Writing in today's Daily Telegraph, Toby Helm reports that Charlie "No Trousers" Clarke is advocating the abandonment of Labour's historic commitment to providing free education and health care and the introduction of "some level of charging" for public services.
Fair enough, you might think. Such issues have to be debated after all, and Clarke is a backbencher with complete freedom to speak out. Except that in the very next sentence, Helm goes on to write that Clarke's comments "will be seen as a pitch for the Labour leadership against Gordon Brown."
I've always rather rated Toby Helm, but what planet was he on when he wrote this? Can anyone, seriously, think of anything less likely to attract votes in a Labour leadership election than arguing that the National Health Service should no longer be free at the point of delivery?
Answers on a postcard, please....