“The job matters to the person who holds it, but to absolutely no one else.”

With the devolved Assembly up and running, for now, some of the NIO ministerial team were, obviously, surplus to requirements.. and so, with a hearty handshake, the Secretary of State for Wales etc, Peter Hain, sent back to their constituencies David Cairns and David Hanson.. [David Hanson also got a new brief – Ed] Still on board are Maria Eagle and Paul Goggins – who just happen to be members of the campaign team for his bid to become deputy leader of the Labour Party. He faces strong competition for that post though. Not least from Alan Johnson who today announced his list of the 64 MPs backing him.. including, you’ve guessed it, David Cairns and David Hanson. Of course there are those who argue the irrelevant position should be abolished..

The Labour deputy leadership is about as significant as the vice-presidency of the United States used to be in the days when one holder famously compared it to a bucket full of warm piss.

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