I was involved in two interesting conversations last night where people were advocating the return of (Lord) Michael Howard to the Cabinet. Policy wonks, journalists and activists alike were wistfully harking back to the good old days of Howard at the Home Office. Their bugbear? Ken Clarke - seen to be 'soft on crime' and 'weak on sentencing' at a time when the fear is crime is going to rise.
One journalist even suggested that he might start a campaign to secure Howard's return to a policy brief where he had his greatest successes. It seems Michael Howard as Justice Secretary would be a popular choice for many Conservatives and right wing journalists.