The main point of this post is to say thank you to the young lady who ran half way down Surrey Street after me. In my half woken state this morning, I had got through 80% of a cash machine transaction before striding off towards work. Of course the last 20% is "taking the cash out of the machine" and I had failed miserably in remembering to do so. I am very grateful that nice people still exist, not that I would expect the average citizen to be dishonest and steal the cash, but I wouldn't expect them to go pelting after someone when they could just let the machine reclaim the notes.
On the flip side, I fully expected the reactions to the by-election results that have come out today, with spin totally in evidence from all sides (admittedly Labour doesn't need to spin the results, they won, but they are certainly beating their opponents with a far larger stick than reality indicates). Ming was the one to dodge the largest bullet, had the Liberal Democrats' come third in either poll or worse both, he would have been further mired in the criticism of his leadership. Brown of course had his "bounce" and a loss could have been waved away as the midterm blues. Cameron will be licking his wounds especially in Ealing Southall where they were off to a flying start, but I don't think this is bad enough to threaten his leadership and he has bigger things to worry about gambling his credibility on.