Having closely followed the long debate over North-East regional devolution in my old role as Political Editor of the Newcastle Journal, I was intrigued to read this story in today's Guardian, in which John Prescott speaks of the failure to win the 2004 regional assembly referendum as his "greatest regret" in politics.
It was obvious all along that Prescott attached huge importance to the issue. Unfortunately for him, no one else in the Blair Cabinet thought it was remotely important, including of course the then Prime Minister himself.
Prescott is often derided as a figure of fun, but it is a measure of his underlying seriousness of purpose as a politician that he should regret this policy failure more than, say, the Prescott punch, the Tracey Temple affair, and building on the green belt, all of which had a much bigger impact on the way he was viewed by the press and public.
Regional government is now about as fashionable as a Spam fritter-eating Phil Collins fan in hot pants, but I for one have to admire Prezza for the fact that he is still happy to be identified with such an unpopular cause.