The unlikeliest survivor

How can one man be so irrelevant and yet, at the same time, so influential? How does John Prescott, a politician who belongs not to the last generation but to the one before that, manage to get his oar into New Labour policy formation so profoundly as to stall legislation like the planned education bill while he negotiates – we’re told – a compromise on deal breakers like selection? Does he have something on Blair (or Brown? Or Clark?) or is it possible that his links with the old party still protect his custom-made job in the cabinet? Don’t ask me.