One of many appointments in Tony Blair's crowded diary yesterday was a meeting with the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, and others, who had compiled a report on anti-Semitism in Britain.
Mr Duncan Smith was driven from office three years ago when his own party turned on him.
"I suppose you're laughing about this?" the Prime Minister remarked, in a reference to his own predicament. But Mr Duncan Smith replied: "There are some things I don't laugh about."
Mr Blair has not had many reasons to split his sides this week. In his own understated words: "The last week hasn't been our finest hour, to be frank."
At 12.52pm, Mr Blair left Downing Street with the Education Secretary, Alan Johnson - not to see the Queen and hand in his resignation - but on a visit to Seven Mills School in Tower Hamlets. The visit was to publicise the Government's new emphasis on the importance of phonics, the system under which children are taught to read by learning the sounds associated with letters. Mr Blair and Mr Johnson listened to three and four-year-olds chanting "cat, caterpillar, candle, cake, cow, carrot". While the Prime Minister's private thoughts may have concerned cowardly conspirators causing chaos, he gamely joined in, never losing his boyish grin.
After half an hour, the Prime Minister's Daimler moved on to the Quintin Kynaston specialist school, in St John's Wood, …