Andy Burnham was named “minister to watch” at the Spectator/Threadneedle parliamentarian of the years awards 2006. He has not disappointed us, replacing Purnell as Commissar of Culture. He reacted as if he’d won the pools. His beloved Liverpool being European City of Culture in 2008, and all that (quite right too, splendid city). But I suspect his joy comes from moving out of the Treasury when he was struggling to explain his way out of Northern Rock and the credit crunch. Just as ageing pop stars surround themselves with models in pop videos to look younger, so Brown brings the young bucks centre stage. If only he'd done this sooner, rather than claim (as he did at a private dinner recently) that Hain's fate was out of his hands.