He invoked the spirit of Churchill, he claimed common cause with the voters of Britain, but no matter how much John Reid tried to dress up his support for David Cameron this morning he ended up looking like the Prime Minister's stooge, temporarily taking Nick Clegg's role as the bulletproof vest while the Coalition partners stake their differences on AV.
This was beyond Stockholm Syndrome or the hapless parade of downed US spyplane pilots by the North Vietnamse, Dr Reid actually enjoyed the applause of the Tory audience.
Reid insists his support for the No to AV campaign is above party politics but he is one of the sharpest Scottish political minds - he knows that the immediate consequence of a No win in the AV referendum is deeply political.
A No vote means a victory for David Cameron, whom Reid stood shoulder to shoulder with this morning, and a humiliation for the Labour leader Ed Miliband.
I wanted to ask if that is what Reid wanted, and how the people of Motherwell looking at morning television images could only think that their former MP has switched sides.
If his appearance was to prove himself as capable a statesman as the current Prime Minister, it fell down on that too. He looked a diminished figure, the "attack dog" joke at his own expenses, lapped up by a room full of Tory party workers.
The former Home Secretary argued that there was more at stake than mere party politics. Cameron, who was delighted to have another senior party cadre hostage, knows there is more at stake too.
His premiership is at stake, and so are the chances of the Tories being in power for a long time. Cameron looked very happy leaving the stage. I return to the question - why does Reid want the Labour leadership to lose this one?