I am not sure what has surprised me more today - the amount of snow in Central London this past 24 hours and the young fox playing in a nearby garden; or two old political foxes making great sense of Brexit.
John Major's recent speech on Brexit is first rate and offers an intelligent and insightful analysis about what is wrong with the Brexit project currently being offered by our political leaders.
The full text of his speech can be found here and should be read carefully. The speech benefits from more than one reading as well as some quiet reflection.
It's insightful in its comments on the current negotiations and grandstanding by our political leaders; the slow realisation that the whole process is much more complicated than anybody ever expected; and the hostile political environment which closes down discussion and debate. Crucially he captures the need to explain to the population what is happening and where Brexit might take us - "... it's as necessary to speak truth to the people, as to power."
He was a pretty useless Prime Minister and seemed to symbolise the fag end of a discredited Thatcherism.
Tony Blair was on Radio 4 talking about Brexit, again offering insight and reflection on what could be done to address some of the concerns about immigration which triggered Brexit by e.g. learning from the experience of Belgium which sought to control immigration within current EU rules. He spoke with passion about the Northern Ireland peace process and the inherent risks posed by Brexit - "I find it not just disappointing but sickening that people should really be prepared to sacrifice peace in Northern Ireland on the altar of Brexit." And all this in a week when Boris Johnson compared the N Ireland border issue to the border between two London boroughs.
Blair's legacy could have been devolution for Scotland and Wales, peace in Northern Ireland, the minimum wage etc. Instead he is a discredited politician who led us to war in Iraq and made a mess of handing power to Gordon Brown.
What was interesting about both contributions is there was little sign of party politics in play, no left/right divide, no Brexit/Remainer wittering, but simply some powerful reflections based on experience of what will and will not work.
Never for one moment did I think I would say a positive word about either of them, but I do so now. Perhaps like Jimmy Carter they will be more effective in retirement than in power. Perhaps in retirement they have found their mojos.