Having gone from clear favourite for the Labour leadership to distant runner-up, Burnham has had to rethink his political ambitions even more radically than he had to rethink his political positions during his campaign. Right a bit, left a bit, right again, bit more right, no left, left, left. Fire. Missed. Bugger it.
But Burnham is a natural survivor; not to mention amnesiac. Having been one of the few former shadow cabinet ministers not to throw a strop and refuse a position in Corbyn’s team, the new shadow home secretary then promised a fresh style of doing politics where “principle would always come before presentation”. Coming from him, this took some nerve.