What with meetings, family stuff, a funeral and then a train journey north, I missed all the political excitement yesterday. I saw a couple of headlines suggesting Peter Mandelson was suggesting the economy is on the mend, then a couple more in which Dave was having a pop at GB, but beyond that, it sort of passed me by.

And beyond a few minutes to knock this out after a nice early morning run through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, I won’t have much time to catch up as I am filming all day in Burnley, making a documentary for BBC NW on what our promotion means to the town. A lot!

What is clear is that the skirmishes on spending are in a sense only just beginning, and that argument has a long way to run.

One other thought from yesterday, which came to me as the train sped (ish) north, and I was reflecting on Henry Hodge’s funeral. As I mentioned on the blog last night, TB was there sporting a black eye. And I was thinking what manner of frenzy would that have unleashed by such a sight in the days when he was PM.

As it is, he will probably get photographed, and it will appear in a few places, his spokesman will say how he got it, and that’ll be that.

When I think back on the volume of coverage generated by the first time he wore glasses, or the mug he was holding on the day Leo was born, or the new Caesar haircut he once wore, not to mention some of the casual clothes disaster areas he kept lurching into (see diaries for full details) what would they have done if he turned up at PMQs with a shiner?

OMG, as my daughter says. Guaranteed front page picture everywhere. The need for Number 10 spokesman to explain in graphic detail, blow by blow, minute by minute, what happened. None of which would stop a host of conspiracy theories, not to mention days worth of cartoons.

There are definitely advantages to being a former PM, and a former spokesman to said PM.

‘How did your old boss get that black eye?’ asked one of the mourners yesterday. ‘Dunno,’ I said. ‘Something about an accident in the gym.’

‘Oh.’ And that was that.

Off to Turf Moor now, and the season is still weeks away.