He always claimed that he didn't want it and wasn't up to it. Maybe we should have listened to him more keenly as the debacle of the last few days has shown Alan Johnson in a very poor light.
He sacked the head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Professor David Nutt on Friday which then garnered a lot of negative coverage. Professor Nutt did not go quietly and has appeared on the media numerous times and is also using the opportunity to get his message across with articles like this in The Times today about drugs harm. On top of that, more ACMD members have resigned over the weekend and more look set to this week. They have an annual meeting next week and there is speculation that any remaining at that point might resign en masse. There are also rumours that other government scientific advisers outside of the ACMD are very unhappy. The story is still top on the BBC News site after 3 days.
In addition to all of this, Alan Johnson appeared on Sky News yesterday morning and under fairly mild questioning from Adam Boulton he became visibly angry. His face was red and he was shouting and using very confrontation language. If you missed it you can judge for yourself on the embedded clip at the bottom of this post.
I also think it is quite telling that the audience on Radio 4's Any Question on Friday (still available here until Saturday on iPlayer) when asked by Jonathan Dimbleby whether they agreed with Johnson's decision did not have a single person raise their hand. I know it's possibly not a representative sample but it is indicative I think of a strong feeling across the country against what he has done. Quite a feat for someone who was supposed to have the common touch.
I think any ambitions Mr Johnson might have privately harboured about leading his party and the country at some point have now been sunk. The saddest thing is that this is a mess entirely his own making.
Mike Smithson on Political Betting also thinks this is the end of the road for AJ4PM.