Each week public affairs reporter Michael Wilkinson takes an alternative stroll down the corridors of power.
They say that a week is a long time in politics and it certainly is.
In the case of Forest MP Mark Harper’s downfall as immigration minister, the furore barely lasted three days.
I switched on the radio on Saturday afternoon to learn that Mr Harper had quit his top Government role after he discovered his cleaner did not have the right to live in Britain and that her papers had been forged.
By Sunday afternoon I whisked myself off to Cinderford to carry out an exclusive interview with Mr Harper – and it seems his only interview since resigning.
Monday saw my interview splashed across the Citizen and on shelves across Gloucester.
And by Tuesday it was all completely forgotten. Headlines such as the Mirror’s ‘Loudmouth immigration blunderer Mark Harper had it coming’ were short-lived.
Mr Harper’s aides within the Conservatives told me it had been a ‘tough time’ for the 43-year-old. Quite understandably really – it’s quite embarrassing to fall on your own sword. It was after all his idea to introduce tougher penalties for those employers and landlords found to be taking on illegal workers or tenants.
Former Home Office minister Baroness Scotland had to fork out £5,000 for a fine after finding herself in a similar situation back in 2009. She too had not knowingly employed an illegal worker. Does this mean Mr Harper will face the same fate? He suggests not, but time will tell.
It may have been a deeply embarrassing incident at the weekend – enough to resign – but the days that followed proved that nobody in Gloucestershire is really too bothered about the boo-boo.
It was also telling that politicians from all sides rallied around Mr Harper, praising him for doing the ‘honourable’ thing in resigning.
If anything, people in the Forest will be buoyed with the hope that they might get to see their MP a bit more in the run up to the 2015 general election.
He has been seen as a bit of a career politician thus far, having only spent seven months of his term on the back benches. One can’t help but wonder, however, just how long it will be before David Cameron has him promoted again.
And what for his cleaner, the Colombian lady called Isabella Acevedo. Will she now faces charges or be sent home?
Human rights campaigner Kiri Kankhwende said ‘the language that has been used to describe her is dehumanising’.
She is only ever referred to as an ‘illegal immigrant’ but it is a shame that her story may well go untold.