Excellent and disarmingly honest post from Guido earlier today in which he admits that the unhelpful and hostile attitude of Peter Hain's special adviser had spurred him on in his attempts to get the bottom of the permatanned one's financial affairs.
I think if we are all equally frank about it, this is a fairly common occurence in journalism. Most journalists would agree that if an official or press officer is being obstructive or difficult about something, it makes them all the more convinced there's a good story there, and hence all the more determined to get it.
Since train stories are all the rage in the blogosphere at the moment, I will relate an incident that occurred some years ago on a train journey from Newcastle to London in which I found myself sat opposite the special adviser to the then local government minister, Hilary Armstrong.
The man in question - I won't bother to name him as he no longer works for the government - sat in front of me with a briefcase on his lap and said words to the effect of: "There's something in here you'd really like to know about but which I'm not going to show you," and then preceded to spend the rest of the journey taunting me about it.
It was stupid behaviour on two counts. First, it was hardly calculated to endear me to his then boss, Ms Armstrong, and second, it alerted me to the existence of a report which I would not otherwise have known about, and which I eventually obtained by other means.
Only a few years earlier, the adviser in question had been a local councillor who was happy to use the regional press as a platform. It was clear that as soon as he graduated to national politics, the power went straight to his head.
Alastair Campbell aside, the very worst example of all of a spAd who did huge damage to her boss's cause was of course Jo "bury bad news" Moore, although this was not something particular to me.
Long before that shameful incident on the afternoon of 9/11, the woman brought in to soften Steve Byers' media profile in the hope of making him the next Labour Prime Minister had managed to alienate most of the Lobby, and there were very few tears shed over her spectacular fall from grace.