Something that has been a bit overlooked in all the excitement over the new coalition government is just what an incredible achievement it is for Ken Clarke to be resuming a cabinet position after 13 years in opposition.
Clarke was a government whip under Heath from 1972 - 1974 and then became a junior minister when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. From 1985 he then took on a succession of cabinet posts under both Thatcher and Major culminating in Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1993 - 1997.
There can't be many politicians whose government careers span 38 years. And of course we have no idea how long he might last. He could easily be in the cabinet for a good few years yet. He's only 69.
What also makes his achievement even more remarkable is that he was able to maintain his position in Cameron's shadow cabinet despite his very pro-EU views in a party dominated by anti-EU sentiment. I know that now the coalition with the Lib Dems has come about there are plenty of pro-EU cabinet ministers but to have been in contention for a good post in opposition was an achievement in itself.
So let's raise a glass to Ken Clarke, one of the great survivors of British politics!