If ever one needed evidence of how much control freakery there is from the Treasury into other departments spending consider this little gem. If the Home Office is found to have totally screwed up (I know, it's rare!) and thus finds itself subject to making a compensation payout, it has to go cap in hand for permission from Brown to pay out anything above £20,000.
The figure, given out in a written response to Mark Francois MP yesterday by the Home Office Minister, Liam Byrne, means that when the news broke last May that prisoners were receiving masses in compensation, it wasn't actually the Home Office that authorised it.
Whilst the prisons minister, Gerry Sutcliffe for it is he, took all the flak in the press and the Home Office found itself engulfed in yet another scandal, it was actually our good friend Macavity who was to blame. As you'd expect though, when everyone looked, Macavity wasn't there.