Twenty years at Harriet Harman’s high altar of all women shortlists and selection quotas are duly delivering their reward – for the Conservatives.
Dividing lines were one of Brown’s weapons. The Chancellor is turning them against Labour with a vengeance.
It was Balls who assisted in devising the Five Tests – and all the rest of the shamanistic show that was devised to keep Britain well and truly out.
The final result probably won’t differ much from what we expected a month ago. But even small differences matter.
Like Gordon Brown she is stifling a competition, and the prospect of renewing her party, to satiate a deep-seated sense of entitlement.
And what it means for now.
It’s one of the most significant developments of this Parliament, and a consolation during this fraught election campaign.
Brown did it too, and so did Chancellors before him. We ought to treat the official forecasts with greater caution.
He banged their Eds against a brick wall, but please can we not have a whole election campaign that sounds like this?
Continuing to serve would demonstrate commitment to public service as a vocation, and allow future Governments to draw on his expertise and experience.
It offers an opportunity not only to consolidate and build upon our economic achievements, but to change the terms of the political debate.
Even with the economy on the up, approval ratings have remained stubbornly low.
Most produce results that are more or less what a reader of opinion polls and other electoral data might have anticipated a few months in advance.
A big lesson from the sum of recent Lord Ashcroft Polls is that the balance between Labour’s strength in England and its weakness in Scotland could be decisive in May.
Also: Brown calls for the nationalisation of unprofitable North Sea oil fields; and Northern Ireland braces for the bite of austerity.