Interesting signals from the Parliamentary Labour Party. In a secret ballot, some distinctly non-Blair figures have been elected to the Parliamentary Committee, the bridge between the back benches and government. Two MPs, Chris Mullin and Bridget Prentice, stood down because they are now ministers, while Gordon Prentice gave up his seat because he regards the operation as a pointless farce. In their place, backbenchers voted for John Cryer, the first Campaign Group member to get on the committee; the loyalist (but not slave) Janet Anderson, a former tourism minister; and George Howarth, late of the Northern Ireland Office, and another freed spirit. Even more remarkably, the voluble lefty Neil Gerrard nearly made it.
Quite plainly, Blair expects to get away scot-free from the clutches of Lord Hutton. He is already working on a major cabinet reshuffle, likened by one source to "a reconstruction of government". Civil servants have been briefed to expect nothing less than a palace revolution, which will claim the life of the Defence Secretary, "Buff" Hoon. But the bloodletting will not stop there, and speculation is mounting that the Great Helmsman might even try to get rid of his first mate, Gordon Brown. The Chancellor has calmed down from his raging-bull condition of a week ago, but red rags are still best avoided.
Channel 4 is filming a three-part series on Tony Blair, to be screened next summer for the PM's tenth anniversary as party leader. Always assuming he gets there. The series is linked to Anthony Seldon's forthcoming biography of Blair, which is unlikely to be cruel. Seldon, the headmaster of Brighton College, and better known for books about Tories, believes all schools should be independent, like his and Blair's alma mater, Fettes College. The title is the unoriginal In Search of Tony Blair. Let us know when you've found him, lads.
After the non-referendum on the euro, Blair called in about 20 backbenchers, all single-currency supporters. Stuart Bell, the not-so-humble church commissioner, invited himself to speak first "as the most important MP here".
Peter Hain, the Leader of the House, has published a handy, pocket-sized calendar of next year's Commons sitting days. Some MPs have rashly given a copy to their wives. Not so Hain's deputy, Phil Woolas, who is terrified that Tracey will find work for him when he is not on parade for his day job.
The party season is upon us. The Guardian hosted a bash in the Saatchi Gallery to celebrate ten years' ownership of the Observer. Peter Hain was the only minister visible, but he will go anywhere ambition directs him. At the Mirror's centenary party in the Science Museum, Cilla Black was chided by Charlie Whelan for being the only Tory at an essentially Labour celebration. "Oh, chuck!" she riposted. "Haven't I had Peter and Reinaldo to stay at my place?"
Paul Routledge is chief political commentator for the Daily Mirror