The personal drama of David Blunkett's second downfall has diverted attention from the implications of his absence from the coming showdown over pensions.
Adair Turner, the one-time director general of the CBI (clever, some say, but a softer touch than Sir Digby), has been beavering away for two years on a mega-report on pensions. He is due to give birth at the end of this month. It will now fall to John Hutton, hurriedly promoted into Mr Blunkett's Work and Pensions job last night, to decide what to make of it.
The issues are as complex and intractable as issues come - starting with whether to compel individuals and/or their employers to make pension contributions without any credible guarantee that they will ever buy a meaningful pension.
Every option is unattractive one way or another. Several could turn out very badly.
Mr Blunkett's combative record at the Home Office suggested that whatever he did about pensions would be hard-nosed, as realistic as the circumstances allow. Now that Alan Johnson at Trade & Industry has caved into the unions and decreed that civil servants can go on collecting full final salary pensions at 60 it is hard to see any Pensions Minister devising an incentive for private sector people to slog on till they are approaching 70.
But with Mr Blunkett we knew he was temperamentally averse to soft options, though not what that might mean with pensions.
With Mr Hutton we don't know - nor very likely does he. Until last night, he had probably not spent ten minutes of his life thinking about other people's pensions.
Now, quite apart from Mr Turner's thoughts, he has to make himself hated on the Labour benches by tackling the consequences of paying more to people on incapacity benefit than they can get for being out of work and healthy - the legacy of an ill-starred Thatcher Government wheeze to lower the unemployment numbers.
Then there is second state pension, tangled with Gordon Brown's beloved means tests and this vexed question of women whose National Insurance contributions don't qualify them even for the basic state pensions. They will vote against any Government that compels them to save up for a private pension, too.
Before long Mr Hutton may be wishing Mr Blunkett had been more discreet with his personal finances. So may we.
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The burst of Halloween takeover activity raises the question of where all the money will go. Yes, £50 million of the O2 windfall is earmarked for the well-lined pockets of assorted investment banks. That is the way of the world. But even without a counter-bid, there is £18 billion of straight cash from Telefonica heading for O2's shareholders.
There is the prospect of more, not all necessarily in cash, for whatever happens to P&O, Pilkington and Peacock.
Don't be too sure it will stay in Britain. Some institutions bought 02 for a stake in mobile phones without betting the farm on Vodafone. To do that again they will have to look overseas. To Telefonica?