When vituperative Tory bloggers can't even bring themselves to throw a right hook at the Prime Minister you know that an attack is below the belt. And that is exactly where The Sun finds itself today. I don't know whether it was their desire to follow through on their election commitment to the Tories or just exceedingly poor editorial judgement that led them to attack the Prime Minister for his letter to Jacqui Janes but it is completely misjudged. When even the paper's recently departed political editor questions their judgement then you know they've got it woefully wrong.
Actually, it was a touching thing to do and demonstrates the Prime Minister's humanity. No one should belittle the deep grief and hurt that Mrs Janes is feeling. She deserves our utmost sympathy. There is no greater loss than losing a child. No parent should have to outlive their children and it is an agony to find yourself in that terrible situation. Gordon Brown knows this as any parent who has been in this situation knows all too well.
Who can honestly say that, when we hand write letters, we write neatly, legibly, with the correct spelling and punctuation to exacting standards? In the computer age it's a skill that is in decline. Nonetheless, sometimes, when we want to make a personal connection with someone we do get out the old Basildon Bond and put pen to paper. Should Number 10 have checked the letter? Probably, but that's really nit-picking.
The reality is, this letter was a heart-felt and genuine conveyance of regret and sympathy. It was a sensitive gesture. Mrs Janes feels differently and we have to respect that. However, to me, this is a remarkable and touching thing for an extremely hard-working Prime Minister to do. It says a lot about the qualities of the man. It says something rather different about The Sun.
Today, the bodies of six extremely brave soldiers are being flown into Wootton Bassett. They were willing to give their lives for the duties that their country asks them to perform. We can't help but feel humble. We can't help but continually question whether their sacrifice is a cost that must be paid for our security and the security of the world. Those are issues for another day and they are by no means simple.
But for the The Sun to suggest that this Prime Minster, Gordon Brown, has anything other than a complete awareness of and sensitivity to the pain, suffering and sacrifice that the families of the bereaved experience is offensive in the extreme. I really hope that this was just a misjudgement by The Sun. I hope they have the decency to offer the Prime Minister an apology. Yesterday's Sun headline screamed: "Bloody shameful." Yes, The Sun, you are and shameless too.