This is Sir Jeremy Beecham, former chairman of Labour's National Executive Committee and hitherto one of Tony Blair's most loyal supporters in the party hierarchy. I once had a conversation with him in which I invited him to speak frankly about the Prime Minister, on an off-the-record basis. He replied: "I don't do off-the-record, Paul, I'm a member of the NEC for God's sake."
Well, now Sir Jeremy's loyalty has finally been provoked beyond endurance by the news that Mr Blair plans, as his parting gift to the party, to use the cash for honours affair as a pretext to sever its links with the unions.
On one level, it's a truly breathtaking manoeuvre, an attempt to turn a hugely damaging political scandal to his own advantage by doing something he has dreamed of for years. On another level, though, it's political suicide.
Earlier today, Mike Smithson posed the question on Political Betting whether Blair's union funding plans were a step too far. If he seriously hopes to remain in office until next summer, they are.