Given the way Gordon Brown's gang of bruisers and nutcases operates, the hit-list story doesn't sound implausible. But, either way, both sides should take it as a warning. For Downing Street, it's another sign of Brown's waning authority - after Smeargate, the papers have a new appetite for tales of our Prime Minister's more paranoid and dictatorial methods, and there's a whole host of Labour folk who are willing to oblige them with good copy. While, for those currently operating against Brown, it's a reminder that he remains one of the toughest streetfighters in politics. He'll come back at them, and come back hard. Expect a bloody summer.