THERE was one thing on which all the Sunday shows agreed: it was all about Friday. TGI Brexit Day for supporters, ONI Brexit Day (Oh No It’s...) Brexit Day for those opposed.

Lord Heseltine had complained that the Government was rubbing Remainer noses in it with plans for light displays in Downing Street and 50 pence commemorative coins.

While the Sunday shows did not display quite that level of enthusiasm, they did want to get across the point that life would be different after Friday. No-one was sure how, but that was hardly going to stop them speculating. Plus ca change.

Andrew Marr had one specific matter he wanted to take up with Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay. Namely, was the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union exiting Cabinet on Friday and returning to the backbenches?

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Mr Barclay, you will recall, was the three times a charm Brexit Secretary after the departures of first David Davis then Dominic Raab. The North East Cambridgeshire MP has only had the job since November 2018, though it probably seems longer to him.

“We’ve got a Cabinet meeting away day where I’m presenting a paper, so that will be the focus this week,” said Barclay.

Marr tried again. “Fingers crossed therefore for another job?”

Still nothing. Here was a man who either thought it wise not to speculate about his job ahead of a promised Cabinet reshuffle, or he did not know where or what he was going to be come Saturday.

There is a lot of job insecurity about Westminster and Whitehall at the moment due to the determination of the Prime Minister’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings, to shake things up.

Cummings popped up twice on The Andrew Marr show, first in the paper review and then in an interview with former Cabinet Secretary Lord Butler.

First, the paper review. The show’s four interviewees – including Len McCluskey, head of Unite – were male, so in an attempt at balance the three paper reviewers were women.

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Among them was Rachel Johnson, the Prime Minister’s sister. Ms Johnson, like the PM’s father, Stanley, is on television a lot. How much insider information she has, or is willing to share, is difficult to gauge. On Marr, for example, she mentioned reading a story about Cummings trying to get “my bro” to sit in a pod with a bunch of advisers. That was resisted, and the PM was going to keep his study, she added.

“What, permanently?” asked fellow paper reviewer Helen Lewis of The Atlantic.

“I don’t know!” said Johnson, sounding slightly exasperated at being quizzed as if she was her brother’s keeper/spokesperson. But she is either willing to come on and talk about her brother, or she is not. Which is it?

Cummings’ name came up in connection with a story in the Mail on Sunday. A senior minister told the paper that the aide was behaving like “a bald Ray Liotta at the end of Goodfellas”.

The source explained: “This should be the glory days but instead No 10 has slipped into paranoia, trusting an ever smaller number of people and sometimes not even each other. He’s hearing police helicopters in his head.”

The paper’s graphics department had helpfully mocked up a Goodfellas style poster with Cummings, the PM and Chancellor Sajid Javid taking the places of Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.

Marr, alas, did not ask the Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO for his opinion on the place of Goodfellas in the Scorsese oeuvre. When a chap has been private secretary to five PMs, from Edward Heath to Tony Blair, there is no shortage of other matters to discuss, but it would have been fun to know. (I reckon the crossbench peer is in The Age of Innocence camp. Maybe Shutter Island.) Given his experience, Butler could offer a “been there, done that, got the memo” perspective on Cummings’ plans, among them bringing fresh blood into Whitehall.

“When I was head of the civil service we were bringing people in from outside, the civil service always has done, it did during the Second World War.”

Cummings was arguing for more data crunchers, scientists and managers, said Marr, instead of people with degrees in the classics and humanities. You need both, said Butler, pointing out silkily that he had studied the “greats”, or classics, at Oxford, ditto Boris Johnson [classics] and Dominic Cummings [ancient and modern history, Oxford].

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Talk turned to Cummings’ ad, posted on his blog, for “weirdos and misfits” to work in Downing Street. Some 35,000 have applied. If you were a young man do you think you would get in now, Marr asked.

“I don’t think I count as a weirdo or a misfit. I worked for plenty of weirdos and misfits when I was the Civil Service.”

He then revealed that he had left a comment on Cummings’ blog. “I said good luck, but you can’t do it all from Number 10. This is a huge organisation.”

Government by blogs and comments. Wonder what Heath and Wilson would have made of it all.