Congratulations to my old friend, Ed Balls, the new shadow chancellor. Apart from his attachment to maintaining the deficit (one can become sentimental about one's own babies of course) I'm also expecting his tenure to signal some innovative revenue raising ideas.
After all, as I never tire of pointing out, when Balls and fellow minister Yvette Cooper hosted their wedding reception at the Cavendish Hotel, Eastbourne, in 1998, they secretly arranged with the venue for an extra £9 to be put on guests' overnight hotel bills to save the happy couple £2,520 on the cost of the reception.
Gordon Brown and then girlfriend Sarah Macauley were star guests at the bash which also included several senior ministers such as Chief Whip Nick Brown, multi -millionaire Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson, Treasury minister Dawn Primarolo and more than a dozen Labour MPs. A touching moment.