Whatever health minister Ivan Lewis has said today, there can be no doubt that Hazel Blears' protest against NHS reorganisation in her constituency is deeply embarrassing for the Government. It demonstrates not only that its internal discipline is continuing to break down, but also that ambitious, up-and-coming ministers like Blears are now able to defy those on the way down like Patricia Hewitt with impunity.
Blears also has the merit of being right. Like the abortive police force mergers project, which was sensibly scrapped by John Reid in one of his first acts on replacing Charles Clarke as Home Secretary, the current health reorganisation is doing exactly the opposite of what people want, and taking services further away from the people they serve.
In my area, the main A&E hospital in the centre of Derby is being closed and all services transferred to a site on the city's western extremity. That will no doubt make a huge amount of sense to people who live to the north, east and south of the city - not.
I have always regarded Hazel Blears as a just another shameless New Labour careerist, but perhaps there is more to her after all. She has certainly gone up in my estimation this week, and more importantly, I suspect she will also have gone up in the estimation of thousands of Labour members with votes in the party's deputy leadership election.