Supporters of electoral reform must feel some cheer today to hear that Alan Johnson wants to change the way we vote in order to revitalise our ailing body politic. If anyone means what he says, it's straight-talking Mr Johnson.
But he will have to deal with the entirely understandable cynicism of Lib Dems that this has been offered many times in the past to keep them on side but cynically dropped the moment an election is past.
It's precisely this kind of behaviour which has led to a withering of our civil society. Let's hope Mr Johnson is going to break the mould, something the erstwhile “Gang of Four” who founded the SDP were unable to achieve.