Hain, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has fallen back on the old chestnut "administrative error" for his failure to register a campaign donation by Jon Mendelsohn, Labour's new chief fundraiser. Mendelsohn is himself in hot water for his knowledge of proxy donations made to Labour by David Abrahams, a property developer who claims to have shared a porridge or two with Gordon Brown, who in turn has forgotten sitting next to him at dinner.
Harman's impressive portfolio – Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal, Minister for Women, Secretary of State for Equalities and Head of the Government Equalities Office – may not be enough to save her given she's pointing the finger at the Prime Minister's inner sanctum for her decision to accept an illegal donation from one of Abrahams' middlepersons (as I must call then in deference to Harman's moral sensibilities). Meanwhile, rumours continue to circulate that the lady lawyer failed to declare bank loans to the Electoral Commission as required by law.
Hain shot to fame as a teenage anti-apartheid protester in the late sixties/early seventies, while Harman, who stands to lose most as heir apparent to Gordon Brown, cut her teeth as a lawyer for the National Council for Civil Liberties. Sadly, all other things being equal, it appears her career may be cut short on account of financial liberties she may, or may not, have taken.
With all of this kerfuffle (as Andy's mate Lou would put it), the Tories have opened an 11-point lead over Labour. However, the only certainty in this whole silly business is that they'll have blown it by the time the next general election comes along.