It is August when politicians who are not otherwise on holiday – caravan parks just outside Frinton are economically and politically de rigeur this year –  do not have enough to do, and Baroness Warsi has proved this thesis handsomely by writing to a clutch of former Labour ministers asking for their severance payments back. The bored Tory chairman has picked on the four ministerial exes who are tussling for Labour’s leadership and so stands to reap a handsome dividend of £80,000 for the country’s coffers, minus the cost of a couple of stamps from Central Office, if they comply, which, of course, they won’t.  This couldn’t possibly be a political gimmick could it.

It was certainly something of a novelty to see Warsi line up with Chris Huhne at a press conference called specifically for the purpose of heaving into Labour. Luckily the hacks were as bored as the Baroness and so had some fun asking her how hard the Tories will try to unseat Huhne from Eastleigh at the next election.  Precluded by  the niceties of coalition politics from turning to her co-presenter and advising him to be very afraid, Warsi’s answer implied that Huhne’s scalp might not be the first in the Tories’ sights. With the Lib Dems’ polling numbers sinking faster than the Bank of England’s hopes for the British economy, Mr Huhne would be vulnerable to an electoral challenge from a lobotomised gibbon with a string of convictions for expenses fraud.