If Peter Hain resigns as Work & Pensions Secretary on Monday morning, he'll be back in the cabinet before the next General Election.
The one thing that strikes even politics students is this; as Ministerial resignations (for whatever reason) decrease, the liklihood of a return to frontline politics increases. David Blunkett had two shots in the cabinet, as did Peter Mandelson; despite quitting for much worse a cause than Hain might.
The reason so many people despair of politics and believe that MPs are in it for themselves is the kind of corrputing arrogance that keeps Hain in office. People might have slightly more respect for such men if they were prepared to let go of office rather than be dragged out.
If Hain resigned, he could restore some trust in politics, serve out his pennance on the backbenches and I bet he's be back in Brown's top team by the election (unless, of course, Mr Brown is less forgiving of allies than Mr Blair).
The fact that he won't says a lot about himself and might actually exclude him from holding high office in the first place - in the eyes of some people!