With the Labour Deputy Leadership Contest now coming to the boil, there has been much talk over the last 24 hours of who will make the best "partner" for Gordon Brown. The clear view of Alan Johnson is that he would because he comes from a working-class background in London as opposed to Gordon's middle-class Scottish upbringing.
The clear analogy being drawn here is with the Tony Blair-John Prescott partnership, with Prescott himself now publicly backing his fellow Hull MP's bid to succeed him.
But Johnson and Co are missing the point. Blair-Prescott was not the successful partnership that it was on account of the fact that Prezza is "working class." It is because, politically, Prescott represented a different strand of the Labour movement from Blair, enabling the party's traditional supporters to feel as if they had a voice at the top table, even if this wasn't always necessarily the case.
Similarly, Harriet Harman is wrong to stress, as she has done on a number of occasions, the importance of gender-balance in the selection of a leadership team. It's certainly important that women are well-represented in Gordon's Cabinet - and with Yvette Cooper and Caroline Flint set for big promotions, they will be - but you don't have to have a female deputy leader to appeal to women voters.
No, it's political balance that counts, which is why I am of the view that neither Harman, nor Johnson, nor Hilary Benn would necessarily be the best candidates on offer. All of them are virtually ideologically indistinguishable from Gordon, and none of them can genuinely claim to have carved out a distinctive policy agenda.
The Labour Party could, if it wanted to, achieve a sort of "balance" by electing the uber-Blairite candidate, Hazel Blears, but that would merely give it a balance between New Labour's own tribal factions, ignoring the large swathe of party members who see themselves as neither New Labour nor Old Labour, just Labour.
If the party is looking for a more meaningful balance between the New Labour "right" and what I call the "sensible left," then the two candidates who would offer the best counterpoint to Gordon are Peter Hain and Jon Cruddas.
Hain looks certain to get on the ballot paper, Cruddas slightly less so, but whichever of them eventually emerges as the standard bearer of the disenfranchised mainstream left in this election is the one who will get my support.