Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Political crossroads

Tony Blair may have admitted that he's not "a House of Commons man" but he was given a spontaneous standing ovation (rare and strictly speaking against the rules) by MPs of all parties at the end of question time today.

The outgoing PM looked genuinely moved as he left the Commons. If his wife was equally sentimental about leaving the media behind, she hid it well, telling photographers she didn't think she'd miss them.

Gordon Brown is now inside Number 10, working on his first Cabinet reshuffle. Rumours, some of them wild, many of them conflicting, continue to circulate.

Ministers and ambitious MPs will be praying their phones ring during the next 24 hours or so.

At the Wales Office, some of Peter Hain's staff have been tidying their desks and packing up, ready for a move.

Mr Hain himself is said to be confident that he'll survive the reshuffle and take the Welsh brief into any new job.

Civil servants at the Wales Office don't all share his confidence, and many remain in the dark.

This may be due to the IT policy of their landlords, the Ministry of Justice, who have restricted internet access for staff. Among the banned sites and blogs - this one. So the Wales Office staff cannot read blogs written by Welsh journalists.

Hopefully they'll still be able to listen to Radio Wales, where the Alan Thompson show interrupted an interview with a former Crossroads actress to carry Gordon Brown's arrival in Downing Street live.

History in the making - and Alan was kind enough to test my knowledge of Crossroads during our on-air exchanges. I'm told I passed with flying colours, something I put down to a misspent youth watching Amy Turtle, Benny and co.

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