It is summer party time in Westminster but the weather in London at the moment is hardly conducive to drinking Pimms outside.
Nick Clegg’s confession at last night’s CentreForum do that he feels "lobotomised" in government made for an overcast speech by the deputy prime minister.
He was praising the work of the Liberal think tank and its ability to keep developing radical ideas.
It is a bit depressing to think that our political leaders are finding it a struggle, compared to the organisations like CentreForum for the Lib Dems, Policy Exchange for the Conservatives and IPPR for Labour, who are outside formal power in government.
George Osborne is, I was told yesterday by a recent visitor to No 11, in full mea culpa mode over his Budget.
Conservative MPs are finding him self-reproachful for failing to spot the political mistakes in his government’s set piece economic announcement.
He appeared on this morning’s Today programme to discuss Bob Diamond’s resignation from Barclays but he didn’t go aggressive.
We wait to see if the government can resist calls from an unholy alliance of Labour and the Daily Mail for a full public inquiry into banking.
Osborne’s personal reputation has taken a battering in recent months and it seems likely he will want to start a solid rebuilding effort into the autumn.
The prime minister, meanwhile, is busy trying to satisfy his party’s eurosceptics and their calls for an EU referendum.
It could easily get very messy with memories of John Major’s torrid time as PM in the 1990s remaining strong for the Conservatives.
None of this really adds up to a fully functional government does it? The summer recess will provide some vital recovery space.
What we don’t yet know if the coalition is capable of regaining a position on the front foot while remaining stable.