By the time John Prescott finally had his day in court at the Leveson inquiry on Monday his evidence about his own mistreatment by the phone hackers and their powerful friends in blue uniforms was doomed to be an anticlimax after the sensational disclosures that preceded it.
It amounted to a rare defeat for a man with plenty to say and his own syntax-challenging way of saying it. Lord Prescott did not seem to mind much. For years he had warned Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the "beautiful people" around them (the ugly ones too) that they would pay too high a price for cosying up to Rupert Murdoch and his acolytes. Cameron was just as bad, he added loyally.
Now Prescott was sitting in the high court in London listening to top coppers – past and present – confirming his judgment, as well as (more or less) his long-derided suspicion that his office phone was one of those hacked. He waited five hours to give his own evidence, but it was time very satisfactorily spent.