A five-minute primer on an issue making headlines John 'Two Jags' Prescott sparked controversy last week when he allegedly said the Bush administration's approach to Middle East policy was 'crap'. Why is he called 'Two Jags'? It is the most enduring of a plethora of nicknames, from his ownership of one Jaguar and the use of another as his ministerial car. The British press have had a field day over the former trade union official's love of the finer things in life, like cars, particularly after he was put in charge of public transport policy. He has been banned from driving for speeding and, in 1999, was officially chauffeured less than 200 metres to give a speech urging people to use public transport. 'Prezza' said he had not walked partly because his wife Pauline did not like getting her hair 'blown about'. Prezza? A play on 'Hezza', the nickname for Michael Heseltine, the no-nonsense Tory he succeeded as deputy PM. Not that 'Prezza' has always admitted to this combative streak. 'I don't pursue vendettas or punch people on the nose,' he said in 1994. But in the 2001 general election campaign, 'Two Jabs' threw a punch at an egg-throwing protester before his minders intervened. Sorry ... Two Shags? Where would the British press be without a political sex scandal, which the chubby 68-year-old duly served up when a two-year affair with secretary Tracey Temple was made public. Rumours flew of other romantic dalliances, and 'Two Pads' avoided denying them. Hold on ... Two Pads? He had been 'Three Pads' before the sex revelations. The 'pads' refer to his residences: family home in Yorkshire, palatial apartment near the House of Commons and country mansion. He had to give up the mansion, and a cabinet reshuffle in May scaled back his official duties. No longer could opponents quip that he was the only minister with a job title bigger than his vocabulary. What's wrong with his vocabulary? 'Prezza' has a reputation for mangling the language. 'The green belt is a Labour achievement and we mean to build on it,' he once said. After a rough flight, he said: 'It's great to be back on terra cotta (sic).' He must have done something right to get where he is? Sure. The son of a railwayman, he's a former seaman who became the high-profile face of New Labour's traditional working-class roots. Perhaps his greatest claim to fame came in 1993 when he took the plaudits for persuading the party to ditch the trade union block vote, which helped New Labour win power four years later, when he became deputy PM. He has been an influential party power broker, often helping to smooth differences between Mr Blair and fierce rival, finance minister Gordon Brown. What are the chances of him keeping his job? They look grim. Although he has distanced himself from the 'crap' comment, he has been badly damaged by revelations he met US businessman Philip Anschutz seven times and stayed at his Colorado ranch. Mr Anschutz owns London landmark The Dome and is looking to turn it into a casino.