In fairness, I wouldn't break my lunch to say something nice about Brown either - but his team at No.10 exists to defend him against his many Labour enemies. You can bet that, right now, there are scores of furious messages on Darling's and Mandelson's mobiles. Darling is, of course, close to Hoon, and Mandelson has been annoyed for weeks. Might he be about to explode? I hear he is due on television later. He knows how to kill a story and has conspicuously not done it so far. He may be the one who gives the imperial thumbs up or thumbs down. Stay tuned.