I must admit that part of me has always thought of Alan Johnson as a top bloke. My snout at the BBC tells me of further proof of the ex-Postie's lack of standing on ceremony. When I relate this anecdote, just imagine how Peter Mandelson or Gordon Brown would have reacted.
This morning he was booked in to do various BBC radio interviews from Millbank, but when he arrived at 4 Millbank at ten to seven there was no one there to meet him. In the end he had to be guided into the studio cubicle by a producer at White City over his mobile phone using the keypad and secret code. He managed this with very good humour and was able to sit himself down in front of the mike and press all the right buttons and get on air.
Maybe all contenders for the Deputy Leadership should be put through a similar initiative and politeness test. Would other New Labour (or, dare I say it, Tory) big hitters have been so gracious? You decide.
UPDATE: Sadly, THIS Labour blogger doesn't seem to share my opinion of Mr Johnson.