Parliament is well into recess and much of the news is dominated by international, rather than Westminster, matters.
But the end of the Parliamentary session had a certain amount of excitement for MPs with a major Ministerial reshuffle.
A feature of my career has been that I have been relatively unaffected by reshuffles. I joined the opposition Treasury team in 2007. I got appointed to the Ministerial post that I had previously shadowed in 2010. And since then, I’d stayed in place.
I was keen to continue in place and had an indication that was likely. That meant that I didn’t have an anxious Monday, fearing the phone call from Number 10 summoning me to one last ministerial meeting.
The dismissals were out the way on the Monday. Tuesday was about appointments. As it happens, there was a visit to Parliament from a primary school in the constituency that morning and I had arranged for them to visit Downing Street for a photo outside Number 10.
Quite understandably, this got cancelled although I was amused by thought of how the assembled press would have reacted to 30 11-year-olds marching up Downing Street on reshuffle day. When people talked of the Government having a younger look…
Given that I thought I would be staying the Treasury, I thought there was a fair chance that I wouldn’t get called. However, it was while talking to the school group that the phone rang and I was asked to be in Downing Street in 20 minutes.
“Was that David Cameron?” asked one of the pupils.
“No, but it was his office. I need to go and see him now.”
There then comes the walk up Downing Street, with reporters shouting questions. The aim is to try not to look self-conscious. I think I failed on that front.
Once inside Number 10, it is into a waiting room and then into the Cabinet Room for a meeting with the Prime Minister and one aide.
He offered me precisely what I wanted, continuing with the same responsibilities but as Minister of State rather than Parliamentary Under-Secretary. In other words, another rung up the ladder.
I suspect that our conversation was one of the easier ones for the Prime Minster. It was then time for a quick word with the Chief Whip and then back along Downing Street before returning to my desk in the Treasury. It was time to get back to work.
Parliament might be in recess but that does doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. Last week’s announcement by the Transport Secretary that the Government is looking at extending Crossrail to Hertfordshire could be very good news for commuters using Tring, Berkhamsted and Hemel stations.
A new link from the West Coast Mainline to the new Crossrail system could see direct trains from our local stations to the West End and the City, knocking fifteen minutes off a typical journey. The announcement is of a feasibility study but I certainly welcome it. It would also mean that the redevelopment of Euston Station, as a consequence of HS2, would be less disruptive for the majority of passengers who would no longer need to use it.
It is exciting news and could make a very positive difference to large numbers of Dacorum residents.