Of Blair, Brown and by-elections
Overall, however, I am inclined to pick out Brown as the greatest loser here. Blair has acquired a certain degree of detachment, knowing that the hurly-burly of party politics will not detain him for much longer. His jokes about missing a division that caused the defeat of the Government was indicative of a man who has finally realised that he no longer cares.
Brown, on the other hand, has been acting as if he were Prime Minister already for a while now. Speeches about foreign policy, policing and family have cascaded on cutesy interviews about his home life. He campaigned vigorously in Dunfermline, over-stepping his authority with regards to the Forth bridge and helpfully providing his boss with a photocopy of a Cameron newsletter.
The shattering defeat does seem to underline the point that, even in Scotland, the figure of Gordon Brown inspires little affection, and still less loyalty.