is doing a Ken Clarke and deciding in the next fortnight on whether or not to bring his career as an MP to an end at the next general election, by which time the Fife MP will be 74. While the former leader has still to make up his mind, the smart money appears to be on the veteran backbencher calling it a day and heading, post 2015, to the relative comfort of the red benches of the House of Lords. With almost 30 years' experience in the Commons, Sir Ming would be a sage addition to Her Majesty's peers. So will it be Lord Campbell of St Andrews?
l Spotted among the goodies in the banana-coloured Lib Dem shop ... an array of "LibDem mugs" with pictures of Clegg, Kennedy and Rennie. No comment.
Also spotted on sale were badges of MPs - battling Sir Bob Russell, the Essex MP, was at number one, and the soon-to-be departed LibDem MP Sarah Teather was, surprisingly, at number two. Languishing at the bottom in 10th spot was the ginger rodent himself, Danny Alexander.
l One youngish LibDem apparatchik musing over the prospect of a year to go before the referendum poll said reassuringly: "The next year will wheeze by. It'll be easy; we'll be there before we know it." An older and more politically scarred senior party insider rolled his eyes in response and complained: "It will be the longest f****** 12 months of our lives."