On the recommendation of the Whiskey Priest, I have just watched Paddy Ashdown being interviewed by Iain Dale on 18 Doughty Street. It was a marvellously relaxed and thorough interview and is available to play here under "Last 7 days".
The more Paddy talks about the "Project" he had with Blair (confirmed also in the Alastair Campbell Diaries programme) the more I wonder if Blair and Ashdown were living in a parallel universe, apart from the rest of their respective parties around 1997.
That aside, it was marvellous to hear Paddy chuntering on in his wonderful way and picking quotes out of the air, as usual.
Regarding Brown's recent foray into cross-party governmental invitations he said that inclusiveness is "not Gordon - he really is the clunking fist" and that Brown was genuine in his invitations, they were not a Machiavellian plot. But he concluded that, although Brown had spent years scratching at the plasterboard of Number 11 trying to get into Number 10, he had not actually thought through what he was going to do as PM, and in particular, had not thought through the invitations to the LibDems in any sort of appropriate context.