More captive than before
'When Greg Dyke first met the young Tony Blair many years ago, he groaned, inimitably: "Not another
f—ing Labour barrister." How prescient that first impression has proved to be, in the light of Mr Dyke's downfall last week. For if one thing is clear about Lord Hutton from his report into the death of Dr David Kelly, it is that his dislike for the media is matched only by his fondness for lawyers.'
For now, Mr Brown is persuaded of the virtues of orderly succession. For now, therefore, Mr Blair is safe. But how long can the Chancellor's patience hold? The answer to that question is probably different every day: visceral ambition vies constantly with political caution in Mr Brown's soul.
The duumvirate that has governed New Labour for a decade is just about stable, but its tensions are far from being resolved. Let us be in no doubt: last week belonged to the Prime Minister. The great escapologist has wriggled out again. But - in the most important sense of all - he is no less a captive than he was seven days ago.