An Irish Secretary needs the hand of iron in the velvet glove.
He could protrude a feline set of claws from his velvet glove.
Too much of the ‘velvet glove’ and too little of the ‘iron hand,’ eh?
Like his friend Bernadotte, he wears a velvet glove upon his iron hand.
It took a lighter touch—the hand of iron in the velvet glove, as it were.
The iron hand should fitly ...