Last week hazel Blears wrote an article which made laid bare her views on how Gordon Brown is running his government. Immediately, Number Ten swung into action and started trashing her. I then wrote a post saying that wounded chipmunks can be very dangerous animals and suggesting that Ms Blears should indulge in a bit of "war gaming" before an inevitable post Euro election reshuffle.
Since then Blears has copped much of the flak in the expenses row for the fact that she had three different second homes within a year. Fair dos. However, the flak she has been taking has been totally disproportionate to the relatively mild criticism of Alistair Darling and Geoff Hoon's whose manipulation of the "flipping" system is far worse. Why is this?
There is a simple explanation. The Number Ten spin machine is urging journalists to concentrate on Hazel Blears as a deflecting tactic. She is expendable. They are briefing journalists that's she's toast in a June reshuffle and any hint of weakness or failure is being highlighted. The capital gains tax issue is the latest excuse for them to batter her. This is not just me concocting a conspiracy theory, I know that her friends believe this happening too.
This is going to get nasty, but Hazel Blears needs to work out a clever strategy if she is to survive.