Monday 19 January 2009

Ken chills on the front bench

The story that Clarke's return was all masterminded by shadow chancellor George Osborne did not quite carry in the Commons today.

Clarke's first appearance as shadow business secretary was low key - but it had to be.

The challenge was to try and look like he was on Osborne's side while not looking like he was directing the show as the young’un made his speech on banks.

The problem was that Clarke was too cool.

He sat back arms crossed, legs stretched out like he'd never been off the Commons floor.

In fact, his absence from the back bench - Michael Howard looked a bit lonely - was starker than his presence on the front bench.

They might have got away with it if Osborne hadn't kept spinning his head round to look at the former Chancellor.

At that point Clarke would give a nod of the head and a smile that made it look as if his validation was needed.

As the big beast gets into full swing the problem is only going to get worse.

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