People calling Damian McBride "McPoison" and "McNasty"; complaints about his bullying, unpleasant and unacceptable smear tactics; colleagues calling for him to be sacked. No, not this week - back in October last, when cabinet colleagues called on Gordon Brown to finally sack his famously odious spin-doctor. Gordon Brown resisted - yet again - as he had resisted many such calls over the years after appointing and re-appointing McBride. Even after he was exposed smearing Ruth Kelly, Gordon Brown kept him on. Many predicted it would end in tears.
Now Gordon has reaped what he sowed. Those who live by poison will die by poison - even if it is very slowly. Of course Gordon Brown knew what McBride was like - he had been told many times. He kept him on because the poisonous threats were useful to No. 10. Even after hearing about the latest scandalous emails, Downing Street's first reaction was do downplay them as "juvenile". Still Gordon Brown did not sack McBride; he eventually resigned 24 hours later.
To add insult to injury, the Prime Minister issues letters of non-apology, and makes a great fuss of asking for the special advisors' code of conduct (flagrantly and unambiguously broken by McBride) to be "tightened" - a transparent and meaningless sleight of hand, typical of Mr Brown's 'smoke and mirrors' tactics. What a shamefull mess - with Mr Brown at its centre. The stench will take some time to clear away.