Saturday, 5 January 2008

First cuckoo of Spring

Rather like Spring, the first reports of the merger of territorial government departments seem to get earlier each year.

Yesterday's Evening Standard suggested, in its Londoner's Diary column, that the fuss over making Des Browne job-share Defence and Scotland could lead to the much-touted Secretary of State for the Nations taking a seat in Gordon Brown's Cabinet.

This would merge the Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland Offices in Whitehall - an option much-mooted over the years. Peter Hain would presumably be left free to concentrate on Work and Pensions while another Minister looks after Welsh interests.

Tomos Livingstone offers his usual perceptive analysis of developments here.

I seem to have been writing and broadcasting about this since 1999. It's true, the story has been doing the rounds since then, but that doesn't mean it won't come true.

Keep watching, as they used to say at the end of Dragon's Eye.

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