Collective responsibility - or at least the leader's diktat - ruled, in opposition as well as in government.
These days Ministers take to online networking sites to highlight Cabinet divisions:
This suggests Peter Hain, having been recalled by a Prime Minister in need of his campaigning skills, feels more confident in his second Cabinet career to question government policy, confident enough even to contradict the Home Secretary.
Others will have their own views on what this says of the strength of Gordon Brown's position at the moment.
UPDATE: A spokesman for Mr Hain tells me: "The link was accidentally uploaded without Peter Hain's knowledge and has now been removed".