Hague was fine and will, should the Tories be elected, be a perfectly reaosnable Foreign Secretary. But Ashdown was the star. All this was a reminder that, freed from the grubby business of having to solicit support, our politicians can talk with admirable candour, clarity and authority.
Indeed, one could not suppress the feeling that a government made up of these old-stagers would be vastly prefereable to the government of keen young Tories we're actually likely to have. There's much to be said for experience and the perspective it brings. At the very least there's an excellent case for establishing an unofficial mentoring programme, pairing younger prospective-ministers with the OAPs who've seen it all before.