You don't do the praying?
Lord Mandelson: I should hope not.
Nicky Campbell: Sorry, I should have asked: So,who prays to...
Lord Mandelson: (Cuts in swiftly) Nicky... I don't think you really need to ask that question anymore, do you? I think we know the answer.
Nicky Campbell: Yes, I think we do, Lord Mandelson.
Prime Minister: (Glum) I think we do.