Our Esteemed Leader David Blunkett has been dancing a pretty jig with some unusual partners of late. Readers will remember the Sun breaking from its usual fare of busty beauties and euro-scepticism to tout him as a future prime minister. The Daily Mail and an off-colour Daily Torygraph columnist followed suit, lauding him as the Cabinet's lonely voice of reason. The year ended with frenzied rumours about our man taking over at the Home Office, with poor old Jack Straw swapping asylum-seekers for bogus primary school teachers.
Intriguing, then, to listen t Blunkett's description, to be heard on next week's BBC Radio 4's In Touch programme, of intricate games of musical chairs among Cabinet members - manoeuvres which his blindness makes him less than adept at.
"The chairs do vary a bit or maybe somebody is not at Cabinet that morning. The trick is to make sure that you do get the right seat. You might make jokes about it, but if you sat in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's seat there would be a presumption that you were after his job."
Blunkett paused and added: "Oh, God forbid, of course."