By Stephen Pollard
May 15, 2007
Benedict Brogan of the Daily Mail has an excellent political blog, always full of insight. But for sheer fun, do have a read of his account of the Alan Johnson campaign launch:
If good one-liners, an easy manner and self-deprecating humour were criteria, he would walk it. He's also a bit of a Mystic Meg: he has kept a diary since he was 25 - "film rights available, Johnny Depp should play me" - and claimed his entry for July 1, 1992, recorded a meeting with Gordon Brown thus: "could this be a future Prime Minister I asked myself?"
When his analogy about the party started to go wrong - "we're on a long-haul flight, and we're doing a bit of in-flight refuelling at the moment. Come to think of it, we're changing the pilot and the co-pilot" - he had the sense to admit it and laugh.
And when he was asked if the deputy job should go to a woman, he said: "For those who believe it ought to be a woman there's not much I can do. The operation is expensive and it takes too long. And I'm very much in touch with my feminine side." (Not that he doesn't get the image-maker point: posing for photographs later with his team, he turned to an aide and said: "we need some women.")