One could argue that Michael Moore, the now ex-Secretary of State for Scotland, has not put a foot wrong in the UK Government's drive to keep Scotland within the Union. To say he is gutted will be the mother of understatements.
The Borders MP had never expected to be in Cabinet - circumstances meant a vacancy arose out of the blue - but he would never have expected to have been jettisoned at this point and in this way.
A year or so ago, there were rumours that Mr Moore, a genial, likeable chap, was, well, too genial and likeable to take on Alex Salmond and that the more combative figure of Alistair Carmichael was needed to give the First Minister, metaphorically speaking, the occasional black eye. Yet the No 10 strategy adopted through all the discussions over technical issues was one of smother them with reasonableness - and it worked.
At times, it seemed the First Minister was rather annoyed by just how reasonable the chaps in SW1 were being.
Mr Salmond got to set the date of the independence poll and even achieved his desire to see 16 and 17-year-olds get the vote, but David Cameron dug his heels in on one key issue: the need for a single question.
Only last month, when the Liberal Democrats gathered in Glasgow, were senior figures praising Mr Moore for having won over many voters by his straightforward, honest and, yes, reasonable approach.
And while qualms were raised about the Scottish Secretary's softly, softly attitude, this was in regard to their Tory Coalition partners not the SNP leader.
As one senior Lib Dem noted: "We've adopted the right strategy on independence because you can't out-Salmond Salmond."
But now it seems that the reasonable approach is being jettisoned in favour of a more aggressive one.
Nick Clegg in his letter to Mr Moore spoke of taking advantage of a "different experience"; a euphemism for telling the former Secretary of State that he was too much of a Labrador when what was needed in the run-up to September 2014 was a Rottweiler.
And what will be the response in Bute House be? One cannot help thinking that Mr Salmond will have a wee smile on his face; a more toe-to-toe, nose-to-nose confrontation with Whitehall might be just what the FM feels is required to boost pro-independence fortunes.
With the polls showing the Yes camp regularly behind by a sizeable margin, the SNP leader needs events to start turning in his favour. This gamble by Messrs Cameron and Clegg to adopt a more up-and-at-'em approach could, of course, pay off; Mr Carmichael is a formidable politician who does not take prisoners.
But in 11 months' time, if there is a victory for independence, we might look back and see this important change as Downing Street's first big mistake.