Electoral pressure does begin to work upon policy, be it ever so late for this government. Such adaptive behaviour is predictable since the ruling party faces that ultimate test of destruction: a general election. Faced with the possibility of defeat for the first time since 1997, there is a gradual tacking towards prevailing winds on the part of some ministers. So, ID cards are now voluntary, again, and perhaps not, if press releases from this administration are ever believed.
Mr Johnson even admitted the suggestion the cards would help combat terrorism was exaggerated as he accepted the Government should never have allowed "the perception to go around that they were a panacea for terrorism".
Instead, the Home Office is now concentrating on the cards being useful for youngsters to prove their age when going in to pubs.
This fractured cabinet has become an admixture of dangerous dogs and salvage operations. Alan Johnson manoeuvres for advantage with a climbdown from arrogance. Ed Balls seeks the limelight with his latest report where an economic emergency is vitiated by illusory promises from this last of the big spendthrifts.
He dismissed objections that the plans cannot be paid for saying that Labour could secure funding by being "deft".....
He also said that a £400 million reserve fund set aside in case the private finance initiative (PFI) scheme failed had now been freed up for other purposes.
Half of that money is to be contributed to the Government's social housing programme with the rest going on funding school places.
"I can do that and at the same time have the education budget rising," he said.
Anyone could get their budget to rise with a deficit of 12%, or as it has officially been renamed, bringing expenditure forward from the never-never.
The break-out by the triumvirate of the First Statesman, Brown and Balls uses a series of promises, twirling U-turns and smoke/mirrors for cash spending; the whole intended to outflank the Tories. Except the tired litany, the rehash of so many announcements and the vague assumption we all accept there was a strategy, does not really wash.
Labour should accept that it is No Hope Now as their weakest leader since Wilson twists in the wheezing tornados of his own spin, legs feebly kicking, eyes blackening and tongue gradually thickening as a scrum of Cabinet colleagues pull on his legs to hasten death. Should we consider all of the press conferences to be the ejaculations of a dying organism?