Commentators on all sides of the political spectrum are mourning the absence from the political scene of a giant of liberal left politics, who for many years now has kept the flickering flame of social democracy alive - Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Rumours of his demise, it is believed have been greatly exaggerated. Nevertheless, people are beginning to ask the question: "Where's Gordon?"
This 'giant' of New Labour has certainly had a chequered history; he was linked to various scandals and cover-ups over the years. But he always appeared to 'beat the rap', never more so than in the case of the infamous 'CDO' crash that involved a bunch of slick city conmen called the 'boiler room boys' and undoubtedly overshadowed the remainder of his political career. Although he denied all responsibility for the crash suspicions inevitably remained since he was at the helm at the time.
Some people are asking though whether his absence is a sign of something more sinister - a tactic know by the acronym CBAIF, or 'come back... all is forgiven'. Is it just possible that this extended absence has been engineered by Machiavellian supremo, Lord Mandelson, who assumes that people will ultimately 'miss Gordon when he's gone'. The logic here is that they might have got a taste of that sense of loss over the summer months when Gordon was nowhere to be seen.
And in keeping with this logic, the electorate is literally clammering for Gordon to return. "Please, please, please," said one tearful member of the public interviewed in Whitehall today, "Please come back, Gordon. Anything is better than Harriet the Harridan, Peter the Pirate, Dreary Darling, and Jack man of Straw who ran the country over the summer and were even more pointless and self-serving than you."