A part of me fears I have taken a pot-shot at God.

My criticism of Lord Jones of Birmingham last week produced a vitriolic response from Digby's emissary on earth, John James, and otherwise a shocked silence of the "Duckers has gone too far this time" kind.

But I firmly stand by the central theme of the piece that the knives are out for Digby among a certain section of the Labour Party.

This was no flight of fancy.

He's been a Government Minister now for six months - time to take stock - and I had had a lengthy conversation with someone in the know about how he was getting on. The assessment by my mole was decidedly mixed.

Once Digby entered the murky world of politics he knew the ball park had changed. For example, let's take the foreign trips.

While he was director general of the CBI he did a good job raising its profile on the international stage. Being a private organisation he only had to justify his actions to a couple of bosses. Now he has to justify himself to the nation.

Digby is rightly proud of his tubthumping visits abroad batting for Britain and Birmingham.

But one man's important mission to China or India is the next man's junket and jolly.

And when the flak starts flying, as it certainly will, because that's politics, the trips will be put under the microscope and he will be expected to fully justify them.

If he doesn't like it - tough.

So why does a section within Labour find Digby over-blown?

Because he is unelected, he didn't even have to do his time in the Lords before being made a minister, and he refuses to join the Party - easy for his critics to see him as "not really one of us".

He owes his job entirely to the patronage and friendship of the Prime Minister without any compulsion to get his hands dirty in the political scrum.

Digby claims this is, in effect, a good thing - he can promote "brand Britain" with getting bogged down by the dayto-day cut and thrust of life at Westminster.

Elitism in the extreme.

For my money, you are either a hundred per cent in or a hundred per cent out. If you try to keep one foot in the bath and one foot out, there is a great danger that you just might get badly burned.

And, given that Digby and I go way back, I wouldn't want to see that happen.

Because I think Digby is better than all this.

He's got loads of talents and would be a success at many high-powered jobs from, say, Parliamentary Ombudsman to even secretary general of the United Nations.

Digby was never into politics, never aligned to any party, and always felt he was too opinionated for the disciplines such a career demands.

Yet he agreed to take the Labour whip.

OK, everyone's entitled to change their mind and if that is the path he has chosen then who am I to take issue.

But hang on here ...

A small-time Minister, in a rocky Government run by a party he refuses even to be a member of and on a stage where one has to doubt he is truly comfortable.

A fish out of water or a man of destiny? The debate is on.