Petronella Wyatt is well-known in political journalism circles for an ability to put the black spot on the careers of interviewees. She seems to have an uncanny ability to get people to say or do things which are totallty indiscreet - a valuable quality for a journalist, but a dangerous one for politicians.
Perhaps the most famous example was Janet Anderson, a rising New Labour star until she unwisely agreed to be interviwed by Wyatt shortly before the 1997 election. During the course of the interview, Anderson revealed that there would be "more sex under a Labour Government," and of course her career never quite recovered.
Now Charles Clarke has become the latest victim of the Curse of Petsy with a spectacularly ill-judged interview in the Daily Mail which has only served to provide plenty more ammunition about Gordon Brown for Labour's opponents, with Iain Dale suggesting CCHQ should thank Clarke "for doing our dirty work for us."
I can only imagine this outpouring of bile was occasioned by Gordon's failure to restore Clarke to the Cabinet in the enforced reshuffle following Peter Hain's resignation. As the Sunday Tel's Paddy Hennessy reveals here, he certainly won't be coming back now.