What a week in Parliament it was; what a month it has been. So much New Generation news, we need a recap.
The amateurs on both sides are in charge; this has energised and sometimes electrified proceedings with daring, free-falling, off-piste action. Having said that, professionals wouldn't have allowed £83bn to be the figure in all the headlines (5 per cent a year is the friendlier figure), and the professional Ed Balls would have done terrible things to George Osborne with his forensic tool – things Alan Johnson wouldn't want to imagine.
But precisely because they haven't thought every damn thing through to a conclusion favourable to themselves, the amateurs have transformed Parliament.
Character in action isn't helping Ed Miliband. Labour is now hoping their leader is luring the Prime Minister into a trap in PMQs. Let Cameron become so over-confident that he becomes obnoxious. The spinners were out on Wednesday saying Cameron had been "caddish" and "patronising" and that that represented an inner truth about the man. It might work, but only if Cameron lets it work. It's a big bet, and not a sign of strength.
We know now that Miliband's two big appointments in Labour were made from weakness. He had to get rid of the formidable Nick Brown from the whips' office – but he didn't have to put in Rosie Winterton as window dressing. The poor old thing floats around the Commons like Tinker Bell on anti-depressants. And what her troops are doing is open to question.
Just before PMQs, there was an all-Labour-members' text message from the whips: "Ed is coming into the chamber. CHEER!"
They did cheer, but it was a poor, forced, fake sounding thing. When you send a semi-public instruction like that, you're hauling a hundred years of whipping into disrepute.
And second, Miliband famously felt he couldn't put in Balls as shadow Chancellor for fear of carrying Labour's blood feud into the next generation. Alan's main qualification was he'd never challenge for the leadership.
But then his Review performance may not have impressed the Coalition but it certainly did Labour. Here they saw a man with experience of crowds, of three great departments of state, and who "spoke human" like a first language. And while he has said he isn't interested and isn't up to it, he may yet have greatness thrust upon him.
The irony would be delectable. He got put into the job to stop a leadership challenge from the Treasury. And most sincerely and honestly protesting his lack of suitability, in 18 months he is dragged to the chair that Miliband has felt obliged to abandon.
I ran into one of Miliband's aides and asked him what he thought of Johnson's performance. "He had some good gags," was the reply. Good gags? Good grief!
Obviously, I'm not the only one considering this possibility. But only a true amateur would have let it be known so clearly.Reuse content