It seems like an age has passed since the small matter of a terrorist suspect who was not deported caused maximum embarrassment to the government in the run-up to the local elections. I heard that Downing Street briefed the Sunday papers that the blog was responsible for the rise of the BNP and the Guardian credited it with the demise of Charles Clarke. It was a little difficult to follow that.
Now Charles Clarke has gone and we have a former Stalinist in the Home Office who once told me that the human rights culture should be consigned to the dustbin of history (along with his previously-held beliefs about the historical inevitability of the revolution I suppose).
The reshuffle was depressing and revealed how little strength in depth there is in this government. Is the Adrian Mole generation of younger ministers any more inspiring? Douglas Alexander and David Miliband are self-confessed swots and there are no obvious naughty boys (or girls) at the back of the class to make life more interesting.
I remember sitting opposite a man on a train last autumn who overheard me talking about the Labour Party. As he got off he turned and said in a broad Scottish accent: “Douglas Alexander and Des Browne in the Cabinet and an increased Labour majority under Gordon at the next election.” We’ll see.