The tawdry tale of Damian McBride's "juvenile and inappropriate" emails about Conservative politicians is pretty grim as it is. But it is just possible to imagine how the situation might be worse. What if someone even closer to McBride were on the circulation list, for example? Someone like Charlie Whelan, for example. That would be truly dreadful. And what if the emails were circulated even further, dragging in others, like Whelan, with close links to the unions who will fund Labour's next election campaign. Now that is so awful it is almost beyond imagination.
Gordon Brown's loyalty has always been his best and worst quality. There are many within the Labour Party who feel McBride should have been shown the door long before his latest indiscretion. I would not wish anyone out of a job in the present economic circumstances, but you'd have thought he could have been found a nice sinecure somewhere to reward him for his years of service.
But if this sordid little plot went any further then the job of no one involved is safe. And that ultimately includes Gordon Brown's.