The chink in Osborne's armour.
AWELCOME development in the political debate of the last few years has been the sudden realisation by the powers that be that Britain has a serious issue over balance. London - great city though it is - is in danger of overwhelming the rest of the UK, sucking in all the attention and the money.
George Osborne's Northern Powerhouse and the rapidlydeveloping debate over devolution of powers to the regions were the response to this overdue realisation.
For a while Mr Osborne made the running. But there are signs that Labour has caught on - and has seen a chink in his armour.
For Mr Osborne is hung up on elected mayors. They might work well in London, but we don't need them here. We don't want them either - otherwise we'd have voted for them when we had the chance.
Labour's chosen method of devolving power through combined authorities - with or without a mayor - is less sexy. But it is more practical, which is what counts.